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The Ten Commandments 04 - Rest in Him

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Reading: Hebrews 4:1-13 / HC Q&A 103 p.52

. . . the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. Exodus 20:10 (NIV)

I.   Sabbath, or Sunday?

     A.  The Sabbath is a day of Stopping

           1.  What is/was the Sabbath Day?

                 a.  Not a “day-off” but stop everything day

                 b.  Sabbath means “stop.”

                 c.  The Sabbath points to our sanctification Ex.31:13

           2.  Sabbath requirements, prohibitions, etc.

           3.  It was a day of assembly for worship Lev.23:3

                 a.  Stopping one’s own work, but engaging in acts of worship.

                 b.  Not only private, but corporate worship

     B.  Jesus Fulfills the Sabbath

           1.  The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath

                 a.  “Come to me and I will give you rest.”

                 b.  The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27

           2.  Jesus finishes the work of Salvation.

                 a.  The Sabbath points back to the finished work of Creation.

                 b.  The Sabbath points forward to the finished work of Jesus.

                 c.  Col 2:16-17

     C.  We worship especially on the Lord’s Day

           1.  Sunday isn’t a N.T. “Sabbath.”

                 a.  Not one mention of Sabbath keeping by believers after the resurrection.

                 b.  No transfer of Sabbath to Sunday.

                 c.  Paul prohibits judging one another for not observing the Sabbath. Col 2:16

           2.  The Lord’s Day (Sunday) celebrates the finished work of Christ.

                 a.  Col 2:17 - no judging re Sabbath day.

“The purpose and fulfillment of that true rest, represented by the ancient Sabbath, lies in the Lord’s resurrection. Hence, by the very day that brought the shadows to an end, Christians are warned not to cling to the shadow rite.” (Institutes, II, VIII, 34)

           3.  NT believers worshiped on Sundays.

                 a.  Acts20:7-break bread on 1st day of week

                 b.  1Cor.16:2 - set aside moneyst day of week

                 c.  Rev.1:10 - John prays on the Lord’s Day

II.  We rest from Our work

     A.  We still have a Sabbath–rest

           1.  We are called to a promised rest (v.1)

                 a.  Hebrews 4 points to another rest.

                 b.  A rest beyond the promised land.

                 c.  Jesus better than Moses (3:3) leads us to a new promise of rest.

           2.  We still have a “Sabbath” obligation (v.9)

                 a.  There remains a Sabbath-rest.

                 b.  Sabbath-rest=Sabbath observance.

                 c.  We enter this rest through faith (v.3)

           3.  We are called to rest from our works (v.10)

                 a.  Our Sabbath is stop doing our stuff

                 b.  Sabbath always includes service to God

                 c.  And acts of love and mercy to people

     B.  . . . As God Finished His work

           1.  Joshua’s rest isn’t sufficient

                 a.  What Joshua accomplished was partial and temporary.

                 b.  They had to fight to keep that “rest”

                 c.  The messiah brings much more than geographical territory.

           2.  His work has been finished since the creation of the world (4:3)

                 a.  That is, the work of creating.

                 b.  We are to stop our work completely

                 c.  We are to stop our work permanently

           3.  Jesus gives us a rest which is sufficient

                 a.  Jesus is the new “Joshua” (names?)

                 b.  His is a heavenly Kingdom

                 c.  His rest is here and is still coming.

     C.  We may enter Everlasting Sabbath

           1.  We enter God’s Kingdom through the finished, once-for-all work of Jesus.

                 a.  Jesus said “It is finished.”

                 b.  When we enter the Kingdom it is always finished–it is always Sabbath

           2.  We are created anew in Christ:

                 a.  2 Cor. 5:17

                 b.  1 Peter 1:3

III. Strive to enter His Rest

     A.  Combine hearing with an active Faith

           1.  We hear the invitation to enter God’s rest

                 a.  You have heard it this morning!

                 b.  God offers us his promised rest!

           2.  We trust God to give us “possession” of it

                 a.  We can’t take possession on our own.

                 b.  God will give it to us, if we trust him.

           3.  Hearing and believing we enter.

                 a.  Believing is more than saying it’s true

                 b.  Faith means acting on the truth.

     B.  The day to enter His rest is Today

           1.  When we hesitate we don’t “combine hearing with faith” (v.2)

                 a.  Enter the new Sabbath Today!

                 b.  Today is the day to stop your work.

           2.  Enter His everlasting rest now.

                 a.  Jesus says “Come, I’ll give you rest.”

                 b.  Come and receive the promise.

           3.  Every day is to be a Sabbath from our work

                 a.  Already there? Keep the Sabbath by not picking up your own agenda.

                 b.  Leave your work and do His.

     C.  God Calls you into His rest

           1.  “Today, if you hear his voice” (v.7)

                 a.  The words are on the page, and through these lips but it’s his voice.

                 b.  Do you hear Him calling?

           2.  Unless we enter in faith, we will fall (v.11)

                 a.  Respond by entering

                 b.  Else you will fall

                 c.  His Word will cut you to the bone and find out who you really are.

           3.  Put your focus on entering God’s rest.

                 a.  Strive to enter: not “our work” seek to do what pleases Him.

                 b.  Isaiah 58:13-14

The Bottom Line:

Our work Ends as we Obey God’s call to Enter His Promised rest.

Hymn B#413 v.1 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say


Heidelberg Catechism

Q&A 103

What is God’s will for you in the fourth commandment?

