May 24, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church May 24, 2020
Church Service Notes
Scripture: Exodus 20:7
Acknowledging the fact that in history past, the Lord has used worldwide events to get people to turn back to him. We’ve looked at how one of the things God desires for all people is that we would love God with all of our heart and our soul and our mind and strength. Jesus was sent to save the world because Jesus loves every person. God wants everyone to be saved and abide in Him. Part of that includes following all God has laid out for us. We can see how we’re abiding in the Lord by looking at our obedience. God gave the people of Israel the Ten Commandments. We can look at the commandments today to self-examine if we following and abiding in God. The commandments can reveal to us where we need to return back to the Lord. For the non-Christian person the Ten Commandments show how we are not perfect. These imperfect actions in which we violate the commandments are acts of sin. How do we obtain forgiveness of sin? Jesus paid the penalty of sin on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice. If we give our lives to Christ, recognize our sins, believe Jesus is the Christ and put our faith in Jesus we can receive salvation from sin. One way we describe this is: ask Jesus to come into our heart. That’s part of what the Ten Commandments do. They reveal our need for a Savior and allow reflection for us of where we are not abiding in the Lord and need to repent.
We’ve look at the first two commandments—to have no other gods before the one true God and to not make any graven images to worship. Today we’re looking at the third commandment—don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. Other translations, say to not misuse the Lord’s name or not use the Lord’s name carelessly. I’m going to share with you four ways we may be taking the Lords name in vain in our life and areas where we may need to repent.
The first is not to use God’s name in cursing. This may be the one that immediately pops into someone’s mind. When we use God’s name with a curse word, we are calling God’s damnation on a person or a thing. God’s damnation is to send a being to hell forever. Hell is a real place. The Bible describes hells as a worm devouring, a lake of fire, eternal agony. We should not want to call that down on anyone. Another part of that is we don’t need to curse God Himself. Sometimes in fits of anger, when life is difficult, we may get angry at God and question God. That’s something we’ve got to guard against because God knows what’s best for you and me. Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain by involving God’s Holy and Righteous name in cursing things.
The second way we’re going to talk about misusing God’s name is using God’s name to lie in an oath. For example saying, “I swear to God”. Think about what you’re doing when you say you are swearing whatever action or truth you’re saying. You’re swearing to have God hold you accountable. God is all-powerful. He is a great Creator. He can be a God of jealousy and wrath. He has opened up the earth in times past to swallow up people who were in rebellion of His will. He has called down fire and brimstone. He is capable of holding someone accountable. We don’t need to invite God to discipline us if we’re going to swear in His name. Jesus says in the New Testament to not swear an oath on anything. Have your yes mean yes and your no mean no. In Jewish culture, they didn’t want to take an oath in God’s name so they would swear on the temple or a sacrifice. Jesus says don’t swear and have promises tied to something but just be honest and let your yes be yes and your no be no. The best course of action is to do what Jesus advises and be honest people.
Thirdly, I want to look at using God’s name carelessly. How do we use the Lord’s name carelessly? The one you see repeatedly, is saying “Oh my God” or shortened now to OMG. We’re bringing this exclamation of the power of the almighty God and we’re attaching this awe to trivial things. When we say “oh my”, that is a statement of awe or overwhelming concern. On Facebook people may put OMG next to something as miniscule as a food recipe. Is that so awe-inspiring that we need to attach the wonder of the Great God Almighty to food or a silly video? That is a careless use of God’s name. It is taking the name of Almighty God who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, who created us, who is the way of salvation—all of these awesome things—and we trivialize it by attaching it to such silly things. We lose some of the reverence for God when we do that. We’re belittling it and making it no longer an awe-inspiring thing. There were miraculous things in the Bible people saw and exclaimed “Oh my God” or when they saw the Lord and recognized their sinfulness, unrighteousness, and insignificance and exclaimed “Oh my God”. To say “Oh my God” to a taco or video of a hamster running in a wheel is a silly thing to do. We can’t belittle and marginalize God. What does that say to non-believers when we are going to attach the Almighty God’s name to these silly things? We’re saying the God we worship and follow is not that big of a deal. Let’s look at some of the things the Bible says about the name of Jesus and the Lord. The name of Jesus is the name at which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. That’s the only name by which all people can be saved. There’s a beautiful song: Jesus, Name above all names. That name should be precious to us. We should hold the name in reverence and esteem. It should be something we hold dear and cling to. For us to flippantly use it for such silly things, that’s carelessly using it and making us guilty of using the Lord’s name of vain. Let’s stop doing that.
