For the last couple weeks in Sunday School at 2nd Reformed Presbyterian Church we have been discussing the role of the Sabbath in the Christian’s life. The first week we looked at the question, “why did God rest?” Then we discussed the place of the Sabbath in the Old Testament. Finally, we discussed the role of the Sabbath in the New Testament. In the last week, we looked at two questions: What is the essence of keeping the Sabbath and how can I keep the Sabbath here at 2nd RP?
A Warning: Two Extremes
In approaching the Sabbath, as any Christian practice, we want to avoid falling into the two extremes of legalism and Antinominalism. There are many ways to define these two terms. How we use these terms here is not intended to be comprehensive. Legalism is binding our hearts to rules outside of scripture. Antinominalism is breaking away our love for God from loving his law.
We want to avoid binding ourselves to rules outside of scripture when it comes to the Sabbath. For example, it’s appropriate to generally not play sports on the Sabbath. It’s also appropriate for a child with ADD to play sports on the Sabbath. Another example, it’s appropriate to generally not buy things on the Sabbath. It’s also appropriate for you to go buy band aids on the Sabbath if you have a nasty cut. God gives us a clear law, but leaves it to us to have wisdom in how we apply it. We should not then take how we apply God’s law and lift it to being equal with God’s law.
We also want to avoid breaking away our love for God from loving his law. God desires people to keep the Sabbath. He desires people to enjoy this day of rest. Throwing the Sabbath to the side or making light of it is tearing away our love for God for our love of his law. One cannot love God without loving his commands. The two are essential to one another.
What is the Essence of Keeping the Sabbath?
The essence of the Sabbath is Jesus Christ. When we lose our focus on him then we lose the Sabbath. What this means is that the Christian’s approach to the Sabbath is to have a heart/yearning for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We desire to rest because Christ gives us a spiritual rest. We desire to go to worship because of Christ is worthy of worship. We desire to not labor because it reminds us that we do not work for salvation.
How can I keep the Sabbath here at 2nd RP?
Members in Christ’s body will answer this questions differently. For the last half of class, we discussed how we individually and corporately can keep the Sabbath. People gave different answers to this question. The question is for you the reader as well. How do you keep the Sabbath where you are? Feel free to comment below.