Sunday - worldwide Christian Sabbath?

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jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
This, by the way is one of the reasons why I try to invite families from church over to my apartment to fix lunch for them as I'm able, so that the mom --especially those with young kids -- can get some relief. Or in the alternative, to bring the food from my apartment or a cooler to their home, take over their kitchen and do the cleanup at their place. I try to give the moms a break that I can as a single man, and will bar my future wife from cooking on Sunday unless I am ill or the like, as I'll be happy to provide food for both my family and any guests we have.

That is extremely kind! I'm looking forward to the day when we can engage in more hospitality again.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 66:22-23, KJV)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Some groups advocating high-end contextualization have argued for Friday worship for "Isa prayer groups" and then have called these groups "church plants' to their supporters back home, despite a refusal to baptize or practice the Lord's Supper, call themselves a "church" or worship on Sunday.

However, Sunday worship (as well as the ordinances) tie all Christians together into a universal unity of expression such that these contextualized groups, refusing to join the worldwide church are thus (if we are to consider them Christians at all) cutting themselves off from the rest of the worldwide family of God.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Isa is the Islamic name for Jesus.
There are some issues here though that are worth some more thought. First, what about Quakers and Salvation Army (who do not practice baptsim), are they part of the visible church? Second, though I'm not in agreement with extreme forms of muslim contextualization like those who go to Mosque and read their Qur'an but secretly worship Isa, all church plants do tend to start from somewhere - often very meager beginnings. The early church met began in an upper room, then on the steps on the Jewish temple courts and worshipped daily, rather than weekly, then in homes and then church buildings. It's sometimes difficult to pinpoint the birth of the visible church.
 

Austin

Puritan Board Freshman
Two thoughts:

1) IS this commandment for "all in Adam"? What then do we do with the Preface to the 10 Commandments ("I am the LORD Thy God, which have brought Thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage")?

2) I too like to come home from church and cook on Sundays. It is both my service ot my family as well as a way to relax after preaching. Then we take a nap. And ooooo, boy, are Sunday naps great!
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Two thoughts:

1) IS this commandment for "all in Adam"? What then do we do with the Preface to the 10 Commandments ("I am the LORD Thy God, which have brought Thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage")?

2) I too like to come home from church and cook on Sundays. It is both my service ot my family as well as a way to relax after preaching. Then we take a nap. And ooooo, boy, are Sunday naps great!

Clearly, the sabbath is, in addition to being explicit among the Ten Commandments, is an ordinance of creation, and therefore applies to all of God's Creatures.

In being particularized and repeated in the Ten Commandments, (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5) He reminds His people of two of its purposes- redemption and creation.

Westminster Larger Catechism

Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

A. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,[637] partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it,[638] and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments,[639] and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion;[640] and partly, because we are very ready to forget it,[641] for that there is less light of nature for it,[642] and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful;[643] that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it;[644] 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.[645]

Scripture Proofs

[637] Exodus 20:8. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

[638] Exodus 16:23. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. Luke 23:54, 56. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.... And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Mark 15:42. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath. Nehemiah 13:19. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

[639] Psalm 92 (title: A psalm or song for the sabbath-day)7 compared with vv. 13-14: Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing. Ezekiel 20:12, 19-20. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.... I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

[640] Genesis 2:2-3. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Psalm 118:22, 24. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.... This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Acts 4:10-11. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Revelation 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

[641] Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

[642] Nehemiah 9:14. And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant.

[643] Exodus 34:21. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

[644] Deuteronomy 5:14-15. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. Amos 8:5. Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

[645] Lamentations 1:7. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths. Jeremiah 17:21-23. Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. Nehemiah 13:15-22. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

A couple aspects of eating at home on Sunday is not making others earn their living for your convenience, thus not allowing them to keep the sabbath, e.g. eating out in restaurants on the Lord's Day, as well as mercy in inviting over needy people for a meal and fellowship on the Lord's Day.

As far as napping (and I'm not supporting or challenging this proposition here, only mentioning it), there is a line of thinking that napping on the Lord's Day is a way of "profaning the sabbath." (Only mentioning that as you consider the full implications of the fourth command and the Westminster Summary of doctrine related to it).
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
As far as napping (and I'm not supporting or challenging this proposition here, only mentioning it), there is a line of thinking that napping on the Lord's Day is a way of "profaning the sabbath." (Only mentioning that as you consider the full implications of the fourth command and the Westminster Summary of doctrine related to it).

