3rd Commandment – The Name Of The Lord Thy God

Two out of the 10 commandments God has given to man deal with sins of the tongue.  That’s 20% of the commandments dealing with the misuse of speech.

Commandment number three deals with taking God’s name in vain.
Commandment number nine deals with speaking falsehood and lying.

Commandment number three protects God’s name.
Commandment number nine protects our name (see Proverbs 19:22 & 22:1).

There is a holy dignity in the very name of God and He takes the use of His name very seriously.

1.    CONSIDER THE REVELATION OF GOD’S NAME:

Scripture gives us many various names of God, each name revealing a different aspect of His character.  A person’s “name” is, in many ways, their reputation and glory.

We are told that the ancient Jews held God’s name to be so sacred that when the scribes were copying the Scriptures and approached the name of the Lord, they stopped, bathed completely, then wrote the name with a brand new, unused pen.

We give our children names merely for identification, rarely considering the meaning of that particular name, but not so with God.  God uses names to describe some aspect of the character of the one being named.

I am afraid that there are many Christians who have little or no understanding of the significance of God’s name, thus, the careless use of God name even among Christians.

Bible scholars suggest that there are nearly 300 names given for God in the Bible.  Let’s consider a few and their meanings.

God” (Genesis 1:1).
This is the most common name God uses for Himself throughout Scripture and means, “the strong and faithful one.”  It is associated with God as creator and testifies to His infinite power.
We must consider the incomprehensible power of the one who’s name we use so lightly.

Jehovah” spelled “LORD” or “GOD” (Exodus 20:2) – here is the combination of three names meaning: “He that always will be, He that is, and He that always has been.”
In Genesis 6:3-7, we’re told that Jehovah hates and judges sin.
In Exodus 15:11, we’re told that Jehovah is the God of pure holiness.
In Exodus 34:6, we’re told that Jehovah is the God of infinite patience, love and mercy.

Lord” means “master,” indicating the relationship of a master to his servants.  This name reveals God’s complete authority over man.  Philippians 2:11 assures us that “every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, (master, authority).

Most High God” indicates God’s ownership of all creation.  Notice in Isaiah 14:14, Satan sought to attain this position.
The “most High God” owns our bodies and all we possess, making us mere “stewards” of God’s possessions.

God’s name is holy because it is a revelation of Himself to mankind, a revelation of His character. How sad (and foolish) that man uses God’s name so lightly and abuses God’s name so easily. 

The use of God’s name is not just for identification, but as a recognition of who and what He is.

2.    CONSIDER THE VAIN USE OF GOD’S NAME. (Exodus 20:7)

God states very plainly, we are forbidden to use His name in vain (in an empty or worthless way).

The Profane Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

Profanity is very common today, even among some profession Christians, yet profanity if filthy!  This is a sad commentary on the character of a person using profanity.

If you will study your Bible very carefully, you will find that the only people in Scripture who used profanity were those who denied the Lord.
Any person who loves and respects the Lord will not use profanity.

The Trivial Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

To use the name of God in a humorous story to get a laugh or to use God’s name to “let off steam” is blasphemous.

The Dishonest Use Of God’s Name Is Vain!

I have met some folks who are seldom guilty of telling the truth.  Yet, there are many in the church who will lie to God about their relationship with God, or use the name of God to mask their sin, this is hypocrisy.

3.    CONSIDER THE VIRTUE OF GOD’S NAME.

The gift of speech is a sacred responsibility that we must one day answer to God for.

Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we are justified.
Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we gain repentance and forgiveness.
Remember, it is through the name of Jesus that we saved.
And remember, it is at the name of Jesus we must someday all bow down.

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2nd Commandment – No Graven Images

The first and second commands are closely related.

1st – Whom we are to worship
2nd – How we are to worship (actually how we are NOT to worship)

There never has been a race of men who did not worship some form of a god.  “Man worships almost as instinctively as he breathes,” Dr. Lehman Strauss.  The problem with most people is not that they are not aware of God’s existence, but that they are incorrect of their worship of God.  We often hear people say, “I worship God in my own way.”

