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Summary: This message deals with the specialness of God’s name and image in man.

LIFTING OUR SPEECH OUT OF THE GUTTER

Ephesians 5:3-12

Exodus 20:7

INTRODUCTION: We live in an increasingly relativistic society. Decency has become a relative matter. We have warning labels on everything from video games to music CD’s. Yet, EVEN with those warnings, children, younger and younger are being exposed to ever more graphic and obscene material. Decency is no longer absolute. How in the world can we protect our lives and morality from events such as the Super-Bowl Halftime festivities? Yet, as is often the case, moral/cultural relatives in the mind of man are absolutes in the mind and teaching of God. One of my favorite quotes rings true, “If there is no absolute by which to judge society, then society is absolute.” (Francis Shaeffer).

Even with the furor and sanctions against those involved in events like the Super-Bowl, some programs on the airwaves, I cannot help but conclude that the day of the censor is numbered. Soon, this effort of protection will fade away into a little more than meaningless position.

Long before this, Almighty God set up and established absolute boundaries regarding our speech. God has something to say about “gutter language”!

I GOD HAS PLACED A BOUNDARY ON THE USE OF HIS NAME!

Exodus 20:7

"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

A The misuse of the name(s) of God

1 Vanity or misuse means to use for waste or disorder

2 To use as if it had no value

3 Not to use the name of God in a manipulative way

4 Prime example is to simply end our prayers with, “in Jesus name, Amen.”

a We are guilty of not understanding what we are saying here

b We are guilty of using this as some sort of “good luck charm”

ACCORDING TO THE TEXT THIS AREA OF SPEECH TOUCHES EVERYBODY AND INVOLVES EVERYBODY

B Misuse stems from ignorance

1 Names have a cosmetic meaning for us

a Alternate spellings to make them unique

b Screen names we pick for ourselves when surfing the net

c Even wanting to change our name like the guy who wants to be named, njweedman.com

2 God’s name(s) has/have TREMENDOUS meaning

a God’s name(s) reveal His Character

1) Each time we see in Scripture a new name for God – it is a revelation about the character of God!

a) Genesis 14:18 – EL ELYON -- The Most High God – The STRONGEST STRONG ONE

b) Genesis 22:14 – The Lord will Provide – Jehovah-Jireh

c) Exodus 17:15 – The Lord is my Banner – Jehovah-Nissi

d) 1 Samuel 1:3 – The Lord of hosts (armies) – Jehovah-Sabaoth

b God’s name(s) are inseparably tied to Who He IS!

1) Moses asks – God what is your name?

2) God answers, “I Am” is my name!

3 To declare God’s name is to declare something about Him

Psalm 22:22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.

4 The name of God has power

a At the name of Jesus demons are cast out

b At the name of Jesus people are healed

c The name of Jesus is responsible for the coming of the Holy Spirit

d The name of Jesus is important in baptism

e The name of Jesus is the name behind the power of salvation

5 God’s name has meaning to God Himself

Matthew 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray: " ’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Philip. 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And so closely aligned with the profanity of God’s name is the proliferation of what I want to call, “morally lacking communication”!

II GOD HAS PLACED A BOUNDARY ON MORALLY LACKING SPEECH – EPH 5:3-12

Three important things to note ….

A We are to avoid the SMALLEST appearance of immorality

B We are to avoid OBSCENITY in our speech

Proverbs 26:18-19 Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows 19is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"

1 Peter 3:10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

C Morally lacking speech is inconsistent with the character of a believer in Christ

1 Inconsistent with our standing in Christ

2 Inconsistent with a Christian walk

3 Considered disobedient by God

4 Is a shameful activity

When I allow myself to take the name of God in vain – to treat it a worthless, or “worth less”, I am making a personal statement of God’s worth to me, and of the value I place on God

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