Sacred vs. Profane

In Leviticus 10:10,11 God, after the fiery death of Nadab and Abihu, teaches an important lesson to Aaron regarding coming before God. We read, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean. The prohibition against alcoholic beverages was for a specific reason so that Aaron and his sons would know how to tell the difference between the holy and the profane. Ezekiel instructs the priests in his day to observe this same distinction. We read in Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. God was concerned that the people understand the difference between the holy and the unholy, between the sacred and the profane.

The New Testament reflects this teaching as well, although not couched in such specific words. In the Greek New Testament the adjective holy and the verb sanctify are all from the same stem-word, �h�g�� which has the idea of being set apart for a special purpose. When God sets something apart for a special purpose, it is divinely sanctified divinely holy.

God spells out some things that are holy that are sanctified. In Romans 1:2 we see that the scriptures are holy; they are set apart by God for a special purpose (see also 2 Timothy 3:15). In Ephesians 5:27 we read that the church is holy. In Hebrews 7:26 we read that we have a holy High Priest. And in the epistles of Peter, we read that Christians are to be holy and that they are a holy nation (1 Peter 1:15, 16 and 1 Peter 2:9). God is still concerned about holiness in His people today.

God is still concerned with those who profane holy things. We read in 1 Timothy 1:9 and 2 Timothy 3:2 that there are some men who are unholy. We also read in Hebrews 10:29 that holy people can profane themselves and regard the blood of Christ profane by rejecting it. God still maintains the distinction between the holy and the unholy between the sacred and the profane.

Having these things in mind, we ask the question, what does God think about those who profane holy things today? We hear the reply loud and clear it is unacceptable! It is wrong! It is evil to take that which is sacred and turn it into something that is profane! To which we give a resounding, Amen! Now, let’s make application of this principle.

The name of God is holy and sacred. Yet, there are some who profane it by bringing it down to every day ordinary use. We profane God’s name when we use it in an unholy way. The church that Christ built and for which he died (Acts 20:38) is a holy and sacred thing. Yet, when people regard the church as merely a social club or fraternity setting; when people ignore the call to assembly as if it were just an optional matter, they profane that which is holy. The worship of the church is a holy and sacred thing. When men bring in additions to the worship; when they neglect the specified aspects of worship; when men do not worship in spirit and in truth, they profane that which is holy.

But just as it is wrong to make profane that which is holy, it is equally as wrong to attempt to make holy that which is profane. Some today take ordinary every day water and try to make it holy. Some take ordinary buildings and houses which are profane and try to make them holy. Some take profane words (words uttered by men) and try to make them holy (1 Corinthians 1:18- 31). Some even take profane music (instrumental music) and try to make it holy (by singing holy words). Now, it is not wrong to drink water, live in a house, study men’s words, or to listen to music. These things are all GOOD in their context. However, to attempt to make any of these profane things holy, is an affront to God. All such attempts to make holy the profane fail, and show a disrespect and irreverence toward things that God HAS made holy.

God is a holy God and we are to be holy people. Let us respect the holy as holy and let us leave the profane as profane. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).

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