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The Ten Commandments 03 - Use God's Name Reverently

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Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-11 / HC Q&A 99, 100 p.50
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Exodus 20:7 (NIV)

I.   Always use God’s name Reverently

     A.  Don’t take God’s name in Vain

           1.  Don’t use God’s name as a swear word

                 a.  God’s name is used like this by some.

                 b.  Don’t ever let it by you!

           2.  Don’t use God’s name lightly

                 a.  We hear “Oh, God,” or “oh, my God.”

                 b.  We hear God’s name used as seasoning for our language: “God bless ‘em.”

                 c.  We talk about God as if he isn’t here.

           3.  Don’t use God’s name as if it were magic.

                 a.  The Israelites thought God’s name would protect them from invasion.

                 b.  We put “in Jesus’ name” at the end of an otherwise self-centered prayer.

                 c.  Using God’s name as if his name has power apart from God, breaks this one.

     B.  Don’t take up God’s name Emptily

           1.  To “take” God’s name means to “carry” it.

                 a.  We’re used to thinking that this command talks just about our speaking habits.

                 b.  We take God’s name to those who hear

                 c.  We carry God’s name to those we meet

           2.  Don’t take God’s name without God

                 a.  We talk about God but don’t show Him.

                 b.  We sing praise songs without praising

           3.  Don’t use God’s name to baptize our ungodly ideas and practices.

                 a.  We invent ideas and say they’re God’s

                 b.  We do what we shouldn’t and claim that we do it in God’s name

                 c.  We make up stuff calling it God’s Truth

     C.  Only use God’s name Respectfully

           1.  Treat God’s name with more respect than we reserve for our nation’s flag.

                 a.  The flag is a symbol of our country and all it stands for.

                 b.  God’s name stands for Who He is.

                 c.  Honor that name!

           2.  Speak of God the way a loving bride speaks of her loving groom.

                 a.  God has poured out more love to us than we can ever repay.

                 b.  Always and only speak of him lovingly.

II.  Bear God’s name Humbly

     A.  As God’s people, we Bear His name.

           1.  We are “the people of God.”

                 a.  God calls us that.

                 b.  We are known as that

                 c.  Don’t bear his name emptily

           2.  We are “Christians.”

                 a.  Christian means “little Christs”

                 b.  Does our reputation bring glory or shame to Him whose name we bear?

     B.  God’s name isn’t for our Privilege

           1.  Jeremiah reminds the Israelites that God’s temple alone wouldn’t protect them.

                 a.  They were God’s people, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t be hurt.

                 b.  God’s name doesn’t offer protection from rebellion against him.

           2.  We don’t bear God’s name for whatever advantage it might give us.

                 a.  We bear his name to bring him glory.

                 b.  We bear his name because of His grace

     C.  We are His people as we Submit to Him

           1.  We bear God’s name honorably, when we are faithful to Him who’s name we bear.

                 a.  More than wearing the name proudly

                 b.  It’s wearing it in a way worthy of it.

                 c.  By faithfulness to Him who’s name it is

           2.  Being God’s people means submitting to His authority.

                 a.  We who bear God’s name must let God be God in us and for us.

                 b.  If we really change our ways (vv 5-7)

                 c.  God’s house won’t be a den of thieves

           3.  Being Christians means submitting as Christ did.

                 a.  To claim to be a disciple of Jesus, but not do what he says means we aren’t.

                 b.  To follow Jesus means to submit to the Father as Jesus did–to the cross.

III. In all we do, Honor God’s name

     A.  Not all who say Lord, Lord

           1.  Keeping this command isn’t merely a matter of speaking well.

                 a.  We can speak well and live poorly

                 b.  We can honor God with our lips and dishonor him with our actions.

           2.  Those who do can still misuse His name.

                 a.  Not those who say, but those who do.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matt. 7:21 (NIV)

           3.  Not all who utter His praises, praise Him.

                 a.  It is all too easy to sing without praising

                 b.  We speak our praises to impress others with our eloquence or knowledge.

     B.  Bear His name Honorably

           1.  We are the flag bearers in life’s parade.

                 a.  We carry his name, let’s do it well.

                 b.  Don’t let the flag drag in the dirt

                 c.  Carry it high, gladly and proudly

           2.  Christians honor the name by living lives that are worthy of it.

                 a.  We carry his name with our lives

                 b.  Let’s live lives worthy of his name!

     C.  Proclaim His Praise to all

           1.  Don’t blame God for evil, or deride Him for what he chooses to allow.

                 a.  While we may express our anger to God, don’t presume to judge him!

                 b.  God is not the author of evil

                 c.  He does not allow anything to happen that can really harm us.

           2.  Praise Him for His Grace and Love

                 a.  He has set us free from our bondage

                 b.  While we were still sinners Christ died

                 c.  God loves us more than we can know

           3.  Praise Him for His goodness and power

                 a.  God is always and only good to us.

                 b.  Nothing can prevent God from pouring out his goodness, grace and love on us.

                 c.  Praise him with a life of thankfulness.

The Bottom Line:

As God’s People, we will Lift up His name in all we Do and Say.

R#385 Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (v.1)


Heidelberg Catechism

Q&A 99

What is God’s will for us in the third commandment?

That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God by cursing, 1 perjury, 2 or unnecessary oaths, 3 nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. 4

In a word, it requires that we use the holy name of God only with reverence and awe, 5 so that we may properly confess him, 6 pray to him, 7 and praise him in everything we do and say. 8

1 Lev. 24:10-17

2 Lev. 19:12

3 Matt. 5:37; James 5:12

4 Lev. 5:1; Prov. 29:24

5 Ps. 99:1-5; Jer. 4:2

6 Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10

7 Ps. 50:14-15; 1Tim. 2:8

8 Col. 3:17

Q&A 100

Is blasphemy of God’s name by swearing and cursing really such serious sin that God is angry also with those who do not do all they can to help prevent it and forbid it?

Yes, indeed. 1 No sin is greater, no sin makes God more angry than blaspheming his name. That is why he commanded the death penalty for it. 2

1 Lev. 5:1

2 Lev. 24:10-17


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