Pastor Babij continues his teaching on the fourth of the Ten Commandments by directly comparing the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day. Pastor explains how the Sabbath was specifically designed for Israel but also how the Sabbath always pointed to Jesus Christ, Who is the Christian’s Sabbath rest. Regarding the Lord’s Day, Pastor discusses several reasons why Christians now regularly worship on Sunday:
1) Jesus rose on the first day of the week
2) The early church met on the first day of the week for matters of worship, fellowship, and preaching
3) The Holy Spirit was given on the day of the wave sheaf before the Lord
Pastor concludes by admonishing believers to genuinely observe the Lord’s Day, not due to legal obligation, but out of love for Jesus and His church.
Let’s take our Bibles and turn to Exodus 20:1-11:
Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 8“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Father, as we again come to Your word, we want to humble ourselves under Your mighty hand. We know Lord that as we open up the word of God, it is a serious matter to listen to the word of God, to understand it, and then to put it into practice. Lord, let us understand the things that are contained therein and how they relate to the New Testament, so we can faithfully and regularly practice the Lord’s day. Lord, thank You again for giving us and allowing us to have the word of God and follow through with it as we can read it ourselves, take it home with us, and read it during the week. It is a great privilege. Help us to never take that for granted. I pray this in Your name, Amen.
This is the second message of this fourth commandment, and I’ll probably do one more before I go to the fifth commandment. It’s the longest commandment as you have already noticed. It gives more information than any other one.
The first commandment means that we recognize that He alone is God and is to have first place in our hearts and lives. The second commandment is that man was to not attempt to make any visible representation of the invisible God.
Thirdly, we saw that we have a responsibility to take up the name of God and are responsible for His reputation before a lost and dying world by treating His name with honor, respect, and reverence in our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Last time, we looked at some things that were a necessity when it came to the Sabbath day from the Old Testament for Israel. There were four ideas in mind. First, God is a God of remembering. Secondly, He is a God of rest. Thirdly, He is a God of redemption. Lastly, He is a God of righteousness.
This second message on this fourth commandment includes two very important days in the Bible, the Sabbath, which were looking at, and also the Lord’s Day. Now, I would like to proceed to examine the Lord’s Day.
So far, we have gleamed some principles from the Sabbath day from last message. Today, I would like to examine the requirements and obligations regarding these two days and identify any similarities if there are any. Then, what it means for a believer now.
Last time, we looked at Mark 2:27 where Jesus was saying that the Sabbath was made to benefit people, not people to benefit the Sabbath. Jesus, the Man from heaven, also claimed in Mark 2:27-28:
Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28“So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
What does Christ being Lord of the Sabbath mean for Christians? That means our Sabbath or rest is not prescribed in a day. Actually, it is prescribed in a person to whom the Sabbath of the Old Testament pointed to. The Sabbath, in the Old Testament, was a shadow of what was actually going to come in the person of Jesus Christ, so it pointed to Jesus Christ. The Christian rests in Christ having seized from all self-efforts to be saved. In other words, Christ is our Sabbath rest. Hebrews 4:9 says:
So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Just as God kept working, despite His creation rest to sustain the world in His mercy, so Jesus would continue to teach and heal on the Sabbath day, which is what we see in the New Testament. Jesus did things on the Sabbath that annoyed the religious leaders, but He was making a point.
The point was that He was the Lord of the Sabbath. He can do what He wanted on that day. Jesus said that one day His redemptive work would be complete, and the Sabbaths purpose, as a sign of redemption, would be accomplished. Remember, Sabbath means to cease or desist, and it was given to Israel as part of the Mosaic law, but when Christ died for sinners on the Cross of Calvary, the entire system of shadows and types came to an end. Jesus fulfilled them in His person and in His work.
Meaning, the death of the Lord Jesus Christ brought an end of the legal Sabbath observance. His resurrection marked the beginning of a new and a special day called the Lord’s Day, which we celebrate today. Therefore, the weekly Sabbath has not been changed from Saturday to Sunday necessarily. The Sabbath has actually been fulfilled and completed in Christ. If somebody were to say:
Are we required as Christians to keep the Sabbath today?
