Taking God's Name In Vain
by Carlton Pruitt
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"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Exodus 20:7
What does it mean to take the Lord's name in vain? Does it mean using God's name as a swear word as in God curse this or God curse that? What about using golly, gosh or gee whiz? Yes, these phrases are dishonoring to the Lord in so much as they substitute these words for the word God and so take God's name in vain. God is holy and is to be honored and respected as the most worthy of our affections. "Holy and reverent is His name." Psalm 111:9
Those who call themselves Christians and take the name of Jesus Christ upon their lips and those who pray in His name and who take His name as part of their religious identity but who continually and purposefully disregard His commands, are taking His name in vain.
Jesus said, "Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?" (Luke 6:46) Note: These are professing Christians who admit to the Lordship of Christ but who do not obey this Lord they claim to own as a ruler over them. This is a very serious crime against the majesty, honor and goodness of Him who came to set men free from the guilt and punishment of sin. If these who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ verbally at least can take Christ's name in vain then what of those who deny the Lordship of Christ by taking Him only as a saviour and who think to make Him Lord later in their life? Is this not also taking His name in vain in so much that they instead of taking a whole Christ take Him by halves. What treachery and dishonesty is in such professors who refuse to bow to the one whom God the Father has made both Lord and Christ by virtue of His resurrection from the dead.
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).
Nobody makes Jesus their Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord and if you receive Him then you receive Him for who He is in His entire person. To do anything else is to take God's name in vain and incur the wrath or punishment of God. Is this a hard saying my friend? If you think so then pray to God that He would soften your stony heart and melt it into the image of His son for so He created us for this purpose. Ephesians 2:10;
This is a very serious matter brethren and we need to be on our guard against this lest we slip and fall into this transgression of the third commandment.
Jesus Christ has been given the best of names to be loved, reverence and obeyed: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted HIm, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
If we profess to be Christians then let us think, speak and act like Christians and avoid worldly conversation or profane manners or gestures which dishonour our Lord Jesus and so incur the guilt of taking His name in vain.
When we misrepresent Christ, either intentionally or through ignorance of the Christian faith as proclaimed in Scripture, we take the Lord’s name in vain. When we say we love Him, but do not do what He commands (Luke 6:46), we take His name in vain and are in danger of hearing Him say to us, “I never knew you. Depart from me you who work iniquity lawlessness" Matthew 7:21-23).
Who can take the Lord's name in vain? Believers or unbelievers or both? It seems that only the unconverted who profess faith in Christ can bare His name in vain. Saints can not because they are innocent and their sins have been forgiven so they are guiltless. Those who are unconverted and without the faith of Jesus Christ can bare God's name in vain and these will not be guiltless unless they become saved. Isa 61:2
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching. See his videos on http://www.youtube.com Type LAStreetPreacher in the search bar. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.com
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