Thursday, March 12, 2009

Exhortation-Fourth Commandment

Exodus 20:8-11 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.

It interesting that in the Ten Commandments there are only two strictly positive commands of things that we should do. Granted, all of the commands are about how we should love God and love our neighbor. But as they are given, only two are things we should do. The rest are things that we should not do.

It is also interesting to me that in the New Covenant era when we ought to be enabled to more fully do what God requires us to do and be able to more fully resist what God tells us not to do, the two most neglected commands are the ones that were positive commands in the Old Covenant, the fourth and fifth commandments.

We are told to Remember the Sabbath and to Honor our father and mother.

Today we are dealing with Remembering the Sabbath. Why do New Testament Christians readily sign up for 9 of the 10 commandments? What is this resistance to honoring the Lord’s Day as the Christian Sabbath?

In the New Covenant, we should desire to serve God more, not less. We should give Him all of our days because all of our days are His. So it should be no problem to set aside one whole day as a Sabbath of rest in the Lord Jesus. It is not just going to church, although that is a most important element. We should cease from our regular labors of making money and striving in the world. We should focus our minds heavenward so that the rest of our week can have the right focus, too. We should prepare ourselves to rest, which is work, and we should learn the glory of what rest in Christ is.

Until we learn to Remember the Lord’s Day as our Christian Sabbath, we should not expect to get along very far in our walk with Christ. This is not the end all of our faith in Christ but it is a basic principle in which all the rest of our growth in grace is strictly dependent.

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