The Third Commandment: What’s in a Name?

Author: Taylor Eising — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: February 17, 2021

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The Third Commandment: What's in a Name?

There is a lot of debate about what the third commandment actually means, but it all boils down to one thing: because God is so good and so holy and because He chose to reveal Himself to us through His personal name, we should use His name only in ways that reflect His character. There are many good ways to be careful with God’s name. The most popular application is that we shouldn’t use God’s name as a cuss word. And this makes total sense! God’s name is holy, and to use His name as a cuss word would not be treating His name with the respect it deserves. Another thing we should think about is that if we take God’s name for ourselves—since we call ourselves “Christ”ians—we live lives that reflect the name we carry. In fact, the original Hebrew for this command literally means, “You shall not bear/carry My name emptily.” God’s name is holy, and He calls His people to live up to that holiness. This command is weighty. It’s sobering. It makes us slow down to think through our words and actions. It asks the question, “Am I being holy as God is holy?” And none of us can answer that question with a yes (Romans 3:23). But the good news is, if we know Jesus, He is living inside of us, giving us His holiness in God’s eyes. Through the Holy Spirit, He lives up to the name that we carry so we don’t have to. Therefore, since nobody besides Jesus can live up to that name perfectly, He gives us grace when we fall short. We can live in joy and freedom, rejoicing in the holy name we carry. • Taylor Eising • What does it mean that God is holy? • Read Ephesians 2:8-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-9. Why is it so important that we can’t be holy without putting our faith in Jesus? • To learn more about what it means to put your faith in Jesus, check out our “Know Jesus” page. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)


Read Verses:

Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7; Psalm 46