[CF Devotionals] 2010-02-07 - The Third Commandment

The Ten Commandments, Part 13

The Third Commandment - Introduction

Exodus 20:7

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37

Today we will begin our look at the third commandment, which is part of the first table of the law. It continues the focus on our responsibility, as followers of God, to Him. With this command, we are again dealing with a seemingly simplistic command. This time, it is against blasphemy, an act we don't normally get involved in. Certainly, for most of us, when we do swear, it is usually in the heat of the moment - and unintentional. But, as you will see there is much more involved in this command than misusing God's name.

First though, we have been talking about the quality of worship and the importance of keeping the Lord in the position of first in our lives.

Outline For Study

  1. Do not use the Name of God Frivolously
  2. God's Name is Synonymous with who He is
  3. The Call to Represent the Lord


  1. Do not use the Name of God Frivolously: Let's go to the dictionary and get a definition of blasphemy: "1. Profane abuse of God or sacred things. 2. contempt for God." I also want to note one definition of vain: "having no real value; worthless:"

    As you can see, to take the name of God in vain can mean to use it in a way that considers it to be worthless. Ways of expressing contempt for God are: first, intentionally by abusing His name or second - unintentionally by simply not considering God at all, the one who is our Creator. To not take the name of the Lord in vain, one must know who He is, and hold Him in the awe that He expects and deserves. This can only truly be accomplished by those who are His own.

    Therefore, the command is to a people who are supposed to be followers of God - first Israel, and secondly the Church. His name should mean something, and therefore the focus should be on the uplifting of God, and not the dragging down of His name. This is therefore a command that is universal in application. God created all mankind. Therefore, all of man are called to are recognition of who God is, and will be held accountable for holding Him of little worth whether they follow Him or not. Even those who refuse to follow after Him will not be excused from trifling with His name.

    We can say, then, that the command is more than not acting as if God's name were unimportant. But, more importantly, consistent with the first two commandments, it is really to give God the honor that is His due. Israel was called to honor (worship) God.:

    Deuteronomy 6:13: " Fear the Lord your God, serve him only."

    In 1 Timothy 6:16, Paul says: "To him (Christ) be honor and might forever."

    And in Romans 1:21-22, he talks of those who refuse to honor the Lord; "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools."

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com