Taking God’s Name in Vain

Exodus 20:7 ESV

“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.”

I had someone bring this verse to my attention recently, on one of my very sick days, so I did not look into then, and then I forgot about it, but it was brought back to my attention today. So now I am looking into it prayerfully and asking the Lord for insight into what this really means, and how it applies to our lives, if it does, under the New Covenant.

So, I went to biblehub.com and to the interlinear and I found that the word translated “take” here means “to lift, carry, take.” Other words for “take” are “accept, bear, receive” and a whole long list of other words. It sounds like it means “to take possession of” or to make a verbal profession of. And to take up this name of God and the name of Jesus in vain is to do so in a manner which is empty, shallow, pointless, ineffective, useless, worthless and futile.

So, let’s look at the New Testament:

We read in Matthew 15:9, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” And then we read in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” And we read in 2 Corinthians 6:1, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”

We read in 1 Corinthians 5:11 that we are not “to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” And then we read in Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” And then we read in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

And we read in 1 John 1:6, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” And in 1 John 2:4-5, “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” And in 1 John 3:10, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

So, to take the name of Jesus is to profess him as Savior and Lord of our lives, and if we do this in vain it is to be of no affect. It does not make a difference in our lives, so we are no different in character and words and actions from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus. And sadly that is where many professing Christians are, bearing his name, but in vain, because it is lip service only and it has no obvious reality in their day to day lives. So their profession of faith is useless, worthless, and ineffective.

And largely this is the situation here in America because the “gospel” message which is permeating the gatherings of the church (or what is falsely being called “church”) is a diluted and altered gospel message intended to attract and to appeal to human flesh and to appease them in their sins. For it tells them that they can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ and now all their sins are forgiven, and heaven is guaranteed them when they die, regardless of how they lives their lives on this earth.

And many are teaching against repentance and obedience, calling that teaching “works salvation,” which it clearly is not, and if you read the Scriptures in their context, you will see that. For all throughout the New Testament we are taught that we must obey God, and not obey sin, and that we must walk in holiness and righteousness, and not in sin, or we will not inherit eternal life with God. So we must take this to heart.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Follow Him

An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!

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