Holiness, Sanctification, Purity, and Chastity

I haven’t done a word study in a while, since ones such as joy, grace, forgiveness, and charisma. Today we will be looking at holiness, sanctification, purity, and chastity.

God is not described as “Love” but as “Holy” when prophets have visions of heaven. The main two instances we have of this are in Isaiah and Revelation. Therefore, we can infer that this “holiness” is a trait of God that is important.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The [a]whole earth is full of His glory.

Revelation 4:2 Immediately I was [a]in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a [b]rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the [c]center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night [d]they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who [e]is to come.

The root word of grace — charis — is the same as the root words for joy, forgiveness, and charisma. In that post we can infer that it is by God’s grace that we obtain the fruit of the Spirit joy, in His grace we find forgiveness, and through His grace we speak with charisma.

It also just so happens that the root word of holy — hagios — is also the same root in sanctification, purity, chastity, and holiness derivatives. From Strong’s dictionary:

Holy — G40 — ἅγιος — hagios — hag’-ee-os
From ἅγος hagos (an awful thing) compare G53, [H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): – (most) holy (one, thing), saint. Total KJV occurrences: 229

Sanctify — G37 — ἁγιάζω — hagiazō — hag-ee-ad’-zo
From G40; to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: – hallow, be holy, sanctify. Total KJV occurrences: 29

Purity — G47 — ἁγνεία — hagneia — hag-ni’-ah
From G53; cleanliness (the quality), that is, (specifically) chastity: – purity. Total KJV occurrences: 2

Chaste — G53 — ἁγνός — hagnos — hag-nos’
From the same as G40; properly clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: – chaste, clean, pure. Total KJV occurrences: 8

“Holiness” in NT — hagiosmos (G38), hagiotes (G41), hagiosune (G42)

I wrote a bit on this in the leadership of a husband, but it is with this lens that Ephesians 5 needs to be looked at:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify (G37 hagiazo) her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy (G40 hagios) and blameless.

The love a husband shows is a sacrificial love (gave Himself up) that is directed toward a purpose. That purpose is sanctification. The process of sanctification is to make holy, and that is done by cleansing [from the things of this world]. The end result is to be holy and blameless.

Therefore, the goal of the Christian husband is to lead in a godly manner and also draw her toward the cross without being bitter (Col 3) and being understanding [as she is a weaker vessel and as coheirs in Christ] (1 Pet 3).

To paraphrase Chad: “drag my wife kicking and screaming toward the cross.”

2 Corinthians 11:1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but [a]indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if [b]one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

I find the context of a chaste [virgin] bride to be interesting,  as it represents something that is untainted and unstained. Essentially, holy and blameless. This is a theme throughout the entire Scriptures from the Law to the New to Covenant.

It should be no surprise that the qualities that wives are supposed to take on, even as to ungodly husbands conform around this standard:

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear.

Now to get to the main point. They hate everything that God has called blessed prompted this word study. However, the more I examine the issue from a Scriptural perspective, it’s more along the lines of:

God is holy and they hate everything that is holy.

When we come to the issue of how the culture butts up against God, who is the standard of holiness, we see that culture wants to debase all of the the things that are holy and uphold abominations, atrocities, obscenities, and anathemas. They hate Judeo-Christian morality and ethics. The only “people” that are persecuted are Jews and Christians, and the most persecuted religion is Christianity to varying degrees in the West and much more radically in the 10-40 window.

As an example, this is why I am troubled when things of “progressivism” and “feminism” make their way into churches. God’s Word is clear that women are forbidden from having authority over and teaching men in the Church body. It’s concerning that many Christians are deceived by the spirits of the age. Their “progressive minds” are deluded into believing that the Scripture is only “culturally relevant” and not universal Truth about the human condition.

There is a lot of cultural change, but one thing that is consistent about every culture is its indirect or direct opposition to God and His Word. This is not a bug but a feature. Human nature has stayed the same since we were created. Those who do not follow God follow their own desires, trading the holy for unholy.

Therefore, in closing, let me simply reiterate the main point of If you’re spiritually immature, you should expect your wife won’t submit:

Here’s some Christian common sense, often rarely used: if your stance on any theological issue in the Scriptures agrees with culture, you’re probably wrong. Culture is in direct opposition to Christ. They hate everything that God has called blessed… or in other words, God is holy and they hate everything that is holy.

We are to become like God, through Christ’s sacrifice and the power of the Holy Spirit. The Scripture provide a solid outline for how to do that, and most of the process is about rejecting, replacing, and resisting cultural mores.

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5 Responses to Holiness, Sanctification, Purity, and Chastity

  1. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Purity is a hijacked word. Where it meant a simple or singular object of worship and source of ethics it come to mean anti-sexual. The dualism that has plagued Christianity has created a strong association between sexuality and impurity in no small part to a bad translation of Matt 5:28 that the main idea has been obscured. Much like the word gay which once meant joyful now means homosexual; the former a fruit of the Spirit the latter an abomination. Chastity like purity has taken on a meaning that is almost exclusively sexual, by that I mean anti-sexual. Chastity has lost the simple devotion to a singular LORD in favor of celibacy. This is once again a result of the dualism that separates the physical from the spiritual. The former is wrongly associated by the duelists with the biblical terms: world, worldliness, flesh, sensual and lust while the latter is associated with purity, spirituality and righteousness. Until we take back the language to represent the original (Biblical) meaning we will lose the battle of ideas to the duelist prejudiced presuppositions.

  2. Daniel says:

    Thanks for this. Yesterday I was looking at Ephesians 5:29 and considering these words which correspond to child rearing.

    Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church

    Nourish – G1625 – ἐκτρέφω – ektrephō – ek-tref’-o
    From G1537 and G5142; to rear up to maturity, that is, (generally) to cherish or train: – bring up, nourish.

    Cherish – G2282 – θάλπω – thalpō – thal’-po
    Probably akin to θάλλω thallō (to warm); to brood, that is, (figuratively) to foster: – cherish.

    Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up (G1625 ektrephō) in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth (G2282 thalpō) her children:

  3. @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    Yep, that is true.

    The traditional meaning is from James 1 where it says (paraphased): pure and undefiled religion is this: to visit orphans and widows in their need and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

  4. @ Daniel

    Yup, I’ve written on that before.

    husbands have some of the same responsibilities to their wives as they do to their children.

    It makes sense when you think about it because both the wife and the children are underneath their husband’s/father’s authority.

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