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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 36


99   Q.    What is God's will for us in the third commandment?


       A.    That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God

     by cursing,1 perjury,2 or unnecessary oaths,3

nor share in such horrible sins

     by being silent bystanders.4


In a word, it requires

     that we use the holy name of God

          only with reverence and awe,5

     so that we may properly

confess him,6

pray to him,7

and praise him in everything we do and say.8


1 Lev. 24:10-17

2 Lev. 19:12

3 Matt. 5:37; James 5:12

4 Lev. 5:1; Prov. 29:24

5 Ps. 99:1-5; Jer. 4:2

6 Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10

7 Ps. 50:14-15; 1 Tim. 2:8

8 Col. 3:17


100 Q.    Is blasphemy of God's name by swearing and cursing really such serious sin that God is angry also with those who do not do all they can to help prevent it and to forbid it?


       A.    Yes, indeed.1

No sin is greater,

no sin makes God more angry

than blaspheming his name.

That is why he commanded the death penalty for it.2


1 Lev. 5:1

2 Lev. 24:10-17



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