Sunday’s “Blueprints” series was focused on the 4th commandment…keep the Sabbath.
This is the one Commandment of the 10 where the focus is on “us”; and, the heart of it is a command to take care of yourself. The Hebrew word for Sabbath means, to rest–Deuteronomy 5:12-15. The 4th command was instituted, by God, because he knew that the tendency of human beings would be to ‘over-work’ themselves and those who work for them…with the net result that we would do harm to both body and soul.
Two specific comments regarding a Christian and the 4th Commandment…
#1: We are no longer obligated to obey the 4th Commandment…in the strict sense of its original intent.
We are not commanded anywhere in the New Testament to “Keep the Sabbath”. In Jesus’ ministry, he began to show separation from the strict adherence to the 4th commandment, so much so, that the Pharisees not only challenged him, they wanted to kill him because of some of the thing he and his disciples did on the Sabbath, like healing people and ‘harvesting’ grain and eating it!
– The explicit de-coupling from the legalistic adherence to the 4th command came from Paul in… Colossians 2:16-17.
– The early church never made an issue out of regulating activity on the Sabbath…or Sunday.
#2: We are wise to obey the spirit of the 4th Commandment…the original intent of the 4th.
The spirit of the 4th commandment is for our bodies and souls to be refreshed and restored and replenished from working them long and hard (Exodus 23:12).
If you want to keep the ‘spirit’ of the 4th commandment, God wants you to:
- Use one day a week to rest and refresh you bodies.
- The Sabbath is a day for worship and for spiritual renewal with others (Leviticus 23:3).
When you experience your next “Sabbath Day,” read Psalm 92 which was written specifically for Sabbath Day worship.
Do you have any thoughts, experiences or comments from Sunday’s service at River Oaks? If so, feel free to share those with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.