REASONS THE SABBATH IS DESECRATED
“The Christian attitude is, ‘The Lord’s will is my pleasure’” C. E. Hunter (ref#171). But, there are many ways to keep us from joy. “…the devil is in real earnest to accomplish the damnation of souls. To this end he must not let people think quietly on one day of the week” C. E. Hunter (ref#171).
We all agree we have too much on our plate weekdays. Does our “to do” list spill over into Sundays? Do we make some effort to not work on our weekday work on Sunday? And, if so, have we come to fill the day with things that we like to do that recharge us—gardening, golf, reading secular books, attending concerts, theaters, sports games, etc.? “These ways of spending Sunday are none of them of a holy tendency, or calculated to help us heavenward” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).
“The measure of your love for God is the measure of the joy you get in focusing on him on the day of rest” John Piper (ref#169). “…contend earnestly for the whole day against all enemies, both without and within. It is worth a struggle” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).
INTRODUCTION TO THE SABBATH
“The plain truth is, that the Sabbath-breaking of the present day is one among many proofs of the low state of vital religion” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).
As with all GOD’s commands there is great benefit in keeping them (Ps 19:11). But we, (I’m pretty sure that will include all of us) have strayed so far from keeping the Sabbath that we have not experienced most of the benefits.
“The first thing that is essential before we can ever have and hold this joy is the absolute centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 17th).
CHRIST must be at the top of our priority list if we are to approach the subject of the Sabbath correctly. Then we must believe that keeping the commandment will provide joy. Then we must be blameless in keeping it.
Just a note before we move on to explain the “What” of the Sabbath next week: Theories exist that Sabbath-keeping has been done away with along with the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament when JESUS became the sacrifice for our sins. If you have ever heard this theology or don’t think the Sabbath is important to keep, see:
Archibald Alexander gives a very thought-out account of why it is still a command for us who live after the resurrection of JESUS.
“Unless we had a particular day set apart, by divine authority of the worship of God…public worship would, for the most part, fall into disuse” Archibald Alexander (ref#175).