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3RD COMMANDMENT EXODUS 20:7 “DO NOT TAKE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN”

June 22, 2010

EXODUS 20:7 “YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VAIN’

INTRODUCTION: CONNECTION BETWEEN NAME AND CHARACTER…

-VAIN ‘EMPTY, MEANINGLESS,

-3rd commandment is like 9th commandment, except 9th is in regards to our neighbor and 3rd commandment is in relation to the Lord Himself.

-ILLUST: ALEXANDER THE GREAT STORY…

1)      WHAT DOES THIS COMMANDMENT REVEAL ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF GOD/CHRIST?-The name of God is very, very significant in several ways. First of all in Old Testament cultures, in the cultures around Israel in the days of the Old Testament, the name of gods were very significant for giving you access to those gods, and influence with those gods. To know the name of the god enabled you to have a certain access and influence, and perhaps even to use the name of that god for blessing and cursing. And so also the one true God giving His name to His people was a special blessing to them. For them to know His name, His covenant name, was to give them a special privilege of access to Him in order to pray, in order to ask for blessing, in order to be a part of His family.

-God has given His name to you, and He has taken your name to Him. If you have trusted in Him, if you have been joined to His church, you have received baptism, and in baptism you have received His name.

2)      HOW DOES THIS COMMANDMENT REVEAL MY SIN?

  1. PRINCIPLE: THE LETTER OF THE LAW:   The third commandment forbids all profaning and abusing of anything whereby God makes Himself known. (Malachi 1:6-8; Lev. 20:3; 19:12; Matthew 5:34-37; Isa. 52:5.) It is not simply a matter of cursing or using the name God or Jesus vainly in that way. It is true that God’s name is not to be used in that manner. We are not to say “God bless you” frivolously when someone sneezes, or say “Oh my God” when we are excited or ecstatic

                                          i.    OMG, GEES, GOSH, JESUS, LORD… BAD LANG. DOESN’T EXPRESS WORSHIP OR FAITH…

  1. PRINCIPLE: THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW: What is this commandment primarily directed against? The commandment is primarily directed against the heart and the tongue. The heart is where a man’s actions come forth from. If our heart is irreverent towards God, then we will use His name in vain, or in an ignoble fashion. Remember, the heart controls the tongue.

                                                               i.      When we profess God’s name but do not live answerably to it. It means we live hypocritically. By using the commandments of men in place of the commandments of God, the people violated the Law of God. Jesus went on with this statement, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

                                                             ii.      When we worship with our lips and not our hearts we take His name in vain. -“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-9).

                                        iii.    When we pray to Him but do not believe Him we use His name in vain..”in Jesus name.”

                                        iv.    When we swear by God’s name falsely, we use it in vain. Whenever we make a promise and do not keep it, we are lying as a Christian and making a mockery of God’s name. When we make an oath to God and do not keep it we use His name in vain.

  1. MARRIAGE (DIVORCE, SEXUAL RELATIONS, FLIRTATION)  /EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE/CONTRACTS, CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, WITNESSING, DISCIPLE MAKING,
  2. PROMISES – HOW SOME MINIMIZE PROMISES..CF. JEWS ‘SWORE BY TEMPLE INSTEAD OF GOD.”
  3. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matt. 5:33-37).

                                         v.    When we speak evil of God in a circumstance He is bringing us through we use His name in vain. How often do you grumble and complain against God? Do you find His ways hard? Is the path that He is leading you down weary to your feet? Do you want to hop over the fence into the plush meadow to comfort your aching bones? Do you gripe at the perfect, concise, eternal, unchangeable plan of God? If you do or if you have, then you have used God’s name in vain. God has the perfect plan laid out for you. When adverse circumstances come by you should praise Him as Job did, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21b) Do not grumble or gripe like Job’s wife who said “Curse God and die,” but be humble before Him knowing that everything He does for you is for your good. When we grumble against God in hard circumstances we give a bad witness and consequently use His name in vain….CF ISRAEL’S COMPLAINING…LED TO JUDGMENT/DISCIPLINE

                                        vi.    WHEN WE BECOME TRIVIAL WITH APPROACHING GOD OR THE THINGS OF GOD, WE HAVE USED HIS NAME IN VAIN. CF SUPERFICIAL WORSHIP OF NADAB AND ABIHU!

