4th Commandment: Remember The Sabbath Day 1920x1080 Article Image

4th Commandment: Remember The Sabbath Day

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, How to Make the Rest Day the Best Day.

Exodus 20:8-11

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, How to Make the Rest Day the Best Day.

Homes today are a place of upheaval. What is God’s cure for restlessness in the home?

You, as a Christian family, have been given a day of rest in the Sabbath Command—and if you will use it properly and enjoy it as you should, it will be one of your richest family values.

What Is the Fourth Commandment?

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Like the rest of the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment and the Sabbath day of rest was a wonderful gift from God to His ancient Jewish people, Israel. Jesus told us, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27b).

What Is the Sabbath Day?

The word Sabbath is a transliteration of the Hebrew word shabbat, which means “rest.” There are three primary rest days:

Creation Rest

When God had finished creating the world in six days, He rested. “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).

Covenant Rest

Creation rest pertained to God Almighty. Covenant rest pertains to God’s people. God gave the Jews a special day, the seventh day, which is the last day of the week.

“Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16; emphasis added).

Calvary Rest

All of the Old Testament ceremonies were prophecies, pointing to something more wonderful. The Bible says that the Sabbath was a shadow that pointed toward Christ. Calvary was the fulfillment of the Sabbath, and this is how we apply the fourth commandment today.

Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day” (John 9:4a). His work was to create a new creation. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17.) It is finished, and now He is resting. (See John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12.)

Paul writes that Jesus, through His death, destroyed Satan. (See Colossians 2:13-15.) Then Paul goes on: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).

What Day Is the Sabbath?

The Old Testament Sabbath was the seventh day of the week. So why is Sunday the day we meet to worship, now? Revelation 1:10 calls it “the Lord’s Day.”

Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. (See Mark 16:9.)

Jesus met with His disciples after His resurrection on the first day of the week. (See John 20:18-19.)

The disciples were commissioned to preach the Gospel on the first day of the week. (See John 20:21.)

The disciples received the Holy Spirit on the first day of the week. (See John 20:22.)

The Book of Revelation was given on the first day of the week. (See Revelation 1:10.)

The Early Church met for worship and brought their offerings on the first day of the week. (See Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2.)

Our Lord has taken the Old Testament Sabbath, fulfilled it, and transformed it.

What Is the Difference Between the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day?

The first, Old Testament, covenant Sabbath rest spoke of the finished work of creation. The New Testament believer’s rest speaks of the finished work of redemption. The old rest dealt with life in Adam; the new deals with life in Christ. The old was a display of God’s power. The new is a display of God’s grace. The old was given to Israel. The new is given to the Church.

Those who insist on Old Testament Sabbath-keeping are on the wrong side of Calvary, still chasing shadows.

How Do We Apply the Fourth Commandment Today?

This brings the question: if we are no longer under the Old Testament laws of the Sabbath, how do we now keep the Lord’s Day? What are the regulations?

The Bible does not give any rules. This does not mean we have jettisoned the fourth commandment. We simply see the Sabbath in its fulfillment, as it applies to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday is absolutely holy; it is the Lord’s Day. But it is a day of love, not legalism. Are you asking, “Is it right to do [fill in the blank] on Sunday?” Good question. It is the Lord’s Day—ask Him.

Every day is holy, but the Lord’s Day is extra special. We know that all of our possessions belong to God, but we are to bring our offerings on the first day of the week. (See 1 Corinthians 16:2.) Every place is sacred, yet we should be “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25.) When we keep the Lord’s Day, it says that every day belongs to God.

How to Keep the Lord’s Day as a Family

The Lord’s Day is time out for God. Moms and dads, here are three things you should do:

Make Sunday Holy

Make church attendance on the Lord’s Day a regular habit in your home. The Bible commands New Testament Christians to worship together. Little eyes are watching. “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).

Fathers, make your worship on Sunday a higher priority than your work on Monday.

When you do not make church attendance a habit, you are saying to your children, “That’s nice, but it’s not a necessity.”

Teach Your Children to Love the Lord’s Day

Anticipate—start getting ready for Sunday on Saturday night. Be positive—parents, don’t criticize the church in front of your children. Participate—let your children see you singing in worship, and encourage them to sing. Give them a Bible to read. Teach them how to make notes.

Make Sunday Healthy

Rest on this day. Take a nap; it’s one of the finest things you can do.

If you are burning the candle at both ends, you are not as bright as you think you are. You might say, “Well, the ox keeps falling in the ditch.” (See Luke 14:5.) Maybe you need to kill the ox, or fill up the ditch.

This is not a rule, but a principle. You will do more in six days, if you will learn to rest one day, than you will do in seven days without resting.

Make Sunday Happy

Sunday ought to be the happiest day of the week. Why did the early Church meet on Sunday? Because Jesus came out of that grave on Sunday. It is a celebration! He is alive, and we rejoice.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Remember it not as a day of legalism, but a day of liberty for which Jesus has set us free—not free to do our thing, but free to do His thing.

List of Scriptures Referenced in this Article

Exodus 20:8-11, 31:16; Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:3; John 9:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12,25; Colossians 2:13-17; Revelation 1:10; Mark 16:9; John 20:18-22; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Psalm 145:4; Luke 14:5

More Bible Verses About the Fourth Commandment

Psalm 92:1-4
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night, on an instrument of ten strings, on the lute, and on the harp, with harmonious sound. For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
Isaiah 58:13-14
If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Matthew 12:1-8
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?...But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”