This is a simple and brief study of the third commandment.
All Biblical quotations are from the ESV (English Standard Version), unless otherwise noted.
The third command is found in Exodus 20:7 and in Deuteronomy 5:11. The command says: "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) A prohibition, and
2) A statement of the consequences for violating this prohibition.
1) What does it mean to take God's name in vain, and,
2) What might be the consequences for doing so?
What Does It Mean To Take God's name in vain?
It means that, and more. Here is what John Gill, the famous Baptist and Calvinist Bible scholar of many years ago wrote in his commentary on this command: "The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan restrain this to swearing by the name of the Lord; and so the Jewish writers generally interpret it either of swearing lightly, rashly, or falsely; and to this it may very well be extended, though not limited; and so forbids all profane oaths; imprecations and curses by the name of God, which the mouth of wicked men are full of, so swearing by it in matters trivial, and of no importance; for swearing even by the name of the Lord ought not to be used but in matters of moment and consequence, for the confirmation of a thing, and putting an end to strife, and where a matter cannot be determined and decided without an appeal to God. And great care should be taken that a man swears to that which is true, and not false; for false swearing, or perjury, is a very grievous sin, and as it is strictly forbidden, it is severely punished by the Lord, as follows," by which Gill means the punishment is stated in the command itself. His statements about this punishment will be found close to the end of this article.
We should be men and women of our word.
Integrity and honesty are promoted in the whole Bible.
He said the Lord "will not look upon him as an innocent person, and treat him as such; will not acquit and discharge him as just and righteous; but on the contrary will consider him as a guilty person, a profaner of his name, and a transgressor of his law, and will condemn him and punish him, if not in this world, yet in the world to come." Gill's words deserve serious thought.
The guilty person can be forgiven.