3)      WHAT IS THE POSITIVE TEACHING OF THIS LAW?

  1. Promise keeping
  2. SPEAK SOBERLY ABOUT THE GREATNESS OF GOD AND WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE…
  3. SEE GOD IN HIS NAMES, TITLES, ACTS…HAVE A ROBUST THEOLOGY…A MINIMALIST APPROACH TO GOD’S ACTS/SPEECH AKA WHAT HIS NAME IS ABOUT, IS TO MINIMIZE THE NAME OF GOD! USE OUR LIBRARY! COME TO TRUTH PROJECT, BE IN BIBLE STUDIES!

                                          i.    PEOPLE ARE CHANGED BY WHO GOD IS, NOT MODERN PSYCH..WE NEED AN ENCOUNTER W/ GOD, NO MORE ENCOUNTERS W/ OUR ‘INNER’SELVES’…

  1. LET YOUR LIFE BE CHARACTERIZED BY THE IDENTITY IN GOD’S NAME, NOT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR LACK THEREOF, ETC.
  2. PRAYER – VIRBRANT, DYNAMIC…NOT REPETIVE, CLICHÉ PRAYERS  God’s name can also be misused by constantly repeating it over and over in religious services. This is vain repetition; it has no worthwhile purpose. Heathen often use the same type of vain repetition for the purpose of detaching the self from the mundane world. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matt. 6:7-8).  CF. PROPHETS OF BAAL W/ ELIJAH
  3. FELLOWSHIP – MICAH 4:5 “ALL THE NATIONS MAY WALK IN THE NAME OF THEIR GODS BUT WE WILL WALK IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD FOREVER AND EVER.”

4)      HOW DOES CHRIST FULFILL THIS LAW FOR ME?

  1. ‘I HAVE MANIFESTED YOUR NAME TO THE MEN WHOM YOU GAVE ME OUT OF THE WORLD.’ JOHN 17:6
  2. PHILL. 2:9-11 ‘NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME, KNEES WILL BOW’
  3. ‘OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME…
  4. SUBSTITUTION! ‘HE MADE HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN…” 2 COR. 5:21

5)      HOW DOES LOVE MOTIVATE ME TO FULFILL THIS LAW? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DO I WORSHIP BASED ON THIS COMMANDMENT?

  1. JOEL 2:32 “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
  2. ACTS 4:12 “SALVATION IN NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN.’
  3. 1 JOHN 3:23 “BELIEVE ON HIS NAME AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.’
  4. LOVE FOR GOD AND NEIGHBOR LEADS TO MATT. 28:18-20; PREACHING FULL GOSPEL, FULL LAW, FULL WARNINGS OF JUDGMENT!
  5. HOW DOES GOD RESPOND TO TAKING HIS NAME IN VAIN? GOD, IN LOVE, REVEALS MAN WILL BE JUDGED FOR HOW HE TREATS GOD’S NAME…READ VS. 7…ALSO LEVITICUS 24 – WOMAN’S SON WHOSE SON BLASPHEMED THE NAME OF GOD; HE WAS STONED TO DEATH.  ‘GOD HAS NOT MELLOWED IN WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT THIS!”
  6. ANSWER: TO CLEAN UP THE MOUTH, CLEAN UP THE HEART: MATT 12:33FF ‘…LOVING GOD WILL LEAD YOU TO USE HIS NAME GLORIOUSLY!
  7. WARNING: -VAIN USE OF HIS NAME BY A FALSE CONVERSION OR TRUSTING IN YOUR FAITH RATHER THAN CHRIST TO SAVE YOU: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work lawlessness” (Matt. 7:22-23).
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