Faithlife Sermons

Sabbath Keeping

0 ratings
· 5 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a colleague who is a Seventh Day Adventist. The conversation turned to theology, as it usually does with him, and while he is a friend, we often part ways when we talk theology. His point that day: “The ‘Beast’ of Revelation is Sunday Worship. God never told us we could change the Sabbath Day from the Seventh Day. It’s a commandment, for heaven’s sake” Then, after explaining that it was a conspiracy spun by evil Rome and their Church he told me, “most Christians are uninformed about this central truth of the Gospel.”
Wow. How would you answer him? After all, dear Christian, it is your calling to be able to explain why you do what you do when it comes to your faith. Remember what Peter says:
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
This is why I try to make all of my sermons teaching sermons, to inform and help you in your Christian walk.
Today we will see both why we worship on Sunday, who we worship on Sunday, and how we worship on Sunday. Instead of a word, we will use the words that describe what every reporter uses: the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND HOW of Worship.
We go to our text:
Exodus 20:8–11 ESV
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
The Third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? WE should fear and love God that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

WHO

Worship is all about the Triune God, not about us. A phrase that frustrates all pastors is when people say “I didn’t get a lot out of that worship.” Wrong answer. It’s not about you, it’s about Jesus! Did He not come to you in His Word, that life giving voice? Did He not forgive your sins? Did He not strengthen your faith in the Body and the Blood?
We begin in His Name. We are forgiven in His Name. We receive His Word in His Name. We receive the Sacrament in His Name. And at the end we leave with His Name bespoken upon us.

WHAT

So what, then, is Worship? Worship is a two way activity.
Back in Advent and Lent we used the Ad-Orientum position at altar. When God is coming to us, the Pastor faces the congregation. When we come before God, the pastor faces the altar. This is illustrative of what worship is.
The main point of worship is not our prayer and praise. It is God’s Word proclaimed to us. It is God dispensing His gifts to us to create faith: Baptism, absolution, the preaching of His Word, the Lord’s Supper. And when we receive His gifts they bring us forgiveness, life, salvation, peace, unity, love, mercy, grace, everything we need to be in relationship with Him.
Our response is secondary. We respond with “prayer, praise and thanksgiving” as well as confession, gratefulness, love for neighbor, and obedience to the ten commandments. That is our worship of God. But it is not as we ought to respond, but as we are able. However, gathered together with all of the Saints and angels, as we are each week, this is pleasing to our Father in heaven.
We are not to despise preaching and His Word by:
Being absent when the congregation gathers for weekly worship. The Third Commandment still speaks directly to this. Not to mention that if we place something before worship, we also break the First commandment: The fishing trip with the guys, breakfast at the firehouse, worshiping “St. Mattress” instead of coming to Church because “it’s my only day to sleep in”, sports events, school activities. All of these blatantly break the Third Commandment.
Not paying attention to God’s Word during the service- daydreaming, texting, FaceBooking, doodling.
Distracting others during worship with talking in Church before the service— a lot of that going on again- there are those who need to pray and read Scripture, and they are having that time stolen away from them by the loud distractions before church in the Sanctuary, or with phones ringing, etc… Please, silence must be maintained in the Church prior to worship. Afterwards. enjoy the fellowship.
Not believing, or disagreeing with God’s Word on certain pet-peeve topics.
Believing something different than the faith handed down from the Apostles. God’s Word never changes, nor does sin, nor does His grace and mercy.

WHEN

So let’s talk a bit about about when we, as Christians, worship. Why Sunday? Are we disobeying the Ten Commandments by doing so, as my friend suggests?
Jesus tells us that He fulfills all of God’s Law and the Psalms and the Prophets for us. Baptized into Christ, we are freed from the ceremonial portion of the Law that included Saturday as “the” day to worship God.
The Sabbath is all about resting in Christ, and that happens in our Baptism. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” as Jesus Himself reminds us. So our true rest now comes from the peace that we have with the Father through Christ’s shed blood on our behalf. That is the peace that the world cannot understand, indeed the very peace that passes understanding that no circumstance, person, place or thing can remove from us. Even under threat of death we have peace with God through Christ, for we are marked as His own forever, and He will take care of us forever.
While the “Sabbath” law— that is strict worship on Saturdays— has been dropped, God still wants us to gather together to worship Him. Such has always been the core of being a Christian.
If you want to see how the early Church worships, it’s just an easy walk into the Scripture.
First, in the Gospel of John, chapter 20, the disciples gathered together on the first Easter Sunday afternoon. That is when Jesus comes among them in the locked upper room.
Shoot a few verses ahead, and look what we find. One week later, on Sunday, they were gathered together again, this time with Thomas. Jesus appears to them once again.
Go to the Revelation chapter 1. John writes:
Revelation 1:9–11 ESV
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Revelation 1:9-11
Note, John says nothing about the Sabbath. He speaks of the “Lord’s Day”- which is Sunday!
The disciples and the first church worshiped on Sunday, for it was on Sunday that Jesus rose from the dead. The Saturday sabbath was a part of the first covenant; Sunday is a part of the New Covenant we have in Jesus!
From the earliest writings after the times of the Apostles, Sunday was the Lord’s day.
Our Augsburg Confession reiterates this when it says, “”Because it was necessary to appoint a certain day for the people to know when they ought to come together, it appears that the Church designated the Lord’s Day for this purpose.” AC Article 28.

WHERE

We worship the Lord at all times and in all ways. This is the vocation of the Christian. But this does not replace the gathering together of the Saints as God commands.
Already, in the First Century, Christians were becoming sloppy with this, so the writer to the Hebrews reminds Christians,
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

WHY

God commands it; we need it. Enough said.

HOW

The meaning of the Third Commandment shows how we sin against this commandment:
We are not to despise preaching and His Word by:
Being absent when the congregation gathers for weekly worship. The Third Commandment still speaks directly to this. Not to mention that if we place something before worship, we also break the First commandment: The fishing trip with the guys, breakfast at the firehouse, worshiping “St. Mattress” instead of coming to Church because “it’s my only day to sleep in”, sports events, school activities. All of these blatantly break the Third Commandment.
Not paying attention to God’s Word during the service- daydreaming, texting, FaceBooking, doodling.
Distracting others during worship with talking in Church before the service— a lot of that going on again- there are those who need to pray and read Scripture, and they are having that time stolen away from them by the loud distractions before church in the Sanctuary, or with phones ringing, etc… Please, silence must be maintained in the Church prior to worship. Afterwards. enjoy the fellowship.
Not believing, or disagreeing with God’s Word on certain pet-peeve topics.
Believing something different than the faith handed down from the Apostles. God’s Word never changes, nor does sin, nor does His grace and mercy.
All of these things break this commandment.
But God also shows us how we keep this commandment:
It’s really simple:
“Hold God’s Word as sacred and gladly hear and learn it.”
As Lutherans we have always regarded the Scripture as the Word of God. He inspired it, and He still inhabits it and speaks to us. The Bible is not like any other book, nor can it be studied as we study any other book. It is God’s unchanging Word of hope for each of us.
To hear it implies that you are in Church, for that is where it is proclaimed.
And to learn it means that you pay attention. You study it with other Christians, You allow it to challenge your own beliefs and actions, correcting them when they are wrong, and giving thanks to God that indeed His Word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Related Media
Related Sermons