Top Ten #3 The Top Name
Posted by Brad Quiring on January 26, 2015
The Ten Commandments reflect the One who gave them to us.
Those who believe in God through faith in Jesus Christ are His representatives. God has given His representatives a great call and has set a high standard.
Everything we say and do will represent who God is before a world that rejects Him. We need to take care of this Name that represents life and salvation.
You’ve heard the phrase, “What’s in a name?” This comes out because names DO mean something. In ancient times and still in many cultures today, a name carries tremendous meaning.
This is the case with God, too.
Exodus 20:7 “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.”
What does this mean?
The “name” = the character and reputation
The Lord your God = the person, authority and relationship
Vain = “empty” and “useless”
How do we take God’s name in vain?
- Hypocrisy: making a profession of God’s name, but not living up to that profession. Saying we are Christians, but not obeying Christ in our everyday lifestyle.
- Promise-breaking; if we make promises to God and yet fail, we take his name in vain because God is honest and always keeps his promises.
- Impulsiveness, mentioning the name of God, or any of his attributes, without any justification with no purpose at all. God is a God of purpose and order. When God created everything, he did so with a purpose and put everything in order.
- False swearing, In other words – making a promise, calling on God’s powerful resources to keep your word, and then breaking, thus making God your partner in our lies and weaknesses. God is honest, powerful and perfect. We should not associate Him with our failures. God’s word is powerful. With his word he created the heavens and the earth. His word is not empty and therefore our words should not be empty.
- Carelessness. Making God’s Word, His Church or His creation into something useless, empty or a joke. This includes turning things into charms and spells. God created everything “GOOD”. This means it was complete and exactly the way it should be. We should not take things of God lightly because He is Good and made all things in the beginning to be Good.
- Incorrect Gospel. Any presentation of Jesus that detracts from his substitutionary death for our sins, his resurrection from the dead and that we must have faith in him to be forgiven and saved from God’s judgment.
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.
Our focus needs to be on Jesus in order to not take His great name in a purposeless, useless and empty way.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Peace of Christ
- Christ is the Prince of Peace who brings peace between God and us and between each other, as we try to be God and thus dishonour God and dishonour others who were made by God
Thankfulness to God
- When one is grateful to God for all He is and all He has done, they will not treat him in an ordinary way, rather give him the honour that He deserves
Teach one another
- What do we teach? The message of Jesus Christ (see verse 16a). When we know WHO Jesus really is, we will properly honour him in the way he should be honoured. We will then represent him in the way he should be represented.
Admonish one another
- “Admonish” means to ‘warn’ one another. What do we warn each other about? The dangers of using God’s name in vain, being empty, self-centred Christians misrepresent the power and perfection of God through the way we speak and live.
In the Name of Jesus
- Our only reason: Jesus.
- In His Name:
- We are his representatives
- We show the world his love, power and perfection
- We show the world his grace and forgiveness
- We show that we have a Lord and that we follow His way, not our own selfish way.
READ PSALM 101 each day this week to get an understanding of how a true follower of Jesus Christ thinks and acts.
You can find a link to the passage here