The Third Commandment
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

What is the New Testament meaning of this commandment?

We should honor and love God by calling upon Him in every anxiety and worshipping Him in prayer, praise and thanksgiving to the extent that we absolutely refrain from cursing, swearing, conjuring, lying or deceiving by His name.

In what ways may God's name be taken in vain?

God's name is taken in vain when one calls upon His name for the support of any cause that is false or wrong, such as speaking in His name when one is in court or under oath, but has the intent to deceive. One takes God's name in vain in the marriage contract if he disregards his vows and becomes disloyal or unfaithful in his marital relations. False preachers and pseudo-messiahs take God's name in vain when they rise up with their own selfish interests as though they were the plans of God, and carefully hide their real purpose behind the claim that God told them.

God will not hold one guiltless who takes His name in vain any more than He will hold him blameless who turns to another god as the source of his help. All shall be ultimately brought to justice. Though all may not feel the noose of the hangman's rope around their neck, be not deceived, God is not mocked, for ever His judgments will fall.

Assignment for this lesson:

Exodus 21:17; 22:28; Leviticus 24:16; Numbers 30:2-12;
Deuteronomy 23:21-23;
II Samuel 16:9;
Job 1:11; 2:5- 9; Ecclesiastes 10:20; Matthew 5:33-37; Mark 3:28-29; Acts 5:1-11; I Timothy 1:20; James 2:7.

Copyright in 1978 by R.O.Corvin