Meditations on the sabbath this Lord's Day

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Scott1, Jan 22, 2012.

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  1. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    We do well to recognize that God's people are not as conscious of the Christian sabbath, the Lord's Day, in this generation as they were in the last. And, more, to know that many rationalize away their not keeping it, under all sorts of imagined pretexts.

    So, while not ordinarily eating out in restaurants, causing others to earn their living for our convenience and hindering them from keeping the command might seem "legalistic" to one who does not want to be so constrained, it is at the heart of obedience to that command.

    It is also related to loving one's neighbor.

    The Westminster Confession Chapter XXI summarize the doctrine of Scripture to include the ordinary advance preparation and abstaining from work and recreation all the day, by words, thoughts and actions so that the worship of God, individual, family and corporate is prioritized all the day.

    Mercy and necessity as to the works themselves are established as part of the command.

    The Westminster Larger Catechism at Question 121 also summarizes the doctrine of Scripture, in saying that the keeping of it helps us to “better to keep all the rest of the commandments,” and that “there is less light of nature for it,” and that “Satan with his instruments labours much to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.”

    Scripture tells it is a delight.

    That is experienced with obedience, and with the practical effect on our behavior that makes the day "holy," that is set apart.

    And, like all the commandments, it shows the disobedience that is in man's hearts, and the utter resentment that flows from the claim of a holy God upon the time and actions of His creatures.

    Somehow, I believe many believers who have gone before us practiced and affirmed all of this in their day. All, in not being more strict than the Scripture commands.

    We would do well to do the same in ours.
  2. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "Are we criminals? We're breaking the law! Six days you should rest and on the seventh labor?" This is the barrage I heard from my son while going by Home Depot this morning to pick up pavement salt needed for us to be able to hold worship services (safely) this morning. It's hard to explain works of necessity to an autistic son, although it does please me to know how much he pays attention to the law.
  3. Pittzburghkid

    Pittzburghkid Puritan Board Freshman

    Interesting thoughts. Should you fill your car with gas? Donuts? Should you stop buy the store and get the potatoes you forgot for the stew you are preparing for a Sunday evening fellowship dinner? Is that better than eating out? If your friends oxen falls into a Starbucks should you not help him pull it out?
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    Keep in mind the heart of the fourth commandment.

    Work six days, rest one.

    Make the one day "holy" set apart from the rest of the days so that the worship of God may be prioritized all day. That includes, ordinarily abstaining from work and recreation, and preparing in advance.

    Remember, keeping the holiness of the sabbath involves thoughts, words and deeds. There are exceptions for things that are in and of themselves necessary to be done at that time. But a good faith attempt to obey God in this is not trying to imagine every exception to try and get out of it.:)

    Here's a book you may find helpful in understanding this:
  5. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    How do you who keep the Sabbath account for Calvin stating that the Sabbath was abolished?
  6. Bethel

    Bethel Puritan Board Freshman

    This is very sound advice. I would also highly recommend The Lord's Day by Pipa. This book has changed the way our family views the worship of God on Sunday in light of the 4th commandment.
  7. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Could you please quote the section of Calvin you're referring to?
  8. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Calvin in his sermon on Deuteronomy 5:12-14 may utter the phrase "the Sabbath Day is abolished", but Calvin only means in its outward, Jewish, ceremonial aspects. The principle is still in effect. That is why in the same sermon he says things like:

  9. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    You will find substantial evidence to suggest that, in practice, sabbaths in Geneva looked very much like those summarized by the Westminster Confession and London Baptist Confessions.

    While the "Greatest Theologian," stands without equal to this day in the breadth of his biblical work, he is not infallible.

    The question though is not what a particular theologian, even a great one, believed at a given point in his life, but what does the Holy Spirit, speaking through Scripture say to us?

    Very clearly, God gave His creatures, ten commandments, which broadly summarize His moral law, binding on all men- in all generations.

    That fact that, in every generation, men often do not want to obey them, points them to their need for Christ, restrains evil, and provides a mirror of what the life of God's people ought look like.
  10. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    See the link in my signature to a Calvin article, the early part canvases literature showing Calvin's practical sabbatarian views; but see also this post.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  11. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    This is the quote I refer to:
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2012
  12. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

  13. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

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