What does it mean to be "Set-Apart"? It is commonly translated as "holy" from the word "qodesh" which is Hebrew.
abstract translation= Holy
concrete translation= Set-Apart
There are many opinions about the definition of the word "holy". It all depends on who you ask. Here is one definition.
Holiness, or sanctity, is in general the state of being holy (perceived by religious individuals as associated with the divine) or sacred (considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring awe or reverence among believers in a given set of spiritual ideas). In other contexts, objects are often considered 'holy' or 'sacred' if used for spiritual purposes, such as the worship or service of gods. These terms can also be used in a non-spiritual or semi-spiritual context ("sacred truths" in a constitution). It is often ascribed to people ("a holy man" of religious occupation, "holy prophet" who is venerated by his followers), objects ("sacred artifact" that is venerated and blessed ), times ("holy days" of spiritual introspection, such as during winter holidays), or places ("sacred ground", "holy place").
Could this be the definition the scriptures are talking about? Or is there a concrete definition that is clear to understand? Or is it important to take into account everyone's opinion about what this word could mean? If that were the case we would never know the meaning behind any of the words written in The Scriptures.
As always I take my definitions from The Scriptures themselves and not from man's interpretations.
1 Pet 2:9 Now you are a chosen tribe that serves as a cohen(priest) for the kingdom, a set apart people, a redeemed congregation, that you might declare the praises of Him who called you from darkness to His precious light.
10. You who from before were considered not a people, but now are the people of Eloah, also there were no kindnesses upon you, but now kindnesses are poured out upon you.
11. My brothers I entreat you as strangers and sojourners, abstain from all the lusts of the body, those that wage war against the nefesh(spirit).
First of all the above IS NOT religion. It is a mark upon a people who call themselves by The Name of YHWH.
To look further at the above portion of Scripture.
1. a chosen tribe that serves as a cohen(priest) for the kingdom.
With the children of Yisrael there was only one tribe; Levi who served as the priesthood. But they were not originally intended to be the priesthood.
Ex 19:6 and you shall be unto me a kingdom of cohanim, and a set apart nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Yisrael.
It was not until after the golden calf incident in Exodus 32 that "Levi" was chosen as a priesthood.
These same words are used we see in the letter from Peter.
1 Pet 2:5 and you also, as living stones, are built up and become spiritual temples and set apart cohenim to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable before Eloah through Yeshua the Messiah.
2. Now these people who are set apart and redeemed may declare the praises of YHWH.
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are a Dwelling Place of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone destroys the Dwelling Place of Elohim, Elohim shall destroy him. For the Dwelling Place of Elohim is set-apart, which you are.
Eph 1:4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be set-apart and blameless before Him in love.
Eph 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone,
Eph 2:21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה,
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it,
Eph 5:26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,
Eph 5:27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.
Col 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him,
Col 3:12 Therefore, as chosen ones of Elohim, set-apart and beloved, put on compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, patience,
1Pe 1:15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour,
1Pe 1:16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”
Lev 11:44 ‘For I am יהוה your Elohim, and you shall set yourselves apart. And you shall be set-apart, for I am set-apart. And do not defile yourselves with any creeping creature that creeps on the earth.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing all these are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be in set-apart behaviour and reverence,
Finally I'll end with this verse, it is not a general description of people this is talking about, it is a SET APART people.
Rev 1:5 and from יהושע Messiah, the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead, and the ruler of the sovereigns of the earth. Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Rev 1:6 and has made us sovereigns and priests to His Eloah even His Father, to Him be esteem and rule forever and ever. Amĕn.
Rev 1:7 See, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Yes, Amĕn.
To sum up "set apart" it is an action not a belief or mantle placed upon our shoulders. We are to be set apart as our Messiah is set apart. It is an obvious work to be done. As Col 3:12 describes "compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, patience," are all actions. They are the actions that define a people who are "set apart" unto YHWH.