Volume. XXVII, No. 2
Sunday, 08 July 2012


Keeping the Sabbath Holy - Part 2


(Continued from last week)

The Sabbath is hallowed in the context of assemblies

The Sabbath is hallowed or sanctified in the context of assemblies called by God and owned by Him. God says through the prophet Ezekiel, “And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my Sabbaths. (Ezekiel 44:24). God claims and reserves for Himself exclusive ownership of the Sabbath day and Sabbath worship. Christ, not the church, is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28) and determines how it is to be sanctified.

The duty of assembling with God’s people for corporate worship

Far from diminishing the duty of assembling with God’s people for corporate worship, the New Testament intensifies this duty, explicitly forbidding the forsaking of public worship. The writer of Hebrew says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25). Thus, it is evident that keeping the Sabbath is a moral duty required of all people and not limited to the Jewish nation.

The pattern for Sabbath worship in Psalm 92

The pattern for Sabbath worship to gather together for corporate worship is found in the title and opening verses. Psalm 92 suggests that the pattern for Sabbath worship is to gather together for corporate worship both morning and evening: “A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1-2). In the Bible, “evening and morning” stand for the whole day (e.g., Genesis 1:5). The practice of beginning and ending the Sabbath in corporate worship shows that the entire day belongs to God, not just part of the day let alone just an hour or two in the morning.

The Sabbath day is a special rest to the LORD

The particular rest which is required on the Sabbath day is a special rest to the LORD, a rest which is to be observed on the Lord’s terms, not man’s, and for His glory alone. “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” (Exodus 35:2). Though resting one day in seven is a practice beneficial to one’s physical and mental health, the Sabbath rest required by God is for His glory not man’s convenience—it is rest to the Lord!

The works of necessity and mercy on the Sabbath

It is evident that works of necessity and mercy, as well as those essential to the public worship of God, are lawful on the Sabbath. Jesus taught that His disciples’ gleaning of grain to satisfy their physical hunger, the priests’ offering of sacrifices in connection with public worship, the rescue of an animal which had fallen into a pit, and His own performing a healing were all lawful Sabbath work (Matthew 12:1-12). Changing a sudden flat tire and taking care of the sick are lawful Sabbath work; but scheduled vehicle maintenance and elective surgery, which could just as well be performed on any of the other six days of the week, are not. Should the Christian shop at a store or eat at a restaurant on the Sabbath? Moses expanded upon the individual’s Sabbath duty in these words: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.” (Deuteronomy 5:14). Whether in your full-time employment or only serving you once, another person should never be hired to do non-essential work on the Sabbath day. In deciding whether any particular Sabbath work is lawful or not, God’s people need to be honest before the heavenly Judge who examines one’s heart-motivation: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Our duty is to bring honour to God by obedience

The particular duty required in keeping the Sabbath day is to bring honor to God by obedience to Him; contrariwise, the sin forbidden is doing one’s own pleasure. In perhaps the most eloquent statement on Sabbath-keeping in the entire Bible, God promised His people through the prophet Isaiah, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13-14). This passage is worthy of special reflection and meditation if you earnestly desire to know the will of God concerning your keeping one day in seven holy to Him.

Conclusion:

Should you keep the Sabbath? Indeed you should! Those who obediently follow the Lord rather than the lawless spirit of our age will be richly blessed both in this life and in the life to come. What tremendous blessing will come upon our church and our nation when Christians repent of their careless indifference to the things of God and begin to keep the Sabbath day holy to the Lord!

Pastor Weng

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boongs Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Joseph Selvanayagam.
*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45pm
*Session wishes to thank all those who had rendered hospitality to Pr Hai Seng Lim, and to Sunday School staff, VBS organisers, helpers, contributors, parents & children who helped make this year’s VBS a blessing.
*Reports for year ending 30 June 2012 for ACM from fellowship groups, ministries & committees to be handed to Clerk of Session, Dn Colin Gan, by today.
*All Church members are expected to attend this ACM. Please make a note about this in your diary.
*Copies of the amended Church Constitution & Personal Protection Policy are available on the literature table for your perusal. Please do not remove them.

Praise and Thanksgiving

 1. Journey mercies: Pr Hai Seng Lim (Melb); Bro Peter & Sis Mary Ting & family (Adl); Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Winnie Lau (Canb), Megan Lim (S’pore) & Felicia Tan (Adl); others who have arrived safely.
2. Ministry of Pr Hai Seng Lim in Hope BPC.
3. Church Activities, including Vacation Bible School in the past week.
4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
5. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items

1.Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
2. Special prayer: Bro Len (Tregenza) & Sis Margaret Pearson (nursing home); Sis Vivian Kou (ICU, Shanghai).
3. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & ministry; Rev Srun Chivan & ministry; Life University; Rev Moses Hahn & ministry (Sihanoukville).
4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.
5. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry
6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.
7. God’s Comfort - those afflicted and grieving.
8. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim & Ministry (Melbourne, Vic).
9. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members; missionaries in India & South America.
10. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.
11. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
12. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.
13. Journey mercies: Dn Tony & Sis Sally Law; Bro Lucas Yiew (Tas); Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); & others who are travelling.
14. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.
15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
16. Post natal recovery: Sis Nary Li (S’pore); her son, Nathan - normal development.
17. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng.
18. Vacation Bible School - children to remember  the Gospel Message, & for their salvation.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063