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:
- A verb meaning to make holy, to sanctify (also to consecrate). See Matthew 6:9, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 5:26 (ἁγιάζω pronounced hagiazo).
- A noun for the process of becoming holy, sanctification. See Romans 6:19, 22; 1 Corinthians 1:30 (ἁγιασμός pronounced hagiasmos).
- An adjective to describe the Holy Spirit (and other things such as the holy place or sanctuary). See Matthew 1:18, 1:20, 4:5 (ἅγιος pronounced hagios).
- A form of the noun which often denotes the saints or holy ones. See Romans 8:27, 16:2; Acts 26:10 (ἁγίων pronounced hagion)
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.”