The Opposite Of Holiness

1 Peter 1:15-16
“….but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” [Leviticus 11:44-45]

No question about it; God calls us to be holy, just as He is holy.  But we’re human.  How in the world do we do that?

In the Church today, there are many teachings which are quite popular, like “What is holiness?”  Because they are so widely taught they’re rarely questioned.  So let’s see what God’s word has to say about itself.  After all, the Bible is its own best commentary.

Is It Sin?

Most people will tell you that sin is the opposite of holiness. While it’s true that sin is not holiness, in order to accurately answer the question, you must accurately define your terms.

Does the Bible define holiness as sin?  No; not exactly.  Now, we are all against sin because sin destroys.  But, as you will see, sin is not the opposite of holiness.  So, let’s check out God’s word on the subject.

Greek NT

Secrets In The Greek Language.

There are only two words in Greek for holiness that are used in the New Testament. One is, “Hagiós,” which means “Set apart or separated from.”  This also implies “Separated unto.”  In other words, you are delivered from something and unto something else.

For example:  Suppose the company for which you work suffers a financial downturn, but you get a raise or promotion in the midst of it.  Or, maybe everyone around you uses foul language, but you choose not to.  You are, in effect, different or separate; special.  You are what God calls, “UNCOMMON.”


To be “Hagios” means you are no longer “COMMON.”   So the opposite of holiness is not sin; it is “COMMONNESS.”

The Other Word For Holiness.

The other word translated as “Holy” in the Bible is this word:  “Hosiós.”  

The Apostle Paul uses this word in Acts 13, which records the only sermon where he preaches the gospel.  In the course of his message, he refers to Psalm 16:10 in verse 35 which says, “For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.”

He uses the word, “Hosios,” for “Holy.”  But he is quoting this verse from Psalm 16.  Let’s go check out this Old Testament verse for ourselves.

(Jewish Rabbis translated the Torah into Greek.)

The Septuagint.

“Isn’t the Old Testament written in Hebrew,” you ask?  Yes, it is.  But about 400 years before Jesus was born, a group of Jewish Rabbis translated the Old into Greek.  It is called the“Septuagint Version.”  Why did they do that?
Because much of the known world at that time had been conquered  by the Alexander the Great.  As a result, Greek became the common language of the day, like English is today.  In fact, many Jewish people couldn’t even speak Hebrew anymore.  But they did speak and understand Greek.
Quotes From The Septuagint.
Throughout the New Testament the disciples quote a lot from the Septuagint, like the verse in Acts 13.  As I said, the word Dr. Luke uses for “Holy” in that verse is “Hosiós.”  But the verse he quoted is from Psalms.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word: “Hesed,”  is used for holiness, which means “Grace, mercy, lovingkindness.”
“Praise the Lord for He is good, for His mercy (hesed: hosiós) endures forever!”
Holiness is mercy AND grace.  They are interchangeable.  AWESOME!!

There are other instances of the word, “hosiós,” found in 1 Timothy 2:8-” lifting ‘holy hands’ to the Lord.”  In Titus 1:8 is another, outlining qualities of the believer: “….. hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy (hosiós), self-controlled…”  All of these are descriptions of an uncommon, set-apart person.

When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are born into God’s family.  You are hid with Christ in God.  You are separated from the world and separated unto God.  You are UNcommon.  Just as God is holy, in Christ YOU ARE HOLY because He is holy. That’s why it says in 1 John 4:17, ” As He (Jesus) IS, so are we IN THIS WORLD.”

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Is Jesus right now, before the Father, holy?  Yes!  Is He acceptable to God?  Yes!  Then as He IS, so are you and I.

So, what is the opposite of holiness?  According to the Bible, COMMONESS, NOT SIN, is the Opposite of Holiness.

5 thoughts on “The Opposite Of Holiness

  1. Uncommon–okay. But that is kind if washed out. Wouldn’t worldly be a better contrast. Holy people are other-worldly, or “heavenly minded.” Actually, I think of it as profane. A profane spirit seems to be the opposite of holiness in every way: self-seeking, partaking of “confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). Anyway, this was a good study. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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