The Friendly Fire Room Presents


1. God ordained the Sabbath as a creation ordinance patterned after God's creation rest (Gen. 2:2-3; Exod. 20:8-11; Mark2:27; Heb. 4:4).

2. The Sabbath does not belong to the category of ceremonial laws that have been abolished with the first coming of Christ. As it is the law of nature that time be set apart for the worship of God, so by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, God in His Word particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, holy unto Him.  From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, this day was the last day, but since, the first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day, to remain in effect as a weekly sign to the end of the world. (Exodus 20:8-11; Gen. 2:2, 3; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10; Mt. 5:17, 18.)

3. Our Lord Jesus did not abrogate the Sabbath, but cleansed it from the traditions of the Pharisees, and brought the Sabbath to its ultimate New Covenant expression (Mark 2:21-3:6; Luke 13:10-17; John 5:1-18).  The Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord, not only in rest from worldly employments and recreations, but also in the public and private exercise of worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (Luke 4:16; Mt. 12:1-13; Mark 3:1-50)

4. The Lord's Day, which the church from the beginning has observed in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week, is the Christian Sabbath (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.16:2; Rev. 1:10).

5. The apostle Paul did not abrogate the Sabbath but warned against a Judaizing manner of keeping it (e.g., seventh-day observance - Col. 2:16-17; Gal. 4:9-10).

6. The Sabbath is an eschatological sign pointing to the eternal Sabbath rest which the people of God will enter at the consummation (Ps. 95:11; Hebrews 4:8-11).

7. The New Testament believer's Spiritual rest in Christ (Matt. 11:28-30), enjoyed seven days a week, is an eschatologically realized dimension of the eternal Sabbath, a pledge of our inheritance (2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).

8. However, it is not legitimate to infer from the preceding that weekly Sabbath observance has been abrogated by the first coming of Christ. The Sabbath sign remains in effect for the church until the end of the world, signifying that we live as pilgrims (Heb.11:11-16; 1 Pet. 2:11) in this semi-eschatological age while we wait for the consummation, our eternal rest with Christ in glory (John 14:1-4; 17:24; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 21:3).

9. Due to its character as a promissory sign of eschatological consummation, the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant, sanctifying the covenant community as holy unto the LORD and putting a visible difference between those that belong to the covenant community and those that belong to the world (Exod. 31:13-17; Ezek. 20:12; cf. Gen. 17:11).

10. Some hold that promise establishes obligation (Heb. 4:1). Thus, the Sabbath sign is to be observed only by the holy covenant community, for to it alone does the promise of eschatological consummation apply (Heb. 4:9-10; Luke 13:16). Conversely, since unbelievers have no promise of eschatological consummation, they have no obligation to observe the sign thereof.

11. Most hold that the Sabbath is moral law and binding upon all men; that the position of the Sabbath ordinance gives strong evidence of the moral aspect of the 4th commandment (not forgetting the positive and perpetual aspects); that there are aspects of man's religious duty that flow directly out of his being a creature, not merely from his supra-creational, covenantal relationship to his God; that the Law binds all image-bearers; that Exodus does not mention redemption as Deut. 5 does as to the 4th commandment, but does mention creation. In this view, the Sabbath is grounded on both creation and redemption.  It binds humans as humans and it binds believers as a redeemed people. For unbelieving image-bearers, it is Law, to which personal, perpetual, and perfect obedience is required for life.  For the believer, the Sabbath witnesses to the rest which Christ has entered and also promised as real and in which believers participate by faith in Christ. The WCF teaches that the Sabbath is moral law. The moral law was written on Adam's heart, then delivered by God on Mt. Sinai. (WCF chapter 19; Gen. 1:26, 27; Gen. 2:17; Eph. 4:24; Romans 2:14, 15; Romans 5:12, 19; Romans 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12; Eccl. 7:29; James 2:8, 10-12, e.g.)                 © 2015 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. 

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