Even though you are not supporting or challenging this proposition, you did mention it, so I would like to see where this is implied in the fourth command.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
As far as napping (and I'm not supporting or challenging this proposition here, only mentioning it), there is a line of thinking that napping on the Lord's Day is a way of "profaning the sabbath." (Only mentioning that as you consider the full implications of the fourth command and the Westminster Summary of doctrine related to it).

Even though you are not supporting or challenging this proposition, you did mention it, so I would like to see where this is implied in the fourth command.

I think the idea is drawn from here (emphasis added):

I've been told there have been some great reformed sermons preached on this, though am not familiar with one, its reasoning or background.

Westminster Larger Catechsim


Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day,[624] not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful;[625] and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy[626]) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship:[627] and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.[628]

Scripture proofs

[624] Exodus 20:8, 10. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.... But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.

[625] Exodus 16:25-28. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? Nehemiah 13:15-22. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. Jeremiah 17:21-22. Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

[626] Matthew 12:1-13. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, etc.

[627] Isaiah 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Luke 4:16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Acts 20:7. 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; and continued his speech until midnight. 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. Psalm 92 (title: A psalm or song for the sabbath-day). Isaiah 66:23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. Leviticus 23:3. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

[628] Exodus 20:8. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Luke 23:54, 56. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.... And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Exodus 16:22, 25-26, 29. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.... And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.... See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. Nehemiah 13:19. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

and this....

Q. 119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required,[630] all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them;[631] all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful;[632] and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.[633]

Scripture proofs

[630] Ezekiel 22:26. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

[631] Acts 20:7, 9. 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; and continued his speech until midnight.... And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. Ezekiel 33:30-32. Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. Amos 8:5. Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? Malachi 1:13. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.

[632] Ezekiel 23:38. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.

[633] Jeremiah 17:24, 27. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein.... But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. Isaiah 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Judaistic teaching on the Sabbath involves not cooking on the Sabbath and not lighting a fire in any circumstances.

It is clear from a closer study of the Scriptural teaching on these subjects, including the Mosaic Scriptures taken with our Lord's Words on the Sabbath, that these are and were Jewish additions to God's intention for the Sabbath. Once again we have bad and legalistic exegesis by the Jews.

This thread deals with it.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f54/cooking-preparing-food-sabbath-day-issue-non-issue-52542/index2.html

Thomas Shepard dealt with the notion of Calvin and others, particularly Continentals, that God intended that the Jews (in a kind of ceremonial) keep to a more strict Sabbath than we Christians.

http://www.thomasshepard.org/sabbaticae.shtml

See also "Calvin and the Sabbath" by Richard Gaffin (PandR) and "Systematic Theology" by Robert Dabney(BoT), for Calvin's imperfect understanding on the Sabbath.

The Jews were meant to keep the Sabbath as carefully as we are, and we are meant to keep the Sabbath as carefully as the Jews were meant to. Before the Babylonian exile the Jews were often licentious in their Sabbath-keeping. After the Babylonian exile the Jews were often legalistic in their Sabbath-keeping.
 
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Austin

Puritan Board Freshman
RE: napping. I have never had a moment of conviction in my study of the sabbath when it comes to napping on Sunday. After rising at 5, arriving at church by 6, teaching for an hour, leading worship and preaching for another hour and a half, and then having people over for fellowship after church (where I cook as an act of "mercy, piety or necessity," and before evening service at 6pm, I am firmly convinced that it is a part of God's sabbath-day blessing to enjoy resting in Him for an hour or so to nap.

I think this is also a welcome blessing to the rest of God's people who, after a long morning of worship & fellowship, can take time to enjoy what may be their only nap of the week.

My 2 cents.

(PS, does it ever bother anyone else that keyboards no longer have the cent symbol key?)
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
A point has been brought up in another thread that Sabbath is essentially a community event. So then if Christians in an islamic part of the world were to decide that the Sabbath could best be served on a Friday, would they still be transgressing the Sunday observance?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
RE: napping. I have never had a moment of conviction in my study of the sabbath when it comes to napping on Sunday. After rising at 5, arriving at church by 6, teaching for an hour, leading worship and preaching for another hour and a half, and then having people over for fellowship after church (where I cook as an act of "mercy, piety or necessity," and before evening service at 6pm, I am firmly convinced that it is a part of God's sabbath-day blessing to enjoy resting in Him for an hour or so to nap.

I think this is also a welcome blessing to the rest of God's people who, after a long morning of worship & fellowship, can take time to enjoy what may be their only nap of the week.

My 2 cents.

(PS, does it ever bother anyone else that keyboards no longer have the cent symbol key?)

