17 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
God’s word is the means of sanctification for which Jesus prays. Notice how important God’s word is.
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
We are set apart by God inasmuch as we submit to Him speaking to us through His words in the Bible. I recommend reading Psalm 119 in its entirety.
Psalm 119:11 ¶ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
There are many things to be said about the word of God and how important it is. But, one thing is that the word of God prevents a church from being nothing more than a social club or a political club. Everything that anyone says that God has laid on their heart can be compared to it to see if what they say is true but if you do not read or listen to the word of God you cannot know if you are being lied to or deceived or told the truth.
How many times have your read the Bible through from cover to cover? If you have been a Christian for ten years and have not read or heard the Bible read through ten times there is something very wrong. You may be a great person, a serving Christian with a servant’s heart, even a soul-winner, but like Martha you may choose to be too busy to fellowship with God.
The Bible should be your standard in all matters of faith, practice, and doctrine. If reading or listening to the Bible read was a daily activity it would be difficult to deceive you. Let God speak to you through His word. God will set you apart for what He wants you to do while you are in this world through it, not the manic ravings of a celebrity preacher who just wants a following to glorify himself and to justify his own sin.
As God the Father sent Christ into the world so has Christ sent His disciples into the world. Christ’s offering of Himself sanctifies the believer. He is useful to God the Father by His death and resurrection in drawing men to salvation and by that the follower of Christ is set apart for His work in the world as part of the body of Christ.