Summary: A brief sermon on #4 of the Ten Commandments
Evening Service for 2/9/2003
A. Pocket calendars stuffed with appointments. Meals eaten in the car. Evening after evening spent away from home. Weekends that are busier than weekdays. Trouble sleeping and trouble waking up. Feeling fatigued. Feeling stressed.
B. In the 1991, The Overworked American, economist Juliet Schor reported that work hours and stress are up, and sleep and family time are down for all classes of employed Americans. Wives working outside the home return to find a “second shift” of housework awaiting them. Husbands add overtime or second jobs to their schedules. Single parents stretch in so many directions that they sometimes feel they can’t manage. Simultaneously, all are bombarded by messages that urge them to spend more (and so, ultimately, work more), to keep their homes cleaner (standards keep rising), and to improve themselves as investors, parents, athletes, etc. Supposedly to make all this possible, grocery stores stay open all night long, and entertainment options are available around the clock.
C. Why are we so tired? How did life get this way? Is this how God expects us to live?
D. Oh, just take a day off. What? Are you crazy? I have so much to do!!! I have to do it or it won’t get done. Go, Go, Go!!!
E. This commandment tells us to have a special day for rest and worship.
F. A preacher rode by one Sunday morning to see a farmer and church member at work harvesting. “Brother,” the minister lectured him, “don’t you know that the Creator made the world in six days and rested on the seventh?” “Yes,” said the farmer, “I know all about that, but He got finished and I didn’t!”
G. Our modern day. The Lord has given us 6 days and people take the 7th one too.
H. Everyone needs a day off. It was built into us by God. He rested on the 7th day.
I. The word Sabbath means to cease. To cease from work.
J. It is different for Christians:
1. Rainbow is the sign of the covenant with Noah
2. Circumcision is the sign of the covenant with Abraham.
3. Sabbath is the sign of the Mosaic covenant.
4. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs, memorials of the Christian covenant. Remembering Christ.
K. Is the Sabbath no longer useful for the Christian?
1. Yes and no!
2. Yes, in the sense that this commandment was not repeated in the New Testament as binding upon Christians. Much like sacrificial laws, no longer relevant.
3. The Sabbath was God’s gift to Israel. Having slaved every day of their lives in Egypt they now had, as God’s gift, the blessing of a regular day of rest.
4. Sabbath was a three-fold celebration.
a. Celebrated God creating power.
b. Celebrated God’s redemptive power. Read Deuteronomy 5:12-15.
c. Celebrated God providing for their needs. God provided for Israel apart from Israel’s own efforts in the desert, the wilderness.
5. For the Christian, Jesus is our promised rest. (Mat 11:28 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:29 NIV) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mat 11:30 NIV) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
6. In a sense, every day is a Sabbath. Praise God that it all doesn’t depend upon us. If I live a self reliant life, I will certainly be stressed, fatigued and frightened.
7. Praise God that we don’t have to follow the laws of the Sabbath from the Old Testament. We have freedom as Christians.
8. Some people make a big deal about Sunday being the Sabbath. It is not the Sabbath; it is the Lord’s Day. Why the change?
a. Jesus was raised on the dead on the 1st day.
b. He ascended on the 1st day of the week.
c. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles on the 1st day of the week.
d. The church was established on the 1st day of the week.
e. The church met on the 1st day of the week, observed Lord’s Supper on first day of week. (Well established by the church fathers and that it was apostolic precedent- Acts 20)
9. Some “Christian” groups say that we need to celebrate the Sabbath on the 7th day. As Christians we really don’t celebrate the Sabbath. We celebrate Jesus Christ, who is our rest. Secondly, we are not celebrating Jesus on Saturday; he was still in the tomb on that day.
Thesis: However, the purpose of the Sabbath is very much needed today- rest and worship.
A. The world wants us to do its bidding. The Lord wants us to do his bidding. Who is going to win out?