Summary: The Third Commandment



“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” (Exodus 20:7).

“Then I added, ‘Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, or God’s throne . . .” (Matthew 5:34).

I said through James, ‘Swear not at all . . . let your yes be yes and your no be no” (James 5:12).

1. Not for salvation. Could you be saved if you kept the third commandment, and never once cursed, or never used My name in vain? “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one part, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

2. Already redeemed. What had I already done for Israel? “I am the Lord their God who has brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 20:2).

3. A relationship between My people and Me. The Ten Commandments were never given as divine laws to earn salvation.


1. Why does the Third Commandment mention “name” and not other aspects of God, i.e., My Word, My altar, or My promises? My name means who I am.

2. What does “vain” mean? Degrading or insulting.

3. How can people take My name in vain?

a. Joking about Me.

b. Showing unbelief in My ability.

c. Laughing at Me.

d. Not taking Me seriously, i.e., to trivialize God.

e. Making a vow in My name but not meaning it or doing it.

f. Repeating Christian expressions without meaning.

g. Use My name as a curse.

h. Blaspheming Me, i.e., directing hatred at Me.

i. Associating filth with Me, i.e., remember, I am pure. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (Eph. 4:29). “Put off all . . . filthy communication out of they mouth” (Col. 3:8).

4. What is wrong with cursing?

a. The curser doesn’t believe in Me.

b. Reflects the anger in the curser’s heart.

c. Cursing takes My place to judge people. Only I can condemn a person to Hell or damnation.

d. Cursing denies My control over people and affairs.

5. How can Christians unknowingly take My name in vain?

a. False claims to worship. “And why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

b. Falsely using My name in service. “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I tell them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you are working iniquity” (Matt. 7:22-23).

c. Falsely praying in Jesus’ name. “Not everyone that says to Me Lord . . .” (Matt. 7:21). “The evil spirit answered . . . Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15).


1. Without charge or innocent. What does the word “guiltless” mean? “If any one offend not in word, the same is a perfect person” (John 3:2).

2. Your tongue represents your heart. Why are your words important? “The tongue is a little member . . . is set on fire of hell” (James 3:5-6). “The tongue . . . is an unruly evil” (James 3:8).

3. Honesty. With the tongue, “You bless God, even the Father, with your tongue you curse men” (James 3:9). You worship God (which you should do) and you curse men (which you should not do).


1. Your words reflect your heart. Why are words powerful? “How forceful are right words” (Job 6:25).

2. The power of memory. You should worship Me because you remember what I have done in the past.

3. The power of thoughts. You should use your intellect to worship Me. You cannot think without words.

4. The power of analysis. You can worship Me when you examine your heart to understand what I am doing in your life.

5. The power of creativity. You create new ideas with words. “Let the words of your mouth, and the meditation of your heart, be acceptable in My sight, O LORD, your strength, and redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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