Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#3): “You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain”


Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • God’s Name was so greatly respected by the Israelites that they wouldn’t write out His full Name; sometimes they wouldn’t even say “God” they would just say, “The Name.”
  • Proposition: What is so great about God’s name?
  • God’s Name Saves (Acts 4:12)
    • (Explanation) Everybody looks for a Savior, the problem is they look in the wrong place. This verse teaches us that no one can be delivered from sin and be restored into a right relationship with God – except through the Name of Jesus. Back when the Bible was written, a Name was more than an I.D. badge. A Name told the story to everyone about who you really were. Somebody’s Name was not just a bunch of letters to make a word, it reminds you of that person’s attributes.
    • (Illustration) Attributes of a person (son, brother, father, Christian, teacher, etc.)
    • (Application) When you hear the name “God,” yes there are the three letters “G-O-D” but you also are reminded that God is Personal; there are attributes about God that might pop into our minds: all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, righteous, loving, good, merciful, gracious, etc. One thing, of course, that we can’t forget is that He is our Savior. [repeat verse] In other words, God Himself, with the authority of His Name, saves you by His grace.
  • God’s Name Provides (John 14:13-14)
    • (Explanation) So, is this passage teaching that Jesus is like a genie? I always thought that if I had a genie to grant me 3 wishes, one of them would be to have an infinite number of wishes. Hmmm, so is Jesus offering us an unlimited amount of wishes? I don’t think so. Consider this: how do we normally end our prayers? “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” When we pray that way, we are attempting to agree with what the Third Commandment says. So, we’re not trying to get things out of Jesus like he’s a vending machine, but when we pray in Jesus’ Name, we are agreeing with God – we are saying, I trust in Your will, not mine. We can be totally honest with God (ex: God I want you to heal [this person] from her kidney problems, that’s my desire; nevertheless, I know your ways are best, so I pray that in whatever happens, You would be glorified).
    • (Illustration) Paper airplane vs. 747 jet
  • God’s Name is Holy (Matthew 6:9)
    • (Explanation) When we admit that God’s Name is Holy, we are also admitting that God Himself is Holy. Now, what is holiness? Basically, I think it means to be living consistent with God’s character. You often hear the phrase, “Holier than thou.” Well, the truth is, no matter how holy we are, God is still “Holier than thou.”
    • (Argumentation) Isaiah 6
  • Conclusion:
    • Where would we be if God did not reveal Himself to us? Right? Because God’s Name reveals a lot about who He is?
      • 1- We would be lost as sinners and without a Savior
      • 2- We wouldn’t know how to pray according to God’s will
      • 3- We wouldn’t realize how perfect and righteous God is
    • I hope that we leave here tonight with a greater respect for the Name of God and that we wouldn’t take His Name in vain – that wouldn’t treat Him as if He’s worthless but that He is priceless.



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