"THE TRUE SABBATH."
Intro. Whenever God made a covenant, He gave a sign of that covenant.
I. GOD'S COVENANT WITH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
A. You keep My law, and My statutes, I will be your God and give you rain in due season; I will give you peace in the land; I will rid the evil beasts out of the land: I will give you victory over your enemies; I will make you fruitful and multiply you.
1. The sign of the covenant was their keeping of the Sabbath day.
B. God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the whole earth with a flood.
1. The sign of the covenant was the rainbow in the sky.
C. God had made a covenant with Abraham. Through his seed all of the nations of the world would be blessed: God would give to Abraham all of the land from the Nile river to the Euphrates.
1. The sign of the covenant was the circumcision of the male children.
D. God has made a covenant with the church that if we will believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God who came into this world to die for our sins, and rose again the third day and if we will make Him the Lord of our lives, He will forgive our sins, and give us everlasting life.
1. The sign of the covenant is the blood of Jesus Christ.
2. When Jesus gave the cup to the disciples He said, "This cup is is a new covenant, in My blood, which is shed for the remission of sins."
E. The sign of the covenant God made with Israel was the keeping of the Sabbath day.
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, "Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations;
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant.
It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever:
F. Two things to note:
1. The penalty for violating the Sabbath was very severe. They were to be put to death.
2. It was to be a sign between God and the children of Israel.
II. AS WE MOVE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE SABBATH WE FIND:
A. Jesus was many times accused of violating the Sabbath day law.
1. Most of the time it was for healing on the Sabbath day.
2. Once they got after Him because the disciples had picked some grain on the Sabbath day and rubbed it in their hands to thresh it and then ate it.
a. Jesus defended them against the charges of the Pharisees by reminding them how David and His men ate the showbread which only the priests were allowed to do.
b. Under the law the priests did their work on the Sabbath day and were blameless.
c. He declared Himself to be the Lord over the Sabbath.
d. He told them that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
3. When Jesus had healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day we read:
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
4. Jesus commanded the man who was healed at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath day to take up his bed and go home. In the rules of the Sabbath day they were not to bare any burdens.
B. The Sabbath day in the early church.
1. Jesus met with His disciples on the first day of the week when He rose from the dead.
2. One week later as they were gathered on the first day of the week, again He appeared unto them.
3. In the book of Acts, it speaks of them gathering on the first day of the week.
And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.
4. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about when they gathered on the first day of the week.
Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no collections when I come.
5. In the early church a dispute arose in the Gentile church at Antioch when certain Jews came from the church in Jerusalem and told them that to be saved they must keep the Mosaic law and they had to be circumcised.
6. Paul and Barnabas marched these fellows back to Jerusalem where the first church council was called to discuss the issue of the relationship of the Gentile believer to the Jewish law.
a. Peter suggested that they not put on them a yoke of bondage that neither they nor their fathers were able to bear.
b. Paul and Barnabas spoke of the mighty move of the of the Holy Spirit among the Gentile believers.
c. James then declared:
My sentence is, that we not trouble them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and [from] fornication, and [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.
d. This is the substance of the letter that was written to them:
Forasmuch as we heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [You must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:
It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell [you] the same things by mouth.
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meat offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
e. No mention of the Sabbath day worship.
7. It is true that Paul would go the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day, but that was only because he knew that he would have an opportunity to testify to the Jews.
C. What is taught in the epistles concerning the Sabbath day?
1. In Romans 14
, Paul said that there were certain issues that they were not to argue about.
a. One was eating meat verses being a vegetarian.
b. The other was concerning holy days.
One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
2. To the Colossians, Paul wrote:
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:
Which were a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.
3. The feast days, the holy days, the sabbath days were only a foreshadowing of the coming things. The substance is Jesus.
4. That is Jesus was foreshadowed in all these special days, including the Sabbath.
a. Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover as He was the true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, of which the lamb in Egypt was only the shadow.
b. The feast of Pentecost where the firstfruits were offered to God in anticipation of the full harvest was only a foreshadowing of the great harvest of souls that would be brought into the kingdom of God through the preaching of the gospel.
III. HOW DID THE SABBATH DAY WORSHIP FORESHADOW JESUS CHRIST?
A. The word Sabbath means rest.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being given to us of entering into His rest, any of you should come short of it.
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Again, he limited it to a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not have spoken of another day.
There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
C. Thus the Sabbath day as a day of rest was a foreshadowing of the rest that we as believers have in the finished work of redemption that Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. The work was not finished until Jesus rose from the dead. Romans 4:25
tells us that He was crucified for our offenses but risen for our justification.
1. JOHN 4:34
: Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.
2. The work of my salvation is a finished work.
3. Because it was finished on the first day of the week, in the early church they began to worship on the first day of the week.
4. Israel celebrated the finished work of creation.
5. In the church we celebrate the finished work of redemption. On the cross Jesus cried, "It is finished." He was talking of the price paid for our redemption through His blood.
D. Writing to Titus, Paul said:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
E. Writing to the church in Rome he reasoned:
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Why? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.
F. Even so today, there are those who are trying to save themselves by the works of the Law in keeping the Sabbath day, and there are others of us who by faith rejoice in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
G. Paul wrote, "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."
H. And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, My lips shall still repeat, Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
I. Jesus I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art, I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.