There’s a fourth way we can take the Lord’s name in vain. I looked up vain in the dictionary, and according to Webster’s dictionary vain means “of no value; without force, worth or effect”. Synonyms would be futile or fruitless. The application is when we as Christian’s invoke the Lord’s name in our life by calling on the name of Jesus to be saved, we have to make sure we aren’t proclaiming Jesus in our lives fruitlessly, without force, and worthlessly. Are we guilty of saying we’ve professed Jesus as our Savior but have made no attempt to get to know the Lord personally and have nothing in our life that shows we have pursued the Lord? We may claim we did, but if we aren’t living for Jesus and giving our lives to Christ, we have to ask ourselves have we taken His name without any effect in our life. Have we taken the Lord’s name in vain? As Christians, there should be fruit in our lives. If our life is fruitless, if our character isn’t changing, if we aren’t doing good things to glorify Him and bring others to Him, we have to ask are we taking the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus said there is going to be a time when He makes things right and divides people into the ones He knew personally and the ones He didn’t. He said some of those people are going to say, “Lord didn’t we say Lord, Lord, and preach in Your name, and teach in Your name, and do miracles in Your name?” Today that may look like “Jesus, didn’t I say Jesus at VBS when I was a kid?” or “I said Jesus every time the offering plate went by and I put the check in”. Or “I said Jesus every time I went to church on Sundays”. There are a lot of people who profess to be Christians but have taken that name in vain. We go through the motions but there is no fruit. It was all in vain. We call on the name because we don’t want to go to hell but that’s all. We’ve got to call on Jesus to be the Lord of our life, for us to bow down to Him. Jesus said the one who calls on my name will take up my cross. Look at your life and see if you’ve taken up a cross for Jesus. I don’t want anyone to doubt their salvation. I believe once saved always saved. I believe people sometimes backslide or things happen in a church and we become jaded and step aside from church. God may be using this time when we’re separated and so many distractions have been removed. He may be saying, “You’ve taken my name in vain. You haven’t been living for me. You’ve been living for you.” God wants us to live for Him. Don’t take God’s name without force and without effect. We’ve got to let God have control and seek Him first. We take the Lord’s name in vain when we aren’t putting God first. We’ve got to hold his name dear and precious in our lives. Many of us are failing to do so regularly.
Four ways we take the Lords name in vain 1) attach to cursing 2) attach to an oath 3) use the name carelessly 4) use it without force and fruitlessly.
If you say you’re living for Jesus, really live for Jesus. Our lives need to look differently if we’re saying that. I’m preaching not to make you feel terrible or condemned but because God loves us and knows there’s a better way. If we’re guilty of breaking this command, there are consequences and God doesn’t want us to experience those consequences. Christians we may need to repent for taking the Lord’s name in vain. Maybe you’re listening and saying I’ve never called on the name of Jesus or maybe you’re saying you called on the name of Jesus and used it as a “get out of jail free card” and you never did make Jesus Lord of my life. If that’s you, you can genuinely give your life to the Lord and make Him Lord of your life. Tell Him you believe He is who He says He is. Let Jesus be Lord of your life. The Bible tells us if we call on the name of the Lord and believe it, that’s how we become saved.
In Christ’s Love,