2014-12-07 - The Third Commandment
The Call to Represent the Lord
I think for us, there are two ways we can deal with this command. The first is in the negative, and that is not to misuse the name of the Lord. The second is to glorify God's name. I think both these are applicable, and so we shall take a look at them.
What are some of the ways that you can think of that we, as believers, can take the name of God in vain? Ways that commonly come to mind include swearing, perjury, and by abusing the word of God in its use. Now all these are valid, and are ones that we can find ourselves falling into, but these, I hope, would be more the exception than the rule.
But there is another way I think we can take the Lord's name in vain, and I want you to consider whether or not you feel this one is more dangerous and subtle. I'm afraid we may all be guilty of this — more often than we would like to admit.
Let's first look at a few more references. Matthew 21:9 talks about Christ, but it seems to lay down a principle about service of God.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
When we are saved, we are called to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38 ESV).
Finally, those who receive those who come in the name of Christ are blessed.
“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, will by no means lose his reward” (Mark 9:41 ESV).
In the account of the Sheep and Goat Judgment, Christ makes it clear that those that represent Him are synonymous with Him.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40 esv).
When we represent the Lord, calling ourselves Christians, we are presenting ourselves in His name. How men treat us reflects on how they feel about Him. The question is, how are we treating God's name, since we represent it? So the question is: Are there more ways you can think of, that we may be guilty of using God's name in vain, without even realizing it?
It becomes clear since we call ourselves Christians, we identify ourselves with God's name, and therefore represent Him. We are His ambassadors. If we behave in some way that brings dishonor on the Lord, are we not then taking His name in vain? If we commit to do something and we don't, are we not making His name to mean nothing? Our lives must demonstrate the fact we are actually God's children, so people looking at us can see Christ in us. Haven't you heard the charge that the church is full of hypocrites? Granted, the claim is often made by those looking for an excuse to avoid the body, nevertheless, let us pray we are not guilty of living in a way that validates this accusation.
To be continued.
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