1 PETER 1:13-16
“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is
full of his glory” (Is.6:3).
“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name: for thou only art holy; for all nations
shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (Rev.15:4).
DEEPER STUDY # 1
(1:15-16) Holy—Saint—Sanctification: (hagios): all three of these words and their various forms (holiness, saints, and
sanctification) are translated from one Greek word hagios. Its Hebrew equivalent is kadosh. It is difficult to translate into
English although its meaning is easy to grasp. Its basic meaning is to be separated, set apart, and different. Morally, it means
pure, sinless, righteous, holy. Something holy is set apart, separated, different from all other persons or things. It is some-
thing that God has set aside for Himself. Man cannot set it aside as holy. It has to be set aside by God Himself.
A study of the word holy shows the movement of God in history.
1. God is said to be preeminently and supremely holy (Lk.1:49; Jn.17:11; 1 Pt.1:15). He possesses an incomparable
majesty, so supremely majestic that there are beings who do nothing but surround His throne day and night singing out the
praises of His holiness (Is.6:1f; Rev.4:8).
2. Things that have a special connection to God are said to be holy. The ground upon which Moses stood when God
confronted him was said to be holy (Ex.3:1-5; Acts 7:33). The temple was said to be holy (Mt.24:15), and the Holy of Holies
in particular was holy (Heb.9:2-3). The mount where Christ was transfigured was called holy (2 Pt.1:18). The covenant that
God made with Abraham was holy (Lk.1:35). The gospel and Scriptures are called holy (Mt.7:6; Ro.1:2). Anything that be-
comes associated with God is set apart unto God in a very special sense and becomes different from other things.
3. The Jews are called a holy nation (Ex.19:6). They were set apart in a very special way to God. The Old Testament
deals primarily with the Jews and their special relationship to God: “Ye shall be holy unto me; for I, the Lord, am holy, and
have separated you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Lev.20:26; cp. Dan.7:18, 22).
⇒ The Jewish people were holy in that they were to be different from other nations, different in that they were
to believe God and serve Him faithfully. God knew them in a very special way above all the nations of the
⇒ The Jewish priesthood was holy, different from other men (Lev.21:6). The people’s tithe or tenth was holy,
different from other money and goods and used for different purposes (Lev.27:30, 32). The temple was
holy, different from other buildings (Ex.26:33).
But note this: the Jews refused to play the part in history that God wanted them to play. The Old Testament is a conti-
nuous record of their rejection of God’s will. And when God sent His Son into the world, they committed the supreme and
lasting rejection. They refused to acknowledge Him and put Him to death.
4. Jesus Christ is said to be holy in a very special way.
⇒ Before His birth, the angel said to Mary, “That holy One who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son
of God” (Lk.1:35).
⇒ Mary worshipped Him in song and praise before His birth saying, “Holy is His name” (Lk.1:49f). He was
the only begotten Son of God, holy, revered, and worthy of veneration and worship.
⇒ The people recognized that He was sanctified by God (Jn.10:36; cp. 6:69).
⇒ The mentally ill and demon-possessed recognized Him as the Holy One of God (Mk.1:24; Lk.4:34).
⇒ The church worshipped Him as “the Holy Child of God” (Acts 4:27, 30).
Note this: Jesus Christ Himself was the transition from God’s dealing with the Jewish nation as holy to a new people as
holy. When the Jews rejected God’s Son, they showed their ultimate refusal to follow God, to be holy and separated unto
Him. Therefore, God had no choice but to raise up another people to be separated unto Him. The new people are those of all
nations and peoples who believe and follow Christ as the Lord of their lives.
5. The church is now said to be the holy people of God. The privileges and responsibilities of following God were tak-
en from Israel and given to the church (Jn.17:14, 16; Ro.11:16f).
⇒ The church is called a holy nation and a royal or holy priesthood, a people made up of genuine believers
from all nationalities and languages and races (1 Pt.2:5, 9).
⇒ The church is a people who set themselves apart unto God as holy and separated and different, who utterly
trust Him and abandon themselves to follow Him.
⇒ The church is now the dwelling place for God’s presence. Believers are being built “together for a habitation
of God through the Spirit” (Eph.2:21-22). The church in some unique and spiritual sense, by an act of God,
becomes the very body of Christ (Eph.1:22-23). The church, the body of believers when meeting together
locally, now replaces the temple of the Old Testament (see note—1 Cor.3:16).
6. But there is something even more precious and hallowed to real believers. The body of the individual believer be-
comes holy, for the Spirit of God dwells within the believer’s body (1 Cor.6:19-20). The body of the believer becomes the
dwelling place for God’s very presence, and the body replaces the holy of holies within the inner sanctuary of the temple.
Thus, believers are called saints or holy ones (Acts 9:13, 32, 26:10; Ro.1:7.)
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