Sunday, February 19, 2006

A day made just for you

I’m sure preachers are always trying to present familiar topics in a fresh way. Pastor York succeeded in doing just that today. Based on the Bible, he presented the principle that we should observe the Sabbath as a special day unto the Lord. His approach brought together supporting arguments that I hadn’t previously thought about.

We always have an outline on the back of our bulletin that can be used to aid in our understanding and retention. Here’s what I jotted down - for what it’s worth.

Intro. – Story about a credit card commercial shown during the Olympics about identity theft.

We might laugh at an “identity theft” commercial, but not if we are a victim.

One of the greatest lies foisted upon the church that has stolen her identity is that the fourth commandment is abolished.

Receive joyfully what God Himself gave to you!

I. God made the Sabbath so you can cease from your labors.

Man’s life is to be filled with activity. Even in the Garden – they were busy. God ceases from work on the 7th day and man should too. When God completes His work, He just enjoys looking at what He’s made. We should follow His example and enjoy the goodness of His hand. We should remember that He is the Creator.

A seven-day week is not the result of a natural solar or lunar cycle like a 24-hour day or the seasons. The seven-day week is a gift from God. God has given us carefully defined boundaries, but sometimes if we go outside God’s boundaries and wander into worry or self-seeking pleasure, we begin to lose our identity.

II. God made the Sabbath so you can rest in your Redeemer.

In the Bible, the 10 commandments were given twice in their entirety. The wording of the fourth commandment brought out different applications each time. The first time in Exodus 20 helped the children of Israel remember the created order. The second time in Deuteronomy 5 helped them remember their great redemption from slavery.

As we study the word “Sabbath” in the New Testament, we see that it was a busy day for the Lord Jesus. In the gospel accounts, the Sabbath is the day that Jesus is the busiest. As opportunities present themselves, we can follow His example by spending some of the Sabbath in acts of mercy.

We also see that the very day that Christ was resurrected was the day that God instituted the Christian’s new Sabbath Day > the Lord’s Day. Pentecost also came on a Sunday.

The church is weak because we don’t come together to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection as we should.

III. God made the Sabbath so you can be holy in your conduct.

This day is to be set apart. A paraphrase from BB Warfield goes something like, “We don’t serve God by doing the same thing all the time.” Righteous things done at a wrong time are sinful, i.e. cheering for your kid at a basketball game is good – cheering for your kid at an orchestral performance is bad.

Spend time in worship. Heb. 4:9, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”

Conclusion – Hold up both hands.
Rhetorical question:
Which finger do you want to have cut off?
Which of the Ten Commandments do you want to cut out?

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