A Discussion Of The Word “Hagios”
The Greek word, “hagios”, is used 235 times in the new testament, it’s used in reference to many different things. The word is an adjective. You remember what an adjective is, right? An adjective, is a word that describes the characteristic of a noun, which is.. a person, a place, or a thing. And so an adjective, describes some characteristic, of a person , place, or thing.
For instance; If I were to say, “It’s sure a hot day”; The word “hot”, would be the adjective, describing what type of day it is. And if I were to say, “You sure are a kind person”; The word “kind”, would be the adjective, describing what type of person you are.
So then, in the bible, the word “hagios” is describing something as being of a certain type. Let me give you some examples of things that the bible describes as being “hagios”. A day is described as being “hagios”. A person is described as being “hagios”. More than once, the ground is described as being “hagios”. Your faith is sometimes called “hagios”. Women have been described as “hagios”. Conversation and conduct, is sometimes called “hagios”. A city, and a place, and a covenant, and a commandment, and the scriptures themselves, have all been described in the bible, as being “hagios”.
Have you guessed yet, what the English word for “hagios” is? What if I said that that God Himself is described as being”hagios”. And that the “part” of God, which is most often described as “hagios”, is the Spirit of God. The “hagios” Spirit of God.
Now do you know what the English word is? The word is “holy”. God is holy, and the Spirit of God is holy! God is a “holy” Spirit. But do you know what the fundamental and core meaning, of the word “hagios” is? It means.. “to be different, and unlike the rest”. So then when the bible says that God is holy, it means that God is different from all else. And the Holy Spirit of God, is a Spirit that is different from all other spirits. God’s Spirt stands alone. His Spirit is unique, and separate, and exclusive, and reverend!
And when the word “holy” is used to describe something other than God and His Spirit, it means that the thing being described, is different from the world, and that instead of being like the world, it’s like God!
When God said to Moses, in Exodus 3, verse 5; “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground”, God was saying that this place is different, it’s set apart, and it’s consecrated, because I the Lord, am here! In the old testament, the word “holy” comes form the old Hebrew word “ko’-desh” which means.. “to be separate and apart, and sacred”.
Mt Sinai was called a “holy mountain”, because GOD descended onto that mountain! (Exodus 19, verse 18) And God’s presence made that mountain stand apart, from all the rest. It was holy! God told Moses in Exodus 19:23; “Set bounds about the mountain, and consecrate it!”
Some of the books, or “letters”, of the new testament, are addressed to “the saints”, in one location or anther. Do you know where the word “saints” comes from? It comes from the Greek word “hagiosis”. It means.. “the holy ones”. If you’re a Christian, then you’re one of “the holy ones”. And do you know why you’re holy? It’s because you’re different, and you’re set apart. When you became a Christian, you made a vow to God, that you would be different! You made a vow to God, that you would “Come out from among them and be ye separate..” (2 Corinthians 6:17) And God says; “And do not touch what is unclean, and I will welcome you.”
You know, there’s a lot of people who have been baptized, but they’ve never come out from among the world. They’ve never separated themselves, and they’ve never really become, “holy”.
So then, ask yourself this question; Are you honoring your vow to God? You have vowed to be “holy”! Have you done it, and are you doing it? Have you come out from among the world? Or do you just blend right in with everyone else? We all need to examine ourselves.
Listen to this instruction given in 1 Peter 1:13.. “Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind..” That’s a pretty unusual phrase.. “having girded up the loins of your mind”. What does that mean?
In ancient times, people dressed differently that we dress now. Men and women alike, used to dress in long tunics, or in long, loose, flowing clothing. Now, think about trying to do some work dressed like that. Those clothes would be getting in the way, and slowing you down constantly. So then what people would do, would be to “tie up” that loose clothing. Gather it all up, so it’s not hanging all over the place, and “gird it” around the waist and the hips. So in other words, they would “gird up their loins”.
But, what are “the loins of your mind”? Well, it’s figurative; The loins, and just above the loins, are the “core” of the body. And I’m sure you’ve heard that a strong “core” benefits the whole body. And of course, the loins are also the reproductive area of the body. The loins create physical life. And so the “loins of your mind” is a figurative expression referring to the strength, and the reproductive capacity of your mind. Just like your spirit needs to be “born again”, your mind needs to be born again, first! You have to make the decision in you mind, that you are going to be “holy”! All of us have to decide for ourselves, to “come out from among them”.
We’re told, in Romans 12, verse 2; “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your MIND, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, and perfect.”
To “renew your mind”, is to.. “Gird up the loins of your mind”. The first step to being saved, is to hear the word of God, right? But the next couple of steps, take place strictly in your mind. You’ve got to decide in your mind, to believe what you’ve heard. You’ve got to “renew” your mind. You’ve got to “recreate” your mind! And included in that renewing of your mind, is your decision to repent of dead works, and to engage in works of obedience, so that you can be justified, just like Abraham was justified by HIS works of obedience.
We’ve all got to make that decision, and don’t take it lightly, because it’s a big decision, and it’s a tough decision. We not only have to make the decision to obey what God tells us to do, in order to become a Christian, but then, the even tougher decision, is to make that decision in your mind, that you’re going to LIVE like Christ, every day of your life! Jesus said, in Luke 9:23; “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” That’s a tough decision, but we’ve got to make that decision.
