Summary: Teaching on how the Sabbath relates to us as believers in Christ.

What’s the Sabbath About

By Andrew Chan, Senior Pastor

Pilgrim Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC

Exodus 20 NLT

8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, 10 but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

Christians stay home from church. Poor excuse. Sleep better here!

1. First Sabbath (Gen.2:2)– R. Paul Stevens: “Adam and Eve’s first vocational experience was to waste time for good and for God.”

2. Reveals the heart of God – God’s enjoyment and grace in ordering of the chaos. Connected to Creation story - just as chaos and emptiness of uncreation ended with God’s creative work so one day look foward to a new heavens and new earth

3. Remember a lifting of the curse…pointing to a new day. Points to exodus ex-slaves that you will not always have to sweat.


Isaiah 58:13-14 NLT

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the LORD in everything you do, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this, 14 the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised to Jacob, your ancestor. I, the LORD, have spoken!

What keeps us working is… Luke 12:13-34 “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work we go”

Question: Is God a delight or a noose around your neck?

Do treat God as a piece of legislation or a personal being who loves?

Mark 2:23

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath. 28 And I, the Son of Man, am master even of the Sabbath!”

So Sabbath was not meant to be an experience of multiple restrictions. It should be a delight. Jesus embodied the Sabbath by healing, forgiving sin, bringing delight and joy (restoration). God "will never let me stumble, slip or fall" and is "always watching, never sleeping" (Ps.121:3,4, LB)

Colossian 2:8 ff. Not absence of work but experience of joy, enter into God’s work revealed in Christ

8 Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. 9 For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, 10 and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe…

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And don’t let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud. 19 But they are not connected to Christ…

Some precautionary notes:

Work is good Col.3:23

Mini sabbaths –daily quiet time - delight in personal meeting with God who enjoys giving you rest

Death penalty for desecration (Num.15:32-36)- points to fact we work ourselves to death if we do not find a place/time to rest

Hebrew scholar, Dr. Ken Way states that a study of the Hebrew word "Shabbat" reveals a number of important theological truths:

Sabbath reveals God’s love and care for his people. The Sabbath commands were given from God’s heart of love for us.

Sabbath reveals God’s design in creation. People, animals, and land require rest in order to thrive and prosper.

Sabbath reveals that humans are made in God’s image. People are instructed to rest because God himself rested.

Sabbath reveals the human need for LIMITS. People have a tendency to overwork themselves.

Sabbath reveals the human need for self-discipline and structure (good time management and the ability to say ENOUGH).

Sabbath reveals the human tendency to marginalize God by not resting and accepting his CREATION order for our lives.

Sabbath reveals that rest can be an act of worship as we submit our schedule’s to God’s wisdom. As work is dedicated to God’s glory, so should rest.

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