"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7, NASB).
Besides using the Lord's name as profanity, how may this commandment be violated today? I have thought of a few ways that we use the Lord's name today and a few ways that it may be misused.
We talk about...
The gospel of CHRIST
The good news must be focused on what Jesus Christ has done in order for it to be the gospel of Christ. It would be vain to make it about what we have done.
Baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Our baptism should be focused on God. It would be vain if it were done without faith in Christ or turning to God for grace and forgiveness.
The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper should remind us of the Lord's sacrifice on the cross. It would be vain to eat and drink without thinking of the Lord.
Prayer in Jesus' name
We should pray as if Jesus were using our lips to pray himself. It would be vain to pray as though Jesus did not exist.
Being identified as CHRISTians and the Church of CHRIST
We should live as followers of Jesus Christ. It would be vain to be called by his name without reflecting his character, values, and ideals in our lifestyles.
The name of the Lord is extremely important. If we care about him, we will honor and protect it. "Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored as special and holy."