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Don't separate what Jesus unites.

In John 17:6-19, Jesus prays for those whom the Father gave Him – His disciples (vss. 6, 9). He prays to the Father that He would keep His disciples saved (“keep them in Your name” v. 11), that He would sanctify them (“sanctify them in your truth” v. 17), as His sent ones (“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”).

Too often it is implied that as great a gift that salvation in Jesus is, not all the saved are necessarily sanctified (grow in holiness, become more like Jesus, set apart for God’s purposes). And if some do manage to get sanctified, still fewer are sent to advance the gospel in the world. That, we imagine, is for those few uber-Christians or paid professional Christian workers.

Jesus envisioned no such division in His prayer for those who God gave Him (=all Christians throughout the ages, 17:20). In Jesus prayer, we that our very identity as His disciples is that we are those who are saved, sanctified and sent by Jesus. Jesus’ prayer will be answered (of course)!

True, living out the “sanctification” and “sent” aspects of Jesus’ work in us doesn’t happen without earnest grace and faith-driven effort. But we engage those battles in confidence that Jesus has prayed and is praying that we keep growing as His holy ambassadors in the world!