a.m.: Exodus 20:7 p.m.: Matthew 10:34

When most people think of the third commandment, they have a very narrow view concerning its application. It’s often only thought to concern bad language such as swearing and blasphemous vulgarity.

However, as Christians, it’s not just what we say which can be blasphemous. If we claim to be Christ’s and fail to do his command, we are effectively sullying his name through our conduct. Those around us will see our actions and speech and associate it with the name of our Lord and Saviour.

In addition, our attitude to God’s name encroaches on our reliance of oaths. How can we bring the God of the universe into our petty squabbles? Our reputation alone should be enough to back the trivial. Even when considering serious matters such as determining someone’s criminality, we should understand the gravity of swearing in the name of God.

Much like all of the other commandments, it is primarily a question of attitude. Our conduct ultimately results from our attitudes. If our hearts are polluted, then so will our speech and actions. There is no point in policing our actions if our hearts are unchanged.

Effectively then, when we break any of the other commandments, we break the third.

Many people consider Christianity to be a religion of peace, they consider Jesus to be the ultimate peacemaker. However, much like the Jews in Roman Palestine, we can get the wrong idea of what Jesus’ mission on earth was.

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Mt 10:34

Just as the Jews thought Jesus had come to kick the Romans out of Palestine and usher in a new age of Jewish sovereignty, many people today suppose that Jesus had come to bring an end to all wars, strife and evil in this world. If this were the case, the Prince of Peace would have failed.

Jesus did not come to bring temporal peace though. For our greatest need is not world peace, but peace with God. We are at enmity with our maker, and unless our rebellion is dealt with, we cannot have peace with God. For this is eternal life, to know God and Jesus Christ who he had sent. This is what Jesus means when he refers to peacemakers.

This is not to say that Christians have an easier life than non-Christians. If anything, the lives of Christians may be more difficult due to persecution and hardship. A realistic view of the Christian life is required. It is neither to be romantic nor dour. For we will have trouble, but Christ has overcome the world and so we can rejoice and be glad in him.

Until Jesus returns, there will be no peace, but when we returns, there will be total peace.

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