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Page 447


    As our Creator and Employer, God provides us with many rich blessing and benefits. Of how much value are the daily blessings of a sound mind, physical health, eyesight, hearing, God's Word, a loving family, and friends?

    If a person would steal time from the Lord on the one day in which He requires holy dedication and worship, and use God's day for his own purpose and pleasure, how will God view this practice? If this person continues to receive rich benefits from God without qualms of conscience, why is he clearly wrong?


God has graciously provided a weekly Sabbath, a weekly day of rest for the following reasons:


1. To specially remember God and His work - a day to commemorate the completion of creation in the Old Testament and the completion of salvation in the New Testament.

2. To specially focus upon spiritual matters - a day to set aside the concerns of our lawful, outward, physical callings to concern ourselves with inward, spiritual realities.

3. To specially provide time for public worship services - a day to congregationally worship and glorify God and be instructed in His house.

4. To specially rest spiritually - a day to rest in God as a foretaste of the eternal rest which remains for the children of God.

5. To specially rest physically, mentally, and emotionally - a day for resting from the strain, busyness, and cares of our normal daily callings.

6. To specially distinguish God's covenant people - a day which specially sets God's church apart from the world.


The keeping of the weekly Sabbath is an institution of God that is binding for all times and people. We know this is true because Sabbath observance is both a creation ordinance (Genesis 2:2-3), and one of the ten commandments which were engraved in stone (Exodus 20: 11). It was also foretold by the Old Testament prophets as one of the characteristics of the Messiah's reign (Isaiah 48:13-14).

If all of life is religious, and we are to serve God every day, how is the Sabbath to be different from the other days of the week?

 

Unto whom I sware in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest.

- Psalm 95:11

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath eased from his own work, as God did from His.

- Hebrews 4:8-10

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

- Exodus 31:13

Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.

- Ezekiel 20:12

If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

- Isaiah 58:13-14

 

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