Ten Commandments: #4 – Remember the Sabbath

Continuing our discussion of the Ten Commandments, let us briefly examine the fourth.

  • God is love.
    • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
      • 1 – You shall have no other gods before Me.
      • 2 – You shall not make for yourself an idol.
      • 3 – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
      • 4 – Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
    • Love your neighbor as yourself.
      (i.e., Treat people the same way you want them to treat you.)

      • 5 – Honor your father and your mother.
      • 6 – You shall not murder.
      • 7 – You shall not commit adultery.
      • 8 – You shall not steal.
      • 9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
      • 10 – You shall not covet.

Moses taught the Israelites that they should do their work for the first six days of the week and then give the seventh day to the Lord.  Do we think that Jesus allowed Himself to be spat upon, whipped, and hung on a cross to die so that the sabbath day could be moved from Saturday to Sunday?  Really?

The sabbath of the new covenant is not the alteration of the day of worship from one day of the week to another.  It is something far greater than that!  The sabbath of the Lord Jesus Christ is the conversion of every day of the week into a day of worship, for the sabbath of the Lord is an eternal day; it never ends.  The coming of the kingdom of God marked the completion of God’s work in redeeming His creation, and the eternal sabbath is His rest from that glorious work.  This the day of the Lord.  This is “the day” which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

We celebrate this sabbath by waking every morning no longer to serve ourselves, but to serve Him who died and rose again on our behalf.  I was a husband for my sake but now I am a husband for His sake.  That is, I am no longer married for what I can get out of the marriage but rather for what I can put into the marriage in His name.  As a husband, I serve my wife according to His purposes for her – not my purposes for me.  Remember: this never-ending sabbath is His day, not mine.  (I am using “husband” as an example, but you should substitute “wife,” “father,” “mother,” “son,” “daughter,” “employee,” “employer” and see how the principle applies to every major role in life; through Christ, every position in a relationship becomes a ministry, a form of service to the other in the name of our Creator and Redeemer.)

Do I deprive myself by living for Him rather than living for myself?  Quite the contrary!  Being a husband for His sake is far more satisfying, far more rewarding, and far more meaningful.  (I speak from experience!)  It is the difference between living for love and living out of selfishness.  Living for love is not painless, but neither is it fruitless.  In God’s love, disappointment becomes a seed that, in the end, bears a sweeter fruit than was ever imagined in the first place.

Living for self is vain and empty, but we were consigned to that way of living so long as the creation was subject to the law of sin and death.  However, the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has redeemed us from the law of sin and death.  We live each day no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.  We live no longer seeking men’s interests, but rather Christ’s interests.  This is worship in spirit and in truth.  This makes the entirety of creation God’s temple, and we are priests ministering daily in it.  This is the wonderful substance that the sabbath in the Old Testament merely foreshadowed.

Jesus said we should take up our cross daily and follow Him.  He meant that we should die to ourselves in order that we might live to Him – that is, die to the desire of pleasing ourselves and live for the hope of pleasing Him.  Whatever we do in life should be a ministry to Him.  He is Lord of this sabbath.  Let us therefore worship and serve Him alone.

It is easy for Christ followers to fall back into living for self.  Therefore, “remember the sabbath to keep it holy.”

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