Although the Sabbath is primarily a day of spiritual rest, in which we specially enjoy and enter into the Rest that Christ entered into forever for us on the Resurrection Day, and enjoy that Rest with Christ in a special way on the Lord's Day, it is clear that this also involves mental and physical rest too, and we partly enjoy that spiritual Rest, not only through public and private worship, fellowship with other Christians, reading good books, prayer, etc, but also through physical rest from the labours of the week, and mental rest, by shutting out the things of the world, and the world that lies in the Evil One.

The Sabbath is still a type of, and a stairway to (step by weekly step), Heaven because it is a type that was given at Creation. Therefore it is still to be observed as a type as well as a practical necessity in order to set enough time aside for the worship of God.

Just being still and knowing that God is God, where that is appropriate, is observing the typical character of the day, not always focussing on particular worshipful activities so that the day is choc-a-bloc with an exhausting round of particular tasks. Nodding-off while praying or reading a good book is quite in keeping with the character of the day, especially if a person is working full-time on the other Six Days of the Week.

Did God make the Sabbath for Man's spiritual Rest only or also for his mental and physical rest, which mental and physical rest is supremely, or ultimately, achieved through being at Rest in and at Peace with God?
 
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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
A point has been brought up in another thread that Sabbath is essentially a community event. So then if Christians in an islamic part of the world were to decide that the Sabbath could best be served on a Friday, would they still be transgressing the Sunday observance?

The Sabbath is a community festal event. We should have our best food on the Sabbath and exercise hospitality and have fellowship. It's not a day for fasting.

But it is essentially a spiritual reality in the soul of the individual believer. We Rest in Christ each day by faith in the Rest that He has achieved for us and which He is already fully enjoying in Heaven.

But on the Sabbath it is as if Christ commands and invites us into the privilege of enjoying that Rest with Him in a special way once a week that is not possible on other days which are not devoted to acts of worship, necessity, mercy and physical rest.

The other days have other elements in them for the believer and non-believer alike, which are legitimate on those days, including "servile"/"customary"/"regular"/"ordinary"/"laborious" work as it's called in various versions (see e.g. Leviticus 23:7), and attention to the world and entertainments of various kinds (e.g. Isaiah 58)

The above word descibing and qualifying the type of work that was forbidden on the Sabbath and other Holy Days, was given in order to teach the Jews that they could and should do works of mercy, necessity and worship on the Sabbath. By the time of Jesus, He had to make this clear again, as He did.
 
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Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
A point has been brought up in another thread that Sabbath is essentially a community event. So then if Christians in an islamic part of the world were to decide that the Sabbath could best be served on a Friday, would they still be transgressing the Sunday observance?

I'm not sure what is meant by "community event," and probably would not describe the Lord's Day/sabbath/forth commandment quite that way.

The basis of the command (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) is to sabbath "cease" from ordinary labor and seeking recreation/entertainment, in order to make holy "set apart" the whole day to prioritize the public and private worship of God.

The day also establishes exceptions for mercy and necessity.

Public meaning corporate worship, private meaning family and individual worship. Worship is only what is explicitly prescribed in the Word of God (that's the "regulative principle.").

The aspects of worship are generally defined as the Word, sacraments, prayer, singing psalms and spiritual songs, fasting, and oaths. See especially:

Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

I. The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might.[1] But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.[2]

II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to Him alone;[3] not to angels, saints, or any other creature:[4] and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone.[5]

III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,[6] is by God required of all men:[7] and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,[8] by the help of His Spirit,[9] according to His will,[10] with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love and perseverance;[11] and, if vocal, in a known tongue.[12]

IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful;[13] and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter:[14] but not for the dead,[15] nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.[16]

V. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[17] the sound preaching[18] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith and reverence,[19] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[20] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[21] beside religious oaths,[22] vows,[23] solemn fastings,[24] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[25] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[26]

The sabbath is a true "holiday"- and wonderfully, one that comes every week!
 

Austin

Puritan Board Freshman
Another thought occurred to be this morning. And that is that each commandment has what you might think of as three aspects, each of which is a sine qua non of proper application of the Law.

1) One is the prohibition. This is easiest to see, as they say "Thou shall not." So each commandment forbids certain activities.

2) The second is the requirement. As the WSC & WLC remind us, the Sermon on the Mount is our hermeneutic which points us to the fact that we cannot obey the law merely by restraining active disobedience. We must also have active obedience. So each commandment requires that we DO something, basically the opposite of what is commanded. It is the hermeneutic of the Law of Love.

