The Third Commandment tells us that we are not to use God’s name in the wrong way. God will not hold us guiltless if we do.
Lesson: Third Commandment
To teach the basic understanding of the Third Commandment
1. Children will know what the Third Commandment says.
2. Children will understand what is meant by using the Lord’s name in vain.
3. Children will understand why we should want to keep God’s commandments.
The Third Commandment (No. CB72)
Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (RSV)
Exodus 20:7 Do not misuse my name. I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. (CEV)
Open with prayer
Poster Board Activity (Optional). If using the poster board from the previous lesson add the third commandment to the poster board.
Lesson on the 3rd Commandment
Activity associated with the lesson
Close with prayer
1. Read through the paper The Third Commandment (No. CB72) unless it is read as a sermonette with the children present.
2. Children’s questions are in bold. This is a general review of the material covered in the lesson.
Q1. The Ten Commandments are grouped into Two Great Commandments. What are they?
A. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.
Q2. How many of the Ten Commandments fall under the First Great? Second Great?
A. The first four make up the First Great and the following six commandments make up the Second Great.
Q3. What does the third commandment say and what does that mean?
A. You should not take God’s name in vain. We should not use God’s name in a thoughtless, insincere way or without a specific purpose.
Q4. Does the Bible have more than one name for God?
A. Yes, there are many different words that are all translated as God. Eloah, El Shaddai, El Elyon, HaElohim are some examples.
Q5. Can we say the word God or use it in writing at all?
A. Yes, of course we can talk about God or write about God. The Bible is full of examples of prayers to and thoughts and conversations about God the Father.
Q6. What is an example of taking God’s name in vain?
A. Using the term “OMG”, “TGIF”, “Oh God!”, etc. Really anyway that we diminish the name or the authority of God would be taking God’s name in vain.
Q7. What about people that believe in the trinity? When they pray to God (but mean God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit), are they breaking the third commandment? Why?
A. Yes, they are breaking the third commandment. God’s name is reserved for God the Father only. We must know who we are praying to!
Q8. Are the commandments still in effect today or were they just for ancient Israel?
A. God’s Law is eternal and the commandments are in effect for all generations. That is why Jesus Christ kept all of God’s Laws and was an example for us to follow.
Q9. What do we do if we accidentally break the third commandment?
A. If we catch ourselves accidentally using God’s name in vain, we can simply repent and ask God for forgiveness. God knows we make mistakes but wants us to recognize our mistakes and try to do better next time. We must guard our minds and our words and try to set a good example for others.
The Name Game:
Supplies: Small squares of paper or index cards, markers, tape.
Preparation: Before the lesson cut out small squares of paper (enough for each letter of the names of God). Using one letter per square, and a different color for each name, write out the names of God. (Eloah, God, El Shaddai, El Elyon) Then write out a few sayings that would break the 3rd commandment (OMG, Jeez, TGIF). If you used these examples, you would have 35 small squares and you would use 7 different colors of marker.
Activity: Spread all 35 squares out on the floor in random order and in random places. Assign each child a color (or group them in teams for larger groups) and have them find their color letters. Once they have all of the letters in their assigned color they will need to unscramble the letters to make a word or saying. Once they are all completed, have the children say their word and determine if it would break the 3rd commandment. If it is a name of God, place it on a poster board or tape it to the wall so they can see it. If it is a saying that would break the 3rd commandment, have the children rip up the papers and put them in the trash!
Close with Prayer