OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH
WE BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS THE LORD’S DAY, OR CHRISTIAN SABBATH; AND IS TO BE KEPT SACRED TO RELIGIOUS PURPOSES, BY ABSTAINING FROM ALL SECULAR LABOR AND SINFUL RECREATIONS, BY THE DEVOUT OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE MEANS OF GRACE, BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC; AND BY PREPARATION FOR THAT REST THAT REMAINETH FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
I. "WE BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS THE LORD’S DAY, OR CHRISTIAN SABBATH; AND IS TO BE KEPT SACRED TO RELIGIOUS PURPOSES."
First: "We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes."
A. The Bible teaches that Sunday is the "Lord’s Day" and should be set aside by all of God’s people as a day of worship and a time of rest from the toils of taking care of the body throughout the week.
B. There is a need for ceasing from everyday strain and stress upon the body in order to devote time to our soul’s spiritual needs. There is more to the child of God than just a physical or earthly body of flesh; there is the new man, the man that has been born of God from above. This man must be fed heavenly food, this man must have Spiritual rest and fellowship from above, thus we have the "Lord’s Day" in which we can rest unto God and fellowship with His people as they meet together in the house of God for worship services every Sunday.
C. Two days are used when speaking of days that are set aside for religious purposes, "The Sabbath Day", and "The Lord’s Day". Let us define them so we can understand them.
First: "The Sabbath Day".
1. The following is a definition from Webster’s dictionary..."Sabbath" - The seventh day of the week observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a day of rest and worship by Jews and some Christians, Sunday observed among Christians as a day of rest and worship: a time of rest.
2. Now we notice the definition given by Smith’s Bible dictionary. "The name given to the seventh day of the week, the day of rest, it is the only ordinance besides marriage which dates from the creation, (Genesis 2:3). The special rites and services of the sanctuary were peculiar to the day (Numbers 18:3-9): (Leviticus 24:3-9) and the laws of Moses were read (Acts 15:21), ‘Teaching Jacob God’s judgments and Israel His law’ (Deuteronomy 33:10).
3. The word "Sabbath" in the Hebrew language means "intermission". It is translated from a root word that means, "To repose, desist from exertion, cease interruption, or special holiday.
4. The important thing to remember is that a day which is called a "Sabbath Day" in the Bible did not always fall on the seventh day as many people think. God had the nation of Israel to set aside different days of the week for special Sabbaths. The primary meaning of the word "Sabbath" is "a day set aside for rest and worship of God for man", an intermission of everyday affairs in order to place emphasis upon the worship of God.
Second: "The Lord’s Day".
1. First we give Webster’s dictionary definition. "The Christian belief that Christ arose from the dead on Sunday."
2. Now we give the first portion of Smith’s Bible dictionary, which would be of great service to everyone who had a copy. "(Rev. 1:10), the first day of the week, the weekly festival in memory of the resurrection of the Lord on that day."
3. The Bible definition is as the Baptist article of faith reads.
a. Acts 20:7 "On the first day of the week (Sunday) when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them."
1) This is what Baptists still do on the first day of the week, which is Sunday.
b. John 20:19 "Then the same day at evening being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, peace be unto you."
1) After His resurrection Jesus appeared to His church on the first day of the week (Sunday).
2) We find the church assembled together for preaching and praying on the first day of the week, which is Sunday in the Bible after Christ’s resurrection. John 20:26.
A. We find the "Christian Sabbath" is the first day of the week, which is Sunday, the day of resurrection.
1. Most Baptists prefer to make a distinction between the two words for fear of confusion.
2. When Baptists use the words "Christian Sabbath" they always have reference to the first day of the week, Sunday, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, and meet on this day to worship Him.
B. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Colossians 2:16-17 – "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
2. I Corinthians 16:1-2 – "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."
3. Mark 2:27,28 – "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
4. Genesis 2:3 – "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
5. Exodus 20:8-11 – "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
6. Psalms 118:24 – "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
II. "BY ABSTAINING FROM ALL SECULAR LABOR AND SINFUL RECREATIONS, BY THE DEVOUT OBSERVANCE OF ALL THE MEANS OF GRACE, BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC; AND BY PREPARATION FOR THAT REST THAT REMAINETH FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD."
A. Proper Sunday worship.
1. Not a "family day".
Many churches today (2003) are dismissing Sunday evening services because they say Sunday is when the family is supposed to be together.
a. I think they are dismissing services because they cannot get most of their church families to attend Sunday evening services.
b. Families are staying home anyway, (or doing other things not in the home) so many churches are agreeing with them.
2. I do not like a list of do’s and don’ts for Sunday. (Or any other day, for that matter.)
a. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest from the cares of this world, not a day of recreation, or preparation for Monday.
b. What we do on Sunday is a reflection of what we are looking forward to doing in eternity.
c. In eternity, we will be worshipping God, not playing, or working.
B. God said he would bless Israel if they kept the Sabbath worship.
1. Isaiah 58:13-14.
a. God told Israel that if they would observe the Sabbath day and delight in it as a day of worship and honoring Him that He would bless them.
b. The same thing is true for those who observe the "Lord’s Day". God will bless those who leave off worrying, fretting, and toiling on Sunday and go to His kind of Church and worship Him.
c. There was a time when the farmer would lay down the plow and go to church.
d. There was a time when even lost people would not work on Sunday in honor of the Lord.
2. Isaiah 56:1-8 – People are to spend Sunday in worship and meditation upon God.
a. Verse 2 – blessed is the man who does no evil on the Sabbath.
b. Verse 4-5 – the eunuchs shall have a better blessing than children if they keep the Sabbath.
c. Verse 6-7 – Every stranger (that person not of the household of Israel) will be brought into the mountain of God if they will only keep the Sabbath holy unto the Lord.
C. Hebrews 10:24-25. "Not forsaking the assembly of yourselves together, as the manner of some is."
1. Sunday is the time to meet with other Baptists in worship and Bible study.
2. Every saved person should seek to be a member of a New Testament Baptist Church where they can attend the services and be taught.
a. Acts 11:26 – "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
b. Acts 13:44 – "And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God."
c. Psalms 118:15 – "The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly."
d. Leviticus 19:30 – "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD."
e. Luke 4:16 – "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
3. Families ought to be together on the Lord’s Day in church services and at home to worship and honor Him.
4. The Lord’s Day is a time of intermission in our busy week when we turn our full attention toward Him.
D. The Jews always met on the seventh day of the week to read the scriptures and be taught. That is why Paul and the others would meet on this day with the Jews in order to teach them about the Lord Jesus Christ.
E. Paul and the others preached every day, but on the first day of the week the church would met together especially for worshipping God.
F. We should rest from our everyday stress by coming to the house of God.
G. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Acts 17:2-3 – "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."
2. Psalms 26:8 – "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?"
3. Psalms 87:3 – "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah."
4. Hebrews 4:3-11 – "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."