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God calls us to take His Name—but not in vain.

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.”

Deuteronomy 5:11

“‘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.’”

1 Corinthians 15:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Galatians 4:8-11; James 1:26

People often think of the Ten Commandments in negative terms: Don’t do this; don’t do that. Certainly that aspect is present in the Law of God, as a check against our naturally sinful inclinations.

But the Law of God is positive, teaching us how to love God and our neighbors (Matt. 22:34-30). Thus, we should learn to look at the Law from a more positive perspective. For example, how amazing is it that God invites us to “take” His Name upon ourselves? Who are we that we should be called the sons and daughters of God, that we should regard Him as our Father, and be destined to live forever with Him in a glorious eternity? Certainly we are not worthy of such a high privilege. Nevertheless, God invites us to take His Name, to embrace Him as our Father through the grace of His Son and the work of His Spirit, and to know, love, commune with, and serve Him.

He invites us to take His Name, but He commands us not to do so without understanding and submitting to His purposes for our lives. Unless we live as He intends, we can never know the full benefits of being His children. So let us take the Name of the Lord!

But let us not take it in vain.

Order a copy of The Law of God from our online store and begin daily reading in the commandments, statutes, testimonies, precepts, and rules of God, which are the cornerstone of divine revelation. Sign up at our website to receive our thrice-weekly devotional, Crosfigell, written by T. M. Moore.

In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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