THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: It’s About Relationship
INTRO: God ultimately gave us the Ten Commandments to help us to have a deeper relationship with Him and others. The Third Commandment involves more than we think. It’s about humility; it's also about the respect and reverence of the Name of God.
Amplified version of Exodus 20:7: You shall not use or repeat the Name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.
Three ways that we might take (“carry”) the Name of the Lord in vain:
I. When We Pray Selfishly or in a Prideful Way
> We can pray in a wrong way - selfishly.
- Remember that His Name is not a good luck charm.
- James 4:3: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
- Amiss means to be sick and miserable.
- You don’t receive because what you are asking for will make you miserable.
- We need to pray the way Jesus prayed: “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).
> You shall not use the Lord’s Name frivolously.
- Frivolously means lacking importance.
- We are not to use God’s Name the wrong way.
- His Name is set apart from every other name.
- His Name should be hallowed, revered, respected, set apart.
- His Name is holy, and there is power in His Name.
- The Lord’s Prayer states “hallowed be Thy Name.”
- It is the Name above all names.
> God says we should not take, or carry, the Name of the Lord in vain.
- To take means to lift up or carry.
- When we say His Name we are lifting up His Name.
- Vain means empty, worthless, or prideful.
> When we talk about the Name of God, we talk about His character.
- His Name is His character.
- When we see His Name in the Bible, we see His character.
- His Name and His character are inseparable.
- We want to be obedient to God’s character.
- The Ten Commandments are God’s character.
- We try to ignore the Old Testament and go straight to the New Testament.
- All Scripture is profitable for us; all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).
II. When We Prophesy Falsely on Behalf of God
> When we prophesy, we need to make sure it is something that God has told us.
- We need to make sure God has spoken.
- We are not to claim it was something God said if He hasn’t spoken.
- We cannot make things up.
III. When We Proclaim the Name of the Lord in the Wrong Way
> God’s Name is holy and reverent; we ought to be careful.
- His Name is powerful.
- Proverbs 18:10: “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower.”
- Romans 10:13: “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”
- Psalm 20:7: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God.”
- John 17:6: “I have revealed Your Name to those whom you gave Me.”
> Profanity comes from the word profane.
- Profane means to treat as common.
- God doesn’t want us to profane His Name.
- You shall not profane My Name (Leviticus 19:12).
- Today God’s Name is undervalued.
- We need to think about how we are using His Name.
- It is wrong to use His Name to curse or to express surprise.
- We need to humble ourselves in His sight.
- Psalm 113: “Let the Name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.”
> Ezekiel 36:23: I will sanctify My Great Name, which has been profaned among the nations…”
- Israel went into exile because they profaned God’s Name.
- They profaned it by the way they lived.
- They were worshiping idols.
- It’s not just what we say; it is what we do.
- We profane His Name when we say we are Christians but do not live according to godly principles.
- We have to be careful that people see the difference in us.
- We need to be the light for Jesus.
- “The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."
- We broke the commandments, but Jesus took our punishment.
CONCLUSION: God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel after He delivered them. In the same way, Jesus (by His blood) has delivered us, and now God (by His grace) gives us principles for living. Jesus took our punishment, and now, keeping these principles will give us a deeper relationship with God and with other people. We’re not saved by obeying these commandments; we’re honoring God and respecting others out of love.