I would have to say yes and no. No, we don’t actually worship on Saturday as Christians. We worship on Sunday, but we do fulfill the Sabbath because we are in Christ, who fulfills the Sabbath, which I’ll explain a little bit more next week. So, why do most Christians today worship on Sunday instead of on Saturday?
It is because resting in Christ for salvation frees us from the bondage to the law of the Sabbath. The Resurrection made Sunday a joyous and an appropriate day to gather for worship to celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. That is why Christian’s set aside Sunday as a special and a holy day.
The Sabbath was for Israel, not for the church. Since we are now under the New Covenant, as Hebrews 8 tells us, we are no longer required to observe the sign of the Mosaic Covenant, which was for Israel. In other words, the Sabbath was assigned to Israel of the Mosaic Covenant. Exodus 31:16-17 says:
So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17“It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
This passage of Scripture is relating to us that this Sabbath day was a sign between Israel and the Lord forever about His creation work and His Redemptive work in delivering them from the bondage of Egypt, which is going to point to the ultimate deliverance of those who believe in Jesus Christ.
That leads us to some things that were said in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul is telling the church, which includes Gentiles and Jews together, that the Gentiles are not required to do what they did in the Old Testament. The New Testament never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath. The Apostle Paul actually warned the Gentiles about many different sins in his letters, but breaking the Sabbath was never one of them. All the Commandments are transmitted to the New Testament except the Sabbath because the Sabbath was for Israel, not the church. In Galatians 4:10, Paul is saying:
You observe days and months and seasons and years.
He’s afraid that they are being entrapped by the legalistic keeping of the law. He continues to say in Galatians 4:11:
I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
Paul warned the Gentiles about these particular things. He is saying to the Galatians that you are trying to find favor with God by what you do and don’t do certain days, months, seasons, or years. He rebuked the Galatians for thinking God expected them to observe special days, including the Sabbath day. Basically, he is saying that the New Testament never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath. Then, Colossians 2:16-17 says:
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
He is telling them that all these things that the Old Testament shadows were pointing to has its reality in what Jesus Christ did when He came into the world, died on the Cross, and lived an obedient and a perfect life. Then, He defeated Satan and death, and rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father. All those things are fulfillment of what the Old Testament was pointing forward to what He would do.
Paul explicitly refers to the Sabbath as a shadow of Christ, which is no longer binding since the substance has come, and the substance of the shadow is Christ himself. In other words, don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days, new moon ceremonies, or Sabbaths.
Clearly, we do not become righteous or gain God’s approval by observing the Sabbath or celebrating certain holy days. Instead, Christ provides the true spiritual test for our souls through faith in Him. The Sabbath was to be a shadow while Christ himself is the reality of that shadow, so that becomes a very important point in the New Testament.
Secondly, under this point, there is no hard, fast rule for a Christian with regard to the Sabbath. Even Paul said in Romans 14:5:
One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another while others think every day is alike. Well, each person should be really convinced about the matter, and the way they are convinced about the matter is to understand how Christ fulfills the Sabbath rest that was given to Israel. In other words, Paul forbids those who do observe the sabbath, at this point in history, not to condemn those who do not observe the sabbath. Specifically, the Gentiles who really knew nothing about observing the Sabbath.
Even when the church councils were convened to decide crucial church matters, in the book of Acts, not one word was said about keeping the Sabbath. In fact, in Acts 15:10, it’s recorded:
Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
He’s talking about the yoke of the law. They were to be law-keepers, and specifically of those things which have now been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The conclusion of the council was that the Gentile Christians were to abstain from certain things like the drinking of blood or of fornication, but if the Sabbath keeping were mandatory in those councils, then it would have come up and it did not come up. Theologically, Jesus Christ became the fulfillment of all those pictures, types, and shadows in the Old Testament.
