Is saying “God damn” the unforgivable sin or a violation of the third commandment?


By BibleAsk Team

The question of whether saying “God damn” constitutes the unforgivable sin or violates the third commandment is a complex theological and ethical issue that has been debated within religious communities for centuries. To address this question thoroughly, we will explore the biblical context of the third commandment, examine relevant passages from the Bible (NKJV) discuss interpretations of swearing and blasphemy, and consider the broader principles of Christian ethics and forgiveness.

Understanding the Third Commandment

Exodus 20:7

The third commandment, as recorded in Exodus 20:7, states: “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.” This commandment prohibits the misuse or irreverent use of God’s name, emphasizing the sacredness and reverence due to God.

Those who serve none but the true God, and serve Him in spirit and in truth, will avoid any careless, rude, or needless use of His holy name. They will not speak profanity, curses, or any insensitive language for that matter for it not only disturbs the spirit of religion but indicates a lack of holiness.

The careless use of God’s name denotes a lack of love to Him. In Philippians 4:8, Paul admonishes the believers for godliness in thought and word saying, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Interpretations of Taking God’s Name in Vain

Profanity and Swearing

Saying “God damn” or using other curse words and profanity would be considered a violation of the third commandment due to its disrespectful and irreverent use of God’s name.

Blasphemy and Irreverence

Also, taking God’s name in vain encompasses any form of irreverence, blasphemy, or disrespect toward God or sacred things. Therefore swearing or using vulgar language that invokes God’s name, even indirectly, could be seen as a violation of the third commandment.

Biblical Perspectives on Swearing and Blasphemy

Matthew 5:33-37

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses the issue of swearing and oath-taking in Matthew 5:33-37. He instructs his followers not to swear by heaven, earth, or Jerusalem, but to let their “Yes” be “Yes” and their “No” be “No,” for anything more than this comes from evil. This passage emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity in speech, cautioning against the need for oaths to validate one’s words.

Matthew 12:31-32

In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus speaks about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, stating, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” This passage means that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit involves a persistent and repeated rejection of God’s grace and truth that ultimately leads to the unforgivable sin.

Christian Ethics and Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:29

In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul exhorts believers to “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” This verse emphasizes the importance of wholesome speech that builds up and encourages others, rather than words that tear down or offend.

Forgiveness and Grace

Central to Christian ethics is the principle of forgiveness and grace. While swearing or using irreverent language may be considered sinful, the Christian faith teaches that forgiveness is available through repentance and the grace of God. Saying a cuss word like “God damn” is not the unforgivable sin because the speaker can simply repent and ask for God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

The Lord promised, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God wants moral perfection of His children (Matthew 5:48) and He has made every provision that every sin may be successfully resisted and overcome by His power (Romans. 8:1–4).


In conclusion, the question of whether saying “God damn” constitutes the unforgivable sin or violates the third commandment involves scriptural understanding, ethical considerations, and theological reflections. While the third commandment prohibits the irreverent use of God’s name, saying a cuss word like “God damn” is not the unforgivable sin because the speaker can simply repent and ask for God’s forgiveness and cleansing. However, the unforgivable sin is the persistent repeated rejection of God’s voice and truth.

Ultimately, the Christian faith emphasizes the importance of wholesome speech, honesty, and integrity, while also affirming the availability of forgiveness and grace through repentance and the mercy of God. As believers seek to live out their faith with reverence and humility, they are called to reflect the love and character of God in their words and actions.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories Law

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