How about halos? Are they significant? Don’t they symbolize holy?
When we see halos expressed around the heads of angels or certain people, we assume they are holy or sacred. Perhaps angels are thought to be holy because of their supernatural origins and their proximity to God. Some believe certain people gained their holy status or sainthood by virtue of their service, denial of self, doing miracles, and or by martyrdom.
Ever wondered about the origins of halos? Its roots are pagan. The idea of halos was accepted by the Christian church in the seventh century. The word halo is Greek and literally means “threshing floor”. The word described the circular track a team of oxen followed as they threshed golden grain. Hence, a golden circle was formed in the track, as well as the circular hoof shapes in the grain. Isn’t that something – we get a “threshing floor” to represent holiness?!
So are angels holy? There are no scriptures that indicate they are holy! Nor do any scriptures describe them with halos. Actually scriptures describe their appearance like lightening, their clothing white as snow or dazzling, or with a white robe. (Mt 28:3 Mk 16:6 Lk 24:4) Angels are also described as appearing in human form. (Heb 13:2 Gn 19:1-5) The Word also says, ALL angels serve as ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. (Heb 1:14}
Who decides who gets a halo and thereby shown to be crowned with sainthood? How do they decide that? What are the requirements? Is it by good works, self denial, martyrdom? How do you know when there is enough of any of those requirements?
Here’s some good news – “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight. (Rom 3:20) Remember, works of the Law are good things to do and bad things to avoid. Actually man is incapable of fulfilling the works of the Law even though we can be really good at trying, performing, striving, and wanting to please. Hey, more good news – Ephesians 2:8 says, “by grace you have been saved, and not by works, lest any man should boast.”!
Some might contend that God told us to be holy. Yes He did! – “…like the Holy One who called you, be holy…because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1Peter 1:15,16) I used to read that as I had better get my act together and do the right thing – or else! He expects me to be a good Christian! But, as I’m growing in the knowledge of His grace and goodness I’ve learned His statement, “you shall be holy, for I am holy”, is like a benediction. It’s as if the Lord is saying to us – “You get to be holy! Go ahead have some holiness. You can be, in fact you are holy! I want you to have the nature of My character. Come on up to who you really are, who I really intended you to be! That is why when you believe in Me, when you receive Me – then I will dwell in you and you in Me and I will impart My holy (hagios)– My unlike, distinct, different, other – character in you. Enjoy the beauty of My holiness! In fact, I want you to show off this beauty!”
If you see God as holy and with that see Him as demanding, unapproachable, and distant, then you have misunderstood the beauty of His holiness. This is not what His holiness is about!
Psalm 96:9 exhorts us – “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (OR in the splendor of holiness).” My goodness, how glorious He wants us to look! How He clothes His people! Now consider Romans 8:32 – “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Freely He has clothed us in holy beautiful attire! We didn’t earn it, but we ALL receive it when we believe! Did you know “…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” (Eph 1:4)
So if you are among those who apply the label ‘I’m just a sinner saved by grace’ then please reconsider who you really are. I used to believe that and say that. My, how I didn’t understand grace, Jesus’ redeeming work at the cross, and God’s magnanimous giving nature.
How easy it is to gloss over Paul’s description of believers as saints or holy ones. (1Cor 1:2 Eph 1:1 Acts 9:13) We are prone to focus on our failures and our mistakes, as well as focus on others. Talk about bondage! If we can get a revelation that those in Christ Jesus are holy, are saints, are godly ones then there would be a big shift in the beauty and the power of His church.
Believe and receive – you are holy! Looks like there are a lot of halos being given out! Just part of the incredible fullness in Jesus.
- Remember no one deserves being holy, no one earns being holy.
- It is only to those who are in Christ Jesus that His holiness is imparted. Enjoy yours and others -unlike, unique, other, different – hagios. Be who you really are!
- By the way, did you know we are also called to be a ‘holy priesthood’?! (1Pet 2:5). What?! I thought there were only certain trained and called people that could be priests, and holy at that!? Hmm, looks like we ALL have an incredible calling in Him. Let’s enjoy it together and remind each other how special we are. Truly holy unto the Lord.