20 January, 2006

Calling the Sabbath A Delight

If one used one out of seven days to focus whole-heartedly on their relationship with Jesus Christ they would benefit greatly. Many Christians want to deny the Sabbath and say that it is rooted in the Mosaic law. This is untrue. The Sabbath day is a creation ordinance. Man was created to work six days and to spend a whole day in relationship with his maker. This is what Adam and Eve did, and this is what we are to do as well. The Sabbath is a perpetual obligation to the Christian-- Paul said in Hebrews that "there remains therefore a Sabbath for the Christian". We, as followers of Christ are in Sabbath in Christ, we look forward to our eternal Sabbath in glory, and we are to call the Sabbath a delight while here on earth being a testimony to the unbelieving world around us.

Q. 1. In what sense is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
A. As it is dedicated by God, for man's sake and use that he may keep it holy to God.
Q. 2. In what manner should he keep it holy to God?
A. By a holy resting, and by holy exercises.
Q. 3. What should we rest from on the Sabbath?
A. Even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; or, which is the same thing, from all servile work, Neh. 13:15-23.

Q. 17. Is not the Sabbath a festival, or feast day; and consequently may not our conversation on it be cheerful and diverting?
A. It is, indeed, properly a feast day, but of a spiritual, not of a carnal nature: we may refresh our bodies moderately, but not sumptuously; and our conversation ought to turn wholly upon spiritual and heavenly subjects, or such as have that tendency, after the example of our Lord, Luke 14:1-25.
Q. 18. What should be the principal end of our six days' labour?
A. That it be so managed as in no way to discompose or unfit us for a holy resting on the Sabbath, or meeting with God on his own day.
Q. 19. What is a holy resting?
A. Not only an abstaining from our own work, or labour, but an entering by faith (in the use of appointed means,) into the presence and enjoyment of God in Christ, as the only rest of our souls, Heb. 4:3; that having no work of our own to mind or do, we may be wholly taken up with the works of God.
Q. 20. Why called a holy resting?
A. Because we should rest from worldly labour, in order to be employed in the holy exercises, which the Lord requires on this day; otherwise, as to bare cessation, our cattle rest from outward labour as well as we.
Q. 21. What are the holy EXERCISES in which we ought to be employed on the Lord's day?
A. In the public and private exercises of God's worship.
Q. 22. What are the public exercises of God's worship in which we should be employed?
A. Hearing the word preached, Rom. 10:17; joining in public prayers and praises, Luke 24:53; and partaking of the sacraments, Acts 20:7.
Q. 23. What is included under the private exercises of God's worship?
A. Family and secret duties.
Q. 24. What are the duties incumbent on us in a family capacity on the Lord's day?
A. Family worship, and family catechising, together with Christian conference, as there is occasion, Lev. 23:3. It is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your DWELLINGS, or private families; and therefore God is to he worshipped in them on that day.
Q. 25. What is family worship?
A. It is the daily joining of all that are united in a domestic relation, or who are dwelling together in the same house and family, in singing God's praises, Acts 2:47 reading his word, Deut. 6:7, and praying to him, Jer. 10:25.
Q. 26. How do you prove family worship to be a duty daily incumbent upon those who have families?
A. From scripture precept, and from scripture example.
Q. 27. How is family worship evinced from scripture precept?
A. Besides that this commandment enjoins every master of a family to sanctify the Sabbath within his gates, that is, to worship God in his family; there are also other scriptures, inculcating the same thing, by necessary consequence; such as, Eph. 6:18 -- "Praying always, with ALL prayer and supplication;" 1 Tim. 2:8 -- "I will therefore that men pray EVERY WHERE. "If with all prayer, then surely with family prayer; if EVERY WHERE, then certainly in our families.
Q. 28. What are the examples of family worship recorded in scripture for our imitation?
A. Among others, there are the examples of Abraham, Gen. 18:19; of Joshua, chap. 24:15 -- "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord;" of David, 2 Sam. 6:20; or Cornelius, Acts 10:2; and especially the example of our blessed Lord, whom we find singing psalms, Matt. 26:30, and praying with his disciples, who were his family, Luke 9:18.
Q. 29. What should be the subject matter of family catechising?
A. What they have been hearing through the day, together with the principles of our religion, as laid out in the Shorter Catechism, with the helps that are published upon the same, which masters of families ought to use for their assistance in this work.
Q. 30. What are the proper seasons of Christian conference on the Sabbath?
A. At meals, and in the interval of duties: our speech should he always, but especially on the Lord's day, "seasoned with salt," Col. 4:6.
Q. 31. What are the secret duties in which we ought to he exercised on the Lord's day?
A. Secret prayer, reading the scriptures, and other soul-edifying books, meditation upon divine subjects, and self-examination.
Q. 32. With what frame and disposition of soul should we engage in the public and private exercises of God's worship?
A. With a spiritual frame and disposition, Rev. 1:10 -- "I was IN THE SPIRIT on the Lord's day."
Q. 33. What is it to be in the Spirit on the Lord's day?
A. It is not only to have the actual inhabitation of the Spirit, which is the privilege of believers "every day," Ezek. 36:27; but to have the influences and operations of the Spirit "more liberally let out," Luke 4:31, 32, and his graces in "more lively exercise," than at other times, Acts 2:41.
Q. 34. What moral argument have we from the ceremonial law, for offering a greater plenty of spiritual sacrifices to God on the Sabbath, than upon other days?
A. The daily sacrifice, or continual burnt offering, was to be doubled on the Sabbath, Num. 28:9; intimating, that they were bound to double their devotions on that day, which was consecrated to God to be spent in his service.
Q. 35. How much of the Sabbath is to be spent in the public and private exercises of God's worship?
A. The WHOLE of it, from the ordinary time of rising on other days, to the ordinary time of going to rest; "except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy."

-From James Fisher's Catechism (on the fourth commandment)


Lyd said...

And Thank God for this day!

Imagine what our lives would be like without a day of rest. It is a wonderful renewal in our faith and walk with God. Yes, every day is a day for God, but this is the DAY commanded by GOD to be observed in WORSHIPPING HIM and RESTING from all other distractions we come across each day...a break from the everyday busyness of our lives. Make we continue to strive and pray that we can keep the Sabbath in a way which is glorifying to HIM.

Thanks for the reminder.

ellie said...

We could probably eliminate crime, sickness, and many social ills if we would practice Sabbath Rest.So important to realize our flesh and spirit are created to rest in Him.