One of my co-workers quite often used Jesus' name in vain. I hate that the Christ who died for me was reduced to an act of exclamation. I take his death seriously because it should have been me! Each time my co-worker said "Jesus Christ" in vain I always said "I prefer my nickname, Larry." After three instances, my co-worker got the message and said that he wouldn't say that anymore and he never did, at least in my presence. (He never got angry about it either). (No, I'm not claiming to be Jesus and this was tongue-in-cheek to make a point).
"OMG" is in vogue. One can rationalize it anyway they want, but it means "Oh, my God". Again, my Creator and Messiah's name is used as an exclamation point. God has been minimized and he forbids that! You may rationalize and say "That means 'Oh, my gosh'". "Gosh" is a substitute for "God", but the thought is still there and that's the use of God's name in vain. Some even say "Oh, My Word" as a substitute and that's the one in vogue by the Christian community!
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God."
Who is "the Word"? That would be Jesus (as you can see from the following)!
John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
By saying "Oh, my Word" one is using God's name in vain and are being irreverent to the One who saved us by his death. "Oh, my anything" should just be null and void. Scripture tells us:
James 5:12 "But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment."
Using the Lord's name in vain is what's called "swearing". We don't need to do it! Yes, you will be judged for doing it, but not by me. It will be by God himself. I don't need that on my record. There's too much there already!
Now let's go back to off-color words. We don't need a definition because the couth knows what's appropriate and if you don't you may be uncouth! Most of us recognize the "s" word and the "f" word as off-color. However, words substituted for those have the same thought. "Crap" and "friggin" are said in the same state of mind as the real bad words they replace. Why do we need to blemish our vocabulary by such distasteful words?
Wanda and Carolyn were twins in my elementary school. Like most kids they quickly learned "bad words". Wanda said the "s" word one time and Carolyn quipped "Wanda, I wouldn't have that in my mouth!" Yes, even an eight-year old knew distaste in vocabulary!
You know what I think and I always hope that what I think is Bible-based. Let's see:
Colossians 3:8 "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth."
Uncouth people offer no restraint. They care not whether they're in public or private, the movie house or the church, or on the social media. Filthy language has become the norm. Since it's the norm many accept it as modern vocabulary. The wise realize that nothing changes for God. Sin is sin. In God's eyes shorthand for crude remarks are just as bad as the crude remarks themselves because the sin isn't in the lips, but in the thought. What you think is what you are!
Filthy language can include talk of sexual functions and acts, bodily excretions, references to nefarious places, and denigration of people and places; all used as casual nouns or adjectives in the common vernacular. As such those words are unnecessary in the context of the sentence and modify nothing. Words used outright as an end in themselves are for the shock value. Filthy language is to the listener as second-hand smoke is to the non-smoker. As smoke inflames the lungs of the child, as does filthy language the mind!
Again, those benign words people substitute for the base such as "crap", "friggin", etc. are as bad in God's eyes as the words they replace. Filthy talk is from a filthy mind and just because everybody is doing it doesn't impress God! I see no reason to insert such colorful words in my sentences and never have. It's not because I find them so objectionable, but I realize that God does. In fact I venture to say that most people inject filthy words in their sentences because of a poor vocabulary and an inability to adequately be interesting. Some people see nothing wrong with "damn", "hell" or real biblical words. Those are wrong in the sense that damnation and eternal punishment aren't to be taken lightly and our minds should not honor the principalities by diminishing their reality. (God much prefers that you speak of salvation and heaven over damnation and hell!)
Now for those who blaspheme. What in the world is that? "Blasphemy" is when one disrespects God in thought, manner, speech or action. As we know the 2nd Commandment specifically says that "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain..." That's clear! However, people who say "OMG", "Oh, my God", "Oh, my Word" etc. say "I meant nothing by it!" That's the exact definition of "in vain"; using God's name without reverence! God's name is so Holy it should be used only in praise and worship. We blaspheme his name when we use it lightly! Obedience to the other nine commandments are ways to show respect for God and when breaking any commandment, one blasphemes!
Matthew 12:31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost are those who are against God. We know that from looking at this verse in context of the previous. Who are those against God? Atheists, pagans, and irreverent Christians, those in name only (CINO's). CINO's, in the Herrin lexicon, are those who profess to be believers in Christ, but Jesus has no priority in their daily lives. By their works we know them, or actually for their lack of works. These are the people who only pray for their own needs, who don't have a loving heart, who fail to truly "buy-in" to God's Holy Word, those who never made a conscious decision for for Jesus, and those who are "Christian" because of their heritage. Jesus is the Way and only way to heaven and if a person tries it by any other way, they blaspheme God and are damned!
Many people will say "Jesus died for that sin 2000 years ago!" or "Jesus died for all our sins... yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's!" Both of those are truly correct. He died for ALL our sins! However, let's not forget repentance. True repentance is when we have a change of heart about our own conduct. It's when we hate what we once did! How can we have a change of heart yet continue on with our sinning? Did we really repent? Are we truly saved? Are you?
Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past..." Yes, all our sins up to now are forgiven because if we truly repented Jesus remits those sins. If we sin in the future, we repent as we go although each of those sins are already covered by Jesus' death. We don't go on sinning without further repentance!
When your sins are propitiated "forgiven by the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus", you must first repent. The blood atonement doesn't save you if you aren't sorry, but only of you're truly remorseful. How can one be sorrowful for what is done when it''s still a principal part of ones life? That's to blaspheme the sacrifice God made of himself! Don't take sin lightly!
When a Christian feels sorrow, repents and professes a committed belief in Christ (faith), that person is "born-again". The old man is buried and the new man takes his place:
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Baptism is symbolic of our becoming new. With the immersion of the flesh into water, the old man is passed away and with ascension from the water, we become a new man!
Romans 6:1 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Let's see here. We're to be "dead to sin" and "walk in the newness of life"! How can it be then that we still blaspheme and exhibit filthy talk if we're dead to sin and have a new life? What's "new" about living the same defeated "old" life we always lived? Romans 6:1 is extremely important for the Christian. If we proclaim Christ as Savior, then we are to live the life of the saved one!
Regardless, of whether you believe in "eternal security" or "conditional security" these verses apply either way. He wants us to be Christlike. We fail Christ regardless of our interpretation of doctrine if we're not living a sanctified life! By failing Christ, we blaspheme. We lack respect for his sacrifice! Both doctrines agree on the sin, but disagree on the penalty. Either way, you're assured of your salvation by whether you live for Christ or not (works)!
James 2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."
James emphasizes what is said on Romans 6:1. Yes, if we're a truly saved Christian, there will be a change in our manner. If a Christian remains the same person after salvation as before and there are no changes, that person needs to examine themselves! "Did I skip the repentance part? Am I truly sorry for being sinful? Do I really love Jesus enough to respect his will over my own?" Look inside right now. You may find evil still dwelling there. Evil can be defeated. It's called submission! Submission to Christ.
Honor God! Put all filthy talk from our lips. Put them from our thoughts! It stands in the way of meditation and prayer when our minds are on the filth of this world. Honor God. Don't use his Holy Name or any substitute which dishonors him. It's easy! You just pray for divine deliverance from such talk and the Holy Spirit helps you to have self-control. That's the promise. That should be your plan! Make a commitment to do just that!