God invites us to take His Name upon us, to be reconciled to Him and united with Him for the purpose of His glory and their blessedness. We must not take His Name in any way other than what will fulfill these purposes, and we must not vow empty or unwise vows in His Name.
“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 the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.’”
1 Corinthians 15.1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15.58; 2 Corinthians 6.1; Galatians 4.8-11; James 1.26
We also take the Name of the Lord in vain when we take it for selfish reasons, as Simon the magician sought to do in Acts 8. Ananias and Sapphira also took the Lord’s Name in vain when they tried to gain notoriety as generous people in their offering to the Church in Acts 5.
We always need to be careful about our motives. In our “celebrity” culture it’s too easy to want to appear to be holy or generous or bold or spiritual in order to draw attention to ourselves. But God calls us to take His Name for the purpose of drawing attention to Him. When we try to use the Lord’s Name for our own advantage, we are taking His Name in vain.
This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.