Honoring The Lord’s Day

Honoring The Lord’s Day

Preacher Huijun - 29 January 2022

Honoring The Lord's Day

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Introduction

  • The Lord’s Day: The day that belongs to the Lord.
  • “Is OT Sabbath still relevant for NT believers?”

 

What is Sabbath in the Old Testament?

<Ex 20>

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but 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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.

11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

  • Sabbath: Shows that Israel was people set apart for God.

 

Continuity of the Sabbath in New Testament.

  • Early in church history, the Lord’s Day used to be disconnected with 4th Commandment (Sabbath) as the NT church did not want to be bound by Jewish traditions.
  • From the Middle Ages onward, connection restored gradually.
  • Sabbath started at creation, not Mount Sinai; Sabbath was instituted by God, not Moses.
  • Ten Commandments: Moral laws, applicable permanently for all generations.
  • Sabbath has important continuity for believers today.
  • Main difference: NT Christians rest in God on Sun instead of Sat.

 

The Lord’s Day.

1) Why Sunday (first day of the week)?

  • Ever since Jesus’ resurrection, the church had gathered for worship on the first day of the week.
  • <John 20:1>Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

·      <John 20:19> On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

·      <Acts 20:7> On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

·      <1 Co 16:2> On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

  • Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week <Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1>.
  • Jesus also appeared to His disciples on the first day of the week <Mt 28:7-10; Lk 24:13-34; Jn 20:11-29>.
  • Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit first came upon believers, also took place on a Sunday.
  • Apostle John mentioned “the Lord’s Day” in <Rev 1:10>.

 

2) Differences between Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.

Sabbath The Lord’s Day
7th day of week 1st day of week
Rest from completing (first) creation work Rest from completing saving work (new creation)
4th commandment of Decalogue Christ rose from the dead on 1st day of week
  • Jesus did not abolish the Sabbath, but fulfilled it in the Lord’s Day.
  • Old Sabbath pattern: Work then rest.
  • Christ came to work for our salvation and be our rest.
  • New order in Christ: Rest then work.
  • Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:8; Mk 2:28).

 

What about some ‘difficult’ texts and scenarios?

·      <Ro 14:5> One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

  • <Col 2:16-17> Therefore do not let anyone judge youby what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 
  • The verses are targeting at the extensive Jewish festivals and rules.
  • But since apostle John mentioned “the Lord’s Day” in <Rev 1:10>, it means there is indeed one day special to the Lord, and it is not just any day of the week.
  • What if we need to work on Sundays? (e.g.: healthcare professionals, policemen, etc.)
  • Try our best to not work on Sundays (change shift, etc.)
  • If miss Sunday, find another day in the week to set aside for God.
  • Do not abuse the concession.

 

Examine our heart of worship.

  • What are we to do (or not do) on the Lord’s Day?
  • [Standalone slide] “…on the day of rest, diligently attend church, to learn the Word of God, to use the holy Sacraments, to call publicly upon the name of the Lord, and to give Christian alms” (The Heidelberg Catechism, Question 103)
  • [Standalone slide] “…not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chpt 21:8)
  • Rest from worldly stuff to do holy work.
  • On the Lord’s Day, our whole attention is to be on God, any distractions are to be avoided.
  • <Isa 58>

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

 

Reflection

  • Are you clear about the continuity as well as differences between Sabbath and the Lord’s Day?
  • If one day, the Sat English Service is to be changed to Sun, would you have any issues or challenges? Pls share what they are.
  • Reflect on your attitude of worship and commitment on the Lord’s Day, is it a 2-hr affair, or whole day devotion? What distracts you from worshipping God, serving Him and doing His good works for the whole of the Lord’s Day, and how can you overcome those distractions?
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Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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