Summary: Principles about the Sabbath.
October 17, 2002
October 2, 2002
Throughout this week we have studied different topics. Tonight, we will learn some of the biblical principles about the Sabbath.
A. What are these principles?
1) These are principles that God Himself have ordained.
2) Simple, yet profound.
3) But these principles, if learned properly, transcend more than just the keeping of the Sabbath.
4) It gives us answers as to how we came here, why we are here, and where are we going.
B. May God give us wisdom as we study these principles.
A. One of the centers of contentions
1) Jewish economy
a) Within the Jewish economy, the question about the Sabbath revolves on the keeping of the Sabbath.
b) How to keep the Sabbath properly was the main concern of the religious leaders. The question was not the "when" of the Sabbath but the "how" of the Sabbath.
c) In their attempt to keep the Sabbath properly, religious leaders have devised different regulations on the keeping of the Sabbath.
d) On the Sabbath commandment at all, they have added more than five hundred different regulations.
1. These regulations ranges from the question on how far a person can travel on the Sabbath to the question of what a person can do on the Sabbath.
a. That is why in the New Testament we read some remarks such as a “Sabbath journey,” etc., as a reflection of the regulations that the religious leaders have added from one generation to the next.
e) Consequently, with all the added regulations, the keeping of the Sabbath had become a burden than a delight.
2) Christian Church
a) Within the Christian church, the question about the Sabbath is no longer how to keep the Sabbath, but when is the Sabbath.
1. The question focuses not so much on the principles behind the keeping of the Sabbath, but on the relevance of the Sabbath in our time.
2. And this question about the “when” of the Sabbath is a by-product of a much bigger question—Are God’s Commandments immutable or mutable?
3. Does the Christian church have the right to change God’s command?
4. Are there any in God’s commandments that apply only to the Jewish people and are therefore, no longer relevant within the Christian economy?
b) Within the Christian church, many believe that the Sabbath principles, i.e., resting from our labors, spending time with God, are still applicable in our time. But “when” do you rest from your labor, when do you worship God, has become an individual prerogative. We call this principle “When-it-is-convenient-to-serve-God principle.”
c) The overall principle within the Christian church when it comes to the Sabbath is—“I will choose my Sabbath.”
3) Tonight, we are going to learn that keeping the Sabbath is NOT an individual choice.
4) We will learn that we CANNOT separate the principles of the Sabbath to its application.
B. Principles of the Sabbath. Why do we keep the Sabbath exactly as God have told us in His Law?
1) Sabbath is a memorial of God’s creation
a) Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”