The Ten Commandments: The Third

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The Ten Commandments

“You Shall Not Misuse the Name of the Lord”

(The third commandment)



God’s name is special and should be treated respectfully.

Unfortunately, many use His name as a “curse” and not with the awe and reverence He deserves.

He is telling us that the way we use His name tells Him how we feel about Him. 

Using His name in jest or as a curse instead of in praise and worship is abuse.


Paul warns us in Romans 2:24 that “we” could cause others to “blaspheme” by our lack of respect.

If we claim to be one of God’s people, our lives should reflect what God is like. When we dishonor His name, people are watching.


James, Jesus’ brother, teaches about ‘taming the tongue” in James chapter 3. Telling us that what we say, how we say it and who we say it to can have its source in hell itself. (v6)  The Holy Spirit can step in and give us self-control so that we can speak words that please God.


Jesus on the 3rd Commandment:


  • “But I tell you, do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.” Matt 5:34-35
  • “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by your name…” Matt 6:9


Jesus called us to set an example so people would glorify God’s name. Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus warns us to not only keep His Father’s Commandments but if we (through our actions and words) show others how to disrespect God, there will be punishment in Heaven.


  • “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teachers others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven…: Matt 5:19

Roxanne Harlien