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The Heidelberg Catechism (36) (Explained for Children)

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The Heidelberg Catechism (36) (Explained for Children)

5 minuten leestijd

This Lord’s Day speaks about the third commandment, which begins with the words, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

Question 99: What is required in the third commandment?

Answer: That we, not only by cursing or perjury, but also by rash swearing, must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence, so that He may be rightly confessed and worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.

The Lord does not want us to profane His holy Name. When is His Name profaned? It is done by cursing. Much cursing takes place, both by adults and by children. Is cursing done only by those who never attend church? No, for it is also done by grownups and children who attend church every Sunday. How terrible this is!

What actually is cursing? People can sometimes deal with others in a mean way, by belittling them, calling them names, and ridiculing them. But cursing is much worse, for it is doing these things against God. People do this against the Lord, who does so much good unto them. He is the Lord, the holy God, who seeks the salvation of people.

When a person curses, he actually says that God could condemn him and punish him in hell. He says this very boldly, indicating that he is not afraid of this punishment. How terrible this is! What if God were immediately to do what has been said?

May you then not use the name of God at all? You certainly may, but only very reverently. We must always consider that God is so holy and we so sinful.

God’s name is often used irreverently, without giving it any thought. Perhaps you have heard someone use the name “Jesus” without thinking about it and without any reverence, often even laughing about it. That is very wrong, for then the name of Jesus is misused. That is also referred to as taking the name of God in vain. This is also forbidden by God in the third commandment, for it is to the dishonor of God. The Lord must be rightly honored and praised, not only by our words but also by all that we do.

Do you know what is also so terrible? It is that we live without the Lord, living as if the Lord did not exist, as if we can do everything ourselves, without Him. That is also sinning against the third commandment.

There is something more said in this answer. At times we hear others taking God’s name in vain on the street, or even at school when playing. Then we often say nothing, not daring to say anything. This is not good. We should tell those who take God’s name in vain that this is not permissible, and that it is very wicked in the eyes of the Lord.

It is true that a person may become very angry when you say this to him, and at times he may even curse more, but then you must walk away. Yes, it is often very difficult to say something to such a person, but the Lord can help you to do so. Then it can happen that the person listens to you and refrains from cursing.

We must always remember that we are not better than those who swear, for also in our hearts there are often wrong and evil thoughts about God. That which others say also is present in our hearts, even though we do not say the words. The Lord, however, still wants us to admonish those who swear. If you do not do so, you are also guilty of the terrible sin against the third commandment. Read what is said further.

Question 100: Is then the profaning of God’s Name by swearing and cursing so heinous a sin that His wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

Answer: It undoubtedly is, for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God than the profaning of His Name; and therefore He has commanded this sin to be punished with death.

Swearing is terrible, for it is a great sin against the holy God. The wrath of the Lord is kindled by it. But the question is asked whether the anger of the Lord is also kindled against those who are silent about it. The answer to this is: Yes, there is no greater sin than the profaning of the name of God, and therefore the Lord will severely punish because of this sin.

At one time there was a man among the people of Israel who had a disagreement with another man. In his anger he cursed. What was to happen to him for cursing? Moses asked the Lord about it, and the Lord said that the man must be put to death. He was therefore stoned. That shows how terrible cursing is.

We must constantly ask, “Lord, grant that I may always use Thy great and holy Name with reverence. If I hear others cursing, I must admonish them, even though they may mock me. Wilt Thou help me to do so?”

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 oktober 2006

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The Heidelberg Catechism (36) (Explained for Children)

Bekijk de hele uitgave van zondag 1 oktober 2006

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken