TITLE: Taking God's name in vain SCRIPTURE: Exodus 20:7 "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Psalms 139:20 "For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain." PROPOSITION: to use this text and others to show what it is to take Gods name in vain, to show why sinners commit such a heinous sin and why they are not guiltless, and also to show that when Christ died he became the payment for the sin of blaspheme as well as all sin and that any sinner can be forgiven if they will repent and place their trust in the Son of God. 1.) What does it mean to take Gods name in vain? A. It means that you use Gods name in a profain way, often sinners use the phrase Oh my G-O-D and by saying this they drag the name of God through the sewage of their mouth. Sometimes sinners ask God to damn someone or something and throw the name of God around as though it did not have infinite worth. Psalms 8:1 "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" 2.) Why do sinners take Gods name in vain? A. Because sinners live in a dark realm and God is light, they are not comfortable with any light penetrating this realm of darkness. this is their way of suppressing the truth in their unrighteousness and casting the light from them. 1 John 1:5 "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." B. Because sinners are at enmity with God, they rebel against his sovereign goodness and despise his dominion, often this animosity is expressed through blasphemy. Romans 8:7 "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." D. Because sinners are proud by nature and desire to exalt themselves above God. by using blasphemy they atempt to demote God and in-throne themselves. Satan attempted to exalt himself above God and by doing so showed himself to be the father of all blasphemers. Isaiah 14:13 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:" John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do..." E. Because sinners have a great desire to place themselves above God and his Christ they "sware by the greater" and not by an equal, by blaspheming the name of Christ they give testimony to the deity of the Lord Jesus. Hebrews 6:16 "For men verily swear by the greater..." ILLUSTRATION: Paul who was Saul before his conversion kept the law outwardly, but he compelled Christians to blaspheme, he would have never forced Christians to speak evil of the Father but he did twist their arm in an effort to get them to speak evil of Christ who is "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Acts 26:11 "And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities." This verse of scripture is a wonderful testimony to the deity of Christ. ILLUSTRATION: a couple of weeks ago I talked with a Muslim I asked him if he had ever taken Mohameds name in vain, he said no, then I asked him if he had ever taken Christs name in van, he said yes, then I attempted to explain to him that the reason he did not take the name of Mohamed in vain but did take the name of Christ in vain is because "men vairly sware by the greater". I asked him if the next time he blasphemed Christ if he would at least consider what the scripture says about Christ being "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"? he said no he wouldn't because he was not going to do that again. then I told him that he would, because "he that commiteth sin is the servant of sin" Acts 4:26 "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ." 3.) The scripture makes it very clear that when Gods name is taken in vain that the sinner who does this is not guiltless, Why is this? A. Ignorance would be a legitament excuse if it were true, but its not true, Gods law has been written on our heart and so we know its wrong to blaspheme and when sinners commit this sin they do it with knowledge that it is wrong. Romans 2:15 "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another" Exodus 20:7 "...the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." This is why under a theocracy the death penalty was properly used to punish this heinous crime. Leviticus 24:16 "And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death." B. Some have said "yes I have used Gods name in vain but I didn't mean anything by it" but this actually magnifies the aggravation of this sin because it shows the sinner to have such little regard for Gods majesty that taking his name in vain is so little and petty to them. 4.) How many are guilty of blaspheme? A. Some argue that they have never used Gods name in vain, however we can curse God in our heart, and if we offend in one point of the law we are guilty of all. in short all of fallen humanity are guilty of blaspheme. James 2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Job 1:5 "...Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." 5.) Is it possible for a blasphemer who has committed such a heinous crime against God to be forgiven? A. Absolutely yes, this is why the gospel is such good news for the blashphemer, because through the gospel God can by Christs sacrifice forgive the vilest of sins. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, he blasphemed the name of Jesus and compelled Christians to do the same. In this verse of scripture Paul explains that Christ came into the world for all sinners even the chief of sinners. it took all of Christs suffering to pay for the least of the sinners as well as the greatest of sinners. 1 Timothy 1:13 "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." 1 Timothy 1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." CONCLUSION: Taking the name of the thrice Holy God in vain is a henious sin, it exposes the animosity that is in a sinners heart and shows sinners to be the enemies of God, but through Christs payment for sin at Calvary anyone can be saved and find forgiveness for all sin! Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."