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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.1

  1. Leviticus 19:12

    You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

    Matthew 5:33-37

    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

    James 5:12

    But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?

𝒜. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's name as is required;1 and the abuse of it in an ignorant,2 vain,3 irreverent, profane,4 superstitious,5 or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes,6 ordinances,7 or works,8 by blasphemy,9 perjury;10 all sinful cursings,11 oaths,12 vows,13 and lots;14 violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful,15 and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful;16 murmuring and quarreling at,17 curious prying into,18 and misapplying of God's decrees19 and providences;20 misinterpreting,21 misapplying,22 or anyway perverting the Word, or any part of it,23 to profane jests,24 curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines;25 abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms,26 or sinful lusts and practices;27 the maligning,28 scorning,29 reviling,30 or anywise opposing of God's truth, grace, and ways;31 making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends;32 being ashamed of it,33 or a shame to it, by unconformable,34 unwise,35 unfruitful,36 and offensive walking,37 or backsliding from it.38

  1. Malachi 2:2

    If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. (ESV)

  2. Acts 17:23

    For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. (ESV)

  3. Proverbs 30:9

    lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God. (ESV)

  4. Malachi 1:6-7

    “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord's table may be despised.

    Malachi 1:12

    But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised.

    Malachi 3:14

    You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? (ESV)

  5. 1 Samuel 4:3-5

    And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

    As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.

    Jeremiah 7:4

    Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

    Jeremiah 7:9-10

    Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?

    Jeremiah 7:14

    therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.

    Jeremiah 7:31

    And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

    Colossians 2:20-22

    If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? (ESV)

  6. 2 Kings 18:30

    Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

    2 Kings 18:35

    Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

    Exodus 5:2

    But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

    Psalm 139:20

    They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain! (ESV)

  7. Psalm 50:16-17

    But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
    For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you. (ESV)

  8. Isaiah 5:12

    They have lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
    but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
    or see the work of his hands. (ESV)

  9. 2 Kings 19:22

    “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
    and lifted your eyes to the heights?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!

    Leviticus 24:11

    and the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. (ESV)

  10. Zechariah 5:4

    I will send it out, declares the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. And it shall remain in his house and consume it, both timber and stones.”

    Zechariah 8:17

    do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.” (ESV)

  11. 1 Samuel 17:43

    And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

    2 Samuel 16:5

    When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. (ESV)

  12. Jeremiah 5:7

    “How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
    When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.

    Jeremiah 23:10

    For the land is full of adulterers;
    because of the curse the land mourns,
    and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
    Their course is evil,
    and their might is not right. (ESV)

  13. Deuteronomy 23:18

    You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.

    Acts 23:12

    When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

    Acts 23:14

    They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. (ESV)

  14. Esther 3:7

    In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

    Esther 9:24

    For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them.

    Psalm 22:18

    they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots. (ESV)

  15. Psalm 24:4

    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.

    Ezekiel 17:16

    “As I live, declares the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die.

    Ezekiel 17:18-19

    He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. (ESV)

  16. Mark 6:26

    And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.

    1 Samuel 25:22

    God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

    1 Samuel 25:32-34

    And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” (ESV)

  17. Romans 9:14

    What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!

    Romans 9:19-20

    You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (ESV)

  18. Deuteronomy 29:29

    “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (ESV)

  19. Romans 3:5

    But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)

    Romans 3:7

    But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?

    Romans 6:1-2

    6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (ESV)

  20. Ecclesiastes 8:11

    Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

    Ecclesiastes 9:3

    This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

    Psalm 39

    39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways,
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
    I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
    so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
    I was mute and silent;
    I held my peace to no avail,
    and my distress grew worse.
    My heart became hot within me.
    As I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

    “O Lord, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!
    Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
    Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
    Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

    “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in you.
    Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
    I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.
    Remove your stroke from me;
    I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
    When you discipline a man
    with rebukes for sin,
    you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
    surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

    “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    hold not your peace at my tears!
    For I am a sojourner with you,
    a guest, like all my fathers.
    Look away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more!” (ESV)

  21. Matthew 5:21-22

    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

    Matthew 5:27-28

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Matthew 5:31-35

    “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

    Matthew 5:38-39

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    Matthew 5:43-44

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (ESV)

  22. Ezekiel 13:22

    Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, (ESV)

  23. 2 Peter 3:16

    as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

    Matthew 22:24-31

    saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

    But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: (ESV)

  24. Isaiah 22:13

    and behold, joy and gladness,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating flesh and drinking wine.
    “Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”

    Jeremiah 23:34

    And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will punish that man and his household.

    Jeremiah 23:36

    But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.

    Jeremiah 23:38

    But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” (ESV)

  25. 1 Timothy 1:4

    nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

    1 Timothy 1:6-7

    Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

    1 Timothy 6:4-5

    he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

    1 Timothy 6:20

    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”

    2 Timothy 2:14

    Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

    Titus 3:9

    But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. (ESV)

  26. Deuteronomy 18:10-14

    There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

    Acts 19:13

    Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” (ESV)

  27. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    1 Kings 21:9-10

    And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”

    Jude 1:4

    For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Romans 13:13-14

    Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (ESV)

  28. Acts 13:45

    But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.

    1 John 3:12

    We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. (ESV)

  29. Psalm 1:1

    1:1 Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
    nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

    2 Peter 3:3

    knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (ESV)

  30. 1 Peter 4:4

    With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (ESV)

  31. Acts 13:45-46

    But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.

    Acts 13:50

    But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.

    Acts 4:18

    So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

    1 Thessalonians 2:16

    by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last!

    Hebrews 10:29

    How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

    Acts 19:9

    But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. (ESV)

  32. 2 Timothy 3:5

    having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    Matthew 23:13-15

    “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

    Matthew 6:1-2

    6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

    Matthew 6:5

    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

    Matthew 6:16

    “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (ESV)

  33. Mark 8:38

    For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (ESV)

  34. Psalm 73:14-15

    For all the day long I have been stricken
    and rebuked every morning.
    If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
    I would have betrayed the generation of your children. (ESV)

  35. Ephesians 5:15-17

    Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

    1 Corinthians 6:5-6

    I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? (ESV)

  36. Isaiah 5:4

    What more was there to do for my vineyard,
    that I have not done in it?
    When I looked for it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

    2 Peter 1:8-9

    For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (ESV)

  37. Romans 2:23-24

    You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (ESV)

  38. Galatians 3:1

    3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

    Galatians 3:3

    Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

    Hebrews 6:6

    and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.