3) But the 3rd is what I think most of us forget. The 3rd is a promise-- a Gospel promise-- that each aspect of the Law as directed toward God's people redeemed in Christ, is a promise that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord will: a) supply our needs as we obey, b) change us by His power (apart from our works) to become a new Commandment-keeping people, and c) apply the merits of Christ to our failures and ever maintain our righteousness no matter how we obey or disobey.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: in regard to the 4th Commandment, I always try to remind myself & others that the greatest joy of the Sabbath-Day is that we have God's Gospel promise that on this one day in seven He Himself swears by Himself that as we rest in Christ, the Lord will provide. The Sabbath-Day is perhaps the most perfect experience of the fact that our Lord is Yahweh Yireh-- the Covenant LORD Who Provides. If we STOP-- just STOP-- this one whole day in seven, then the Lord promises that, howsoever hard we work to keep all those balls juggling in the air the other 6 days, on this day He will catch them for us so that we can rest. Of course, as the WSC & WLC remind us, we have a responsibility to try to assure that our worldly activities are set up so that we aren't expecting God to overcome our sloth. BUT, if we try to set up our week to give ourselves, our families, our employees, students, etc, the freedom to rest this one day, He will bless our meager & failing efforts by allowing us to rest.

So, to obey the Commandment is to stop, to rest, to smell the roses and rest in Christ. The Commandment is to trust God enough to accept His promise that IT WILL BE OKAY if you don't work; if you stop striving; if you accept His Gospel Sabbath. Christ is our Sabbath. Do we doubt that, having redeemed us through His blood, he will then leave us hanging if we obey Him & trust His promise one whole day in seven? Surely not. How could we doubt His Sabbath promise?

As the OT people used to note, the Sabbath-Day may be one of the greatest practical blessings showing the love of God for His people that there is. Truly, we are the most blessed of all nations if we have the promise of God that one seventh of our lives is granted to us as a foretaste of the eternal eschaton!

Baruch atah Adonai, haMelech haolam, boray haShabbat. Amen.

Shalom, y'all.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Austin has nailed a very important aspect of the fourth commandment/Lord's Day/sabbath- the blessing that comes by obedience. Beyond what we can know, as is generally true of obedience to all of God's commands.

But one way that relates to the day, and pattern of life in our generation is that, wherever a believer goes in this world- there are believers, who are connected by God's spirit, part of Christ's Body, worshipping Him on the Lord's Day.

Through all the wars, upheavals and disobedience, the calendar changes, the amazing thing is that it continues, and has grown to every part of the globe- and a believer can enjoy that now!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Sabbath was/is also a sign (but not a sacrament)

E.g.

"You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, 'Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you."(Ex 31:13, ESV)

It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'" (Ex 31:17, ESV) Christ rested and was refreshed on the Resurrection Morning, and then He refreshed His Church on Pentecost (also a "Sunday") with the Holy Spirit.

"Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them". (Ezek 20:12, ESV) Christ gave us the Lord's Day/Christian Sabbath that we might know that it was God in Christ that sanctifies us.

I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. (Ezek 19:20, ESV)

It's doubtful that the proper sign can be given to others or received by ourselves if we celebrate the Christian Sabbath on the last day of the week (Saturday) or any other day.

Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12: We now (in the New Testament period) know that it is now God in the God-Man Christ that sanctifies us, as we have been baptised into Christ at regeneration with/by the Holy Spirit.

Notice how the Sabbath is peculiarly connected to God's work of sanctification in these passages. Can we have a sanctified evangelical Church if the Sabbath is abandoned because of the pernicious and pervasive lie of Dispensationalism that the Sabbath is not for today and that we are not obliged to that law, now we're in the New Covenant?

Exodus 31:17: We now celebrate God's greater work in Christ of re-Creation or the New Creation

Ezekiel 19:20: God is now our God in the God-Man, Christ.

The Saturday Sabbath is a sign of the Old Creation, not the commencement in principle of the New Creation.

The Saturday Sabbath isn't a sign of the Resurrection of Christ, but as it were of the Resurrection of Moses and Israel from possible annhilation at the Red Sea.

The Saturday Sabbath isn't a sign of the Greater Redemption/Exodus that Christ achieved, but is a sign of the Redemption/Exodus under Moses from Egypt.

By celebrating the Sabbath on the forward-looking First Day of the Week we are saying that we are in the "already....not yet" of biblical eschatology. Each First Day of the Week christian Sabbath, reminds us that we are looking forward to a New Heavens and a New Earth in which righteousness dwells which have commenced in principle and to which we are approaching like a long hoped-for landfall a week nearer each Lord's Day.

If we celebrate the Sabbath on the backward-looking Last Day of the Week, what are we saying to ourselves and others?

All the Commandments and words of God are signs (e.g. Deuteronomy 6:8) but the Sabbath is peculiarly singled out as being a sign among signs.
 
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