Taking His Name In Vain
Last week I taught on the third commandment…““You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”(Exodus 20:7 ESV)
I always envied those preachers who could preach on topics like this as if they had never broken any commandment and lived thirty miles from the nearest sin…but that’s not me and this one cut me to the quick.
We usually associate this commandment with verbal sins…using the Lord’s name as a cuss word or expletive or making lying oaths.
It does indeed cover those things. Those things are also an easy fix…repent and clean up your nasty mouth.
However, that word “take” in the commandment also means to “bear or carry”.
If you identify as a Christian you have chosen to bear and carry the name of the Lord…so your whole life and how you live it is measured against this edict.
When you sin against others by omission or commission, you take the Lords name in vain.
When you associate the name of God with people or policies that bear little resemblance to the Christ of the Scriptures, you take His name in vain.
When you do not deal with people on a daily basis as Christ dealt with people, you take His name in vain.
When you speak of His providence in your life as if it were unfair or cruel, you take His name in vain.
When you pray in His name without faith that He is good…you take His name in vain.
How we live, how we speak, and how we love or refuse to love, matters…”for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain”.
The classic way to end this sort of article is by thanking God that He is full of grace and mercy and that there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
I’ll say the amen louder than you…
However…we should receive that wonderful grace and mercy with an attitude that wants to live in such a way that we do not take His name in vain…by the Holy Spirit, of course,but also with personal intentionality.
We should hope that by the Spirit we bring honor to the name of Jesus by our words and deeds.
We will fail often and we will repent and avail ourselves of the deep well of mercy…but we will try again.
If faith and works are completely divorced, we will always live in a broken home…
Make your own application…