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What Is the Difference Between Holiness and Sanctification | A Thing Worth Doing Blog with Daniel Webster - worship, ministry, and culture

What Is the Difference Between Holiness and Sanctification?

Holiness and Sanctification are related terms which come from the same Greek word (ἅγιος, adjective pronounced hagios) and Hebrew word (קדש, noun pronounced kodesh). It is one word in each of the original languages, but it takes two words to express in the English language.

So, Is “Holification” a Word?

English has several words that can be used as multiple parts of speech (verb, noun, adjective, and/or adverb). For example, you can “ask a question(noun) or “question someone” (verb). You can also “smell a smelly smell” (verb, adjective, and noun). You can also “love a lovely lover.” Some words don’t work in this way. “Holy” is one of these words.

To form the idea of “making holy,” we would not say “holify” or “holying”; we would say “sanctify” or “sanctifying.” Also, “holification” is not a word; we say “sanctification.” Thus, sanctification in a theological sense is the process of becoming holy.

Saints in the Sanctuary Seeking Sanctification

Here are the English uses from some of the several Greek words that come from ἅγιος:

So, next time you are gathered with the saints in the sanctuary listening to a sermon from the sacred word about sanctification . . . Realize that you are with the holy ones in a holy place listening to a sermon from the holy word about holification.

I leave you with the words of God given in the Old and New covenants: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

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Daniel Aaron Webster - blog a thing worth doing - worship, culture, ministry - early Christian music

Daniel Aaron Webster is a minister, writer, and teacher. His primary research interest is early Christian music, especially the musical thought of Clement of Alexandria.

Daniel serves at Welch College as Director of Enrollment & Marketing and as Adjunct Instructor of Music & Theology. He is also the Associate Pastor for Music & Worship at Immanuel Church in Gallatin, TN. 

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