Doing the legwork for a series on the Holy Spirit, I started by looking up what “holy” & “Spirit” even mean in the first place. (That is just the way my brain works.) Well, I didn’t get very far before I was floored by Yahweh’s unfathomable awesomeness. In fact, I didn’t get past the word holy.
Holy (hágios) means different or otherness.
Great, now I am different and one of the “Others.” (Lost fans unite!) The core meaning of hágios is “different.” [Thus a temple in the 1st century was hágios (“holy”) because it was different from other buildings (Wm. Barclay).]
So, its OK to be different! In fact, we are supposed to be different! Peter goes as far as to say we are “a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9, KJV). [And some are more peculiar than others, can I get an Amen?]
Now, slow down. Let me add a little proviso before you go all bananas & let your freak flag fly.
We are to be good-different. You know, like: “He’s different.” “Ok… is he good-different, or bad-different?” We are not different in the sense that we literally wear shiny battle armor like a knight to work every morning (Eph. 6:10-18). That would be bad-different… and you know, super-weird.
No, we should be good-different. As in, the world says “nobody thinks you should be married before you live together anymore.” We say “Yo! Over here! Us. We do!” That’s being different in a good way. [1 COR. 7, EPH 5, 1 PETER 3, & 2 COR. 6:14-15]
Hágios implies something “set apart” and therefore “different” because it is special to the Lord. For the believer hágios means “different from the world” because of “”likeness with the Lord.”
We are different from the world (Rom. 12:2, Prov. 1:15, 1 John 2:15-17, etc.) because we are like our Lord. Which leads me to one of my all-time favorite verses:
As He is, so are we in this world! – I John 4:17
Ok, now you can go nuts. Be hágios because He is hágios (1 Peter 1:16). Be good-different for the Lord. Be peculiar.