1.  The Second Command Deals With Our Concept Of God.

It is impossible to correctly worship and live for God until we have a correct concept of who and what God is.  In John 4:20-24, the woman at the well understood the existence of God, but she did not understand the nature of God, thus she did not understand the correct worship of God.

Too often, people limit God to their finite concept of God.

Jesus taught this social outcast and immoral woman a very profound truth, and that is, the standard of approach to God is not man-made!  Mankind’s approach to God is not mental or physical, but spiritual.

(John 4:23-24) God is a spirit and not material, thus He cannot be approached or represented materially.  Romans 1:23 tells us that the “natural” man cannot connect with a spiritual God.  Ephesians 2:1 – man is born spiritually dead, spiritually unresponsive and insensitive to God’s existence.  Until a person is born spiritually, (re-generated), he has no way to connect with or approach God.

2.  The Second Commandment Is Just That, A Clear Command.

This command does not forbid pictures of scenery, wildlife, or loved ones.  If it did, God broke His own command. In Exodus 25:10,17-20 God gave instructions to have images of cherubim and in the temple images of palm trees.  What God does forbid is, any attempted representation of God.  Throughout scripture, God severely judges man when man attempts to represent God with material objects or images.

This second command forbids man to represent God by material means.  Our God is so much greater and so far beyond our finite minds that any attempt to physically represent Him is an insult to His essence.

3.  The Second Command And The Christian.

Jesus Christ is the only visible image of our invisible God.  Jesus is the only physical manifestation of God who is a spirit.  John 14:9, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”  Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God.”  Again, Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the “express image of his (God’s) person.”

When I recognize my inability to live up to God’s standards of acceptance (because of my sinful nature) and trust God’s solution (Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for me personally), I am born again, born spiritually and able to connect with God.  At that moment, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God who immediate begins of process of changing me into the image of Christ.  I, in a sense, become a “manifestation” of God; a manifestation of His love, goodness, holiness.

Our churches do not need statutes of God in our windows and on our platforms, we need Christ-like believers in our streets.

 

The First Commandment

The giving of the 10 commandments to the nation of Israel is an epic event in the history of mankind.  Never has any other nation or people group experienced God Almighty declaring with audible voice such a clear and concise standard of His righteousness as He did on Mount Sinai.

God spoke and engraved, with His own finger these commandments and then presented them directly to the nation of Israel through His prophet, Moses.

It is vitally important to understand that they are given as an expression of God’s holiness and establish a standard of conduct that His holiness demands.  This standard is not a means of salvation.  The commands of God were never given as a way of salvation, but rather, they reveal to us our true spiritual condition.  They painfully reveal to man how overwhelmingly he falls short of God’s glory and that he is in desperate need of a Saviour.

Galatians 3:24,”Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Notice with me two things concerning the first of the 10 commandments.

Exodus 20:3, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

I.     NOTICE THE SUBJECT OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:

The subject of the first command is God.

All of man’s relations and interactions with God, begin with God, not man.  God initiates all interactions with man.  Every aspect of our existence begins with God.  Our creation began with God, our salvation begins with God, our existence begins with and is dependent upon God.

The Bible never tries to prove God’s existence, but rather begins with the declaration that God “IS.”  Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning GOD…”

Philosophers try to reason away God, atheistic scientists try to disprove God, but no where does the Bible debate the existence of God.  It simply states the obvious, GOD IS!

It is impossible for man to live successfully, or to even function properly independent of God.

II.   NOTICE THE SUBSTANCE OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:

Because God Almighty is who and what He declares Himself to be, we are to recognize Him and only Him as sovereign and supreme in our lives.

This command allows for no compromise!!!

Man is created to worship God, and God alone.  Man is created to submit to God and God alone.  To place anything in my life before or above the one and only true God, is sin in its most hideous form.