Again, it’s not about the law, but it’s about the person, Jesus Christ. Christianity is about the Person, not about a religious system. It’s not even about do’s and don’ts. It’s about worshiping Jesus Christ, who becomes the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Meaning, when we meet on Sunday, there’s a basis on why we meet on Sunday, which is what is explained in the New Testament. First of all, we worship on Sunday because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. That’s why we worship on Sunday. However, most Christians treat Sunday as a special day, a day of rest and worship.
Sunday, in a sense, replaces Saturday as the Sabbath because Jesus resurrection occurred on a Sunday, so it is sometimes called the Lord’s Day. In other words, the Lord’s Day should be what we call it because it is a focus on the Lord. It becomes His day in which He filled all the requirements of the law, which is what we come to celebrate. We come to celebrate what He did for us. John 20:19 says:
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week…
Now, it’s not a common thing for writers of Scripture to identify a day unless it was a Sabbath or a special feast. He is specifically saying, in this passage, that on the first day of the week, something is happening. John 20:19 continues to say:
and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Remember, this is after the resurrection. Jesus is now visiting His disciples. He’s not walking through doors. He’s not knocking on doors and walking. He is simply appearing to them while they’re in a closed area with a locked door, and this is all happening on the first day of the week. This is the day of the Resurrection. They are afraid of the Jews, they lock themselves away, and Jesus shows up on that first day of the week. That becomes a very important day. Then, John 20:26 says:
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Of course, eight days would be the first day of the week, and we see that this first day is highlighted for us as a special day, a day of the Resurrection.
In Acts 20, the curtain is kind of pulled back for us to see some things that happened in the New Testament worship service. It is very significant because Dr. Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, mentions the day of the week. Elsewhere, he will rarely identify a day unless it’s a Sabbath or special feast.
In the passage, the phrase “we gather together” is a semi technical term in the New Testament to identify a Christian assembly for worship. The Sunday meeting was obviously treated as a special occasion for believers. In Acts 20:7, they met on the first day of the week, which is Sunday, in a designated place. On a Sunday, we gather together with other believers in a designated place, which can be anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a building.
Also, when they gathered, they gathered together to break bread. Here, this is included in worship. The Lord’s table was something that was taking place when the Lord instituted the Lord’s table. The church began to continue that, and we are continuing it today. The elements of the bread that represents the enfleshment of Christ coming into the world, and the element of the fruit of the vine that represents the blood of Christ are crucial to the Gospel.
The Lord left us that ordinance, so we don’t forget it. We do this in remembrance of the Lord. Again, the Lord becomes the focus on the Lord’s day. It’s not the law, but the Lord becomes the focus.
On the Lord’s day, they listened to preaching. Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolong this message until midnight. Nice, long Gospel message. That’s what I like. Long Gospel messages where people are there ready and eager to listen to me or to listen. They meet and he preaches the word of God. Unfortunately, along the way, some people may fall asleep. Acts 20:8-10 says:
There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. 9And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead. 10But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.”
Uncalled for on the Lord’s Day, they did good deeds. Paul resuscitated this man by the power of God. He was dead and now he is alive, so they did good deeds on Sunday. After a nice long message and he did that, the people were quite encouraged. In Acts 20:11, they fellowshipped on the Lord’s day.
When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left.
Here is a bit of a picture of what we do today. We follow some of the same things today. This is where we get the structure of Church. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, they took an offering:
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.
It was a practice on the first day of the week. The people would come, and they would give for various needs to supply needs, to supply for the Lord’s work, and to supply for whatever was needed. The gathered assembly could no longer depend on anyone else for financial support, so the church gathered together and did that. The main purpose behind the church’s Sunday meeting was distinctively Christian. It was distinctively focused in on the person of Jesus Christ. When we get to the book of Revelation, the Apostle John says in Revelation 1:10:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet
Even John being imprisoned was practicing the first day of the week as the day of worship for those who have come to believe in and trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Since the time of the early church, the first day of the week has been the Lord’s day. It has replaced the Jewish sabbath as the special day of worship. Here, John saw Sunday as the Lord’s Day.
