Summary: This sermon as part of a series on the ten commandment points out that the key to the third commandment is the heart

The heart speaks

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

Names are important.

What did the guy who got scratched by a cat get called.

That’s right


Names are important – Johny Cash used to sing a song about a boy whose Father named him Sue. Your name is important and you may be a little sensitive when people get it wrong. Particularly if they get it wrong just to annoy you.

Ever see a see- saw? Children sit on them and one end is up and then the other end is down. Well if little Mary the good kid is on one end and little Louise the not so good kid is on the other end of the see saw, then, either Mary is up or Louise is up. They Can’t both be up at the same time.

I think this third commandment is like this you are either on the up side or the down side of this commandment.

This commandment has two parts: 1. A negative expressed, that we must not take God's name in vain; that is, cast any reflections and dishonour on his name

.2. An affirmative implied. That we should take care to reverence and honour his name.

Proverbs 16:22-23 “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Both sides imply a blessing – that blessing is something that I think we all can have and it is a blessing that can change our lives.

DL Moody tells the story of a man who turned up at his open air meetings on a horse and gig one of the finest you would see.. That man came each night and would leave in a hurry. Moody inquired as to who the man might be. It turned out he was the wealthiest man in a one hundred mile radius and a man who curse and swore and used the Lord’s name in vain.Eventually Moody decided to visit this man even though he was warned that the man would curse him. Moody brushed this objection aside saying that only the Lord could allow him to be cursed so he went.

The man came out and confessed he had a wonderful Christian wife and seven lovely children but he had a problem with cursing. Just the other night.” He told Moody “ He had cursed his wife in front of visitors and was always using the Lord’s name in vain.” Moody told him that He, personally, hadn’t had to stop swearing even though he had once sworn himself but once he was “In Christ” the swearing literally dried up.

He persuaded the man to get down on his knees and to give his lfe to Christ. This the man did.

Then Moody told this wealthy man to come to Church and to confess what had happened – This also the man did and Moody was there to hear it.

Thirty years later he met the same man who told him he had continued to follow Christ and hadn’t sworn since.

The Curser became a blesser Mary became Louise if you like.

God too would want to bless your mouth and mine. Do you realise that we often curse God’s people with our tongue when we talk scandal and gossip and in so doing we use the Lord’s name in vain?

James chapter 3 verse 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

So let us consider this matter.

What does disobeying this commandment look like?

I was at the rugby Stadium in Dunedin the other night and someone used the name of Jesus as a swear word. It was loud harsh and penetrating and wrong. It penetrated my soul and I never felt at home at that stadium from that moment on – my night had been ruined.

The whole object of swearing is the thought that you might convince someone of your sincerity by giving your word with God’s name attached. Swearing in our culture is a mixture of Blasphemy and cursing. Neither look good in the life of a Christian. Jesus clarifys this really important issue:-

(Matthew 5:34-37)

But I say to you: Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King, nor by your head, for you cannot make one hair black or white. When you say, Yes, let it be yes; and when you say, No, let it be no. Anything which goes beyond that has its source in evil.

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