2015-01-25 - The Fourth Commandment
Is the Sabbath Relevant to the Church?
Recognizing that the Sabbath is not given to the Church, but is only appropriate to the nation of Israel, the obvious answer as to its relevancy to the Church is, that it isn’t.
Wait!! Once again, we must stop and ask what are the principles that go beyond the Sabbath specifically? The answer – those which are spelled out in the Creation?
The idea is: God commands a day of rest, a day set aside from the normal work of our lives. This is a day distinct from the other six. In fact, He demands that no work be done by anyone. Instead, the day is to be considered Holy, that is set apart. It should also be noted that in both the Old and New Testaments, the day of rest is identified as a day to honor the Lord, be it “the Sabbath of the Lord your God” or “the Lord’s Day.”
Don’t you think these issues are still relevant to us? How would you express the importance of a day of rest? As you can see, the idea that a day needs to be set aside for us, just as it was for the Hebrew, is still extremely important. It is just as appropriate today as it was then. The only point to be made clear, is that we do not keep the Sabbath, but the first day of the week, The Lord’s Day. We don’t keep the commandment out of fear of the law and death. We should keep it because it is a principle that God established out of creation, and gave it to us, for our benefit. The day isn’t to be a burden, but a joy.
Is it a joy to set aside a day to honor the Lord? Does honor mean worship, or does it simply mean setting aside a day because this is the Lord’s desire, and therefore taking a day is honoring Him?
Remember, for the Jew, it became the final test of obedience, and as I noted before, eventually there were around 612 ways to violate the Sabbath.
“One Sabbath, he was going through the grain fields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him, how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:23-28 ESV)
To be continued.
For more information about the author, podcasts and additional studies visit www.GKRAGEN.com.