By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Exodus 20:7-11; Psalm 145:1-7
Most have heard the famous line from Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?” Well, when it comes to God, it is a big deal. Following the first two commandments prohibiting false worship and idolatry, God rightly turns to His holy name, and tells Israel, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”
Now the average Baptist thinks, “Well, I am safe, because I have never taken God’s name in vain.” Most think this means that adding a curse word to God’s name is the only way this commandment is broken. However, keeping the third commandment involves far more than profanity. For example, we may break this command through disingenuous service for God. In other words, we serve “in Jesus’ name,” but out of routine or ritual, instead of serving Christ out of a heart of love and devotion (Philippians 2:3-5).
Another way we break the command is through the misuse or misappropriation of His name. In other words, we use His name or our title as “Christian” for personal advantages. Sometimes a believer misunderstands the will of God, and takes His name in vain, as he or she speaks on God’s behalf, saying, “The Lord spoke to me.” They then proceed to tell you they know the will of God better than you. It is like Eliphaz telling Job that God revealed to him why he was suffering, when Eliphaz had no idea (Job 4:12). [Read more…]