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."
Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning and abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known.
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].
[z] Matthew 5:21 to the end (See Quest. 99, letter o.)
[a] Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it [b];
[b] 2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Matthew 22:24-31 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Ver.25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, — Ver.28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Ver.29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Ver.30 For in the resurrection etc.
to profane jests [c],
[c] Isaiah 22:13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die.
Jeremiah 23:34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. Ver.36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. Ver.38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines [d];
[d] 1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Ver.6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Ver.7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
1 Timothy 6:4-5 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Ver.5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. Ver.20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
2 Timothy 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms [e],
[e] Deuteronomy 18:10-14 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Ver.11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. Ver.12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: etc.
Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
or sinful lusts and practices [f];
[f] 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; Ver.4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Romans 13:13-14 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. Ver.14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
1 Kings 21:9-10 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: Ver.10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
the maligning [g],
[g] Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
[h] Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
[i] 1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways [k];
[k] Acts 13:45-46 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Ver.46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. Ver.50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
Acts 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
1 Thessalonians 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends [l];
[l] 2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Matthew 6:1-2 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Ver.2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Ver.5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Ver.16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
being ashamed of it [m],
[m] Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
or a shame to it, by unconformable [n],
[n] Psalm 73:14-15 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. Ver.15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
[o] 1 Corinthians 6:5-6 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? Ver.6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Ver.16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ver.17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
[p] Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
2 Peter 1:8-9 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ver.9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
and offensive walking [q],
[q] Romans 2:23-24 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? Ver.24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
or backsliding from it [r].
[r] Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Ver.3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
End of Lesson, Day 77
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