If we want to be “holy”, and if we want to be one of “the holy ones”, then we have to deny ourselves! And what do we have to deny ourselves of? Well, we have to deny ourselves of anything and everything, that contradicts Jesus Christ. Anything that we DO, anything that we WANT, anything that we THINK, if it contradicts Christ, then we have to deny ourselves of it. Any attitude that we have that is contrary to Christ’s attitude, and even any personality trait, that’s not in agreement with God’s will for us; We have to DENY ourselves of it.
As long as we are “in the flesh” we will have desires, and thoughts, and maybe even habits, that need to be denied!
Let me continue reading from 1 Peter 1:13; “Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind for action! Be sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (that means the gospel of Christ that’s been revealed) So, fix your hope completely on the gospel. It’s the power of salvation! (Romans 1:16)
1 Peter 1:14 says; “As children of obedience, do not be conformed to the former lusts, which were in your ignorance.”
When we were ignorant of God’s word, we lived and acted, in ways that were contrary to the way God has commanded us to act. But now, we need to be different! We need to be “holy”!
“Verses 15 & 16 instruct us with these words; “But, like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also, in ALL your behavior. Because it is written; You shall be holy, for I am holy!”
And now, verses 17 thru 19; “And if you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourself in fear, during the time of your stay.” (that means your life here on earth)
“Knowing, that you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver or gold, from your futile way of life, inherited from your forefathers; But with precious blood! As of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ!”
Now, here’s an appeal, from God to us, to live as if we truly are holy. We’ll never be as “holy” as He is, but if we do our best, He’ll do the rest. So, here’s God’s appeal, in 1 Peter chapter 2, beginning with verse 1; “Therefore, having put aside, (that’s past tense, having put it all aside) “Having put aside, all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and all slander.” Those are characteristics of the world, but a Christian has to be different.
“Having put aside all malice..” Malice refers to our disposition, not to our actions. It refers to “ill will” towards others. It causes strife, doesn’t it? According to Proverbs 6:16 thru 19, there are seven things, that are an abomination to God. And the seventh thing that is named is; “One who spreads strife among the brethren.” The spreading of strife, is born out of malice in our heart.
And put aside, “all guile..” Guile, is deceit, and trickery, and craftiness, and treachery, and shrewdness, and cunning. Job 5:12 & 13 says; “He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd, so that their hands cannot attain success. He captures the wise, by their own shrewdness, and the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted.”
We’re to put away “all hypocrisy..” Hypocrisy is very much akin to deceit. And it’s also akin to lying! Hypocrisy means.. “to act out something that is not true.” That’s why Jesus so often, called the Jewish leaders “hypocrites”. They tried to “act” as if they loved God, but they were hypocrites, because they refused to obey God! And as you well know, Jesus said; “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. (John 14:15).
We need to put aside all “envy”.. Envy is a terrible thing. Envy is a feeling that we harbor, kind of like malice. Listen to the definition of “envy”, and see if you don’t think it’s terrible..
Envy can express itself in two ways. Here’s how it’s described; “Envy is the miserable trait, of being glad, when someone experiences misfortune or pain.” That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? For someone else’s pain, to bring you happiness.
Here’s the other way that envy can be expressed; “Envy conveys displeasure, at another’s good”. It can be displeasure because of something good that happens to someone, or it can be displeasure at the fact, that another person is considered to be, a “good person”.
Along that same line, here’s what a word study says about the word “envy”; “Envy is feeling of displeasure, at another’s “goodness”. Rather than having the desire to bring one’s self up, to the level of the one who is envied; Envy is marked by the desire, to bring the one that you envy, down to your level”. That’s a terrible feeling to have, isn’t it!
But here’s the last thing listed, that we need to have put away, in order to be “holy”; Put away.. “all slanders”. Some bibles translate it as “evil speakings”. Slander indeed means to speak evil of another person. Some synonyms for “slander” are.. “evil speech, backbiting, defamation, and railing”.
We don’t want to have any part of any of those things. All of them, are “of this world”. None of them have any place in the life of a Christian. Let me continue reading from 1 Peter chapter 2. Having put away all of these things that verse 1 spoke of; Verses 2 & 3 say; “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it, you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the lord.”
Now Peter isn’t saying that we ARE newborn babes, but he’s saying that we should be LIKE newborn babes, in our desire for “the pure milk of the word”. It doesn’t matter what stage of Christian life we’re in, you and I must desire the pure, unadulterated “milk”, of God’s word.
When a baby is born, they have an instinctive desire for the milk that sustains them. And a Christian should be like that, all their lives. You won’t remain “holy” for very long, if you lose your desire for the pure word of God.
It’s the word that creates the faith, (Rom 10:17) Faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat 16:16)
It’s the word that motivates us to repent, as we’re commanded to do. (Acts 17:30)
It’s the word that gives us the confidence, to confess our faith in Jesus. (Acts 8:37)
And it’s the word that convinces us, that if we’re united with Jesus in the likeness of His death, through baptism, that we’ll also be in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6:5)
And it is the word of God, that instills in us, the perseverance, to remain faithful, and to overcome the world, so that we may be granted “to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God”. (Rev 2:7)
God encourages, and invites us all, to be one of His “holy ones”.