Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who taketh His name in vain.”
To “take God’s name” means to become His and to “bear His name”. So, this third of the ten commandments can be stated this way: “Thou shalt not bear my name in vain”, or “Thou shalt not be called by my name in vain.” It is a commandment that warns those who come to God that there is a responsibility that comes with forgiveness. It warns us that when we become a part of God’s family, God requires us to bear the family name in honor and holiness and to bring no reproach on Him by ungodly conduct.
This is no small matter. This commandment demonstrates, as no other quite does, why it is foolish for God’s people to claim that they are already saved. If “the LORD will not hold him guiltless” who brings a reproach upon Him by unrighteous living, then He will hold as guilty those who do so. And if He holds them guilty, they will not be saved in the end-not because they never took His name but because they took it upon their souls and then were unfaithful to His holiness.
According to the testimony of many, they are already “saved” because they believe in Jesus, and they say that they will be saved from the coming wrath of God regardless of how they live. This third of the ten commandments exposes the vanity of such notions. This commandment tells us plainly that if we bear God’s name, we had better do so in faithfulness to His will. Otherwise, we will be held guilty by the Lord. He said so!
We already know that those who never do “take God’s name” will be held guilty; after all, they are sinners who are not cleansed by the blood of Christ. This commandment does not speak to them. It speaks only to those who are about to enter into covenant with God and take His name upon them. Originally, it was spoken to the Israelites; now, it is spoken by the Spirit to every soul who hears the gospel. The holy Ghost warns every one: “Do not take this responsibility lightly! Obey your God, or you will be condemned.” Jesus told his disciples that unfaithful servants of God would in the Final Judgment be appointed their lot with the hypocrites and unbelievers (see Mt. 24:45-51 and Lk. 12:40-46). This is perfect justice. In fact, unfaithful children of God will be worthy of greater punishment than unbelievers who never knew God (Heb. 10:28-29). In fact Peter said that it would be better in the end never to have known Christ than, having come to know him, to be unfaithful to God’s commandments (2Pet. 2:20-21).
Have you taken God’s name? If not, then repent and believe the gospel. If so, then be faithful to it. The crown is not given to those who begin the race but to those who win it.