Who is Sacred, Who is Not

How would you approach such a quandary as a Christian? Would you approach it as a legalist and say that a person is sacred if they have behaved themselves and done certain other things that make them “cool” in the church? Perhaps one might say that a person who is a Christian is sacred, but that the lost are not, or maybe that people who are really good are sacred, while the rest are not. Some might suggest that a person is sacred if they are a member in good standing in their particular denomination, or even that no one is sacred until they die and go to heaven.

Yet, I wonder how God looks at this; would He see it the way we do?

Maybe God would say that a person whose sins are forgiven is sacred, and those who remain in their sins are unclean…

I wouldn’t presume to tell you that I am privy to all of God’s thoughts, but I can suggest that Scripture might give us some insight on this topic that can lead us to draw some conclusions.

As we have seen in a previous series of posts, all humans are created by God in His image, and yes, even after sin entered the world in Genesis 3, we still bear His image. With that being the case, and the image of God being in itself sacred, we all have an element of sacredness inherent in our beings; His image. Each of us was conceived in the mind of God and created in every detail with His intentional purpose in mind with talents and gifts, not to mention intelligence as God saw fit to give, and I doubt that God is in the habit of creating that which is unclean or inherently bad.

Yet in spite of this, we make choices as we walk through life, and sooner or later each one of us makes choices that are at odds with the ways of God; some really go out on a dark extreme and really make a mess of things. Yet even in such a dark place, distant and far from God’s presence and will, He still loved us:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Because of God’s amazing love, He sent His Son to die for each one of us, while humanity was still in its sinful rebellion. I don’t know about you, but offhand, I can’t think of any cases in Scripture when God was said to have loved that which was evil, bad or unclean. In fact, the second greatest commandment was that we love our neighbor as ourselves; He made no mention of our neighbor needing to be perfect first, did He?

In fact, which of the patriarchs was so perfect? How about the great Israelite kings David and Solomon; were they perfect? No, I didn’t think so.

I would maintain that every single human being is sacred in God’s sight, not because of the way we behave, but because we were created by God in His image with a purpose that transcends this world. Of course, there are many sacred ones out there who aren’t all that attractive, and some behave in really nasty ways, in rebellion against everything God is and stands for. Yet I really don’t believe for an instant that this sad state of affairs means that they aren’t sacred in God’s sight; can you guess why that is?

Two reasons: First, they are precisely the ones Jesus gave His life to save, and second, because God has gone to all of the trouble to put you and me in this world to take the good news to such people, that they might be brought into His light. Imagine for a moment how different this world might be if more of us saw such people through God’s eyes and took our commission more seriously.

Come to think of it, I have another question to ponder: Who grieves God’s heart more, the lost person who dwells in darkness and acts accordingly, or the Christian who dwells in the light with all of the riches of Christ at his or her disposal, but who is afraid to get their hands dirty taking the light to those dark places where so many need it so desperately?

Yes, I’ll need to ponder that one for some time…



About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Christian Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Who is Sacred, Who is Not

  1. paulfg says:

    Grace. Who deserves that? Sacred. Who should we treat as that? Loved. Who should we love and who should we not?
    Let’s take the “who” out of relationship.
    Lovely post Don, got me pondering in all directions.

  2. jimbelton says:

    For me, consciousness is what separates us from the animals. Animals are innocent, but they are simply products of the material world. Humans have the capacity to understand the consequences their actions will have, and the moral implications, good or evil. Humans who choose to ignore this and live like animals are not sacred. Those who strive to live consciously are sacred when they do good. When they do evil, as all do, their sacredness can be restored if they repent what they have done and seek to do good to balance the evil they’ve done. The true desire to do good is what connects us to the power of the universe, the Holy Spirit.

  3. Brilliant, Don, and excellent final question to pose. In the Parable of the Lost Son, which son does the father love more? Obviously, he loves them equally, yet the elder son cannot see it because he is lost, too, in legalism, anger and judgment. And the elder son has twice the treasure, which refuses to partake of.

  4. If God cannot look on sin, and their sins have not been washed clean by the blood of Christ, how can God look on the unsaved the same way as he looks on the saved?

    • Don Merritt says:

      The “same way”? No. As sacred? Yes, for these are the ones He sent His Son to die for; they bear His very image which connects them to God, which, by the way is what “sacred” means. The real question, and the point of the exercise is this: How do we see them?

  5. JJS says:

    A lot of meat on this bone. Lovely.

  6. Pingback: Who is Scared; Who is Not? – The Crusty Old Sailor Speaks

  7. I would say both equally grieve God’s heart especially those who willingly Dwell in darkness knowing the truth yet choosing to reject it cos of its implications for their lifestyle or cos of past rejection judging the head of the church by the body ( thanks jackie hill perry) .we will only get into heaven if we are in right standing with God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s