“Is taking God’s name in vain really a sin?”

“What if someone doesn’t believe ‘taking God’s name in vain’ is a sin?”

The lost may argue that they don’t consider casually saying “God” to be blasphemy. In fact, the phrase “omigod” is so embedded in the vocabulary of youth today that it is shortened to “OMG” for ease in text messaging. It is just a meaningless word to them. In other words, they don’t esteem the name of God. The Hebrew word used for “vain” means nothingness, emptiness, vanity. According to John F. Walvoord, to misuse God’s name means literally, “to lift it up to or attach it to emptiness.” The Third Commandment forbids using God’s name flippantly or in profanity. So using the Lord’s name lightly or without thinking is the very essence of taking it “in vain.

Another argument you may encounter is that the Seventh Commandment refers only to adultery, not fornication (sex before marriage). But 1 Tim. 1:8–10 makes clear that the Law also pertains to fornicators and homosexuals. God’s design is for sex to occur only between a husband and wife, and any sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage are forbidden. In an effort to counter homosexual marriage, many have used the argument that it is wrong simply because a child is better raised with a mother and a father than with two parents of the same gender. However, homosexuality is morally wrong because it violates God’s Law.

Finally, there are some who claim the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness,” refers solely to giving false witness in a court of law, and therefore doesn’t include everyday lying. Another untruth. First Tim. 1:8–10 also says that the Law was made for “liars.” So, as much as the world would like to do away with the Law, or at least water it down, it is immutable. It is not going away, and it will be the unbending standard of judgment on the day when God judges the hearts of men and women (see Rom. 2:12).

1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

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