Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Faith in God's Name and Its Proper Use

Date: AM
Text: Psalm 72; Lord's Day 36
Psalters: 298, 1, 26, 14
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2013-15)
  1. His Holy Name.
    1. “Name” has special means as seen in Psalm 75:1; 72:19; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:13.
      1. In the Bible “name” is a revelation; so God’s name reveals Himself; they are a part of His special revelation to us.
      2. He has proper names, descriptive titles, attributes, commandments, and works, and especially His Son.
    2. God’s names are His gifts to mankind which are to be treated with great care and not as common..
      1. We are to handle God's names with awe and praise befitting His level of holiness, greatness and majesty!
      2. Angels and men are called to give God the glory due unto His holy name (Psalm 29:2; 66:2; 96:8).
      3. To "take" is to carry, because God has put His name on and in the elect, so we carry it (II Chron. 7:14).
  2. This commandment forbids “vain,” i.e., any emptying of the name of the honor He deserves.
    1. “In vain” is all use of God’s name which makes Him common and obliterates the distinction between God and man.
    2. Profanity is to use God's name with total disregard to the honor and holiness due to Him. This includes cursing, false swearing (perjury), sorcery, rash interjections, connivance and silence, and all thoughtless use of His name.
  3. We must use God's name with great reverence, honoring Him.
    1. The reason: God is the highest good and to disregard His revelation or consider it common is the vilest contempt.
    2. He is worthy of our worship, both publicly and privately.
      1. The manner in which we speak of Him, of His work, or of His revelation must convey His majesty and glory.
      2. We worship Him by calling on His name for help (Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13; Acts 9:14).
    3. Our chief good and enjoyment consists in glorifying Him and our chief end is to know and praise God forever.
      1. We glorify Him by subjecting ourselves to Him.
      2. We glorify Him by declaring what we know about God and His will - propagate the truth about Him.
    4. We rightly use God's name when we thank Him (Col. 3:17; I Thess. 5:18).
  4. God adds incentive to this commandment.
    1. The penalty is nothing less than death (Leviticus 24:15).
    2. Let this lead us to godly sorrow, sincere confession, and earnest resolve to honor God’s name.
      1. Defend and confess (glorify) Him as He has revealed Himself.
      2. Pray for the grace to serve Him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear (Heb. 12:28).