“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8)

Why is keeping the Lord’s Day holy glorious?

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can remind us that the Lord Jesus created it, kept it, and fulfilled it, and gave it to believers as a way of imitating Him.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity for growth and maturity in Christ.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can be a time well spent that helps us not to live overly busy and distracted lives.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a way of joyfully, peacefully, and graciously witnessing publicly to whom it is you belong, and to whom it is you ultimately submit!

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is part of our confessional heritage as particularly Reformed Christians.

 

  1. Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is glorious because it is a way of joyfully, peacefully, and graciously witnessing publicly to whom it is you belong, and to whom it is you ultimately submit!

     How are we unlike the culture around us as the people of God? We are called to be holy and separate (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; 2 Cor. 6:16:-7:1 “…Go out from their midst, and be separate from them…” (2 Cor. 6:17). The Bible teaches us that the grace of God has appeared to teach us how to live, and what to say “no” to, and how to show forth to the world the freedom that comes to us in Christ! What better way of doing this in Christ than through keeping the Lord’s Day holy and set apart. While the rest of the world (even many evangelicals sadly!) go about treating the Lord’s Day with disregard, we can by faith uphold the commandments of God and show forth to the world the beauty of holiness!

Are you being “trained to renounce ungodliness”? Are you living “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age”? Are you waiting on Jesus, at least to some degree on one day out of seven? Do you know that you have been redeemed from “all lawlessness” (including the disregard of the Lord’s Day and the other blessed commandments of God!)? The Apostle Paul wrote triumphantly what we should love and confess:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (ESV Titus 2:11-14)

Let us flee from all lawlessness in our culture, particularly the disregard for making the Lord’s Day holy. Let us seek to show forth to our culture in our habits, character, and our lives that we are the redeemed and we are different—and blessed in Christ! Remember when Daniel involved himself faithfully and with excellence in the good vocation he had in the Babylonian culture, and yet he made a public stand against idolatry that was visible to all, and for that God richly blessed him! (Daniel 1). Daniel did not withdraw completely from the world, God doesn’t call His people to that, but Daniel made sure that he was not taking part in an idolatrous, foolish, unbelieving culture. And Daniel was greatly blessed. What kind of blessing might we expect from keeping the Lord’s Day holy? Perhaps our health could be better? Perhaps we struggle with anxieties and worry and joylessness that can be cured by obedience in this way? Perhaps we can learn that there is a joyful, peaceful, gracious, and even powerful work that can be done by us as a congregation if we just believe! (John 11:40).

I ask you honestly, for we as Christians to consider prayerfully, what can politics and certain places or positions of power do to change the culture and the world that hasn’t already been given (better!) in the keeping of the Lord’s Day holy! This is a commandment that can have an immediate effect upon our town, our commonwealth, our nation, our culture—immediate change would come if every Christian took a stand and sought to better and more faithfully keep the Lord’s Day holy.[1] I am often reminded of God’s goodness and grace when on Sundays, I cannot get my mouth around a Chick-fil-a! Praise God for at least one man who had a conviction, and whose conviction causes others to take note. How might culture be impacted, and folks around us be loved if we were to seek to fulfill the commandment joyfully in Christ?! My pastor friend was once eating out on a Lord’s Day, not making it his normal practice, but had an opportunity to do so, and it seemed good. As the waitress came to the table, he invited her to worship at his church the following Sunday. She said I would love to, but the “Sunday, Church crowd” keeps us so busy on Sundays for brunch I cannot get off to come to worship.[2]

I must ask you, do folks online, or in your neighborhood see visibly any difference in you and your family on the Lord’s Day than anyone else in the culture or the world? Could you be recognized as a believer based on your rhythm and pattern of life and work-week?[3] Are you different in the way you live your life in culture? Are you different in the way you live your life before other Christians? Honestly, before God, are you living like a slave like the rest of the culture and the world?? Remember, beloved, as the Apostle Peter teaches us:

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God (ESV 1 Peter 2:15-16; cf. Gal. 5:1)

Suggested Questions to Ponder and Ask Yourself to Help You to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy:

Is this activity on the Lord’s Day going to glorify God above all things? / Is this activity a work of necessity or mercy that I lovingly desire to do to love God and neighbor? / Is this activity going to hinder me (or others) from publicly worshipping God and attending to any calls to worship that God calls me to through his ordained servants? / Is this activity loving and the best use of my time for myself, my family, my guests, my neighbors, and those who look to me for leadership? / Is this activity going to be consistent with God’s Word, and particularly His clear teaching on how he desires the Lord’s Day to be remembered? / Is this activity work that I normally engage it on other days, and can it wait? / Is this activity a distraction from my taking time to grow up in God’s Word? / Is this activity something that will not be conducive to remembering what I learned in the morning worship sermon and meditating upon it and hiding in my heart so that I won’t sin against God? / Is this activity properly living a godly example before a broken and lost world?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to keep the Lord’s Day holy, please help me. Grant me your wisdom and discernment. Amen

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs

 

(Link to full study: From Your Pastor.Why Keeping the Lords Day is Glorious.March 2016)

 

[1] Wouldn’t it be a shame to find out that all of the good intentions we had as Christians in cultural and political involvement were somehow undermined by our refusal to honor the fourth commandment and keep the Sabbath holy? Would it not be a true day of revival when all Christians, especially evangelical ones could get as worked up and zealous for keeping God’s commandments in Christ as they get for political parties and powerful people that they think can really “change things”?! It seems to me that the first kind of change our churches need is to return to honoring God and His commandments? It seems that this would have a profound effect on our nation by God’s grace!

[2] I realize that excuses made by unbelievers are not necessarily always true, but this does serve as a helpful thought, doesn’t it?

[3] I want to remind us that there are legitimate works of mercy and sometimes of necessity that would prevent us from keeping the Lord’s Day as we would like. Some folks seek to be off from work on the Lord’s Day and they cannot. If one is able to just state a conviction about working on the Lord’s Day, even if one is not able to get off from work, this is still graciously witnessing and seeking to be obedient to God!

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