The Christian Sabbath

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Hebrews 4:9-10  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

“We believe that the first day of the week is the LORD’S Day or Christian Sabbath (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:14); and is to be kept sacred for religious purposes (Revelation 1:10), by abstaining from all secular labor and worldly recreations (Isaiah 58:13,14); by the devout observance of all means of grace, both private and public (Hebrews 10:24,25); and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God (Hebrews 4:11).”

In the earliest experiences of man, God had blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (Genesis 2:3).  So, then, a Sabbath-keeping originates in the Garden.  Later, when the Moral Law is spoken to Israel, a Sabbath-keeping is commanded in the Covenant (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15).

When our LORD was here on earth, He said, ”The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is LORD also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27,28).  Here is the institution of the primal Sabbath.  “The sabbath was made for man;” for man in his inno­cence, before sin entered into the world and death by sin.

In the Hebrew Epistle (chapters 3 and 4), a conclusion is drawn:  “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).  The words “rest” in Hebrews 4:9 and “rested” in Genesis 2:3 refer to “a sabbath-keeping.”  Why is there a Sabbath-keeping for the peo­ple of God?  “For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10).  JESUS, the LORD of glory, is the Worker (John 5:17; 9:4; 17:4; Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.  He met with His assembled people on the first day of the week.  The outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit took place on the first day of the week (Acts .2:1-43).  Therefore, in the New Testament, the first day of the week is called “The LORD’S day” (Revelation 1:10).  So inspiration marks the first day of the week as the “sabbath-keeping that remains for the people of God.”

The purpose and place and meaning of the Christian Sabbath is given in Hebrews 10:24,25.  The passage is an exhortation of obligation:  (1) “Let us consider one another...” (v24).  (2) “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together...” (v25).  (3) “And so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (v25).  In expectation of the coming of our LORD, and of our gathering together unto Him for a perfect “Sabbath,” we need to be enough concerned about our fellow believers to be consistent in a devout observance of the LORD’S Day Sabbath.

The assembling together in a regular manner to meet with the LORD’S people is a great help and privilege, and a good means of our own steadfastness and perseverance in the faith.  To exhort one another, to watch over each other with a godly concern, to be caring enough for our brothers and sisters in the LORD, to be in our rightful place on the LORD’S Day, is the very nature of our holy faith.  Finally, we are reminded of “that day” by our assembling together.  Our “two or three gathered in Jesus’ name” is a pledge of all the family gathered to Him.  “What a day that will be!”  “Even so come, LORD Jesus.”

- - - - The Scriptures below are referenced in the doctrinal statement - - - -

Acts 20:7  And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16:14  Let all your things be done with charity.

Revelation 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Isaiah 58:13-14  If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (14) Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 4:11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

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