3rd Commandment: You Shall Not Take God’s Name in Vain 1920x1080 Article Image

3rd Commandment: You Shall Not Take God’s Name in Vain

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, The Name Above All Names.

Exodus 20:7

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, The Name Above All Names.

God wants your home to be vital, and victorious. That is why the Ten Commandments are primarily given to the home.

The bottom line is this: God loves us. Every time God says, “Thou shalt not,” He is saying, “Don’t hurt yourself.” And every time God says, “Thou shalt,” He is saying, “Help yourself to happiness.”

What Is the Third Commandment?

Exodus 20:7
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

He tells us not to take the Name in vain; that infers that we are to take the Name in victory.

The Personal Names of God

Personality in God’s Name

The God we serve is not some abstraction. When He calls Himself “the LORD your God,” LORD is the Hebrew word Jehovah, or Yahweh (also spelled YHWH), and “thy God” is the name Elohim. God is saying, “This is who I am.”

What Does Jehovah Mean?

The name Jehovah speaks of the everlasting, covenant-keeping God, who keeps His word and His personal relationship with His people.

What Does Elohim Mean?

Elohim means “the mighty One.” This name speaks of God’s strength and power.

Put the two names together, and God says, “I want to meet you. I am a covenant-keeping God, who has the power to perform His word.”

Power in God’s Name

Over and over, the Bible speaks of “the power of the name of our God.”

When David came against Goliath with sling and stones, Goliath was insulted.

1 Samuel 17:43,45
So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods….Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (emphasis added).

Jesus said, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Do your homework, go to work, and raise your children in His name. (See Colossians 3:17.)

Protection in God’s Name

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). Is Satan after you? Take refuge in the name of Jesus. You can see things from that tower that you could not see from any other place.

Provision in God’s Name

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (John 16:23b).

Anything on which you can put Jesus’ name, you can have. Not your simple desires, but anything He has ordered—and God the Father will give it to you.

Praise in God’s Name

Because there is personality, power, and provision in God’s name, there ought to be praise in His name.

“O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (See Psalm 8:1.)

What Does it Mean to “Take the LORD’s Name in Vain”?

The word “vain” in Exodus 20:7 is the Hebrew word shav, meaning “carelessly, meaninglessly.” No rhyme, no reason; non-productive.


When you use God’s name in profanity, it shows two things: an empty head and a wicked heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b).

Profanity is needless, and therefore, it is inexcusable. What does a person get when he takes God’s name in vain? Only judgment.

Don’t even use second-hand curse words—e.g. darn, dang, gosh, gee. Those are just euphemisms for damn, God, and Jesus. Many people would be surprised if they knew what they were saying when they say, “Gosh darn”! Be careful.


This is taking the name of God carelessly or lightly.

Ephesians 5:3-4
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

“Coarse jesting” involves little sayings and witticisms that include the name of God. God’s name is holy. Never use that name unless you are serious. Jokes about God are not funny.


Nothing turns children off more than hypocrisy in the home, when mom and dad do not live by the name they profess.

Isaiah 48:1
Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth or in righteousness. (Emphasis added.)

Jesus said about the judgment day, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22-23).

If you are going to live for God anywhere, live for God in your home.

How to Use the Lord’s Name in Victory

When your children learn to take God’s name in victory, they will certainly be afraid to take God’s name in vain.

Here are three things you must teach your children:

Wear the Name of the LORD

When we call ourselves Christians, we are wearing the name Christ. “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19b). When you wear the name, you have to walk the talk.

Every morning, tell your children, “Remember who you are and Whose you are.” That is, remember that you are a Christian. You were bought with a price, and you belong to God.

Share the Name of the LORD

“Those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them” (Malachi 3:16a).

This is the character that we should build into our children—the fear of God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7a).

One way to teach your children to think upon His name in this way is by teaching them the names of God.

Learning the Names of God

Jehovah-Tsidkenu — The LORD, our Righteousness

Jehovah-Shalom — The LORD, our Peace

Jehovah-Nissi — The LORD, our Banner

Jehovah-Shammah — The LORD Who is present

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10).

Bear the Name of the LORD

It won’t be easy. The name of Jesus is hated more than any other name on Earth.

Consider the apostles.

Acts 5:40-42
And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. (Emphasis added.)

Teach your children to march under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Do not be ashamed of the one who died for you!

List of Scriptures Referenced in this Article

Exodus 20:7; 1 Samuel 17:43,45; John 14:14, 16:23; Colossians 3:17; Proverbs 1:7, 18:10; Psalm 8:1, 9:10; Matthew 7:22-23, 12:34; Ephesians 5:3-4; Isaiah 48:1; 2 Timothy 2:19; Malachi 3:16; Acts 5:40-42

More Bible Verses About the Third Commandment and the LORD’s Name

Exodus 15:2-3
The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name.
Leviticus 19:12
You shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
Psalm 148:5,13
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created….Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.
Isaiah 47:4
As for our Redeemer, the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.