The Gift of the Lord’s Day – Derek Thomas

Sunday-well-spentTwo of my readings yesterday touched on the blessedness of the Lord’s Day when properly observed as the day of rest fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The first was the weekend devotional by Derek W.H. Thomas for this past weekend, titled “The Weekend and the Lord’s Day.” His final point was this:

     Third, the Lord’s Day is a gift. Each week we are provided with an opportunity to gather together as a fellowship, a family, with Jesus our Elder Brother. Our Father calls us together for worship – to sing, to pray, to read Scripture and hear it expounded, and to baptize and share a meal together – signs and seals of all the blessings and privileges of the gospel and of the covenant of grace that lies behind it. Sundays are fitness enhancing, ensuring the health of our souls. It is a time of spiritual nourishment, to be used wisely and with discipline – profiting from the Lord’s Day does require effort and resolve on our part, including preparation and expectation. Here, as elsewhere in the Christian life, the saying is true that ‘you do not have, because you do no ask’ (James 4:2).

The Puritans referred to the Lord’s Day as ‘the market Day of the soul’ – viewing a well-spent Lord’s Day as preparation for the working week that would follow. And here’s a thought: Is the reason why our work is viewed with dread and foreboding that we do not utilize the gift of the Lord’s Day to the full? (p.58)

The second reading was from the Fall 2015 issue of the Free Grace Broadcaster (www.ChapelLibrary.org), which is devoted to the theme of “The Lord’s Day.” The second article in this magazine is a selection from J.C. Ryle’s essay “The Sabbath”, titled “Biblical Thoughts about the Lord’s Day” in this issue.

In laying out seven points concerning what the Bible teaches on the sabbath, Ryle has this to say in his fourth point:

4. I turn to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ when He was upon earth. I cannot discover that our Savior ever let a word fall in discredit of any one of the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, I find Him declaring at the outset of His ministry that He came not to ‘destroy the law… but to fulfil,’ and the context of the passage where He uses these words satisfies me that He was not speaking of the ceremonial law, but the moral (Mat.5:17). I find Him speaking of the Ten Commandments as a recognized standard of moral right and wrong: ‘Thou knowest the commandments’ (Mar 10:19). i find Him speaking eleven times on the subject of the Sabbath, but it is always to correct the superstitious additions that the Pharisees had made to the Law of Moses about observing it and never to deny the holiness of the day. He no more abolishes the Sabbath than a man destroys a house when he cleans off the moss or weeds from its roof. Above all, I find our Savior taking for granted the continuance of the Sabbath when He foretells the destruction of Jerusalem. ‘Pray ye,’ He says to the disciples, ‘that your flight be not in winter, neither on the sabbath day’ (Mat 24:20). I am utterly unable to believe, when I see all this, that our Lord did not mean the Fourth Commandment to be as binding on Christians as the other nine (p.8).

Published in: on September 28, 2015 at 7:03 AM  Leave a Comment  

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