Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 09:02:21 +0100 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 8 Q: 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." The commandment consists of two parts. 1. The commandment itself: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain". 2. The reason why: "For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." While this commandment forbids transgressions, it also commands good works. When you are so afraid to take God's Name in vain, and therefore never mention His Name, then you also transgress. God's children are not always silent, for there is also a time to speak about Him. Q: What is required in the third commandment? A: The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works. It requires the holy and reverent use of God's Names. "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name." (Ps.29:2) Using God's Names means, that we mention His Name. It is not forbidden to just mention His Name, but to do so rashly; that is the transgression. It requires the holy and reverent use of God's titles and attributes. "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." (Rev.15:3) His works are marvellous. He is the God Almighty. His ways are just and true. He is King of saints. Again, the reverence is needed, besides holiness. While speaking about God, one ought to have a great feeling of His Highness, and his own humility. For we are only people, but God is the high One. It requires the holy and reverent use of God's ordinances. "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil." (Eccl.5:1) Going up unto God's house is not a common thing, but it befits us that we behave ourselves reverent, and that we are holy. God's house, the place where is called upon His Name, and where His Word is preached, is holy. Why? Because God Himself is there. It also requires the holy and reverent use of God's Word. We will then not throw a Bible on the table, hastily open it, and speedily read our daily portion. No, we ought to keep in mind that the Bible is God's Word. It pleases God to use His Word, that we have in our hands. The lover of God will prepare himself for the reading of the Bible, in reverence. God will speak to His children, using His spoken or written Word. "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day." (Ps.119:97) It requires the reverent magnification of God's works. "O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." (Ps.104:24) When we are somewhere, then we will have an eye for God's great works, both in nature and grace; in the maintenance of the world, of the people, of the beasts. Seeing God's great works, we will magnify His Name. "Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold." (Job 36:24) The use of God's Names includes also the maintenance of His truth, the true doctrine of God's Word, the spreading thereof throughout the world, the defense thereof against heretics. It includes the labour to increase God's Church on the earth by evangelisation and mission, even to the unwillingly; even in the impassable or dangerous regions. Who does not sin in this respect? Many say that they believe in God, but they never labour to do His works. Many love the repose, and avoid the service of God. Others are very busy in the Name of God. However, they are so busy that they forget to be reverent and holy therein. Q: What is forbidden in the third commandment? A: The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning and abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known. God makes Himself known by the Bible, as His Word. Profaning and abusing thereof is forbidden in this commandment. When the ungodly use God's Word, the profane it, like is written: "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?" (Ps.50:16) The wicked and ungodly are forbidden to speak about God's statutes and covenant. God also makes Himself known in the nature, like is written: "O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." (Ps.104:24) The earth, being full of His riches, shows us how great God is, how wise and mighty. Therefore, abuse of the world, its riches and all its products, is also abuse of God's Name. For when the world becomes a chaos, who still see in the works of God that He is mighty and high? They will think that God created this chaos. We see that spoiling the world takes away God's glory as Creator. Many people, who think of themselves that they serve God, abuse the nature and the world. I speak not about the allowed use of the nature, but the abuse. Too much of this, and too much of that, instead of enough of this and that. "Throw it away, for what does it matter", they say. God gives the people all what they need, yet, they do not seek Him. They profane His gifts, using them in the service of the world. They pray to God for this or that, and when they have it, they abuse it. Taking care for us, God makes Himself known as good. But who is there who also confess Him as good in the public? God makes Himself known as the Truth, yet, who does not lie? God is righteous, but everybody transgresses His commandments; just as if He is unrighteous. Q: What is the reason annexed to the third commandment? A: The reason annexed to the third commandment is, That however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment. The 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." Maybe that the *people* hold you guiltless, but *God* will not do so. Maybe that we can hide our sins from the eyes of the people, but God's eyes see all. Also the profaning of His Name in our thoughts, that is open for Him. This third commandment, who is blameless herein? "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" (Prov.20:9) Therefore, let we flee to the grace, revealed in the LORD Jesus Christ, lest happens what is written: "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." (Mal.2:2) Who is pure from his sins? Again, only God's grace can save you. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - email@example.com No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of Catechism, 8 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-008.txt .