Sabbath question

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StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I had an interesting time last night. A group gets together to do Bible study at a local coffee shop. I had seen and been with the group quite awhile back, but lately as I went out with some friends, I saw the group again over in the corner, said hi and said I would join them next week. So that Bible study I attended was last night.

The group is very eclectic of denominations and beliefs. Arminians, and a Seventh Day Adventist are among them. At least two or three discounted Calvinism right off the bat.

But I was curious about the SDA guy. The main guy at the study doesn't believe in it and says it's history is one of false prophesies. I knew nothing of them. Looking at them tonight, as well as finding a former SDA's testimony from a link from another thread here in this forum, I was wondering how many here see the Sabbath as still binding.

I'm not against it, all I'm asking is some thoughts here.

The link said this:

"But, I wondered, if the Ten Commandments were a covenant no longer in effect for those believers entering the new covenant, then what about lying, stealing, adultery or the other commandments? I discovered in the New Testament that all of these commands were repeated in the instructions for new covenant living. The only things not repeated as a command were circumcision and Sabbath-day observance."

It then goes on:

"From my study I learned that the Sabbath was a sign of an old covenant no longer in effect. It was a shadow of things to come. It was a symbol pointing to Christ and to the rest He provides to lost humanity, the rest of perfect union with God that was lost in Eden. I realized that it is not the day that is important anymore, but my relationship with Christ. Anyone who accepts Christ enters into His true Sabbath rest because he is reconciled to God."

I realise there are some people that advocate this view that every day is holy, as we enter the true rest. And these verses here too:

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrews 4 really, but:

Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

The night was a hard night for me and made me very uneasy. I'm not a good debator and felt "ganged up on" in terms of me holding to Calvinism. I know they love the Lord though. It's just I came away with nothing.

Have any of you met these types of people where every day is holy? What are your thoughts on the above quote? Sorry to ask such a basic question!

Another guy at the table countered the idea saying God in the OT talked about the Sabbath or to keep the Sabbath some 40 times (so he said) and if Paul taught otherwise (that you don't need to keep the Sabbath) who was he (the guy) to believe: God or Paul? Obviously God! I was like, wow... Machen time! Yikes! But this second part might be another can of worms for another thread. First part first.

Here is the link to the testimony: http://www.gospeloutreach.net/testimony.html

EDIT:
Parts of the WCF on Sabbath I'm remembering too. Chapter 11, par. 7-8:

VII. As it is of the law of nature that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which in Scripture is called the Lord’s day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.

VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employments and recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
 
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Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
"VII. As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week,l which in scripture is called the Lord’s Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
VIII. This sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts and ordering of their common affairs before-hand, do not only observe a holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy."


Westminster Assembly. (1851). The Westminster Confession of Faith: Edinburgh Edition (pp. 120–122). Philadelphia: William S. Young.

"Q. 9. Is there any other day holy besides this day?
A. No day but this is holy by institution of the Lord; yet days of humiliation and thanksgiving may be lawfully set apart by men on a call of providence; but popish holidays are not warrantable, nor to be observed; Gal. 4:10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Q. 10. But seeing every day should be a Sabbath to a Christian, what needs any other set time?
A. Though Christians must walk every day with God, yet every day cannot be a Sabbath, because God calls us to other duties on those days, but will have this to be a solemn and entire day to himself.
Q. 11. But if a man scruple the change of the Sabbath, may he not keep both days weekly?
A. No; for then, by doing more than God requires, he breaks a plain command, Six days shalt thou labour.


Flavel, J. (1820). The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel (Vol. 6, p. 234). London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene.



"Proof #5: In addition to the proofs mentioned above that the sabbath is not ceremonial, but moral and of eternal duration, we wish to consider the practice of Christ, the apostles, and the early church. The Lord Jesus honored the gathering of His disciples upon the first day after His resurrection with His presence, this being the first day of the week. Eight days later the Lord repeated this (John 20:26). Concerning the journeys of Paul we read in Acts 20:6–7, “And we … came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow.” Take note here that a different day is never mentioned in the New Testament, but that the first day of the week is mentioned repeatedly. It is stated as a matter of course that the congregation gathered on that day and that Paul preached on that day in their assembly, and that he would travel the following day. It can thus be clearly observed that they observed the sabbath on the first day of the week.
Consider furthermore what is written in 1 Corinthians 16:1–2: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Again the first day of the week is mentioned as the familiar day for worship and assembly—not for some private individuals, but for the congregations. The apostle John, having been banished to the island of Patmos after the destruction of Jerusalem, indicates that the Lord’s day was celebrated in a sacred manner. This day he celebrated, calling it by the name familiar to all—the Lord’s day. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10). Concerning the sabbath, it is written in the fourth commandment: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God” (Exo. 20:10). This is the day which the Lord has instituted, hallowed, and blessed.
Add to this the practice of the churches of Christ from the time of the apostles until today. Take as an example the testimony of ministers in the church who lived shortly after the time of the apostles.
Irenaeus: “God Himself has proclaimed the words of the ten commandments, and they therefore remain with us, having neither been diminished nor nullified by the coming of Christ” (Adv. Hoeres. lib. 4. cap. 31).
Basilius calls the Lord’s day the sabbath (Epis. ad Caesar. Pater).
Epiphanus: “The first sabbath is that day which God has decreed from the beginning and incorporated into the creation of the world, which from that day on (take note!) until now continues in the sequence of seven days” (Hoeres. 51).
Athanasius: “Formerly they of old greatly honored the sabbath, and this glorious day the Lord Jesus has changed into the Lord’s day” (de Senin).
Eusebius: “Christ has obligated all men, wherever they are in the world on water and on land, that they congregate on one day of the week.”
Augustine: “The apostles have instituted the Lord’s day in the stead of the sabbath of the Jews” (Epist. 3 ad Magn). “One ought to know that not only has this been commanded by our holy forefathers, but rather by God Himself: we must rest upon the Lord’s day” (Serm. de Temp. 251).
Justin Martyr: “Upon the day which is called Sunday, an assembly of all takes place” (Orat. ad. Aut. P.).
Chrysostum: “This doctrine God has already revealed to us from the beginning, teaching that in the rotation of one week, an entire day must be set apart and be used for spiritual work” (Gen. Hem. 10).
Constantinus Magus: In “Teste Eusebio in vita constantini,” he gives this injunction: “Let the entire soul be occupied on that day with the service of God, and that men rest from the work of the market, from legal transactions, and from plying a trade” (lib. 4. 18).
The first Christians were also very conscientious in hallowing the sabbath. As the sabbath was previously a sign that God sanctified the Jewish church and took her to Himself as a people, the sabbath was likewise such a sign among the first Christians. The heathen would lie in wait on that day to overtake the Christians, and if they had caught someone, the person was asked whether he had also observed the Lord’s day. They would then answer resolutely that they were Christians who had observed the Lord’s day with the proper religious zeal because one was not permitted to neglect the observance of this day.
Behold, there you have some evidence from the early churches. We can observe from this that they have celebrated the seventh day by divine ordinance. Now consider all this together. The seventh day has been instituted prior to the fall and has been commanded in the fourth commandment of the moral law—of which neither jot nor tittle will pass away. Christ declares that the sabbath will endure after His time, and Christ, the apostles, and the early churches have observed the sabbath. How can anyone therefore reject this day with good conscience? Ought not everyone to be convinced of the eternal duration of the sabbath, be ashamed over his unsteadfastness and grieve over its desecration, and furthermore, be stirred up to a conscientious observance?"


à Brakel, W. (1994). The Christian’s Reasonable Service. (J. R. Beeke, Ed., B. Elshout, Trans.) (Vol. 3, pp. 162–164). Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Short answer (and all I have time for tonight):

Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Did Jesus ever show disregard for the Sabbath? Certainly He disregarded what the Pharisees added to the commandment, but He not only upheld but restored the doctrine of the Sabbath. If we cannot point to a place where the fourth commandment was abrogated, loving Him includes keeping the fourth commandment.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

"It is objected that the sabbath is included, by the apostle, among the ceremonial laws, which were designed to be abrogated under the gospel-dispensation; and therefore he says, ‘Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.’ But by ‘the sabbath-days,’ which are ‘a shadow of things to come,’ we are to understand the Jewish festivals, such as the new-moons, the passover, pentecost, the feast of tabernacles, &c., which are often called sabbaths; wherein holy convocations were held. Hence, when the apostle says, ‘Let no man judge you’ in respect of this matter, he means, let none have occasion to reprove you for your observing those days which were merely ceremonial, and the design of which was to typify the gospel-rest. That the apostle does not mean the weekly sabbath, is plain; for if he did he would contradict his own practice, and that of the churches in his day, who observed it. The other sabbaths, however, were abolished, together with the ceremonial law. Moreover, that he intends no more than the ceremonial sabbaths, or Jewish festivals, is evident from what follows, ‘Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink,’ as well as ‘in respect of an holy day,’ &c. Here he does not mean, let no one have reason to judge or condemn you for gluttony or drunkenness; but he means, let no man judge or condemn you for your abstaining from several sorts of meat, forbidden by the ceremonial law; and he thus intimates that the distinction of meats is removed under the gospel-dispensation. Now, it follows that the ceremonial sabbaths, or holy days, are taken away; which are intended by ‘the sabbath day,’ in that place, and not the weekly sabbath. Hence, our translation rightly renders it, ‘the sabbath days,’ not the sabbath day. Or if it ought to be rendered ‘the sabbath day,’ or the weekly sabbath, because it is distinguished from the holy days previously mentioned; then he means the seventhday-sabbath, which was abolished, together with the ceremonial law, in opposition to the Lord’s day."

Ridgley, T. (1855). A Body of Divinity (Vol. 2, pp. 343–344). New York: Robert Carter & Brothers.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
There's a lot to get into here. Just a short reply from me.
I know they love the Lord though.
Jesus says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Another guy at the table countered the idea saying God in the OT talked about the Sabbath or to keep the Sabbath some 40 times (so he said) and if Paul taught otherwise (that you don't need to keep the Sabbath) who was he (the guy) to believe: God or Paul? Obviously God!
He's getting into very choppy waters if he's setting God's words in the OT against God's word in the NT.

What was this study group aiming to accomplish exactly? A repudiation of Calvinistic soteriology? A repudiation of God's Law? A repudiation of the inspiration of Scripture?
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
I was wondering how many here see the Sabbath as still binding.
Most everyone? Our confessions still consider it valid, so if someone doesn't agree, they would have to take an exception. We're not supposed to advocate against our confessions, so if someone holds that view they probably are staying quiet about it.

Have any of you met these types of people where every day is holy?
Yes. In a bible study as well. He wasn't reformed either. As you read threads, you'll see that people on this board struggle with their convictions on the 4th being stronger than their church
https://www.puritanboard.com/thread...o-go-or-not-to-go-that-is-the-question.98869/.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
"But, I wondered, if the Ten Commandments were a covenant no longer in effect for those believers entering the new covenant, then what about lying, stealing, adultery or the other commandments? I discovered in the New Testament that all of these commands were repeated in the instructions for new covenant living. The only things not repeated as a command were circumcision and Sabbath-day observance."

It then goes on:

"From my study I learned that the Sabbath was a sign of an old covenant no longer in effect. It was a shadow of things to come. It was a symbol pointing to Christ and to the rest He provides to lost humanity, the rest of perfect union with God that was lost in Eden. I realized that it is not the day that is important anymore, but my relationship with Christ. Anyone who accepts Christ enters into His true Sabbath rest because he is reconciled to God."

Have any of you met these types of people where every day is holy? What are your thoughts on the above quote? Sorry to ask such a basic question!

Do you sense that there is some confusion in his mind between the ten commandments as a covenant as opposed to a standard of living? (I say that because in this context he speaks of circumcision, which as a sign of the covenant, is not the same thing as the ten commandments). This is an important distinction since, as Reformed Christians, we understand the ten commandments to be a republishing of the demands of the law of nature, not a covenant per se. As such, the ten commandments were not restricted to Israel but intended for all men as a clearer statement of what is already written on their heart (Romans 2:14-15).

Regarding circumcision, it, according to the apostle Paul, availeth nothing (Galatians 5:6, 6:5) and yet circumcision profits (Romans 3:1ff.). It is characteristic of Paul to appear to reject something because of its abuse but elsewhere uphold its usefulness when it serves his purpose (Hebrews 4:9 - see John Owen's comments on this verse). Jesus spoke in this kind of hyperbole as well. Which is to say that negative statements about the Sabbath by Paul or Jesus do not, automatically, obviate its force or usefulness but only its abuse.

As you know the Sabbath is rooted in history and creation (Genesis 2:2-3) and is not merely tied to Israel's existence as a nation. Jesus upheld this when he said that man was not made for the Sabbath but Sabbath for man. Indeed, he expected that his disciples would keep the Sabbath, even as Jerusalem fell (Matthew 24:20).

The commandment also comes in the middle of the other ten as well as being the longest of the ten (in terms of explanation). It is difficult, if not impossible, to remove it without damaging the integrity of the whole. Furthermore, nothing in Exodus 20 points us to a temporary or ceremonial observance binding only on the original hearers but an obligation based on the Creator's appointment (vs. 11).

That the Sabbath is a symbol of eternal rest cannot be doubted. Yet would anyone argue that since one is married to Christ, of which their marriage to their spouse is a symbol (cf. Ephesians 5), that they do not have to keep themselves pure or uphold their vows?

Furthermore, the Sabbath matters because not only does it set up a pattern of rest and worship (which we still need and God still demands) but a pattern for work as well. Often we forget the rest of the commandment which says: six days thou shalt labour and do all thy work. Must I work seven days a week - may I not ever have a break? What weariness of the flesh would I be held to without a Sabbath rest! So what isn't binding about that part of of the commandment? And if it is still binding, how can we neglect the greater portion (worship of God?)?

Finally, that the Christian (holy day) Sabbath matters is due to Christ himself having been risen from the dead. This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 cf. Acts 4:10-12).
 
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StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
What was this study group aiming to accomplish exactly? A repudiation of Calvinistic soteriology? A repudiation of God's Law? A repudiation of the inspiration of Scripture?

The study group is aiming to accomplish I take it to get together and study God's Word. They basically get together and go through a chapter. Read some verses, around 5-10 at a time, and then talk about them. Then go on to the next verses. We're going through John. The study is around 2 hours.

The few after the study only told me they didn't agree with Calvinism. It's not the study's purpose to poo-poo it.

I'd like to try one more time, but if I leave feeling like last time I don't think I'll continue. How do I leave in a good way? I'm not against anyone there and it's nice they have me join them. To bring in a reformed view...where do you start?
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
To bring in a reformed view...where do you start?

Begin by having a well-rounded knowledge of Reformed theology. Study the Westminster Confession with Robert Shaw's exposition. After that, move on to William Ames Marrow of Theology followed by Berkhof's Systematic. We have to be grounded in what we believe to defend those beliefs. Learn the basics of Covenant Theology. I would be happy to suggest some resources.
 
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alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
It then goes on:

"From my study I learned that the Sabbath was a sign of an old covenant no longer in effect. It was a shadow of things to come. It was a symbol pointing to Christ and to the rest He provides to lost humanity, the rest of perfect union with God that was lost in Eden. I realized that it is not the day that is important anymore, but my relationship with Christ. Anyone who accepts Christ enters into His true Sabbath rest because he is reconciled to God."

I realise there are some people that advocate this view that every day is holy, as we enter the true rest. And these verses here too:

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrews 4 really, but:

Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Walter Chantry has a really helpful discussion of Hebrews 4 in his Call the Sabbath a Delight [pp.86-96]. The gist of it is that the eternal rest which the believer has in Christ is (still) foreshadowed in the Sabbath day. The Hebrews did not enter into that rest when they entered the promised land (because the Sabbath remained in force- which also rebuts the argument that the Sabbath rest is a ceremonial or "Jewish" institution); therefore the believer does not enter it until they enter into Heaven to be with Christ. Hebrews 4:3 (present tense entering into rest); 9; 11 all point to a future, eternal rest which is still foreshadowed by the Sabbath day. It's important to see that Hebrews 4:10 is referring to Christ, it is He who has entered his rest having ceased from his own works. Nowhere is the rest referred to us our, i.e. the believer's, rest: it is God's rest. And it is His work, not our own work, which accomplishes the rest (God's creation work; Christ's redemption work). And the believer will not cease from his work (the fight of faith, the struggle with sin) until he enters glory. Some people use 4:10 as an argument that we, the believer, have entered into the promisedrest thus negating the Sabbath. But that wouldn't fit with the whole flow of this part of the letter which is talking about Christ.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
Begin by having a well-rounded knowledge of Reformed theology. Study the Westminster Confession with Robert Shaw's exposition. After that, move on to William Ames Marrow of Theology followed by Berkhof's Systematic. We have to be grounded in what we believe to defend those beliefs. Learn the basics of Covenant Theology. I would be happy to suggest some resources.

I really like your post here and will be applying that to my personal devotions. But my question was more, "If you're with a group of people that aren't reformed and each one has their own view and other denomination how do you chime in on reformed thoughts?". It's a huge subject.
 

StephenMartyr

Puritan Board Freshman
I was at that study tonight again and someone talked about Bible Code. Does anyone know about this "Bible Code" program? One of the guys at the study said there is this program where you can type in stuff and the Bible tells you the date, occurrences and people. There was this one guy that was going to get assassinated and the Bible apparently told all about it in code form.

 

Henry Hall

Puritan Board Freshman
There was this one guy that was going to get assassinated and the Bible apparently told all about it in code form.
So according to these people that’s “Bible” like the Bible is Bible?
Like the “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” Bible? smh
They just need to worry about obeying the 3rd Commandment.
 
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