The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Deuteronomy 5: 1-21 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
It doesn’t happen as much any more, but there was a time in my workplace when grown men would apologize for, and alter their language when they were around me, because I am a Christian and they didn’t want to offend me by their use of God’s Name as a curse word. If you have watched Ray Comfort do street evangelism, you have no doubt observed him walk through the ten commandments after baiting the person into admitting that they believed they were a good person. “Have you used the Name of God as a curse word?” he will ask. “Of course” is usually the response, with a smile. “You are a self admitted blasphemer” Mr. Comfort will inform them. And this is true. The use of the Name of God as a curse word is blasphemy. However, taking the Name of the Lord in vain, as forbidden by the third commandment, goes far beyond the verbal expressions which have come to be associated with third commandment violations. The Westminster Larger Catechism says this:
The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy (these uses of God’s Name are what we commonly think of when we consider the third commandment, but the standard goes far beyond this), perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God's decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God's truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.
Lord have mercy upon us. How might you be guilty before God this morning? In what areas of your life do you declare God’s Name as worthless, and useless? This is one of those sins in which it is easy for us to give the appearance of holiness, is it not? I don’t use God’s Name as a curse word, therefore the outside of the cup is clean. What about the inside of the cup? What about your heart? Jesus said these people worship Me with their mouths, but their hearts are far from me. Where have you compromised in your life, where only God can see? Have you carved out a place in your life where Jesus is not Lord, where it is acceptable to take His Name in vain? “Jesus is Lord”, except in the workplace as I seek to blend in, be a nice person, and wink at sin at every turn. “Jesus is Lord”, except online where I speak to people as if in a verbal knife fight, forgetting that the servant of the Lord must be gentle. “Jesus is Lord”, except when it comes to entertainment, because my imagination is just make believe, having forgot that we are to set our minds on things above, on honorable things, right things, pure things, lovely, excellent things. “Jesus is Lord”, when people are watching, but at home when it’s just me, the wife, and kids I_________________.
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. His Name is the Name above all names. He is the stone WHICH WAS rejected by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.  And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11-12). Let us kneel if able and confess our vain use of the Lord’s Name, knowing that He is faith and just to forgive us of our sins.
God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, Heavenly Father, we come before You this morning having frequently deceived ourselves into believing that merely avoiding the use of Your Name in a dishonoring way with our lips was enough to satisfy Your commands. However, we now see that any word, thought, or deed which brings reproach upon You, blasphemes Your Holy Name. Father, we see that anything which does not glorify You, makes You out to be vain, worthless, and pointless. Father, we profane Your Name by creating a world in our hearts and minds where You are not Lord, by living in the shadows and darkness, as if You are not Lord there. Please forgive us for our arrogance. Please forgive for trading the Glory of the incorruptible God, for the rubbish created within our hearts and minds. Please be merciful towards us sinners, O Lord, and restore to us the joy of your salvation. In the Name above all names, your Son Jesus, we offer these prayers to You. Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Titus 3:5-7 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 4/28/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church, written by Aaron Sabie.)
Sunday 10:30 AM