On this day, Christians expressed their total commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master. It was Jesus resurrection on the first day of the week that demonstrated the Lordship very clearly. Therefore, it was the churches worship of the Lordship of Jesus Christ that expressed and recognized Him as the One who redeem them from the slave-market of their sin and rescue them from its condemnation. That’s what we actually celebrate when we do it on the Lord’s Day. Thus, it is Sunday that is the important day for the believer.
Secondly, we worship on Sunday because the Lord fulfilled the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Remember, when Jesus went back to heaven, He told His disciples, who were sad that He was leaving, that He had to leave because if He didn’t leave, the Father can’t send the promise of the other comforter that’s coming, which is the Holy Spirit.
It was the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the church on the first day of the week. In the early church, worship occurred on the first day of the week, a Sunday, to commemorate again Christ’s resurrection, but the early church initially participated in the Jewish ceremonies. It was during the Jewish feast of Pentecost, after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, that the Spirit was poured out. This fulfilled the prophecy of Joel to begin the history of the Christian church. In fact, Acts 1:5 says:
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
It had to be that Jesus had to leave and ascend into heaven before the Holy Spirit can come, and the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers, who would be the temple of God. He would come indwell them. It’s not just the individual believer, but it’s when we gather together. The church is pictured, in Ephesians, as being the temple. God dwells amongst us, for those who are believers.
As we gather together, indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, lift up the name of Jesus Christ and proclaim Him as the one who is our Lord and our Savior. The One who was, is, and is to come. He is the one that we come and worship.
In Acts 1:5, it is referring to a day we call Pentecost. The name of this Festival comes from the Greek word 50th. It was celebrated on the 50th day after Passover. Meaning, seven sabbaths after the first fruits, which would be 49 days. This feast is also called The Feast of Weeks. It was a Harvest Festival celebrating the end of The Barley Harvest and the beginning of the Wheat Harvest.
This second great festival, Pentecost, the week of harvest, lasted one day and it was observed on the 50th day, which was seven weeks after the end of the feast of unleavened bread. Meaning, Pentecost marked the end of the Barley harvest and the beginning of the Wheat Harvest. It says in Leviticus 23:11
He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
The day after the Sabbath would be Sunday, right? It would be the first day of the week. During the unleavened bread and the period of seven days following the Passover, the pouring out of the Spirit of God on His disciples, the birthday of the church, occurred on the 50th day after the Sunday that the wave sheaf was presented to the Lord. In other words, it fell on Sunday, and it is another reason why we observe it as the Lord’s Day. That is the day that the Lord poured out the Holy Spirit of God. In Acts 2:1-4, it says:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
This is the birth of the New Testament church when the spirit of God was poured out upon this church on Sunday. The resurrection becomes important for us, and the day of Pentecost occurred on the first day of the week.
That brings me to a third basis of the Church’s worship on Sunday, and that we worship Sunday because the Lord fulfilled the demands of the law. We do not necessarily keep the law in the sense as a legal requirement, but we keep the law in our hearts as something we want to do. Something we do because we appreciate what the Lord has done for us. Matthew 5:17-18 says:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Jesus is saying:
Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish what Moses wrote, or the writings of the prophets. I came to fulfill them. I assure you until Heaven and Earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law, will remain until its purpose is achieved.
Christ’s covenant with us does not abolish the law, but He fulfils it. The principle that we all need weekly rest and an opportunity to worship. God still holds true until Heaven and Earth disappear. We don’t do it because the law says to do it. We don’t meet together as a mandate like the Sabbath. We do it out of gratitude. We do it out of love for our Lord.
The spirit of God, who indwells us, puts it in our heart to be there amongst God’s people on a regular basis on Sunday because of our overwhelming thankfulness for Him saving us, and rescuing us from the condemnation of sin. We could have never rescued ourselves from it, and that’s why we come together on Sunday.
