Remember the Sabbath Day (Ex.20-8)

The above title is a fragment of what was spoken by the Lord to Moses and later written among the ten commandments. According to the book of Hebrews, they along with other matters of the Old Covenant are “. . . obsolete.” “Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb.8:13) The service of God under that covenant has these various descriptions: copy, shadow, and symbolic (figure – KJV). A good summary statement is found in Hebrews 8:5; “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” A pattern is that which traces a reality. The trace of keeping the Sabbath holy points to a great reality; God’s rest. It’s a word that means “repose.” The New Covenant is all about receiving that rest. This is the Sabbath God wants us to remember.

There are two parts of the one rest. The first part has to do with what we can have here and now. The other is in the world to come. Jesus promised to those who are heavy laden; “ I will give you rest.” “Rest” carries the idea of being refreshed. The true “repose” of God begins with being refreshed because the burden of sin is lifted. The redemption of a broken life is peace indeed. The effect of salvation is harmonious with God’s state of being. We are given a piece of His life. It has the potential to abide from here into the eternal presence of the Lord. This rest is not the salve of just doing our part while waiting for something better. That is what the Old Covenant was for the faithful. Through the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the rest is deep and true, a significant source for the fruit of joy in the Holy Spirit. And yet, this taste of the world to come is not fixed.

While blessed with rest we are subject to trials. The very idea of trial points to the need for proof. The question remains whether or not we will be faithful. Therefore, any rest or comfort we might enjoy can be annulled through neglecting God. I think this is the major difference between our lives here and the world to come. Here we must prove ourselves faithful. There, God will glorify those who are proven. Thus the admonition in Hebrews; “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”

The fourth chapter of Hebrews teaches of our need go forward and prepare ourselves to completely enter God’s rest, His eternal repose. The Sabbath command has this foundation; “. . . And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.”(Gen.2:2 / Ex.20:11 / Heb.4:4) The idea moves forward to this reward being yet in front of us. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9) And, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”(Heb.4:11) It is striking that work is the condition for enjoying God’s rest. Even God worked and rested. I like how the King James translators used the word “labour.” It underscores what it is to be diligent. Diligence is not achieved in a lounge chair with lemonade.

In Christ we have no observance of Saturday or Sunday as the Sabbath Day. The true Sabbath is in Him. It begins with our salvation and is brought to its fulfillment when He will say; “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . .” “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Col.2:16-17)

avatar About Louis
I am an evangelist sent out by the Old Lamine church of Christ, which meets about 3 miles north of Lamine, Missouri.

5 thoughts on “Remember the Sabbath Day (Ex.20-8)”

  1. Excellent lesson! Thank you Louis

    I wonder if the 7th day of creation is over, if evening ever fell ? God finished his work on the 7th day and rested. Rested not because He was tired, but because He was finished….just thinking

    The Gospels record 7 healings Jesus did on the Jewish Sabbath. Not just to give the Jews a reason to kill him or to embarass them, but to declare himself as Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was coming to an end, just as the rest of the Mosiac Law, as the type and shadow of the rest that we find in Jesus.

    Col 2:16-17 also declares that the sabbaths were just a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

  2. Rick,
    Thanks for your encouraging comments. Just as the holy days of Passover, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Tabernacles have their fulfillment in Christ, so the Sabbath will be reserved for us if we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

  3. Louis,
    This is as complete a coverage of the subject as I have ever seen. Precise and to the point. I think people would have preferred for God to just issue a new set of Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were easy to follow but God required much more than following the Ten Commandments.

    Thou shalt Hear the word.
    Thou shalt Believe the word.
    Thou shalt Repent from thy sins.
    Thou shalt Confess thy sins.
    Thou shalt be Baptized for the forgiveness of thy sins.

    I will let someone else pick the other five Commandments. 🙂

    When God created Adam he put him to work dressing and keeping the garden. (Gen 2:15) Adam was so busy he needed help. (Gen 2:20)
    I think that to be a successful Christian we have to understand that God expects us to work. When my salvation is reasonably safe I must work to help save others. It is my life long goal to help save others. I expect to receive nothing from God in this life but the opportunity to help others reach the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding. (Phil 4:7.

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