Summary: There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Dakota Community Church
October 4, 2009
The Field & the Force 7
The Force at Rest – (Part 4)
So far we have looked at:
1. When the Church is the field
When the church is the field it is seen as the place people come to do the work of God.
2. When the Church is the (labor) force
When the church becomes the force – the world becomes the field.
3. When and where is the gospel to be proclaimed?
The gospel is to be proclaimed everywhere and in every way!
4. In what ways is the force mobilized?
Just how do we get out there and work in the field?
5. What is the role of pastors and elders?
Should we even have pastors and elders?
6. How do I find my place in the field?
7. The force at rest.
Let’s go to the word of God:
A. By God’s design and the laws decree there is a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
B. Fallen man is so broken we cannot even rest without a savior.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Notice that unlike the previous days the seventh day is not given a finalization with the phrase; “And there was evening, and there was morning—the seventh day.” Many scholars agree that this is because the state of rest, of having ceased from work, was to be the permanent condition of man in relationship with God.
The Sabbath in the Old Testament is a picture of the coming Sabbath (Cessation of work) that believers enter into by faith in Christ.
Most of the time when Jesus encounters questions about the law He turns the heat up.
Where the Sabbath is concerned they think they are keeping it by diligently avoiding any work, even the work of helping those in need.
They have taken this wonderful part of shalom and made it a burdensome work.
When I was about 12 or 13 years old we visited my grandfather and as we sat on the front porch of his house I noticed a nasty scar on his finger. He told me that as a young boy he had been whittling on a Sunday and sliced his finger and his mom would not help him because it was the Sabbath. He was left with a permanent scar that was worse than the one on his hand. He never had the time of day for any talk of God or Church.
1At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
3He answered, "Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that one[a] greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, ’I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus shakes them up, tells them they have completely missed the point and illustrates their need of a savior – they want to murder him for breaking the Sabbath!!!!
C. There is a Sabbath rest for the believer that is by faith.
Where then does this leave us as New Testament believers?