Sunday worship stems from the New Testament times. The resurrection of the day of Pentecost occurred on the first day of the week, and it soon became the practice of the early believers to meet together, to worship, to fellowship, to praise God, to study the word of God, and to give and serve on that particular day.
It is not a day that is legislated for believers as the Sabbath was. There are no regulations for its observance laid down in the New Testament. In other words, we don’t meet to fulfill legalistic demands. We don’t do that. We meet on Sunday because we love our Lord Jesus Christ, and we desire to give Him the honor that is due His great name.
That is a great motivator for us to not make excuses when it comes to worshipping God’s people. In other words, it’s not a sin against law when we don’t worship God as we ought to, but it’s a sin against love. It’s a sin against not a law written on stone, but a person, who died in our place and who is our Lord and Savior. That’s more serious.
We have to be very careful that we do not treat the Lord’s Day in a frivolous way, but in a very sober way. In a way that we don’t have to do this, but we want to. That’s a great motivator as a Christian: I want to do this because I am so incredibly filled with joy because of what Christ did for me. I want to be there, and I want to serve God, His people, lift up His name, and give praise in the assembly about the great things He has done for me.
Lastly, we worship on the Lord’s Day to celebrate our presents salvation rest and to anticipate our future, eternal rest. In Hebrews, it really explains some of the difficult parts of what happened in the Old Testament, especially concerning the sacrificial system, the law, and even the Sabbath day. Hebrews 4:2-7 says:
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; 5and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” 6Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”
He’s talking about the Sabbath rest that comes to the people of God after they believe in that fulfilment that is found in Jesus Christ. He’s saying that some people heard the message on how to have this eternal rest but rejected it because they didn’t believe in Christ. Then, other people did receive the message and they received the rest that comes in Jesus Christ, which is the Sabbath rest. As the people rested on the Sabbath day, we rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
That rest is not only a present rest. I don’t have to be frantic about whether I’m a believer or not. I am a believer if I have trusted Christ, if I’m following Christ, and if I’m worshiping the Lord. He has taken care of that and given to us rest. Rest means freedom from whatever worries us or disturbs us. It means freedom from guilt over sin. Why because Christ has taken our guilt.
It means no more shifting about in frustration from one thing to another. No more running in circles wondering if we’re doing the right thing. Wondering if we have enough good works to please God. Wondering if I have just done enough of anything. That’s not what it’s about. I am to rest in Christ. I am to enjoy Christ, which is what worship is. I am to understand all He has accomplished on my behalf. To enter into God’s rest means that, for the remainder of our lives and for all eternity, we can lean on everything God has done.
Such rest is full, blessed, sweet, satisfying, and peaceful. Amazingly, this is what God offers every person who comes to Christ. Every person can have this rest. However, notice the warning in Hebrews 4:1:
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
Then, in Hebrews 4:2, it says:
…but the word they heard did not profit them….
Then, Hebrews 4:3 says:
For we who have believed enter that rest
Those who did not believe, did not enter the rest. In Hebrews 4:6, they failed to enter because of disobedience. Who has more knowledge of God than any group of people on the face of this Earth? Israel, right? They had everything. They had all the Old Testament prophets. They had the Psalms. They had the law. They had everything they needed to come to Christ, the Messiah. Therefore, mere knowledge of God’s message is not sufficient for salvation. You can know a lot about the Bible and still not be saved.
A second thing from this passage is that this rest that God gives us must be appropriated by saving faith. I must believe the facts of the Gospel. I must ask God to save me if I call upon the Lord and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. So, I must appropriate the knowledge of what I know about God and where it leads me, from the shadows to its fulfillment in Christ, and believe in the end result. Not get stuck in the law, but where it is all heading. It was heading to a person called Jesus Christ.
