Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and 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. (Exod. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15).
The fourth commandment, on this fourth day of the new year, is to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. In the Exodus passage, the basis for keeping the Sabbath is because God rested on the Sabbath day and because we are created in God’s image, we too are to rest on the Sabbath day. In the account given in Deuteronomy, the reason given there for keeping the Sabbath is to remember that God delivered them out of slavery in Egypt and gave them rest from all their labors. Thus, they are to rest on the Sabbath day from all their labors and as a way of remembering God’s deliverance. The fourth commandment, of all the commandments, seems to be the one most Christians think no longer applies. We no longer live in the Old Testament (OT) and we are not Jewish; thus, we can treat the Sabbath like any other day. Or can we?
Before we deal with that question, we first need to determine when is the Sabbath? Saturday or Sunday? While we do not see the New Testament (NT) church observing the Sabbath in the OT sense, on Saturday, we do see them ceasing from their labors and gathering for worship and the partaking of the Lord’s Supper regularly on Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2) and this seems to begin immediately after the resurrection of Christ which took place on Sunday (John 20:19). Thus, in light of Christ’s resurrection, the NT church began treating Sunday like the new Sabbath because it was the day of a new creation. This means they would cease from their labors and engage in corporate worship as a way of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and their having found their ultimate rest in Christ (1 Cor 11:17; Heb 10:24-25). Thus, in one sense we honor the Sabbath and keep it holy by continuing to find to our rest in Christ by faith (Heb 4:9-10) and by not neglecting the corporate gathering of the saints for worship on the Lord’s Day (Heb 10:24-25). God still requires us to take one day out of the week to honor Him, to worship Him, and to reflect upon the rest we find in Christ and our deliverance from the bondage of sin, Satan, and death.
Daily Thoughts is a daily short post to encourage and help you grow in your faith. If you would like to receive these direct to your in-box, please subscribe.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies