The Lord's Day: A Creation Ordinance

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed
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    "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." ~ Genesis 2:1-3 (NASB)

    The scripture tell us that God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. By blessed, God set it apart from the other six days of the week. In other words God made the seventh day special. What is interesting about God blessing and setting apart the seventh day is that he did so before the Sabbath became codified in the Mosaic Law.

    Prior to the Law being codified in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) we read this:

    "On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, "This is what the Lord has commanded: 'Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till morning.'" So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none."" ~ Exodus 16:22-26 (NASB)

    So, the Sabbath was instituted prior to the giving of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, which is generally accepted as when the Mosaic Law was given.

    So, what is my point? The Sabbath is not just an Old Covenant ordinance. It predates the Old Covenant. It can be traced back to the creation event in Genesis 2. As a New Covenant saint I believe that the Sabbath, or the Lord's Day, has been moved to the first day of the week to recognize the second Genesis event, which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ; who makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). The term "Christian Sabbath" is uncomfortable for many Baptists because it seems too much like an Old Covenant term. Our Baptist forefathers used the terms "Christian Sabbath" and "Lord's Day" interchangeably, and that is how I am referring to the first day of the week in this post.

    How the Lord's Day is to be observed is an entirely different topic, but the fact that it is a day that we are commanded to observe is rooted as far back as creation.
     
  2. Van

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    What does the Bible teach about keeping our own day, perhaps a Wednesday? In our modern world, folks work in many 24/7 jobs, i.e. Emergency Room care providers, water and power workers, etc. On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 many folks were not resting.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    Sunday is most definitely not a day of rest for me.

    I have to be at church at 7:50 for praise band practice, soloist practice, and any other special music practice, I teach Sunday School, and then there's the worship service. I get home about 12:20 each Sunday.

    Then I have to be back in the afternoon/evening.

    Sunday afternoons, I try to get a 2 hour nap, but since going back to work, I usually have papers to grade and lesson plans that are due Monday morning.

    Sundays are stressful for me. I wake up wiped out and end the day crashing into the bed.
     
    #3 Scarlett O., Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  4. Reformed

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    Good morning, Scarlett.

    You describe a very common scenario for many Christians as to how their Lord's Day goes. The primary purpose of the OP was to make the point that the Lord's Day is not an optional day to be recognized and that, from creation, it was made holy by God, and was to be observed on the seventh day. It was not until Christ ascended that the day of observance changed to the first day of the week. Based on what you shared I don't believe you are taking the day of observance to task. Any discussion about the Lord's Day invariably leads to how the day is to be observed. Jesus dealt with the same thing when he condemned the Pharisees for turning the Sabbath into a means of promoting their self-righteousness:

    "At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him to eat not for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.

    He went on form their and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath" - so that they might accuse him. He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out?" Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. The he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored and healthy like the others. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him." ~ Matthew 12:1-14

    Besides our commanded worship, Jesus gave an example of works of mercy and necessity being permissible on the Lord's Day. Works of mercy could be helping a widow or a shut-in or visiting a nursing home. Works of necessity could be first responders (police, firemen, EMS) and utility plant operators et. al. I've been in some vigorous discussions with some Christians who defend their right to watch football games or go to NASCAR races on Sunday, or if they're on vacation to skip worship altogether. I'm careful in my response because I don't want to turn the Lord's Day into a checklist of things that must be done in order to earn God's favor. But God himself set the day apart as holy. That is not a trifle thing. So, it is enough for this thread if Christians understand the importance of treating the day as holy because God consecrated it as holy. After all the Lord said, "For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 12:44a).

    Have a blessed day.
     
  5. Salty

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    Maybe you should have someone else teach the SS class.


    MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
    IT WOULD HAVE GROWN TO BE A SHEEP
    BUT IT JOINED A BAPTIST CHURCH
    AND DIED OF LACK OF SLEEP.
     
  6. The Biblicist

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    I have written a book that defends your position but in much more detail. If you are interested you can download and read it free at the following address:

    http://victorybaptistchurch.webstarts.com/uploads/The_Sabbathbook.pdf
     

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