Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Foundations Of The Sabbath In The Word Of God

**Reposted from my original on 7/14/07.**

~Here's an excellent address on the Christian Sabbath by B.B. Warfield delivered at the Fourteenth International Lord's Day Congress held in Oakland, California, July 27-August 1, 1915, published in Sunday the World's Rest Day. 1916. A side benefit is that this helps answer the question, "What part of the Old Testament ought I obey as a Gentile?"  This will Biblically answer questions one may have over the Lord's Day or what many still call the Christian Sabbath...why the change from Saturday to Sunday, its application to us New Testament believers, etc.  This is not only Reformed theology but from my understanding of our Methodist Theology it is also what John Wesley, Adam Clarke, Thomas Ralston, and others of their Methodist contemporaries believed the Bible taught.  Non-observance of the Lord's Day as well as Saturday observance is something that has always been rejected by the Church worldwide until only recently.  Happy Reading to you truth seekers, Phillip Dickinson~

I am to speak to you today, not of the usefulness or of the blessedness of the Sabbath, but of its obligation. And I am to speak to you of its obligation, not as that obligation naturally arises out of its usefulness or blessedness, but as it is immediately imposed by God in his Word. You naturally dwell on the joy of the Sabbath. This is the day of gladness and triumph, on which the Lord broke the bonds of the grave, abolishing death and bringing life and immortality to light. As naturally you dwell on the value of the Sabbath. This is the day on which the tired body rests from its appointed labor; on which the worn spirit finds opportunity for recuperation; an oasis in the desert of earthly cares, when we can escape for a moment from the treadmill toil of daily life and, at leisure from ourselves, refresh our souls in God. I am to recall your minds—it may seem somewhat brusquely —to the contemplation of the duty of the Sabbath; and to ask you to let them rest for a moment on the bald notion of authority. I do not admit that, in so doing, I am asking you to lower your eyes. Rather, I conceive myself to be inviting you to raise them; to raise them to the very pinnacle of the pinnacle. After all is said, there is no greater word than "ought." And there is no higher reason for keeping the Sabbath than that I ought to keep it; that I owe it to God the Lord to keep it in accordance with his command.

It may nevertheless require some little effort to withdraw our thoughts even for a moment from the utility of the Sabbath and fix them on its bare obligation. Since Proudhon taught the world the natural value of the Sabbath, its supernatural origin and sanction have, in wide circles, passed perhaps somewhat out of sight. In its abounding usefulness to man, it may seem so obviously man's day that we may easily forget that it was for two thousand years before it was discovered to be man's day already the Lord's day; and, stretching back from that, from the creation of the world God's day. The Sabbath is undoubtedly rooted in nature; in our human nature and in the nature of the created universe. Unbroken toil is not good for us; the recurrence of a day of rest is of advantage to us, physically, mentally, spiritually. But had we been left to find this out for ourselves, we should probably have waited very long for it. Certainly Proudhon tardily learned it from observation, not of pure nature, but of the Sabbath rest ordained by God. We are told on the highest authority that "the Sabbath was made for man." Man needs it. It blesses his life. But man apparently would never have had it, had it not been "made" for him; made for him by him who from the beginning of the world has known all his works, and, knowing man, has made for him from the beginning of the world the day of rest which he needs. He who needed no rest, in the greatness of his condescension, rested from the work which he had creatively made, that by his example he might woo man to his needed rest.


The Dickinsons said...

Nice post!
I love you Daddy =)

Sarah =0)

Anonymous said...

The sabbath (saturday) the sevens day on the 10 comamments is the day of rest, not sunday. Jesus came to fulfill the law. The 10 comamments are here to stay for christians and for the world. You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery is and always will a comamment that law enforcement will fallow. But is anyone want to ignore it, well ignore it.

Moyo_Mama said...

Excellent post. This is a major problem in our work. Members that came into the organization agreeing to keep the Lord's day holy, are now mostly all defiling it. We hear comments that it is only a "gringo" point of view, and that they don't feel that buying or selling on Sunday is included in the commandment. Nehemiah is an excellent reference that the marketing is included. If by chance you have a spanish translation to that, we would be thrilled to have a copy. God bless your labors in Him. The Corbins.

The Dickinsons said...

Dear Corbins:
Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk more and give you some more reference material. There is some material in Spanish that I have used, but also you find most useful going back to our old Methodist theology's such as, Thomas Ralston's "Elements of Divinity." Also Wesley's 52nd Sermon (in Spanish, I have it) where he lists how many he prohibited from attending his class meetings for profaining the Lord's Day, until they would change their ways. These old Methodists works gave much Scripture in excellent understandable order and quoted the early church fathers on the early church practices which where the same as our interpretation too. If you use most things put out in the last 40 years by the Nazarines or Wesleyans they are going to undermine the Biblical position, for they have changed from what they used to believe too. Contact me and I can get you some resources,
Phillip in Colombia

The Dickinsons said...

Please pardon the typos in my above note. I was in a hurry. Thanks, Phillip

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