Q. 53. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, "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."
[e] Malachi 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ver.7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. Ver.12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
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 [d]; and the abuse of it in an ignorant [e], vain [f], irreverent, profane [g], superstitious [h] or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes [i], ordinances [k], or works [l], by blasphemy [m], perjury [n]; all sinful cursings [o], oaths [p], vows [q], and lots [r]; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful [s] and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful [t]; murmuring and quarrelling at [v], curious prying into [w], and misapplying of God’s decrees [x] and providences [y]; misinterpreting [z], misapplying [a], or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it [b]; to profane jests [c], curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines [d]; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms [e], or sinful lusts and practices [f]; the maligning [g], scorning [h], reviling [i], or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways [k]; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends [l]; being ashamed of it [m], or a shame to it, by unconformable [n], unwise [o], unfruitful [p], and offensive walking [q], or backsliding from it [r].
the not using of God’s name as is required [d];
[d] Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
and the abuse of it in an ignorant [e],
[e] Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
[f] Prov. 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
irreverent, profane [g],
[g] Malachi 1:6-7 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ver.7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. Ver.12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
[h] 1 Samuel 4:3-5 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. Ver.4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. Ver.5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.
Jeremiah 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. Ver.9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; Ver.10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Ver.14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. Ver.31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
Colossians 2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, Ver.21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Ver.22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes [i],
[i] 2 Kings 18:30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Ver.35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?
Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Psalm 139:20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
[k] Psalm 50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Ver.17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
or works [l],
[l] Isaiah 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
by blasphemy [m],
[m] 2 Kings 19:22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
Leviticus 24:11 And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses:
[n] Zechariah 5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
Zechariah 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
all sinful cursings [o],
[o] 1 Samuel 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
2 Samuel 16:5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.
[p] Jeremiah 5:7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
Jeremiah 23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
[q] Deuteronomy 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Acts 23:12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Ver.14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
and lots [r];
[r] Esther 3:7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
Esther 9:24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
Psalm 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful [s]
[s] Psalm 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Ezekiel 17:16 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Ver.18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Ver.19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.
and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful [t];
[t] Mark 6:26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
1 Samuel 25:22 So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. Ver.32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: Ver.33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. Ver.34 For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
murmuring and quarrelling at [v],
[v] Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. Ver.19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Ver.20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
curious prying into [w],
[w] Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
and misapplying of God’s decrees [x]
[x] Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) Ver.7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Ver.2 God forbid.
and providences [y];
[y] Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
Psalm 39 throughout. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue, etc.
End of Lesson, Day 76
For Further Study:
- Francis R. Beattie's The Presbyterian Standards
- James Fisher's Catechism on the Catechism
- John Flavel's Exposition of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism (Questions 53 to 56 combined)
- Matthew Henry's A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly's
- Thomas Vincent's The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture
- Thomas Watson's Body of Divinity (Questions 53 to 56 combined)
- John Whitecross' The Shorter Catechism Illustrated
- God Lives! The Oath: Coram Deo -- Once considered an act of Religious Worship
- Atheists were Not Permitted to Take an Oath
- Jesus Did Not Forbid Taking an Oath -- He took one. So did the Apostle Paul. Many times.
- Hyperbole -- An answer to those who take Jesus "literally"
- So Help Us, God! -- "Ceremonial Deism." Infidelity. Unfaithful to God.
- The Oath of Office -- If Politicians don't take it seriously, can our nation survive?
- Why Christians Cannot Become American Citizens