Summary: This message has a lot of foul language in it, but a lot more helpful principles to aid our vulgar generation. Lifting high the NAMEs of our God! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint.

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Take the Name, but NOT in Vain

Exodus 20:7

1. The Declaration of God’s Name

One of God’s most beautiful gifts to mankind is the gift of language, the ability to speak. It is one of many things that distinguish man from animals, other than Mr. Ed! But as is true with every good gift God has given to man, sin has found a way to abuse it and misuse it.

Music—it’s a gift from God, but can be used for good or for evil.

Sex—it’s another gift from above...beautiful in its proper bounds, but the devil has twisted it in awful ways for evil.

Internet—Al Gore invented this! Seriously, it’s a powerful tool for good and yet wickedness makes its home there as well...what a web we weave!

Here’s some chapters about how speech can be misused:

Prov. 25—backbiting

Prov. 11—gossip

Prov. 31—slander

Prov. 16—evil whispering

And later in the 10 commandments we’ll talk about lying, or bearing false witness.

As bad as these things are, there is a sin committed with the tongue that is far worse than any of the above, and that is using God’s name in vain. I’m talking about using God’s name in a blasphemous way, attaching D-A-M-N after it, or saying “Jesus Christ” in a manner of cursing, rather than speaking that beautiful name the way it is intended. And then we’ll make another connection with all other cursing.

You wanna put someone in their place kindly, but effectively? Do what I did once to a man who said “Jesus Christ” when he was upset because a line was moving slowly in a store. I said, “It’s not His fault, it’s theirs!” [pointing to the help at the register]. “Yeah, you’re right,” he admitted.

The name of the Lord is sacred. It’s a holy name. At that name angels bow down / demons tremble / Satan has to flee.

The name Trump may open doors of finance, Einstein may open doors of brilliance, Michelangelo may open doors of art, but the name of Jesus will open to you the doors of heaven!

Romans 10:13

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We honor names of military generals like MacArthur, Patton, Schwarzkopf, and others. We honor spiritual leaders like Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Adrian Rogers, etc. How much more should we honor the name of Almighty God?!

Psalms 8:1

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Psalms 25:11

For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Psalms 111:9

... holy and reverend is his name.

It’s for this reason I don’t use the term ‘reverend’ with my name. Because the Bible says it’s HIS name...He is due reverence, certainly not me. I prefer Pastor Jerry or Bro. Jerry, but also answer to ‘Opie’!

Jesus’ name is so holy and powerful that at just the mention of it every knee will bow one day.

We need to be reminded of the mindset of the Orthodox Jew in Bible days, concerning the name of God, as well as many Bible translators for centuries A.D., before the invention of the printing press. When these scribes would copy the Word of God, every time they would encounter a name of God, they would rise from their work table, go and wash, and often change their clothes, pick up a new quill never used before, and then proceed to write the name of God. This they would do every time, sometimes up to three times in a single verse. That’s how respected and revered the name of God used to be. What a terrible thing it is to ever drag His beautiful name thru the mire!

Names are very significant. The Bible says that a good name is better than great riches. Let me rattle off some names and you call out the first thing that comes to your mind.

Judas [traitor]

Thomas [doubter]

Hitler [murderer]

George Washington [honesty]

Joke—in the days of the outhouse, a teen boy thought it would be fun to tip one over and roll it down a hill. His dad later came to him and asked him if had done that. He thought about lying and denying, but he decided to do the right thing and so he admitted it. But his dad said he had to whip him for it. “Aw dad, but I told you the truth, just like George Washington told the truth when he chopped down the cherry tree, and he didn’t get a whippin’!” His dad replied, “The difference is son...George’s dad wasn’t IN the cherry tree!”

What do you think about when you hear the name of God? The Bible has over 300 names of God. That’s because it’s impossible to capture the full character of God in any one attempt.

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Bruce Ball

commented on Jul 20, 2008

Pastor, this is one very good sermon! I appreciate your posting this. It is a message that every person needs desperately to hear.

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