Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How can God’s commands help us live lives free of unnecessary pain and suffering? We continue the series with Commandment 3 - Respecting the name of God. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

For a CD of over 100 of sermons by Darrell Stetler II (most complete with handouts), please e-mail darrellstetler2@sbcglobal.net.

To keep this series in perspective:

I want to remind you about something: You don’t become a Christian by keeping rules. Many people believe that, but it isn’t TRUE! You become a Christian by repenting of your sin and putting your faith in Jesus Christ to forgive you.

But God expects everyone who is a follower of his to keep his commands. . . following Jesus is more than just depending on him to get you out of trouble. It’s a whole-life commitment to follow after him.

I’ve been including this verse in every sermon because it is crucial that you get this: God’s commands are not to keep you from fun, they are for your GOOD!

They’re for your good.

“...keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good.” Deuteronomy 10:13

They are not a burden.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

"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

The word “vain” means “meaningless or worthless.” So to take someone’s name in vain is to empty their name of meaning or worth.

So this sermon is not about “dirty words”. . . that’s another sermon.

“Let no corrupt speech come out of your mouth – only that which is good for building others up.”

But there is “cussing”. . . and then there is “taking God’s name in vain.” They both have to do with our speech, but they are two different issues. This morning, I am focusing on God’s command that says, “Don’t take my name in vain.

Why did God give this command?

1. His name deserves respect because it is holy.

“Let them praise Your great and awesome name- it is holy.” (Psalm 99:3)

God’s name is holy – the word holy means “separate.” God’s name is separate from all common or ordinary names and words.

2. His name deserves respect because of his position.

“All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And shall glorify Your name.” (Psalm 86:9)

He is the creator. When you speak the name of God, you are speaking about infinite power. His name deserves respect because of that.

3. His name deserves respect because of what he has done.

“Praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you.” (Joel 2:26)

OK, so God’s name deserves respect. But how can I do that? How can we respect God’s name?

The ancient Hebrews who copied the Old Testament by hand in the days before printing presses had great respect for the name of God. They would stop and perform a special ceremony, and wash themselves and use a special pen before writing the name of God.

Respecting God’s name is not about washing your pen, or using a special pen. It goes way deeper than that.

Let me tell you how to keep this command. Here are two practical ways to show your respect for God’s name:

1. Respect God’s name through your speech.

We’re going to play a little association game. I’m going to say a name, and you think about the first thing that comes into your mind.

Jeffery Dahmer - Longhorns -

Dell Computer - IRS -

Bill Clinton - Bob Stoops -

Names are more than just a way of finding someone in the phone book. Eventually, a person or an organization’s name comes to symbolize the kind of character that that person or organization possesses. How many of you when you were picking names for your children would not give a certain name to your child because every time that you heard that name, it reminded you of someone from your past who was not exactly what you wanted your child to be? I’ve never met a girl named “Jezebel” or a boy named “Judas”. I have a suspicion that the reason for that is because the actions of those persons so marred the name that they carried that no one today wants to use those names.

James Williams of Beaumont, TX, promised his wife Cosandra that she could choose the name for their baby girl. "Just before we got married, Cosandra told me that she wanted our child’s first name to contain parts of every family name ever used," said Williams. "I didn’t think it was too great an idea, but I agreed to compromise. We decided I would name the boys and she would name the girls." Early in September Cosandra had a baby girl. The baby is called Jameshauwnell, short for an unpronounceable, 1,019-letter conglomeration of names (as in The Calgary Herald, Sept. 19).

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