Monday, October 22, 2012

Celebrate The Lord's Day

The Sabbath reminds us of the first creation, the Lord's day reminds us of the new creation.

Genesis 2:1-3  So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.  2  On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work.  3  And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.

Exodus 31:13  "Tell the people of Israel: 'Be careful to keep My Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between Me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

Deuteronomy 5:12,15 Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 15 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day.

For a lot of people the concept of the Sabbath began at creation, God had completed the work of creation and he rested from it, for them that first Saturday was the first Sabbath. But the problem with that point of view is that there isn't a command from God at this point that tells us that we are to have the same rest. Way back in the Garden of Eden there were only two rules that we know for sure that God gave to Adam and Eve: Do not eat of the tree and be fruitful and multiply. In fact you do not see any evidence of a Sabbath being observed by Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Issac, Jacob or any of Jacobs twelve sons.

The Sabbath was given to God's people much later, the first time that the Sabbath is mentioned is after the Israelites have left Egypt when God is giving them the rules for gathering manna he gives them a rule about not collecting it on day number seven. The next time the Sabbath is mentioned is the fourth commandment. (Exodus 16:23-30, 20:8-11)

God told his people why he set the seventh day aside,he said that it is a day of rest and a sign of the Mosaic covenant, it is a reminder that he is the creator and they are his chosen people.

>> The thirty-nine activities that were prohibited on the Sabbath

Later as they observed the Sabbath day it should have been a great tool to remind them of God's holiness and their personal short-comings. The Sabbath was needed so that they could examine their lives and see how well they were measuring up to the law, if they didn't slow down and examine their lives then they wouldn't realize their sin and repent.

When Jesus came he changed everything, the Sabbath went away along with the Temple and the sacrifices and the priest, we don't ever see Jesus obeying the Sabbath rules, instead we see him deliberately going against the rules that the Religious leaders had concerning the Sabbath.

It is worthwhile to notice that every one of the Ten Commandments is repeated and applied to the Christian in the New Testament epistles except one. It is also worth considering that when the Apostles met at the Jerusalem council in Acts 15:1-35 they did not impose Sabbath keeping on the Gentile believers.
But when you come to the New Covenant, you have a new kind of observation, not observing God as Creator, not observing God as Law-giver, but in the New Covenant God is defining Himself as Savior.
The Lord's Day became the time for the early church to meet, we gather to commemorate His resurrection, which occurred on the first day of the week, we gather just like they did in Matthew 28:1-9, it was Sunday morning, they went to find Jesus and when they found him they began to worship him.

We are no longer concerned with the old way, just as the Apostle Paul taught in Colossians 2:16-17, the holy days and Sabbath days are a thing of the past. God accepts us because of Jesus Christ, not because of anything that we do, it is by grace, not works. We are to trust in Christ for our salvation without any concern for living under the old system of bringing sacrifices to the temple.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We need to encourage "one another towards love and good deeds," but how can we do that for each other if we doing come to the Lord's house on his day? Do you love Christ enough to get out of bed and go celebrate what he has done for you?