Sins of Sacrilege

Sac·ri·lege (n.): blasphemous behavior; the violation or profanation of anything sacred or held sacred.

The Third Commandment teaches that we should not take the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20:7). That does not just mean that we are prohibited from referring to God irreverently in our speech. If you are a Christian, you are a representative of Christ. You carry the name of Christ inasmuch as you are a Christian. With every action, you are communicating something about Christ. If those actions are sinful, then you are representing Christ unfaithfully—communicating a lie about the One whose name you bear. You are taking the name of the Lord in vain by your actions, and at the same time, bearing false witness of who He is (Exodus 20:16). And this does not just apply to children of God dishonoring the family name. Christian or not, we are ALL image-bearers of God (Genesis 1:27). We are representations of God—good or bad. No wonder sin is so painful to Him. Every sin is a lie about the character of God. It's offensive.

There is another aspect of this. Jesus said, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.... Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either" (Matthew 25:40, 45 HCSB). If my life is a sentence and everything I do is the verb, then Jesus is the object. In grammar, the object of the sentence receives the action of the verb. So, whatever I do, I do it to Jesus—good or bad. Jesus is the recipient of all our actions. Jesus said that to lust after another person is to commit adultery with that person in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28). If everything we do is done to Jesus, that means that lust is committing adultery against Jesus (whether you have a spouse or not)! You think that's bad? Whom are you lusting after? Not just a person. You are taking sexual liberty with the image of God, without the consent of God! It doesn't matter how willing the other person is, every sexual act outside of marriage is nonconsensual! It's God's image you're messing with! When you commit any sexual sin, you are raping the image of God! Get that? Every time you commit the sin of lust, pornography, fornication (sex outside of marriage), homosexuality, or adultery, you are raping Jesus! That sounds sacrilegious, doesn't it? It ought to. It is. Most of us—especially men—don't think too seriously about lust.

Did you know that God sees hatred as murder in the heart? It surprised me too, but here is the verse, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer" (1 John 3:15). Jesus said that anyone who is angry with someone without a good reason is in danger of judgment (Matthew 5:21-22 NKJV). I didn't understand this at first, but then one day it made sense... What is the essence of hatred? Hatred is a fundamental disrespect, devaluing, or dishonoring of life—life that only God can give. Life is a very precious thing to God—sacred. He has chosen to give, to love, and to maintain our lives. Hatred is like standing before a painting, cursing about it's hideousness, with the painter standing right beside you. The painter is going to take your disrespect, dishonoring, and devaluing of his creation very personal. Isn't he? That painting is a reflection of the painter. In the same way, our hatred is offensive to God and is a direct insult against Him. And what is murder? At its core, murder is a disrespect, devaluing, or dishonoring of life. Murder is the final product of hatred. Murder is the final evidence that hatred has taken its natural course!

We're screwed up and need a Savior. Thank God, He's more patient and loving than we are. He's worth trusting.

A quick recap: Every sin I commit, I commit against God and as a representative of God. Every action I do, I do it to and for Jesus. If my life is a sentence and everything I do is the verb, then Jesus is the object.

For further study and reflection, read Matthew 10:40, Psalm 51:4, Matthew 5:38-42, and Matthew 5:43-48, for starters.

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  1. Anonymous Thu Jan 11, 10:28:00 PM EST


  2. higgypreacherman Fri Jan 19, 03:11:00 PM EST

    challenging thoughts - i've not made that kind of connection to the third commandment before. thanks for spurring me on brother.

  3. Anonymous Sat Jan 20, 07:50:00 PM EST

    It's easy to tell that you are listening to The Way of the Master Radio. -Jake

  4. D. Michael Gregg Sat Jan 20, 11:51:00 PM EST

    Actually, I didn't get any of these thoughts from the Way of the Master. :) Though these are precisely the sorts of things they would discuss.