Summary: To stress the importance of revering God.

The 10 Commandments #3:

There’s Just Something About That Name

Text: Exodus 20:7 – “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the

LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

Thesis: To stress the importance of revering God.


(1) What’s in a name?

Think of Jezebel, Hitler, etc.

(2) No wonder we read: “A good name is more desirable than riches” (Prov. 22.1).

(3) One wrote: “Names represent character, and they also represent authority” (R. Atchley, Sinai Summit 67).

(4) Story –

A young soldier was causing problems among the other soldiers was brought before Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great asked the soldier: “What’s your name?” The young soldier replied: “Alexander.” Alexander the Great then said: “Either change your name or change your conduct.”


I. Why should we not misuse the name of God?

A. God’s name “summarizes and stands for everything God is and has done” (R. Shelly, Written in Stone 73).

1. Therefore, His name is to be reverenced (cf. Matt. 6:9).

a. The Jews took this to an extreme and would not pronounce “Yahweh,” but replaced it with “Adonai.”

b. However, “reverence for the name of God does not preclude pronouncing the tetragrammaton (YHWH) or require a special set of pronouns in prayer” (Shelly 70).

2. We must:

a. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due Him name (Psa. 29.2)

b. Sing the glory of His name (Psa. 66.2)

B. This same principle must apply to the name of Jesus (cf. Acts 4.12; Phil. 2.9-11).

II. How do we misuse the name of God? (Misuse – to empty it to nothingness)

A. Perjury

1. Do not swear falsely by My Name (Lev. 19.12)

2. We must let our yes be yes (Matt. 5:37)

B. Profanity

1. “To use His name to invoke an opposite fate on anyone dishonors Him, His actions, and His motives” (Shelly 75).

2. Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC, said: “Becoming a Christian cost me half of my vocabulary.”

C. Pretense

To use His name in order to appear to be something one is not

D. Presumption

To credit certain things to God


We must honor God and His name with our words and with our actions.

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