July 6, 2014 Sermon Notes
Life Guards | Free Your Speech
1. Why is God’s name to be valued?
My name is growing all the time, and I’ve lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to…” – Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
“YHWH is like an ample container into with the great truths revealed by Moses and through the exodus have been packed: the Holy One, the God of the covenant, the Redeemer, Deliverer, Judge, the caring God of daily providence, the God of reconciliation who brings his people to himself.” – J.A. Motyer, The Message of Exodus
To use the name in vain is to “lift it up to emptiness.”
2. How is God’s name misused?
Then: cursing God
Now: using the name of God in profane, thoughtless, trivial, and demeaning ways
1) For our own gain
Then: Magic and false prophets
Now: Attaching God’s name to our own designs and desires
“We become so certain that God is on our side that we refuse to listen to other believers or to submit to spiritual authority in the church… Sometimes we use God to endorse our political views, so that he becomes a sort of party mascot. Sometimes we use him to prop up our position so that other people will have to do what we say. Sometimes we fix his stamp of approval to our ministry or to our plans for the church. But whenever we confuse what we want with what God wants, we take his name in vain.” – Philip G. Ryken, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory
2) For our own reputation.
Now: attaching God and religion to our names when our lives don’t match.
Jesus: Let your life be lived with such integrity that what you say can be believed without an oath.