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September 29, 2011

Fourth Commandment – 10.29.2011

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 5:16 pm

A bible study by Adam Osborne, JR.

Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11
• Remember – zaw-kar’ – properly to mark (so as to be recognized), that is, to remember
• Sabbath – shab-bawth’ – intermission, rest
• Rested – noo’-akh – to rest, that is, settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, intransitively, transitively and causatively (to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw)
• Blessed – baw-rak’ – Held in veneration; revered.
• Made it holy – kaw-dash’ – to be clean (ceremonially or morally): – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, sanctify.
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. The evolutionary process of the Sabbath – How the Sabbath has been observed and interpreted throughout history. Is it still Saturday or is it now Sunday? Or neither?
2. The eternal principles of the Sabbath – How to apply the Sabbath in our lives. What are we to do with the Sabbath?

Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that you will rest in God’s grace and His work on the cross and that you would seek him through and in all things every day.

Consider fasting from one meal this week.

Read and meditate each day: Exodus 20:8-11 (above)

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
There are several different views or interpretations on how this commandment applies, if at all, to the New Testament believer. Churches that come from the Reformed or Calvinist (Presbyterian, Anglican, Puritans etc.) traditions of covenant theology generally believe that Sunday has become the “Christian Sabbath” and is to be strictly observed. Other evangelicals such as some Charismatics and non-denominationalists believe it has no equivalent at all for the church. And still others are in between somewhere or believe we are still to strictly observe the Saturday Sabbath as the Jews did before. Southern Baptists traditionally fall throughout the spectrum.

From Instruction in Faith (1537) by John Calvin:
There were three reasons for giving this [fourth] commandment: First, with the seventh day of rest the Lord wished to give to the people of Israel an image of spiritual rest, whereby believers must cease from their own works in order to let the Lord work in them. Secondly, he wished that there be an established day in which believers might assemble in order to hear his Law and worship him. Thirdly, he willed that one day of rest be granted to servants and to those who live under the power of others so that they might have a relaxation from their labor. The latter, however, is rather an inferred than a principal reason.
As to the first reason, there is no doubt that it ceased in Christ; because he is the truth by the presence of which all images vanish. He is the reality at whose advent all shadows are abandoned. Hence St. Paul (Col. 2:17) that the sabbath has been a shadow of a reality yet to be. And he declares elsewhere its truth when in the letter to the Romans, ch. 6:8, he teaches us that we are buried with Christ in order that by his death we may die to the corruption of our flesh. And this is not done in one day, but during all the course of our life, until altogether dead in our own selves, we may be filled with the life of God. Hence, superstitious observance of days must remain far from Christians.
The two last reasons, however, must not be numbered among the shadows of old. Rather, they are equally valid for all ages. Hence, though the sabbath is abrogated, it so happens among us that we still convene on certain days in order to hear the word of God, to break the bread of the Supper, and to offer public prayers; and, moreover, in order that some relaxation from their toil be given to servants and workingmen. As our human weakness does not allow such assemblies to meet every day, the day observed by the Jews has been taken away (as a good device for eliminating superstition) and another day has been destined to this use. This was necessary for securing and maintaining order and peace in the Church.
As the truth therefore was given to the Jews under a figure, so to us on the contrary truth is shown without shadows in order, first of all, that we meditate all our life on a perpetual sabbath from our works so that the Lord may operate in us by his spirit; secondly, in order that we observe the legitimate order of the Church for listening to the word of God, for administering the sacraments, and for public prayers; thirdly, in order that we do not oppress inhumanly with work those who are subject to us.

Bible Fellowship Time

1. When was the last time you had a day off from work? What did you do on that day?
Discussion questions:

2. What was God’s 4th commandment?
3. Why did God command the Israelites to only work six days and then rest for a day?
4. Who was included in the commandment?
5. Why did God rest after His work of creation? Was He tired?
6. What did God do to the seventh day?
7. Is the commandment to keep the Sabbath repeated in the New Testament?
8. Is keeping or upholding God’s Law a burden or pleasure to you?


In the New Testament, 9 of the 10 commandments are repeated and affirmed as standards for holy living that God has set before His people. The Sabbath commandment is the only commandment not repeated. In fact the Apostle Paul writes that no brother or sister in Christ should judge another on what day of the week they regard as their Sabbath. Paul said that those who are in Christ are not subject to the Law (which includes the 10 commandments) as regards to keeping it for salvation. Rather we uphold it as holy through faith because it is a reflection of who God is and what He desires (Romans 3). The Apostle Peter and John both affirm in their epistles the desire of the Christian is to seek after holiness and God’s desires. If we are in Christ, we desire what God desires: holiness.

Is upholding or keeping the 10 commandments a burden to you or a pleasure?

Micah 6:6-8 ESV
“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Do you earnestly and humbly desire holiness in your life and that of others around you?

Do you believe God is holy and desires you to live a holy life in gladness and kindness?

Closing Devotion
In a sermon entitled The Good Way of Coming before the Lord , Robert Murray M’Cheyne wrote:

“The question of an awakened soul.—” With what shall I come before the LORD?” An unawakened man never puts that question. A natural man has no desire to come before God, or to bow himself before the High God. He does not like to think of God. He would rather think of any other subject. He easily forgets what he is told about God. A natural man has no memory for divine things, because he has no heart for them. He has no desire to come before God in prayer.
An awakened soul feels that his chief happiness is in coming before God. This was unfallen Adam’s happiness. He felt like a child under a loving Father’s eye. It was his chief joy to come before God—to be loved by Him—to be like a mote in the sunbeam—to be continually basked in the sunshine of His love—no cloud or veil coming between. This is the joy of holy angels, to come before the Lord, and bow before the High God. In His presence is fulness of joy. “The angels do always behold the face of My Father.” On whatever errand of love they fly, they still feel that His eye of love is on them—this is their daily, hourly joy. This is the true happiness of a believer.”

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