“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.
- Keeping the Lord’s Day is glorious because it can remind us that our Lord Jesus created it, kept it, and fulfilled it, and gave it to believers as a way of imitating Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ who is God and man created the Sabbath, kept it joyfully, and fulfilled it. These are three aspects of Christ’s work that we should consider. As God, the Lord Jesus Christ created the Sabbath for the good of man as a creation ordinance to order man’s time pattern and rhythm according to God’s own time-keeping as His redemptive story unfolded in space and time history. Our Lord Jesus says: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) to emphasize the gift of God the Lord’s Day is, particularly to believers. Jesus Christ our Lord also kept the Sabbath Day joyfully as a true human being in obedience to God (John 17:4). Christ said that “Heaven and earth shall pass away but not one jot or tittle shall pass away” from the moral law, particularly the fourth commandment as given by God to man (Matt. 5:17-20). It was our Lord’s delight to keep the Sabbath Day holy unto God.
Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath Day as a covenant of works, but He opened up for believers the power and transformative grace to fulfill it, too, not as a basis for works righteousness, but as a privilege of grace for the glory of God. Jesus fulfilled the law’s perfect demands, so that we could be free to live God’s law as a glorious way of life. Jesus became Savior to save us from the law, but he is also our example to teach us how to live saved according to the law. The Lord Jesus fulfilled all the moral law for believers, particularly as revealed in the Ten Commandments, so that in Him, by His power, we might meet the righteous requirements of God’s Law who “walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). The Apostle Paul teaches this great and glorious news of freedom from the Law as a covenant of works, and the opportunity and privilege for believers now to live as Christ lived according to the law:
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (ESV Romans 8:3-4).
Note very importantly in Romans 8:3-4 that God doesn’t change the holy and righteous requirements of His law. God changes us! God doesn’t overlook or disregard or abrogate or abolish His law, but He changes our hearts and writes the law on our hearts as He promised in the Old Covenant (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 10:15-17)! God doesn’t change the law, he changes our relationship to it! Once we were “married” to the law as a binding covenant of works, but now we are “married” to Christ by faith, and in Him, we live according to the law as a way of life: “…In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us…” (Rom. 8:4; 1 Cor. 7:1-12). God upholds His just law and graciously changes us from within (in a way the law is powerless to do!) so that we might uphold it, too. He truly is the God who is just and also the justifier of all who believe in Christ Jesus!! (Rom. 3:24-26).
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,
 The fourth commandment is a commandment that is rooted not merely in redemption, but also in creation teaching that this is a commandment that is binding on every creature who has ever lived, does live, and will live (contrast Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5). One important implication of keeping the Lord’s Day holy is that it is imitating God as He rested after His glorious creation work and following His work-rest pattern (Gen. 1:31).
(To read the entire study on why keeping the Lord’s Day is glorious, click here: From Your Pastor.Why Keeping the Lords Day is Glorious.March 2016)