Why do so few people keep the Sabbath, and what is the purpose behind keeping it?
[Darris McNeely] While teaching the doctrine of the Sabbath recently to some of my students, the question came up about why people resist keeping the Sabbath. You know, the Ten Commandments are a good thing and most people will agree that they're great. Moral code, we should live by them except for the fourth. Except for the Fourth Commandment that deals with the Sabbath. The other nine, sure. Don't steal, don't commit adultery, don't murder, don't put any other gods before the true God. But that Fourth Commandment, keeping the Sabbath Day, that becomes a sticking point for a lot of people. I understand that.
Let's think about it this way. Some say that to keep the Sabbath Day, to adhere to what the Bible says, to not work, to rest on that seventh day of the week, Saturday, the Sabbath, to do that would be legalism. To do that would be works of law seeking to earn our salvation. There are all kinds of other expressions that accompany that as people dream up ways to get around this troublesome Fourth Commandment as they look at it. But here's another way for us to understand and frankly, here's a biblical approach for us to look at.
In Mark 2, Christ gave some very important teaching about the Sabbath in verses 27 and 28, as the disciples were going through the fields, plucking corn, the Pharisees criticized them for doing work on the Sabbath. And in verse 27 in Mark 2, Christ said, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." The Sabbath was made for man. You find that in Genesis where the man was created on the sixth day. The Sabbath is the seventh day. It was to compliment man, is to help and to aid. And then Jesus added another statement. "Therefore, the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath. Now, what that tells us is this, that as we keep the Sabbath, we enter into a very unique relationship with the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ.
Why do we keep the Sabbath? Why do we stop our work on the Sabbath? Think of it this way. It's to allow the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ, to do His work in us on this day. This is borne out in Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×where the Apostle Paul makes a profound statement about our relationship with God. He said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." He said, "Christ lives in me." For one is led by the spirit of God. Christ is in us living His life, Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath Day.
When we stop from our works on the Sabbath Day, when we rest according to the command of God and keep the Sabbath Day, that isn't legalism, that isn't working out our own salvation, that isn't some form of the works of the law, that is stopping our own work to allow the work of the Living Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, to do His spiritual work in us on that day as we fellowship with Him and the Father and perfect our lives. It makes a unique meaning to the Sabbath and it adds another dimension as to why that day is an important part of the law of God and why you should consider communing with God on the Sabbath Day according to His command. And let Him do His work in you on that day as you rest from your work.
That's BT Daily, join us next time.