“Holy” and “sacred” and “sanctified” are translations of the Hebrew
word qodesh’, or the Greek word hagiasmos’ – meaning
dedicated to the service of Yahweh. Holiness is not a physical
attribute, like righteousness, but rather a state of being dedicated
solely to God. Holiness may result from God’s decree of dedicating
something to Himself, or from a man’s declaration of dedicating
something to God. There are different levels of holiness, for
various places, times, articles – and people.
God has dedicated Sabbaths and specific Holy Days to Himself. He has
dedicated certain tithes to Himself. We are required to keep those
A group of people may dedicate a building to God, as a place for
worship. That building then is to be used only for holy purposes.
However, a common building may be used for both common purposes and
As individuals or families, we may dedicate certain monies or other
objects to God. If we make personal use of dedicated things, we are
then profaning the holy – committing sin.
The Holy-of-holies had a higher level of holiness than the Holy
Place, which in turn had a higher level of holiness than the Temple
courts. The Holy Temple had a higher level of holiness than local
synagogues. Sabbaths have a higher level of holiness than
intermediate feast days. The Holy Temple had a higher level of
holiness than the offerings of gold that were placed there.
Priests were required to have a higher level of holiness –
dedication to God’s work – than other people. And they were required
to teach the people to distinguish between the holy and the common
(Ezekiel 22:26, 44:23).
We are commanded to be holy to Yahweh (Leviticus 19:2, 20:26, 1
Peter 16:2), and without holiness, no man shall see Him (Hebrews
12:14)! In contrast to the world, even work and family matters
should be performed acceptably to be dedicated to the service of our
Savior – thus the common to us may have a level of holiness.
Finally, Yahweh is “Holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3) – all of His
creation and works are dedicated to Himself. Consider the
sovereignty and awesomeness in that!
Dedication to our Savior is about our hearts. It encompasses
how we treat others, worship and prayer, praise and
thanksgiving, our manner of speech, overcoming of sin,
morality and raising children for God’s kingdom, Sabbath and
Holy Day observance, ethical work life, tithing and
almsgiving, respect for law and authority.
Dedication to our Savior is about the community’s heart. It
encompasses formal Bible instruction, Sabbath and Holy Day
services, a court system of righteous judgment (recognition
that God holds all of the rights), a support system for the