First, that the gospel ministry and education for it be maintained, 1 and that, especially on the festive day of rest, I regularly attend the assembly of God’s people 2 to learn what God’s Word teaches, 3 to participate in the sacraments, 4 to pray to God publicly, 5 and to bring Christian offerings for the poor.6

Second, that every day of my life I rest from my evil ways, let the Lord work in me through his Spirit, and so begin already in this life the eternal Sabbath.7

1 Deut. 6:4-9, 20-25; 1Cor. 9:13-14; 2Tim. 2:2 ; 3:13-17; Tit. 1:5

2 Deut. 12:5-12; Ps. 40:9-10; 68:26; Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:23-25

3 Rom. 10:14-17; 1Cor. 14:31-32; 1Tim. 4:13

4 1Cor. 11:23-25

5 Col. 3:16; 1Tim. 2:1

6 Ps. 50:14; 1Cor. 16:2; 2Cor. 8-9

7 Isa. 66:23; Heb. 4:9-11

More Notes:

In Heb.4:9 sabbatismos(gr.) sabbath-rest is related to sabbatizo(gr.) - meaning Sabbath-keep. Perhaps Sabbath-keeping is exactly what is in mind here. cf: 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt.11:28-30

Prohibited for the O.T. Sabbath: Work by self, children, servants, animals, foreigners (Exodus 20:8-10), Baking and Boiling (Ex. 16:23-30), Plowing and Harvesting (Ex.34:21), Lighting a fire (Ex.35:3), Gathering Wood (Numbers 15:32-36), Buying and Selling Merchandise (Neh. 10:31), Doing as we please and speaking idle words (Isa.58:13,14), Carrying a Load (Jer. 17:21,22,24,25,27).

Required for the O.T. Sabbath: Keep the Sabbath Holy (Ex.20:8), Work the other six days (Ex.20:9), Self, animals, servants & foreigners must rest(Ex.23:12), Assemble for worship (Lev.23:3), Set out 12 loaves of bread before the Lord (Lev.24:5-8), An offering of 2 1yr. old lambs, a drink offering, a grain offering and a mixture of fine flour and oil (9-10), Call the Sabbath a Delight (Is.58:13), East Gate of the Inner Court opened (closed all otherdays), (Ezekiel 46:1) Worship in the presence of the Lord at the East Gate (Ezekiel 46:3).

Permitted on the O.T. Sabbath: Eating (Exodus 16:25), Guarding the city gates against Sabbath breakers (Neh 15:19,22)

Jesus on the Sabbath:

Required:To do good (Matt.12:11)

Prohibited: [nothing mentioned]

Permitted: Light food preparation when hungry (Matt.12:1,ff), acts of mercy, healing (Matt.12:11-13), teaching people about God (Luke 4:31), free someone from bondage to Satan (Luke13:15-16), carry one's sleeping mat (John 5:8-9), circumcision (John 7:22)

Acts & Epistles on the Sabbath:

Required: [nothing mentioned]

Prohibited: Allowing someone to judge you about Sabbath observance (Col.2:16), Observing special days, months, seasons andyears (Gal.4:9-10),

Permitted: Preaching and Worship (Acts 13:14, 42), Leave the city to go to a place of prayer by a river, teach about Jesus in public places (Acts16:13), treating one day as sacred, or treating all days the same (Rom.14:5),

The Lords Day: Acts 20:7, 1Corinthians 16:2, Rev. 1:10

Other NT Teaching on the Sabbath: The Sabbath and other festivals were a shadow of the things to come; the reality, however, isfound in Christ (Col.2:17).

Calvin on the Sabbath:

Commentary on the Fourth Commandment:

Wherefore, since God declares elsewhere by Moses, and again by Ezekiel, that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and the Jews that He sanctifies them, (Ezekiel 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12,) we must see what is the sum of this sanctification, viz., the death of the flesh, when men deny themselves and renounce their earthly nature, so that they may be ruled and guided by the Spirit of God


Although the Sabbath has been abrogated, there is still occasion for us: (1) to assemble on stated days for the hearing of the Word, the breaking of the mystical bread, and for public prayers; (2) to give surcease from labor to servants and workmen. (Institutes, Book II, Ch. VIII, sect. 32).

Meetings of the church are enjoined upon us by Gods Word; and from our everyday experience we well know how we need them. But how can such meetings be held unless they have been established and have their stated days? (Institutes,Book II, Ch. VIII, sect. 32).

For we are not celebrating [Sunday] as a ceremony with the most rigid scrupulousness,supposing a spiritual mystery to be figured thereby. Rather, we are using it as a remedy needed to keep order in the church. (Institutes,Book II, Ch. VIII, sect. 33)

The purpose and fulfillment of that true rest, represented by the ancient Sabbath, lies in the Lords resurrection. Hence, by the very day that brought the shadows to an end, Christians are warned not to cling to the shadow rite. (Institutes,Book II, Ch. VIII, sect. 34)

Thus vanishes the trifles of the false prophets,who . . . asserted that nothing but the ceremonial part of this commandment has been abrogated (in their phraseology the appointing of the seventh day), but the moral part remains namely,the fixing of one day in seven. . . .And we really see how they profit by such teaching. For those of them who cling to their constitutions surpass the Jews three times over in crass and carnal Sabbatarian superstition. Hence the reproaches that we read in the book of Isaiah apply to them today just as much as they did to those whom theprophet rebuked in his own time. (Institutes, Book II,Ch. VIII, sect. 34)


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