The third commandment

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John Bunyan

Puritan Board Freshman
“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 that commandment entails, specifically? Not saying God's name for purposeless reasons, not using He's name in profanity, not saying that you speak under the authority of God when you don't, not trying to rule over others by saying stuff like "I'm God's representative on earth, obey me!", all of the previous, or what?

Please discuss - with long paragraphs, if possible.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
Long paragraphs.... Hmmmm...

Well, there's the obvious, which is using it in a directly profane manner. Then I would add to that any sort of reference to God that is denotes any sort of irreverent designation ("The Man upstairs"). Perhaps it would be fair to use the third commandment in a manner that encompasses doing anything sinful in the name of Jesus Christ as well.

Beyond that, my mind is drawing a blank, but I'm also very tired and should probably have gone to bed half an hour ago. Hope that helps.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I read a sermon or devotional, I wish I could credit it - something tells me it was Spurgeon, but I am not sure.

Well, whoever it was, I have never forgotten the point he made, that to call yourself a Christian and then to sin is taking the Lord's name in vain. Because His name is upon us, and we confess it.

So basically every sin is a violation of the 3rd commandment.

I found that observation insightful and as far as I can determine he is correct.
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Here is how the WLC treats the third commandment:

Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, that the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God's decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God's truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The LORD thy God, and, For the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us; especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment, albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.


As an aside, I must say that the WLC's treament of the law is one of the finest expositions available.
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
“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 that commandment entails, specifically? Not saying God's name for purposeless reasons, not using He's name in profanity, not saying that you speak under the authority of God when you don't, not trying to rule over others by saying stuff like "I'm God's representative on earth, obey me!", all of the previous, or what?

Please discuss - with long paragraphs, if possible.

From the Westminster Larger Catechism

112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes,561 ordinances,562 the Word,563 sacraments,564 prayer,565 oaths,566 vows,567 lots,568 his works,569 and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought,570 meditation,571 word,572 and writing;573 by an holy profession,574 and answerable conversation,575 to the glory of God,576 and the good of ourselves,577 and others.578.

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required;579 and the abuse of it in an ignorant,580 vain,581 irreverent, profane,582 superstitious583 or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes,584 ordinances,585 or works,586 by blasphemy,587 perjury;588 all sinful cursings,589 oaths,590 vows,591 and lots;592 violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful593 and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful;594 murmuring and quarrelling at,595 curious prying into,596 and misapplying of God’s decrees597 and providences;598 misinterpreting,599 misapplying,600 or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it;601 to profane jests,602 curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines;603 abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms,604 or sinful lusts and practices;605 the maligning,606 scorning,607 reviling,608 or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways;609 making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends;610 being ashamed of it,611 or a shame to it, by unconformable,612 unwise,613 unfruitful,614 and offensive walking,615 or backsliding from it.616.

Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain,617 are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us;618 especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment;619 albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.620
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, that the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God's decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God's truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The LORD thy God, and, For the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us; especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment, albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
James Durham has plenty of long paragraphs. (Can be found online for free) Lots of commentaries on the shorter catechism (e.g., Thomas Boston, Fisher, John Brown of Haddington)--also can all be found online for free.



Oh, and also the Westminster Larger Catechism. :)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
How about the WLC 112-114? ;)


Or, you can try the Heidleberg:

Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?

Answer: That we, not only by cursing (a) or perjury, (b) but also by rash swearing, (c) must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; (d) and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; (e) so that he may be rightly confessed (f) and worshipped by us, (g) and be glorified in all our words and works. (h)

Question 100. Is then the profaning of God's name, by swearing and cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavour, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

Answer: It undoubtedly is, (a) for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded this sin to be punished with death. (b)

Question 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God?

Answer: Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm a fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbour: for such an oath is founded on God's word, (a) and therefore was justly used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament. (b)

Question 102. May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

Answer: No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows the heart, that he will bear witness to the truth, and punish me if I swear falsely; (a) which honour is due to no creature. (b)
 
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