Deep Creek Baptist Church
Sunday November 20
- There's Something About That Name
- INTRODUCTION:It was January 8, 1697, at 2 p.m.. Thomas Aikenhead was led to the gallows. The rope was put around his neck. The hangman kicked away the ladder. He hung in the air until his feet stopped moving. What was the crime that led to the death of this 20-year-old man?Breaking the third commandment.The case against Thomas was that for more than a year he had publicly,consistently and unrepentantly cursed God and Jesus.According to the Scottish parliament,the unrepentant cursing the name of God was a crime that could eventually be punishable by death,and in Thomas Aikenhead’s case, it was.He was the last person in Great Britian to be executed for BlasphemyI don’t share this piece of history to suggested we should return blasphemy laws from the 1600s or from the OTbut simply to show you how far we have drifted in our day from what once was sacred, the way we spoke of God.Just a side issue here is that 9 put these 10 commandments required death for breaking them.They only one that was not considered a capital crime was the 10, because it was not provable. But usually coveting leads to or the is the foundation of murder, lying, adultery and so forth.If you watch TV or listen to a conversation in a restaurantyou will see the name of Jesus frequently used as a cuss word.God is used as an explicative without reverence.At one time, not too long ago, the names of God and Jesus were spoken with reverence, as the third commandment says they should be.The first commandment is about worshipping the right God,the second commandment is about worshipping the right God the right way.This morning, we begin the third commandment.This moves from our worshiping of God to our speaking about God.God is very concerned with how we treat his name. Let’s read the commandment.Exodus 20:7 “7 “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.”Exodus 20:7 (NIV84)7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.Summary: God forbids His name to be used in an irreverent or improper way, either by our lips or our lives.In this commandment God is asking us to respect and honor his name by how we speak and how we act.Our approach today is simple.We’ll start with interpretation and then we’ll move to application.We’ll look at what this command means,and we’ll conclude with what it means to us.Let’s walk through Exodus 20:7 phrase-by-phrase so we learn how to revere His name:Exodus 20:7 “7 “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.”“You shall not take.” Like the first two commands, this one also begins with a very strong negative: “Absolutely do not do what follows…” The word “take” comes from the courtroom and means, “to lift, to carry, to take up, bear and to raise.”“the name.”In the surrounding cultures of Israel,knowing the name of a god gave one access and influence.Even more so, knowing the name of the one true covenant-keeping God gave His people the special privilege of having access to Him.In the Bible, a name was not only identificationbut an actual identity.It represented one’s entire reputation.A name stood for the nature of someone. God’s name represents the totality of who He is and what He does.Why does God Take His name so seriously...God’s name reflects his character and identity.Biblically, Any time we hear of “the name of the Lord” in a verse or passage, we can substitute “the character of the Lord” in its place.God’s name represents the sum total of his character.He is holy, loving, just, compassionate, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign, gracious, merciful, patient, infinite, and good.To pray “in the name of the Lord” is to pray according to his character.To call upon the name of the Lord is to ask God to act according to his character.To take shelter in the name of the Lord is to place our trust in who he is.To be baptized in the name of the Lord is to identify with his character as our salvation, our strength, and our new identity.“of the LORD your God.”Look back at verse 2 where we see God declaring who He is: “I am the Lord your God”and in verse 5: “…For I the Lord your God…”The first name in verse 7 is Yahweh and means “I am who I am.”The second name is Elohim, which means, “Mighty One” and refers to the one supreme and faithful God.There are at least 300 different self-revealed names of God.Some that come to mind areAdonai, Elohim,El Shaddai,Jehovah,Jehovah-Rapha,Jehovah-Shalom,and Jehovah-Jireh.“in vain.”The word “vain” means“empty, insincere, useless, wasted, with a worthless purpose.”It refers to being “empty of content or void of meaning.”We take God’s name in vain when we use it in a frivolous, casual, or careless way.It’s tantamount to saying, “Your name is worth nothing in my estimation.”More literally, it means, “You shall not lift up the name of the Lord your God for nothingness.”“Do not treat my holy name as common and ordinary. I must be treated as holy.”“For the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”The word “guiltless” means, “to be made clean” or “to lay bare.”God wants us to know how serious He is about His name.It’s like those warning signs that say, ‘Danger! High Voltage!’If you ignore the sign, you will soon be electrocuted.The Third Commandment is saying, ‘Danger!God is a live wire! Do not touch or trifle with Him.’”There are serious consequences.Taking the Lord’s name lightly could result in severe and swift divine retribution.For a New Testament example consider what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5.They were struck dead on the spot.The opposite of trivializing God’s name is to give Him the weightiness He deserves.God will not allow His name to be misused.Those who treat God’s name as empty will stand empty before Him.Before moving on, the word “takes”refers to a person who habitually takes God’s name in vain.This is comforting because we’ve all fallen into this sin at one time or another.But there is healing and forgiveness in the Name of Jesus, who never ever disrespected the name of God. I him and His blood we find help and forgiveness.Ways we misuse God’s NameIn Scripture, we see that the name of the Lord was misused in the following ways. Blasphemy, Perjury, Sorcery, False Prophecy, and Hypocrisy.Blasphemy/ProfanityIf you looked up the name Jesus in my Concise Oxford English Dictionary.Two definitions are given as follows.Notice the order in which they occur.Jesus: (vulg.) excl. expr. surprise, impatience, etc. name of founder of Christian religion d. c. A.D. 30The