28 March 2004
Malachi 2:2, Isaiah 5:12, Psalm 139:20, James 1:13 & Matthew 26:74
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God maketh himself known.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.55. What does the third commandment forbid?
A. The third commandment forbids our treating as unholy or abusing anything God uses to make Himself known.
1. In what ways does God make Himself known?
As we learned in the prior commandment, He makes Himself known by His names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word and works.
2. How are these ways profaned or abused by man?
They are abused “by blasphemy, perjury, sinful cursings, oaths, vows and lots” (Larger Catechism, Question 113).
3. How can man profane God’s names, titles and attributes?
Man can profane these when he thinks hatred toward God; when he speaks irreverently toward God; when he swears by the name of God in a wicked way; when he blasphemes the name of God; when he curses himself or others in the name of God; when he uses the name of the Lord in superstitious ways.
4. How can man profane His ordinances?
Man can profane the ordinances of God by being irreverent or irregular in His attendance upon them; by attending to them not in the spirit but being in the flesh by allowing his mind to wander; by having a false and insincere profession of their faith in Christ and still partaking of them.
5. How can man profane His word?
Man can profane the Word of God by denying parts of the Word or by perverting it; by teaching false doctrine as it pertains to the Word; by misapplying the Word of God.
6. How can man profane His works?
Man can profane His works by using his body in the wrong way; by being forgetful of God’s mercy and wonderful works to the children of men; by murmuring against the Lord in the midst of adversity.