Also, those who exercise faith in the message of God, the Bible definitely says to us that we will enter into this spiritual rest, which is God’s eternal and heavenly rest, or Sabbath rest. See, the old Jewish sabbath actually is a type of Heaven. It was only pointing to its fulfillment in the eternal Sabbath, the eternal rest of peace, enjoyment, and communion with God. Hebrews 4:8-10 says:
For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
There’s not one thing we need to do to be saved except believe in the result of all the shadows and types and believe in Christ. Then, Hebrews 4:11 says:
11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
In other words, if you don’t believe, you’re disobedient to God. For those who are disobedient to Him, they are still under His judgement and wrath. The writer of Hebrews explains how Christ fulfills the twin Biblical-Sabbath themes of Creation and Redemption. He did so by linking together the idea of God’s rest after creation and is redeeming worth in bring Israel to rest in the land of Canaan. Then, He describes how both these events relate to the present and the future rest that Christians can enjoy with their relationship in Jesus Christ.
Again, the Sabbath is the seventh day, and the Lord’s Day is the first day. Both are separate days, each set apart for the purpose of worshiping God Almighty. Specifically, for us, the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, the Sabbath was for the nation of Israel, and the Lord’s Day is for the Church of Jesus Christ.
Next, the Sabbath commemorates God’s creation rest while the Lord’s Day commemorates the resurrection, the fulfillment of the finish work of God. Also, the Sabbath commemorates a finished creation, and the Lord’s Day commemorates a finished redemption. The Sabbath was a day of legal obligation, and the Lord’s Day is for voluntary worship.
It is the law of love for Christ that will regulate and influence the believers conduct on the Lord’s Day. It is the same love that will move the believer to prepare himself for Sunday morning worship, and take care of things on Saturday, make themselves ready for receiving what God has for them on Sunday through the word of God, for the fellowship of believers, and even the taking of the sacraments.
Also, attendance at church and performance of spiritual service should never be done grudgingly, but with an attitude of what a glorious privilege for us to be here, for our ears to hear the word of God, and for us to experience and live out what God has done for us in Christ Jesus.
In considering that, the Lord’s Day is a special day. It is a time we rest from the temporal cares of our life. We pull ourselves away from a regular schedule to voluntarily worship God. Also, the Lord’s Day is a special day where we voluntarily assemble ourselves with other Christians for solemn worship, happy service to God, fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and a time of praise and spiritual activity like serving and giving.
Then, the Lord’s Day is a special day where we come and celebrate the resurrection of Christ and rejoice in our new life in Him. We are reminded that we are born anew by faith and thank God for the miracle of redemption performed in us.
Lastly, the Lord’s Day is a special day where we come and offer to God, as an act of worship, ourselves, our lives, our wealth, and our time. A time to do good and a time to meet pressing needs. That is all part of why we meet on the Lord’s Day. So, if I could end like this, I believe the Sabbath was the picture, and the fulfillment is Christ. Let’s pray:
Lord, thank You. In some difficult parts of the Bible, we are understanding what You have been doing all along Lord. Your plan is so clear and so complete that, Lord, You tell us, in Matthew, to not worry about tomorrow. Why is it that we don’t worry? Because we are resting in Christ and what He’s done on our behalf. In Christ, we have His spirit and we’re looking forward to the eternal rest we have some day when we are in Your presence. Lord, I must confess and admit that I don’t always live there, but I pray Lord that You would teach all of us here to live there more than we do. I pray, Lord, that we would prepare ourselves for worship on Sunday in a way that were filled with joy, gladness, and with the thought of what a privilege it is to come and worship You. To give You our honor, our praise, our time, and our service. I pray, Lord, we would always think of it like that. Lord, if we haven’t, bring us to the place where we do. Lord, when we do that, we won’t grieve the spirit of God or clench Him, but we will be walking in the spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Make us people like that. Lord, I also pray that You would prepare our hearts for the Lord’s table as we partake of the elements that are the focus of the Gospel itself – the body and the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray this in Your name, Amen.