The 7th Day
The Fourth Commandment
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.
— Exodus 20:11
Since the time of the Puritans, colonists in New England halted their work every Saturday night and rested themselves on Sundays. In honor of the Sabbath, blue laws forbade any work on Sunday, and during the 1800s many people were arrested for opening their shops, traveling, or even amusing themselves on the Lord’s Day. To this day, banks and public institutions are closed on the first day of the week, and while most blue laws have been repealed, one still cannot buy clothes in Bergen County, New Jersey on a Sunday.
For the majority of Christian history, church goers have been meeting on Sunday and honoring it as the day of rest. Faithful Christian business owners shut their store doors on Sunday in remembrance of the Fourth Commandment, and many are the hungry customers who drive past Chick-fil-A on Sunday afternoons, longing futilely for a chicken sandwich.
Today in the Church, we tend to recognize the value of nine commandments but ignore the fourth: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” What’s more, if we do honor the Sabbath, we celebrate it on the first day of the week. Genesis 2:2–3 tells us that God rested on the seventh day, and He set that particular day aside as holy. Why do Christians consider Sunday the Sabbath rather than Saturday — if we regard the Sabbath at all?
Read more →
The Agony of Love
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
— Isaiah 53:4–5
Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Scriptures.
The Scriptures were written as a shadow, a dim reflection of Jesus Christ himself — to explain in advance God’s whole plan for the salvation of the human race. The more I study God’s Word, the more I’m amazed by God’s precision. The Old Testament gives us the history of the Jewish people, and it gives us psalms and proverbs and warnings and messages of all kinds, but the more I study it, the more I find Jesus Christ written on every page.
Read more →
How Do We Grow in Christ?
The other day I was in a heart-to-heart conversation with one of my best friends about being fed spiritually, and he made an interesting statement. He expressed his sense of jealousy that I am fed at my church in weekend services and in the men’s group I attend on Wednesday mornings. His statement came from his situation of not being fed at his church and in his growing frustration at the situation. I understand the frustrating feeling of dissatisfaction in the local church, and I also know what it feels like to be in an incredible move of God through a local fellowship. This begs the question, “How do we grow in Christ?”
My response surprised him and created an interesting exchange. I explained that I am not fed by a local church on the weekend or my men’s group primarily, and instead I see that as the dessert in the spiritual meal. I am primarily fed spiritually in my daily time with the Lord, and I don’t just mean a 15-minute structured morning quiet time. For me, I love to read the Bible at any chance I get or to listen to Chuck Missler’s expositional teaching through the Bible while I am driving or I listen to audio Bibles as I am working. As you can tell, God wired me to be an auditory learner. Throughout each day I spend as much time as I can praying and listening. There are many situations that cause me to stop and ask for wisdom and God’s guidance hourly. Being fed spiritually by revelation through God’s word in private Bible study and prayer equips me to do all God tasks me to do. Modern busyness is a cancer to the soul, and in this day and age, we are surrounded by constant distractions. This is a deliberate strategy of the enemy to keep us from growing in Christ. To put the full burden of spiritual development on the local church in an hour or two per week is a recipe for disaster.
Read more →