Summary: Third commandment. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain".
"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".
1. THE SIN INVOLVED
"Take the name of the LORD thy God in vain".
Blasphemy. Using the name of Jesus as a swear word has become the norm in our society. Contrast this with an Islamic country like Pakistan or Iran where blaspheming the name of Allah (a false god) or Muhammad (a false prophet) could mean the death penalty. Our society is rotten to the core!
2. THE SOVEREIGN INSULTED
"The LORD thy God".
Bad enough to insult another person but to insult the Almighty Jehovah is fearful indeed!
"The ninth edition of the Oxford Concise English Dictionary (1995) has a significant entry at the word ’Jesus’: ’An exclamation of surprise, dismay, etc.’, and then in square brackets this explanation is added: ’Name of the founder of the Christian religion d. c. AD 30’. The first part of the definition is preceded by the words int. colloq. which means that the expression is a colloquial interjection. In other words, ’Jesus’ is to be understood first and foremost as a common expletive and only secondarily as the name of the founder of Christianity!"*
A shocking exposure of our depraved nation!
3. THE SENTENCE INDICATED
"The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain".
You only have to blaspheme once to be found guilty by the LORD and therefore barred from entrance into heaven. How can the guilty go free? Christ. Consider His own words in Matthew 5:17 - "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil". A vital part of Christ’s redemptive work was the keeping of the Ten Commandments, including the third. He never once took the LORD’s name in vain. Indeed, He never once broke any part of the Decalogue. Therefore He was able to go to the cross and be our sinless Substitute. That is how we go free!
What kind of love is this, that gave itself for me?
I am the guilty one, yet I go free.
What kind of love is this? A love I’ve never known;
I didn’t even know His name
What kind of love is this?
What kind of Man is this, that died in agony?
He who had done no wrong was crucified for me;
What kind of Man is this? Who laid aside His throne
That I may know the love of God,
What kind of Man is this?
*Brian H Edwards, ’The Ten Commandments for today’. Quoted with the permission of the publishers, Day One Publications, www.dayone.co.uk