The Fourth Commandment

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let us examine ourselves this morning in light of what God commands us in the Fourth Commandment:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy (Ex. 20:8-11, NASB).

God requires us to set aside the Lord’s Day. This is what it means to keep the day holy. The basic meaning of the word “holy” is “set apart.” The Sabbath—or in the Christian era, the Lord’s Day—is to be set apart from all other days. It is to be treated differently than other days. How so? By what we do on the day.

There are two things, specifically, that are required of us. The first is obvious from the commandment itself. It is to be a day of rest. We are to cease from all unnecessary labor, especially profit-making activity. We are to sit back and relax and take things easy.

Elsewhere, the Lord tells us that there is to be a holy convocation, that is, a gathering of his people before him, on the Sabbath (Lev. 23:3). We are to gather to worship him each Lord’s Day.

And so let me ask you: Have you kept the Lord’s Day holy? Do you make it a practice to refrain from all unnecessary work? Do you make it a practice to refrain from activities that require others to perform unnecessary work on the Lord’s Day? Are you regular in your attendance in church? Have you skipped church for light and trivial reasons?

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