Happy Sabbath Day! This Lord’s Day is not about us…

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Happy Sabbath Day! This Lord’s Day is not about us, our families, our sports, our pleasures, our work, our recreation, our entertainment, or the false deity of me, myself, and I. But it is everything about our LORD.

The Lord’s Fourth Commandment says,

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Exodus 20:8-11

Chapter 22 of the 1689 Confession of Faith says,

1. The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, a and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is b instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or c any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

(a Jer 10:7; Mar 12:33; b Deu 12:32; c Exo 20:4-6)

2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him d alone; not to angels, saints, or any other e creatures; and since the fall, not without a f mediator, nor in the mediation of any other but g Christ alone.

(d Mat 4:9-10; Joh 4:23; Mat 28:19; e Rom 1:25; Col 2:18; Rev 19:10; f Joh 14:6; g 1Ti 2:5)

3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of h all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the i name of the Son, by the help k of the Spirit, according to l his will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a m known tongue.

(h Psa 95:1-7; 65:2; i Joh 14:13-14; k Rom 8:26; l 1Jo 5:14; m 1Co 14:16-17)

4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, n or that shall live hereafter; but not o for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned p the sin unto death.

(n 1Ti 2:1-2; 2Sa 7:29; o 2Sa 12:21-23; p 1Jo 5:16)

5. The q reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and r hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to s the Lord; as also the administration t of baptism, and u the Lord’s supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, x with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon y special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.

(q 1Ti 4:13; r 2Ti 4:2; Luk 8:18; s Col 3:16; Eph 5:19; t Mat 28:19-20; u 1Co 11:26; x Est 4:16; Joel 2:12; y Exo 15:1-19, Psa 107)

6. Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is z performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; as in a private families b daily, and c in secret each one by himself; so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be d neglected or forsaken, when God by his Word or providence calleth thereunto.

(z Joh 4:21; Mal 1:11; 1Ti 2:8; a Act 10:2; b Mat 6:11; Psa 55:17; c Mat 6:6; d Heb 10:25; Act 2:42)

7. As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a e sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, f which is called the Lord’s Day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

(e Exo 20:8; f 1Co 16:1-2; Act 20:7; Rev 1:10)

8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy g rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties h of necessity and mercy.

(g Isa 58:13; Neh 13:15-22; h Mat 12:1-13)

The Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins says,

Question 115: What is the fourth Commandment?

Answer: Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath Day: six Days should thou labor, and do all that thou hast to do, but the seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, in it thou should do no manner of Work, Thou, nor thy Son, nor thy Daughter, thy Man-Servant, nor thy Maid-Servant, nor they Cattle, nor the Stranger that is within thy Gates: for in six Days the Lord made Heaven, and Earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, and hallowed it.

Question 116: What is God’s will for you in the fourth commandment?

Answer: First, that the gospel ministry and education for it be maintained, (a) and that, especially on the festive day of rest, I regularly attend the assembly of God’s people (b) to learn what God’s Word teaches, (c) to participate in the sacraments,(d) to pray to God publicly,(e) and to bring Christian offerings for the poor.(f) Second, that every day of my life I rest from my evil ways, let the Lord work in me through his Spirit, and so begin already in this life the eternal Sabbath.(g) (a) Deut. 6:4-9, 20-25; 1 Cor. 9:13-14; 2 Tim. 2:2; 3:13-17; Tit. 1:5

(b) Deut. 12:5-12; Ps. 40:9-10; 68:26; Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:23-25
(c) Rom. 10:14-17; 1 Cor. 14:31-32; 1 Tim. 4:13
(d) 1 Cor. 11:23-25
(e) Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:1
(f) Ps. 50:14; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8 & 9
(g) Isa. 66:23; Heb. 4:9-11

Disclaimer: Our church practiced a Regulative Principle of Worship. Therefore, the Christmas tree was not ours as it belonged to the church that we leased space from.

Hebrews 4:1-10 – the Sabbath Day as a Commandment, by Bill Rhetts – The Expositor

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