They're Sanctified and Holy?

Status
Not open for further replies.

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

I was just wondering what everybody thought about this passage. What exactly do the words sanctified and holy mean? Are they the same thing? Do they have anything to do with moral holiness, or is it something different.

Here's a hypothetical, that seems to happen fairly often. Let's say a father gets saved, but God doesn't see fit to save the wife or the children. The wife and children want nothing to do with the father's God and, because of the father's growing relationship with God, a wedge on some levels is put between the father and the rest of the family. At times, mostly with the wife, there's a jeolousy and almost an antagonistic attitude that develops.

How does 1 Corinthians 7:14 relate to this hypothetical? Is being holy and being sanctified different from moral holiness and Christian sanctification? Is the holiness here different from the holiness spoken of later in the chapter?

1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[quote:c13f3f2642="Scott Bushey"]The same word 'hagios' is used to describe the Holy Spirit and these words used in 1 Cor 7:14[/quote:c13f3f2642]
Yeah, I had noticed the same word was used in 1 Cor 7:14 and 1 Cor 7:34, but its interesting that its also used to describe the Holy Spirit.

Here's what Strong's says for the word:
[quote:c13f3f2642]
hagios
hag'-ee-os
From αÌ"Ìγος hagos (an awful thing) compare G53, [H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): - (most) holy (one, thing), saint.[/quote:c13f3f2642]

Here's G53:
[quote:c13f3f2642]hag-nos'
From the same as G40; properly clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: - chaste, clean, pure.[/quote:c13f3f2642]
and here's H2282:
[quote:c13f3f2642]khag, khawg
A festival, or a victim therefor: - (solemn) feast (day), sacrifice, solemnity.[/quote:c13f3f2642]

Its pretty obvious how all these definitions fit the Holy Spirit, but I'm scratching my head about the child or spouse of a believer who wants nothing to do with God. In what way are they holy...even though they're unsaved?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Bob,

Your hypothetical situation, which unfortunately is all too real for some people, does fit the basic situation foreseen by Jesus in
Luke 12: 51-53 (and in a parallel passage in Matt 10: 34-36).
51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

About 'hagios' ([font=Bwgrkl, Bibleworks greek font:4ba38e3922][size=18:4ba38e3922]a`gioj[/size:4ba38e3922][/font:4ba38e3922]) .... it is a fallacy to assume - or assert- that an author intends to attach every possible meaning within the lexical range of a word, every time it is used. This is true in English and it is true in Greek.

Now, it is interesting that the same Spirit that inspired Matt 10: 34-36 and Luke 12: 51-53 - texts that indicate that a believer's own family would become his enemies- would also inspire 1 Cor 7:14, a text that indicates that the spouse is sanctified and children are holy.
Of course, Paul - in THIS VERY CHAPTER - gives indication of his personal knowledge of the words of Jesus (verse 10) so it is an insult to Paul's brilliance (not to mention the inerrancy of Scripture!) to assert or think that Paul's words in 7:14 are in contradiction to the words of Jesus.

I am able to rest in this:
(This would be easier if I knew how to put Greek font in here!)
The verb translated as "has been sanctified" is [font=Bwgrkl, Bibleworks greek font:4ba38e3922][size=18:4ba38e3922]h`gi,astai[/size:4ba38e3922][/font:4ba38e3922](hegiastai). This is an indicative, perfect, passive 3rd person, singular. 3rd person singular lets us know that this verb is modifing an individual. Indicative mood is used to express a statement of fact, as opposed to a possibility. Perfect tense in Greek means that it refers to an act done in the past (sometimes with continuing result). Passive voice means that the individual was acted upon.
Now, in my lexicon, the root's first entry - thus the meaning most often used in Scripture- is "set apart as sacred to God."
The simple conjugation of this word destroys the "moral influence" interpretation brought forth by so many baptists... you know... that the presence of the believer provides an opportunity for santification/holiness by their influence and example. No, this word clearly means that the person was acted upon by an outside force at a definite time in the past and that the results of that act carry into the future. The person was sanctified, or "set apart as sacred to God" at a definite point in the past. At this point any appearance of a problem dissolves in my mind: obviously the nation of Israel was "set apart as sacred to God" and yet many of them were openly hostile to God!!! Yet inspite of this they remained "set apart as sacred to God."
If such a thing were possible in the former days, what necessitates the impossiblity of it now?
Just the thoughts of a guy who should be doing his OT Theology homework but couldn't resist to put in his two cents.
I hope this didn't just muddy up the waters!
Ben

[color=green:4ba38e3922]
{Edited to add Greek - fredtgreco}[/color:4ba38e3922]
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[quote:d9f75cfa7a="Ben"]I hope this didn't just muddy up the waters! [/quote:d9f75cfa7a] No, not at all. That was very helpful.

I liked your explanation of the Greek word and what the different tenses, moods, etc., mean. To a layman like myself, it seems pretty convincing that the conclusion you reached when you put all the parts together as you did is the conclusion that anybody with the same amount, or more, knowledge of Greek should come to. Perhaps somebody else (since you really should be working on your OT homework) has an idea why others would read the same Greek and not come to the same conclusion. Are their reasons valid and based on sound rules of Greek interpretation, or is it something that's being overlooked or something?

[quote:d9f75cfa7a="Ben"]The person was sanctified, or "set apart as sacred to God" at a definite point in the past. [/quote:d9f75cfa7a]
Practically speaking, does that have any effect on the unsaved spouse? How does God view the unsaved person differently (if He does) before the spouse was saved compared to after the spouse was saved? Does it somehow make the unsaved person more accountable to God?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
[quote:6364a9cb55]I liked your explanation of the Greek word and what the different tenses, moods, etc., mean. To a layman like myself, it seems pretty convincing that the conclusion you reached when you put all the parts together as you did is the conclusion that anybody with the same amount, or more, knowledge of Greek should come to. [/quote:6364a9cb55]

I'm glad that it helped.

