Simply teaching the Bible, simply

Don’t take the name of the Lord in vain

This study was taught at our Sunday evening service by Matt Randall on the 17th May 2020. You can listen to the audio on this web page or save it for later listening.

This is the fourth in a series of studies on the Ten Commandments (you can find the introduction here). At the start of the study we reviewed some foundations that are important when trying to understand the purpose of each law:

  • The heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart
  • The law exposes our sin
  • The law leads us to Jesus
  • We are saved by grace, not by works
  • Having been saved, we should show our faith by our works
  • If you love Jesus, keep His commandments
  • God has given us His commandments for our benefit

This study focussed on the third commandment that God gave to Moses on Sinai:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Exodus 20:7

We also considered these verses, found earlier in the book of Exodus…

Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’ ” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

Exodus 3:13-15

During the study, Matthew Henry’s definition of taking the Lord’s name in vain was quoted;

  • Hypocrisy
  • Covenant breaking
  • Rash swearing
  • False swearing
  • Using the Lord’s name lightly and carelessly

Our study concluded with this scripture;

Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,

Psalm 148:11-14


    • Hi Jesse, thanks for your question. Beyond the obvious mis-use of the Lord’s name when it is used as swear/curse word to express disgust, we can also mis-use it when call ourselves Christians, but fail to live in a way that honours God – that is, when we live contrary to the instruction of His Word, the Bible.

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