Seven Things to Remember
God has graciously given to us one day in seven to be used especially for the nourishment of our souls. So often the Christian Sabbath or the Lord's Day is seen as a burdensome day of rules and regulations on which we are not allowed to do this or that. How very sad!
We should approach the day with a positive mindset, thankful that we are able to draw aside from the normal routines of life and to spend a little time getting our spiritual batteries recharged.
For believers it ought to be a little glimpse of heaven itself as we meet in worship and as we meet with God's people. Our forefathers referred to it as being like a 'market day for the soul'.
Here are seven things to remember concerning the Sabbath. As we meditate on each of these principles hopefully we'll come to appreciate the day even more and be able, with God's help, to use it well.
- The Sabbath was established at creation – Genesis 2:1-3, Often it is suggested that the Sabbath was established at Sinai but Scripture shows us that along with work and marriage God gave this special day to us right at the beginning at creation itself.
- The Sabbath was included in the Ten Commandments – commandment 4 – Exodus 20: 8-11, Often today it is asserted by many evangelicals that the Sabbath was part of the Old Testament ceremonial law and is not binding upon us today. The argument goes like this – 'the ceremonial law found its fulfilment in Christ and, as such, we are no longer bound to keep it today'. Whilst there were ceremonial aspects to the Sabbath day its inclusion in the Ten Commandments demonstrates its binding nature upon all men.
- During the wilderness journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan God demonstrated the importance of properly observing the Sabbath by providing a double portion of manna on the sixth day: Exodus 16:22 & 23.
- Jesus observed the Sabbath: Luke 4:16.
- Jesus gave us clear teaching about what we can legitimately do on the Sabbath – works of necessity and mercy: Matthew 12:1-14.
- After the resurrection of Jesus the early church began meeting on the first day of the week to celebrate the resurrection. The Sabbath day was changed form the seventh to the first day of the week: Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2.
- John, while in exile on Patmos, refers to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord's Day which is an excellent term that summarises what the day is to be about – the Lord and our fellowship with him and his people: Revelation1:10.