Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Remember the Sabbath"

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:8

Paul said that the law’s holy days were “shadows” of Christ in this New Testament.  So, how are we now to obey the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”?  The first thing we must do is find out what the Sabbath day was a shadow of, for whatever the Sabbath was a shadow of, we must “keep it holy” in this New Testament.

God did not give the Sabbath as a day of worship; He gave it as a day of rest:

Exodus 20
9. Six days shall you labor and do all your work.
10. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah your God.  You shall do no work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your livestock or your foreigner who is in your gates.

But then, we hear Jesus say this:

Matthew 11
28. Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest!
29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.

The Old Testament Sabbath day was a shadow of the rest that Jesus gives.  This rest, then, is the rest that we must now reverence in our hearts if we want to please God.  Isaiah the prophet foretold of this New Testament rest:

Isaiah 28
11. He will speak to this people with stammering lips and another tongue,
12. to whom He said, “This is the rest with which you will cause the weary one to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing.”  Yet, they would not listen.

This is what we are to reverence now, this supernatural baptism of our hearts is rest from all our own ways.  To be led by the Spirit (instead of by our fleshly nature) in what we say and do is how we now keep God’s Sabbath day holy.  Isaiah also gives us some details concerning how to do this:

Isaiah 58
13. Turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable.  And honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words.

Paul was saying the same thing when he said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”  This is the New Testament way to honor the Sabbath God has given in this New Testament.  And it is no small matter, for Paul warns us that the only people with whom God is pleased are those who keep His Sabbath holy; that is, those who live in the Spirit:

Romans 8
8. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him,
. . .
13. For if you live after the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

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