The third commandment in the Ten Commandments tells us that we must never take the Lord God’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.). The honor of God’s character, His name must never be taken lightly but held in utmost respect.
Blasphemy is verbal or written disrespect to God or His character, name, and acts. According to the law that God introduced through Moses, blasphemy was a very serious and deadly offense. We can find in Leviticus 24:10-16 where a man cursed God’s name and was executed by stoning to death. God said to the Israelites, “whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin and whosoever blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 24:15-16 KJV7).” Imagine how the Hebrews lived in reverent fear of God. Today, we take God’s name and good deeds for granted. People use His name with profane words. We don’t give Him the glory for all the good He has done. We often say or do things that dishonor God and think we can get away with our blasphemies.
When Jesus came, all the law was fulfilled, including the penalty for our sins. We no longer live in legalistic fear but in God’s mercy and grace. This is the effect of the New Covenant. Though we are now under grace, this does not mean that we can just carelessly say anything against God. The knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’s selfless sacrifice for our salvation should motivate us to show the highest respect that He deserves at all times.
We can also find some accounts of blasphemy in the New Testament. One of the specific examples can be found in Mark 3:22-30, where we see the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, also known as the “unpardonable sin.” Jesus was performing a miracle by casting out a demon from a man who had been mute. But the group of Pharisees ascribed the source of the miracles’ power to Beelzebul instead of acknowledging the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Such denial of the good that God has done and then attributing it to the devil is a grave disrespect to God.
But we must also know that blaspheming God is not limited to the examples given above but it can also be in how we misrepresent God before all men. As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors of Christ to the lost world (2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.). We carry the image of Christ, and our actions and words represent Who He is before everyone. When we do or say something that misrepresents Christ or dishonors His holy name, we are actually blaspheming Him.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10 KJV)
Knowing this, we must ask ourselves if there were instances when we have blasphemed Him. How many times have we marred the image of Christ? How many times have we been a stumbling block to others instead of leading them to Christ? How many times have we blasphemed God? But despite our constant irreverence to God, Jesus has always been willing to forgive our blasphemies. A repentant heart and life are what bring us back to the right way of living, with great respect for the Almighty.
The Apostle Paul used to blaspheme Christ and even forced others to blaspheme Christ (Acts 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.). For that he received God’s discipline, yet he also received forgiveness and a renewed life in Christ. That amazing experience of God’s grace and mercy, which caused the complete turnaround of Paul’s life, is very much available to everyone who seeks God. We must learn to humble ourselves and repent of our ways. Just like Paul, when we have tasted the Lord’s goodness, His unconditional love empowers us to give Him the respect that He deserves. To experience the extravagant love of Christ, consequently, allows one to live in ways that magnify His honor and glory.
“ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us…”
(2 Corinthians 5:17,20 KJV)