Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. – Exodus 20:8.
This is God’s Third Commandment as it was written on the table of stone, that is to say, the first words. The Sabbath day, the day of rest, was the seventh day, Saturday. God commanded His people, the children of Israel, to keep this particular day holy. But this requirement was expressly ended in the New Testament. The Holy Ghost said through the Apostle Paul: “Let no man therefore judge you in . . . respect of an holy-day, or … of the Sabbath days” (Colossians 2:16).
The apostle then taught that Christ has brought the true day of rest; by the grace of God in Christ we now have His rest from sin. The day of rest of the Old Testament was but a type and shadow of this. Now that the body has come in Christ, the shadow has been done away with. The specific Sabbath day is no more. Nor has another specific holy day been instituted in its place, not even Sunday. The whole life of a Christian is to be a Sabbath, a spiritual rest in Christ, in His perfect, finished work of satisfying God’s justice and holiness for the whole world of sinners. But “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).
In the Christian congregation, the Word of Christ is to be taught and preached publicly. This is most necessary and most salutary. For this purpose, a day and a certain time of the day must be appointed when the Christian congregation meets for public worship. Since the earliest times, the Church has appointed Sunday for this purpose. We still observe this custom. Those who will not take time to hear the Word of Christ “despise” (Luke 10:16) the Word of Christ. And we are not to despise the Word of Christ, but we are to keep it holy, and gladly “hear” (Ecclesiastes 5:1; Luke 11:28) and learn it.
Oh, the wonderful mercy of God in having His saving Word preached to us. We are to heartily thank Him for this (Psalm 116:12-14), do our utmost to retain this spiritual blessing (Psalm 103:2), regularly attend divine worship (Hebrews 10:25; Psalm 100:4-5), and eagerly listen to the Word preached to us (Matthew 13:9; Revelation 2:7a, 11a, 17a, 29), for the glory of our gracious God, and for the everlasting profit of our precious soul.
PRAYER – Lord God, heavenly Father, I pray Thee so to rule and guide me by Thy Holy Spirit, working in Thy Word, that with all my heart I may hear and receive Thy Word and truly sanctify the Sabbath day, that, by Thy Word, I, too, may be sanctified more and more, place more and more of my trust and hope in Jesus Christ, Thy Son, and then also correct my life in conformity with Thy Word, guarding against every offense, until by Thy grace in Christ I, as one of Thy dear believing disciples, shall see Thee in the glories of heaven. Amen.
“In every season, every place,
may we regard Thy Word of grace,
until, when life’s brief day is past,
we reach our eternal joy at last;
and keep with angels in Thy rest,
the endless Sabbaths of the blest;
this grant to us through Christ, Thy Son,
who reigns with Thee upon Thy throne.”
Hymn 7 3, 4