Exodus 20:7 – THE BIG TEN #4 – CAREFUL TALK

Exodus 20:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Please react to these quotes in relation to the Third Commandment:

Exodus 3:14 – And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Jeremiah 10:6-7 (ESV) – There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Philippians 2:9 – Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

  • Why is God’s name important to Him?
  • Why should the use of God’s name be important to us? 

The third commandment talks to us about the proper use of God’s name.  We are not to take His name in vain.  Consider the following about the Third Commandment:


  • Leviticus 19:12 – And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
  • When a person swears to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God,” and does not he is guilty of perjury.  Even worse, he is guilty of breaking the Third Commandment. Why?
  • Matthew 5:33-37 – Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
  • “People who were afraid to swear by the name of the Lord because they were not telling the full truth began to swear by things, and because mere things were not thought to be as significant as the name of God this second class of oaths was not considered to be binding.” James Montgomery Boice, The Sermon on the Mount ( Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972), p. 152 
  • Ephesians 4:25 – Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
  • Lying to our neighbors is bad enough. Why is doing it in God’s name even worse? 


  • Why do people include the names of God and Jesus in profanity?
  • Why do Christians sometimes get caught up in profanity?
  • How should a Christian handle his own profanity?
  • What is the best way to handle a profane person?
  • Why are minced oaths unacceptable? (Examples: “gosh, “Ye gads”, “golly” “gosh darn”)


  • What’s wrong with jokes about God, Jesus and Heaven?
  • How should we handle such jokes when people tell them to us?
  • What’s wrong with referring to God as “The man upstairs” and other slang expressions?
  • Are there other ways people flippantly handle God’s name? 


Matthew 15:8-9 – This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 7:21-23 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  • How can a person break the Third Commandment when he claims to speak for God?
  • Why is it so important for “our walk to match our talk?”
  • Why must preachers and Bible teachers be careful? James 3:1


Matthew 6:9 – After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Psalms 8:9 – O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

  • What do these verses tell you about keeping the Third Commandment?
  • Why is the filling of the Holy Spirit a key component to keeping the Ten Commandments? Ephesians 5:18, Romans 8:3-4 

Note: The concepts for the first four points come from J.I. Packer, The Ten Commandments, (Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977), pp. 40-41. The labeling of the points is from me, although I have seen some of them labeled this way elsewhere.