Concise Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the name Jesus is first a vulgarity.It is an exclamation expressing surprise or impatience.According to the Oxford English Dictionary, that is its most common use,though the name Jesus can also refer to the founder of Christianity who died around the year A.D. 30.It shouldn’t surprise us that those who do not know the Lordshould use His name as an expletive.But too often, the same pattern of speech is found among believers.If you have gotten into the pattern of saying “Oh my God,” or “good God,” or “Oh God” or even an abbreviated name God. “Go”,Every time you are surprised,ask for God’s help to overcome that habit,and ask a good friend to hold you accountable as you make the change.Swearing is a significant issue,but it hardly seems to qualify as one of the greatest struggles of our lives.But the third commandment is about much more than swearing.In fact, as we will soon see, it speaks directly to one of the world’s greatest struggles today.To show you an idea of how seriously God wants his name revered, look with me atLeviticus 24:10-16 “10 Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel. And the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought in the camp, 11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. 12 And they put him in custody, till the will of the Lord should be clear to them. 13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 14 “Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.”Using God’s name as a swear word carried a death sentence.Realizing this, it should cause us to reflect on the feelings God has when people use his name flippantly or disrespectfully today.It is not a casual thing that God ignores.It is a serious thing that God promises to punish.When we say, “God d—n you”we’re asking God to sentence someone to eternity in Hell.Why would we ever want to call down divine damnation on anyone?Isn’t it our job to share the good news of Jesus Christ so they won’t face damnation?Someone may say, “I don’t mean anything by my profanity when I use the name of God or Jesus.”That’s exactly what’s wrong with itbecause this kind of speech empties God’s name of meaning,which is the definition of taking it in vain.A pastor friend paraphrases the third commandment this way: “You shall not use the name of the Lord without meaning something by it.”Perjury/InconsistencyAnother common misuse of God’s name was in swearing false oaths.To persuade others that they were telling the truth—in court,for example, or in connection with a business deal—people often said something like,(Jer. 5:2 “2 Though they say, “As the Lord lives,” yet they swear falsely.”By lifting up God’s name they were trying to prove that what they were saying was true.In effect they were calling God as their witness.The problem came when people took an oath in God’s name and then proceeded to lie.This was perjury—a direct violation of the third commandment.It was using God’s name to confirm what was false rather than what was true.So God said, (Lev. 19:12 “12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.”This why Jesus and James talks about this:Matthew 5:33-37 “33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”James 5:12 “12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”If you want to know about this I covered this in one of the Q@ A Sessions In James . You can listen to that on our website.Ryken, P. G., & Hughes, R. K. (2005). Exodus: saved for God’s glory (p. 580). Crossway Books.Sorcery/ManipulationSorcery has to do with the occult.In the ancient world many people believed they could gain access to supernatural power by using divine names in magical incantations.They called upon their gods to heal their bodies,to tell the future, and to give them victory in battle.The Egyptians specialized in this kind of thing.But God refuses to be manipulated;so he commanded his people not to use his name for the casting of spells.Later he said, “Let no one be found among you … who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deut. 18:10–12a).How do Christians do this today: I would guess none of us has a spell book or a crystal ball, but we are just as guilty of ManipulationRepetition is a way of manipulating God.Matthew 6:7 “7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”Matthew 6:7 (NASB95)7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.We think that just by repeating the name of God over and over again we can force God to gove us what we want.We should never give up on prayer and we should be like the widow to the evil, and always repeatedly bring ourThe Bethel reading church saying God willKenneth Copeland using the name of God to be immune from Covid.Praying over a storm and saying we have defeated it.Making a declaration before God disrespects his nameThe word of Faith teaches the spoken word theology.Prayer declarations invoke God’s Power to change things in the world. Not based on the will and plan of God, but they are using it as a lever to harness God’s power.In proclamation, we are not asking God to do something. We are declaring, with the authority of God, that such-and-such a thing that we know to be the will of God will happen.”Their prayer is not a petition asking God to work according to his will but a proclimation what they want and declare it to godin December of 2019 2-year-old girl named Olive died in her sleep.and her parent was a leader at Bethel ask the followingWe’re asking for prayer. We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power. We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors. We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.Day 3 is a really good day for resurrection. We are overwhelmed with gratitude by your outpouring of love for us and faith for Olive. Jesus is Faithful and True and He’s riding in with the victory He bought for Olive. Olive Alayne means “victorious awakening”. We call on the mighty all-sufficient name of Jesus and we call you back by name, sweet girl. You will live. Thank you for your faith-filled declarations, keep them coming. Worship Jesus with us, He is moving, He is good, He is worthy and He is aliveOur prayers are to be humble petitions before God do do His will, not proclamations standing before God what he ought to do and demand it.This is one of the reasons we do not sing Bethel songs here, because it is a church a movement that blatantly teaches false prophesy in almost every are of their ministry.Fourthly..False Prophecy/MisappropriationGod’s name was also misused in connection with false prophecy.The prophets always said, “Thus saith the Lord.”However, when a false prophet tried to quote God this way, it was a lie and therefore an abuse of God’s holy name.As God said on one occasion, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name.… Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them”Jer. 14:14-15 “14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.”False prophecy was an attempt to use God’s special divine name to advance a prophet’s own agenda.People often try to boost their own credibility by claiming that God is on their side.His name has been used to endorse everything from the Crusades to the slave trade,from political parties to social causes,Even telling all your followers to sell everything because Jesus is coming back on this certain dateand the results are almost always disastrous.Source: https://www.mediamatters.org/salem-media-group/salems-eric-metaxas-claims-democrats-stole-midterms-and-republicans-need-wild (Eric Metaxas)This past, Tuesday night, a Christian author said that the God allowed the Republicans to lose the midterm elections to show the rot of our elections system.Now it is true that the polls were asking the wrong questions.What most people though was important really was not.We see that what really drove the voters was not crime or inflation, but abortion.It was a wake up call to many people, but I am leary ing to say that it God directly caused the Republicans to have a terrible election night.The problem is is that when we attribute something to God when we place words in his mouth or works in his hands, we are taking his name in vain.We falsely prophesy and that’s the problem,sometimes even while God ordains everything we cannot put every work in his hands, many times it is a natural consequence of our actions or sin. Romans 1 says that it is the strong desire that we want to sin, so we God allowed us to reap the whirlwind of our own actions.but Sometimes it maybe the hand of God as it was in the case of Jospeh...Genesis 45:5-7 “5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.”Genesis 50:19-20 “19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”just as Joseph told his brothers, in the last part of the Genesis,that what you meant for evil God meant for good.But we must be careful to attribute an action to the hand of God.The challenge here is deeply theological.We have no right to speak where God has not spoken.You see, it is not just the misuse of God’s name by a politician or a media pundant that troubles me.I am far more concerned with the misuse of God’s name by Christians, pastors, public figures, church members, where we would dare speak where God has not spoken.The Lord’s name is taken in vain when we say things like,“We know why God did that,” or“I can tell you why you have cancer,” or“I can explain to the nation why Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.”Or maybe this hits closer to home.“God told me,”“God showed me,” and“God led me” are commonly used expressions of evangelical misappropriationWell, God does show,God does tell, andGod does lead—by His revealed Word.Forms of disguised idolatry come among us when without any revealed, canonical, Scriptural word,we speak as if God has spoken to us and has given us a new revelation.[We must be careful not to attribute responsibility or blame to God, where he has not revealed it before hand.Hypocrisy/ Lip ServiceWhen a soldier of Alexander the Great deserted his post in battle, Alexander asked for the soldier’s name. The soldier stuttered in fear: “Alexander, my lord.” To which Alexander the Great said: “You have three choices. Fight, get out of the army, or change your name.We can also misuse the name of the Lord by speaking hallowed words while living hollow lives.Taking up the name Christian is an honor because it means “little Christ.”To claim to be a Christian means we are called by Christ’s name and are striving to follow Him.We are the keepers of God’s reputation in our neighborhood and among the nations.One of the most chilling verses in this regard is written to religious people in Romans 2:21-24:“The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” May that not ever be said of you or me.As a “Christian”, you carry the name of Christ.Whenever your behavior does not match your belief.you are guilty of breaking the 3rd Commandment because you have maligned the name of God that you carry.If it is true that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45),It is a heart issue...The sin of lip service is not rectified by gaining control of our words, it is rectified by the cleansing of our hearts.Repentance applies the grace of Christ to our tendency to use words to cover the true state of our hearts.And that grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Titus 2:12).We become a people who choose silence over hypocrisywhen tempted to give the appearance of godliness with our words.Sometimes the most effective means of preserving the name of the Lord from misuse is to refrain from speaking at all.At minimum, we strive consciously to keep our speech from outpacing our sanctification.We represent a holy God accurately when we preach only what we practice.Christ is key to winning the war with our words and ways.Exodus 20:7 “7 “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.”Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands (Held without Guilt)“The LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”I would have loved if that part could have been left off the third commandment, because I am guilty.Guilty as the day is long.I am the queen of inconsistency, the maven of misattribution, the virtuoso of lip service..I am by no means guiltless. I have misused the name. I have spoken bad words.But my guilt is removed by the blood of one who speaks a better word.When Christ Jesus proclaimed the good news of living water, the officers of the temple who were sent to arrest him marveled, saying, “No one ever spoke like this man!” John 7:46 “46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!””Nor was any deceit found in his mouth.No inconsistency of speech,no misattribution,no false prophesy,no lip service,The Word made flesh kept the third word and hallowed the name.He is doing it still.We look to him as our guilt-bearer and our example.We are his people, called by his name.We pray that it would be said of us as it was said of him, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
- His Name Is Wonderful
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