First Baptist Church of Minneola
Commandment Four
  • Three - You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (last week)
    Four - Keep the Sabbath day holy. (this week)
    Five - Honor your father and your mother. (next week)
    INTRO - I once heard a story about a man visiting the homeless. Another man asked him for money and the first fellow took out the seven dollars he had in his pocket. The man handed the homeless gut $6.00. The homeless man slugged him in the stomach and took the other $1.00 and ran away.
    That story is much like our present day. God gives six days to do our work and many go on to conclude, “Yes, I will steal the seventh too and use it for myself.”
    There are a few things I want to put before you today.
    First, I want us to read our text:
    Exodus 20:8–11 CSB
    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
    TRANS - Let’s break this down into three easy-to-remember parts. Practice, provision, and purpose.

    The Practice

    To be clear, Jesus changed everything and that includes cultic practices, how we view festivals, and even the command to keep the Sabbath.
    We need to understand the practice of both the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.

    Hebrew Sabbath

    Our text opens with “remember the Sabbath.”
    This was not a new command, but one that goes all the way back to creation.
    Look at the part that says the “Lord mad the heavens and the earth.”
    This means the Sabbath was already in place prior to the Law handed down by Moses at Mt. Sinai.
    God began the process of preparing the people for the practice of Sabbath observance when told to take up manna and on the sixth day, enough for two days.
    In addition to creation and God’s help to learn this pattern, Moses reminded the people:
    Deuteronomy 5:15 CSB
    Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
    Moses reminds the people that another reason to observe the Sabbath is to recall their redemption from Egyptian slavery.
    TRANS - However, the part I really want us to catch is not that it looks back to creation or back to redemption from Egyptian slavery, but that it looks forward to rest in Jesus.

    Christian Lord’s Day

    Let me give you some reasons for why God deems it necessary for believer to worship on the First day of the week.

    Jesus, raised on the first day

    Christ raised from the dead on a Sunday as Mark 16:9 notes, “Early on the first day of the week, after He had risen.”

    Jesus, meeting with Disciples

    Mark 16:11 notes, “they heard.... did not believe” that soon changed.

    Gives the Holy Spirit, gives the Great Commission, and ascends into Heaven

    On the first day of the week, Jesus meets with the disciples and tells them to preach the gospel then ascends into heaven.

    Pentecost on the First Day

    Acts 2, Jesus pours the Holy Spirit upon the church.

    Bible completed on the First Day

    The complete canon completed on a Sunday.
    Also, Revelation given, inspired, on a Sunday:
    Revelation 1:10 CSB
    I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet

    Early Church Meeting Day, Sunday

    Look in Acts:
    Acts 20:7 CSB
    On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he kept on talking until midnight.

    Generous giving, on Sunday

    Money given and recieved for the work of the Lord on Sundays:
    1 Corinthians 16:2 CSB
    On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.
    TRANS - The OT Sabbath was a shadow of something to come, His name is Jesus.
    With a solid understanding of how we view the Lord’s Day, let’s ask the question, “Why does God provide this special one day a week?”

    The Provision

    Two perspectives:

    God’s Rest

    V.11 “For” tells us the reason for the commandment.
    “For” is a form of “because.”
    For, as, or because God made the heavens, earth, and sea.
    God made the universe!
    On top of that, God made all living things.
    The next part is our focus, “the He rested on the seventh day.
    The word used is different than shabath used in other places.
    The word here refers to resting after becoming tired.
    Pause on that for a moment.
    God, present all the time, present everyplace, listening to all your prayers, who watches over every bird that falls and counts the grains of sand, He got tired!
    Can you even begin to wrap your mind around how much God put into creation?
    That, God powerful beyond any measure we can imagine, did so much as to need rest?
    See the word “therefore?”
    Therefore Yahweh gave special meaning to the sabbath.
    God made it holy; or set apart for holiness.
    The Contemporary English Bible translates “That is why...”
    The day is holy because God gave it special meaning, “I rested, therefore that is why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.”
    TRANS - God’s rest, what of us?

    Our Renewal

    Humankind require both work and rest.
    God gave us a weekly pattern.
    The commandment teaches people to have both a work and a leisure ethic.
    ILL - Do you know the story about the man that questions the pastor taking a vacation? The fellow asked, “Pastor, the devil doesn’t take a vacation, so why do you?” The pastor reminded the man, “I don’t work for the devil.”
    The Bible’s answer to workaholism is the Lord’s Day.
    Business men rest from business, housewives from housework, student from studies, and pastors, well we take another day to rest :-).
    There is always something to do.
    It was the Pharisees that took this to an extreme not intended by God.
    That is why Jesus provides this word on working on the Sabbath:
    Matthew 12:11–13 CSB
    He replied to them, “Who among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? A person is worth far more than a sheep; so it is lawful to do what is good on the Sabbath.” Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other.
    Unlike legalist who make out the Bible to say what God does not intend, Jesus gives us example of how to always love, do what is right, and use a good bit of common sense.
    Today we exercise Godly judgement in regard to the Lord’s Day.
    Even the Puritans understood there was a time to dine in a public inn.
    Some might see this as opportunity to seek out a “loop hole.”
    It helps to consider that God calls away from work to engage in the best business, the purest pleasure, the greatest glory which is worshiping, glorifying, and fellowshipping with God.
    TRANS - Practice, provision, and next we consider the purpose.

    The Purpose

    We’ve touched on this somewhat in the previous to points.
    Let’s bring it home in this point and then conclude our time today.
    Two BIG ideas:

    To Worship Our God

    The seven day week was unique to the Hebrew people.
    Most calendars were based on the lunar or solar cycle.
    The seven day week is not based on the moon or sun cycles.
    However, the seven day thing did have special significance in the ancient world.
    A Mesopotamian ruler, Gudea, celebrated seven days when he finished the temple for his god Ninfirsu.
    In the Gilgamesh Epic, the Noah-like figure Utnpishtim built an ark in seven days, then experienced six days of rain, and it ceased on the seventh.
    The Ugaritic Baal Cycle talks of six days of cleansing by fire that ceased on the seventh day.
    These are all religious in significance.
    However, while there are seeming parallels, only God rests and thus tells us He is in control of the ruler of the cosmos.
    Other gods, yes, but none with the power to say, “After creating all things which does include matter, living things, the universe, and even time, I am calling in a day to rest.”
    No other God has the power to say, “Be still universe that I created.”

    To Rest Like God

    Are people willing to spend time worshiping God?
    Why do people take a break from the Lord’s Day?
    Why do church folks return to earthly pleasures?
    The Bible’s solution is to keep God’s commandments.
    The more I do as God says, the greater joy I have in Him.
    The way to answer the questions, “Do I work, go to a child’s ballgame, or watch t.v.?”
    All these become easier to answer when people honor the Lord’s Day.
    The real struggle, the more difficult work, is ignoring what we are created to do and that is worship God His way on His Day, Sunday.

    Conclusion

    We noted the practice, provision, and purpose behind the forth commandment.
    We noted how the Sabbath is now the Lord’s Day.
    We realize the Bible’s teaching rest, God’s and ours as tied to this commandment.
    Lastly, we now understand the purpose, why God gives us the forth commandment.
    Let’s make it our task to take what God gives us today and to intentionally share that with someone else this coming week.
    (end)
      • Exodus 20:8–11HCSB

      • Deuteronomy 5:15HCSB

      • Revelation 1:10HCSB

      • Acts 20:7HCSB

      • 1 Corinthians 16:2HCSB

      • Matthew 12:11–13HCSB

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