Memory Verse: “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” (Genesis 2:3).
INTRODUCTION: Last week we considered the Ten Commandments and found them to be still in force according to the Bible. In fact, Jesus Himself told the man in Matthew 19:15-19 to keep the Ten Commandments if he wanted eternal life.
In view of this, isn’t it strange that the only part of this law that God explicitly commands us to remember is the part that most professing Christians want to forget? It is equally strange how flimsy and shallow are the reasons advanced by scholars promoting the change of the Sabbath to Sunday worship.
After presenting the Sabbath, its origin, purpose and importance in an excellent manner, The New Bible Dictionary by J. D. Douglas explains the change of the Sabbath as follows: “On the first day of the week the Lord rose from the dead, and the Christians began to assemble on that day for worship of the risen Christ. This day is the Lord’s Day, and as such is the Sabbath which God had instituted at creation. The commands regarding it have never been abrogated. It belongs to God, not to the pleasure of man; it is for the benefit and blessing of man, and that blessing is obtained by a resting on the Sabbath from all one’s regular secular toil” (J. D. Douglas, The New Bible Dictionary, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1975, p. 1111).
This is typical of the way most scholars treat this subject. He gives no Biblical instruction or example as to why it was changed. He simply states that it was in honor of Christ’s resurrection. We realize that Jesus was not resurrected on Sunday, but, even it this were true, it would not be reason to change a command of God.
Notice that he wants to bring the rules and principles of the Sabbath over to Sunday. He even makes it the Sabbath of creation. How well Jesus described this when He said, “But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
This law was written with the finger of God and given to Moses intact. It should stand or fall as a whole. Most churches attempt to abolish the Sabbath while retaining the other nine. But in the absence of a direct command from God we must recognize them as a whole. We cannot arbitrarily pick and choose from God’s Word and reject or change what we dislike. It is His place to command and our place to simply obey.
- When was the Sabbath instituted and why? Genesis 2:1-3.
- Of what great law is it a part? Exodus 20:8-11. Did Jesus recognize the importance of this law? Matthew 19:16-19.
- Was the Sabbath made only for the Jews? Mark 2:27-28.
- Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Luke 4:16. Are we to follow His example? 1 John 2:5-6.
- Did Paul follow Jesus’ example? 1 Corinthians 11:1. What was Paul’s custom regarding the Sabbath? Acts 17:1-2; 18:1-4,
- How does Matthew 24:15-20 prove the Sabbath was still in force at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
- How are we to keep the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:13; Jeremiah 17:21-27.
- What blessings are promised to those who keep the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:14; Isaiah 56:1-7.
- In what ways is the Sabbath a delight to you?