3rd commandment you shall not take god’s name in vain

3rd Commandment: You Shall Not Take God’s Name in Vain

Exodus 20:7

Every time God says, “Thou shalt not,” He is saying, “Don’t hurt yourself.” And every time God says, “Thou shalt,” He is saying, “Help yourself to happiness.”

What Is the Third Commandment?

Exodus 20:7

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.

The Personal Names of God


The God we serve is not some abstraction. When He calls Himself “the LORD your God,” LORD is the Hebrew word Jehovah, and “thy God” is Elohim.

Jehovah speaks of the everlasting God who has a personal relationship with His people. Elohim means “the mighty One.” Put the two names together, and God says, “I am a covenant-keeping God, who has the power to perform His word.”


Over and over, the Bible speaks of “the power of the name of our God.”

Jesus said, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14; see also John 16:23). Do your homework, go to work, and raise your children in His name. (See Colossians 3:17.)

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).


Because there is personality, power, and provision in God’s name, there ought to be praise in His name.

“O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (Psalm 8:1).

What Does it Mean to “Take the LORD’s Name in Vain”?

The word “vain” in Exodus 20:7 is the Hebrew word shav, meaning “carelessly, meaninglessly.”


When you use God’s name in profanity, it shows an empty head and a wicked heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b).

Profanity is needless, and therefore, it is inexcusable.


This is taking the name of God carelessly or lightly.

Paul warns against “Coarse jesting” in Ephesians 5:3-4, and this includes little sayings and witticisms that use the name of God. God’s name is holy. Never use that name unless you are serious.


Jesus said about the judgment day, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22-23; see also Isaiah 48:1.)


How to Use the LORD’s Name in Victory

When your children learn to take God’s name in victory, they will certainly be afraid to take God’s name in vain.

Wear God’s Name

When we call ourselves Christians, we are wearing the name Christ. “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19b).

Remember who you are and Whose you are. That is, remember that you are a Christian. You were bought with a price, and you belong to God.

Share God’s Name

“Those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them” (Malachi 3:16a).

This is the character that we should build into our children—the fear of God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7a).

Bear God’s Name

It won’t be easy. The name of Jesus is hated. Consider the apostles:

Acts 5:41-42

So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Do not be ashamed of the one who died for you!

Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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