The Christian Sabbath ~ A Sheep’s View

I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.

We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)

The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.

How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.

The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.

It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath.  “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).”  (The Bible Dictionary)

The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of  God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.

They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.

This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.

We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:1-6

Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Image: Google

A Day of Separation

Should any day be different from another? Do we need technology to keep us posted and aware of the day, who we are and why we are here?

If we read God’s Word ~ how He began with creation and set a pattern for days ~ we have a means of understanding life for us as He meant it to be.

Separation of Night and Day

We see the purpose of separation when we read of His separation of light and darkness and night and day. Every night we die to the world in sleep. We are raised to a new life each morning.

After His creation of the earth and its inhabitants, He made a difference in the week. Months pass into years, years into decades, decades into centuries, etc.

We plan weeks and months for different activities ~ vacations, education, etc. As creatures, we, like our Creator, create so that our lives are not monotonous, boring, and mundane. We try to make ourselves happy, prosperous, free for whatever we want, and on track with society according to what is available in the physical world.

Separation of Days

If our years and decades seem to lose their significance, we need to go back to the system God created for us ~ specifically the days of the week.

Separation of night and day was necessary for simple survival. Whether we believe in God or not, we all agree on three things: Everybody sleeps. Everybody eats. And at some point, everybody dies (until Jesus’ second return).

When the Lord our God created the heavens and the earth and rested the seventh day, He did not need to rest but He, as our heavenly Father, rested and set a precedent for those who belong to Him. HE planned the time and activity He knew we needed.

Before the Fall, man needed a seventh day for rest, but even more so, since the Fall, when we were separated from Him.

So, what difference does a seventh day make? Why did God provide this day before the Fall? The key is separation.

Separation of People

God created everything we would need ~ before He created man.He created the Sabbath (seventh day) as a separate day for a separate people. He separated the nation of Israel for Himself in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we understand that He has separated a people for Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are a separate people who are called to rest and worship on His Day with Him.

This separation is for now and eternity. Jesus told of the time when His people ~ His sheep ~ will be separated from the goats. Throughout God’s Word, He makes a difference in the righteous and the wicked, in that which is holy and the unholy, in the clean and the unclean, in light and darkness, etc. The ungodly will not stand in the judgment with the righteous (Psalm 1:5).

“Intelligent Separation from Turbulence”

The active observance of the Lord’s Day is what our pastor describes as “intelligent separation from turbulence” ~ the idea of God’s people coming out of the world and its chaos for one day a week. He used this phrase in his sermon last Lord’s Day evening as he has been preaching through the book of Exodus (Exodus 31:12-18).

Rest on the Lord’s Day, including His worship, is like dying to the world and waking the next morning refreshed and alive to face the turbulence with added wisdom, vigor, and grace.

Please listen to this special message on the subject of the fourth commandment as it applies to us as followers of Christ. Why We Need to Keep Sabbath Today.

 “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy,
and have separated you from the peoples,
that you should be Mine.”
Leviticus 20:26 NKJV

The KJV uses the word “severed” in this reference, indicating a total cutting off from those who are not His people. We are His, holy in Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, you are separate from your creation but as you planned to share your kingdom with us through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, teach us through your Word the difference Jesus makes in our lives. By your Holy Spirit separate us on this holy day in honor of our Lord who was cut off in order to separate us for yourself. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

STOP ~ See, Sense, and Savor

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We need often just to stop and remember who God is and His words to us.

Dear Father, make us to know who you are; so that we know whose we are.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Copyright © Fran Rogers 2015 (Permission granted for non-profit use. Please acknowledge this website. God bless.)