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The Name

Using God’s name in worthy ways
This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Good Life". See series.


Today we're on our third sermon in a series on the Ten Commandments. Imagine if everybody on the planet obeyed the Ten Commandments. In a matter of weeks we'd see that our world as a much better place. There would be no stealing, no murder. There would be no adultery; people would remain faithful in their marriages. Children would honor their father and mother. We would all be truth tellers—business owners, political leaders, church leaders—everyone. There would be no bearing false witness, and we would be totally content, not coveting our neighbor's wife or our neighbor's house, field, or donkey.

But what about the third commandment? Would keeping the third commandment make any significant difference in our world? Would anyone notice or care if we ignored this commandment? The third commandment appears to be the weakest of them all—an accessory commandment: "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" (Deuteronomy 5:11).

To you this may simply mean to never say "Oh my God," but in reality, this is a massive commandment. It is not easy, and it is not a small matter. In fact, it might be that obeying the third commandment would make the most significant impact on our world. It's a wonderful commandment.

Alan Cole said, "The whole of the Ten Commandments are really the explanation of God's name." And the whole of the Ten Commandments are really the explanation of the third commandment: God's name.

The power of a name

What's the big deal about a name? A name's just a name, right? In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet." In ...

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Justin Buzzard is founder and lead pastor of Garden City Church in Silicon Valley, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The power of a name

II. The misuse of God's name

III. The penalty of misusing God's name

IV. Jesus & the third commandment

V. How to keep the third commandment