[quote:6364a9cb55]Perhaps somebody else (since you really should be working on your OT homework) has an idea why others would read the same Greek and not come to the same conclusion. Are their reasons valid and based on sound rules of Greek interpretation, or is it something that's being overlooked or something?[/quote:6364a9cb55]

Well... if you want me to be honest... there are two common explanations of this text that Baptistic folks usually offer. The first is the one I called the "moral influence" hypothesis. Now, you are right in acknowledging that it certainly seems strange that someone could look at the Greek and such an obviously simple thing as the conjugation of the word and still hold to that position. The answer to that mystery is simply that the proponents of this view either don't care about the Greek, or MUCH MORE FREQUENTLY, don't know Greek and/or haven't bothered to look at the Greek. Preaching from the English text without reference to the Greek is a notoriously huge problem in Baptistic circles. Thus, if you hear someone say that this passage refers to the influence of the believer on the unbelieving family, you can safely conclude that they have not looked at the Greek.
There are, however, those who DO know Greek, and DO want to come up with an exegesis that is faithful to the text. These people grant the Greek text, but then, they do something"¦ they depart from the plain sense of the text and instead of granting that the unbelieving partner is "œset apart as sacred to God" or that the children are holy, they say that this text is saying that God "œaccepts as legitimate the marriage of the believer to the unbeliever (and the children they produce) since the marriage occurred before the believer became a believer." This view has been advocated here on this board in the past. There are many problems with this, chief among them, I think, is that the verb is modifying an individual"¦ the UNBELIEVING SPOUSE (as a person!) is sanctified.
But the validity of their argument is not the point here"¦ the point is that this group tries to honor the grammar of the text, but they do so by imposing a meaning on the words that is unnatural.

[quote:6364a9cb55]Practically speaking, does that have any effect on the unsaved spouse? How does God view the unsaved person differently (if He does) before the spouse was saved compared to after the spouse was saved? Does it somehow make the unsaved person more accountable to God?[/quote:6364a9cb55]

In one sense this truly is a mystery! Yet in another sense it is not"¦
It is a mystery if we think that "œsanctified" = eschatologically saved.
I could go into lots of theological argumentation at this point, but I see two possibilities that can work either at the same time or in tandem of each other.
The first is that by being "œset apart as sacred to God" the unbelieving spouse/children are allowed a place in the life of the visible community.
The other is that the unbelieving spouse/children become set apart as sacred to God for the purpose of being instruments to be used BY God in the progressive sanctification of the one who DOES believe. Make sense?
Again, the two can go hand in hand "" the person is allowed a legitimate place in the life of the church and they are also a significant means God uses to accomplish progressive sanctification in the life of a believer "" or they can be viewed separately, for instance, the spouse may refuse to participate in the Church, the spouse and the kids may ridicule the believer, etc"¦ but regardless, they are nonetheless instruments in God"(tm)s hands to be used for the progressive sanctification of the Believer and as such they are "œset apart as sacred to God."
Yet me musn"(tm)t forget God"(tm)s general pattern of working through families, and His statements concerning our children, the significance of those passages is certainly felt here as well.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
[quote:d90877bf0a="SolaScriptura"]The first is that by being "œset apart as sacred to God" the unbelieving spouse/children are allowed a place in the life of the visible community.
The other is that the unbelieving spouse/children become set apart as sacred to God for the purpose of being instruments to be used BY God in the progressive sanctification of the one who DOES believe. Make sense?[/quote:d90877bf0a]
Yes, what you're saying was making sense until I reread the verse this morning. It still makes sense, but I've got a question now about the function of the believer in the verse. What caught my attention were the phrases 'sanctified by the wife' and 'sanctified by the husband'.

...and going back to what you said in a previous post:
[quote:d90877bf0a]No, this word clearly means that the person was acted upon by an outside force at a definite time in the past and that the results of that act carry into the future. The person was sanctified, or "set apart as sacred to God" at a definite point in the past. [/quote:d90877bf0a]

In some way, the believing husband and wife were the agents through which the unbelieving spouses were sanctified (by the wife...by the husband). As you've mentioned, they were sanctified by an outside force at a definite time in the past - and its not an ongoing process. I'm sure any sanctification that ultimately takes place is from God, but I'm just wondering why in this verse it sounds like that outside force is the believing spouse?

I don't know if that makes sense, so please let me know if I need to clarify what I'm asking.

Thanks,
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
It cannot be that the believing spouse himself has sanctified the unbelieving spouse, as if it is something that the believer has done, per se that brings about sanctification.
Sanctification is always something that is done by God.

Besides.... the choice of the word "by" in that clause is an interpretive decision. The Greek word is "en" which has a VERY WIDE range of meanings. It is can be translated as any of the following:
in, on, at, near, by, before, among, within, by, with, through, because of, etc...
You'll notice that in the case of his verse, the NAS and NIV opt for "through" and the ESV and NET opt for "because of"

I, personally, prefer the "because of" used by the ESV and NET as it emphasizes that it is on account of the believer that they are sanctified... and this begs the question of "why would they be sanctified on account of the believer" and the answer to this is in God's covenant faithfulness, which drips from nearly every page of scripture!
The KJV and NKJV certainly aren't grammatically wrong for translating it as "by" but I do think that translation obscures the text.

It is possible to see it as "by" though, if for no other reason than the fact that the unbeliever WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN sanctified were it not for the believer!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top