Arminianism and the Lord’s Day

While Arminian converts usually manifest a strict and praise-worthy abstention in the life they lead from drink, smoking, gambling, cinemas, etc., and a self-denying zeal for propagating their gospel and winning converts, their attitude to the Lord’s day is not one of tenderness and love. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace,” is the Scripture which they wrest in order to justify themselves. True believers in Christ are not under the condemnation of the law—”for there is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” but they are ‘under the law to Christ’ as their rule of life. This the apostle states in 1 Cor. 9:21. Love to Christ is manifested and proved by love to His commandments. “If you love Me keep My commandments.” “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4). All who have no love for God’s holy day, who are not grieved over how far short they come in keeping the Sabbath holy to the Lord and who are not wounded and grieved in soul when they see the Lord’s day desecrated, whatever their profession, and whatever name they may have, they have but a name to live: they are still in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. “This is the love of God that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:3). When the Lord writes His law in the heart in regeneration there is love for the Fourth Commandment, as surely as for the other commandments. Love to the Lord, to His Word, to His Cause, to His people and to His commandments, the holy Sabbath included, cannot be separated.

Arminian church bodies of our day have removed the ancient landmarks set by the godly fathers in the past as safeguards and bulwarks of the sanctity of the sabbath. The result is obvious. The curse of the Popish or “continental Sunday” has overspread the land like a flood. Is it any wonder that Dr. Kennedy of Dingwall said that Voluntaryism and Arminianism must be pioneers of Rationalism, for they are both the off-spring of unbelief?

~Rev. William MacLean, M.A., “Arminiamism: Another Gospel” under “Saving Faith”

Source: http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

Why Keep a Christian Sabbath Today?

Why Keep a Christian Sabbath Today

Rev. Ian Goligher

November 26, 2006

Nehemiah 13

Listen to the sermon here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=11280613851

Notes:

  • In Nehemiah’s time, the Sabbath was being openly and flagrantly profaned – the very thing that brought the wrath of God upon the city beforehand and the reason why the Israelites were spending their entire lifetime rebuilding the city

  • What would Nehemiah think of our society today???

1. The Sabbath day still needs defending:

-Against the greed of the ungodly

  • today’s focus is on profit, profit, profit, which is now consuming the Lord’s Day
  • we will never win the argument from economy because people can make more money opening their businesses for 7 rather than 6 days a week

-Equality

  • Another argument we will never win, ie. That everyone should be free to follow their own convictions, way of life, culture, and desires
  • this practice has ruined the church and Canada for many generations, although greed is now taking over as the primary reason given for not keeping a Sabbath
  • note, though, that Nehemiah’s rule was the rule of God and not what unbelievers did

2. We need to contend against false doctrine on the Sabbath:

-It is a “holy” day, not a holiday:

  • Genesis 2 – God sanctified the day, set it apart and made it His day
  • to be used for God’s pleasure, not ours

-Permanency has to be contended for:

  • Dispensationalism teaches no Sabbath any more and has influenced many
  • teaching has only taken root in North America since the 1920’s

  • teaches that you can go to church in the morning and do whatever you want the rest of the day

-10 Commandments still the rule of life for the Christian:

  • Jesus did not cancel any of them out

-Change from the 7th day to the 1st day has to be contended for:

  • Apostles practice was to meet on the 1st day
  • founded on the principle of the resurrection
  • from earliest times, Christians met on the 1st day of the week
  • no controversy about the change in the New Testament
  • church historically has always accepted that we meet on the 1st day of the week
  • change to giving up the whole day is due to liberalism and modernism that has unravelled the inspiration and foundation of the Bible

-Must contend against the dishonor of God’s name

  • Sabbath reminds society of God’s name and glory

  • A society that turns away from the Sabbath also turns away from God

  • the more secular the day is treated, the less people think about God’s name and worship

-Sabbath was to put a difference between the Israelites and the other nations

  • Exodus 31:13 – a sign, a special covenant arrangement

  • remains as a sign for believers today in multifaith societies

-Must contend against the misuse of the Sabbath’s benefits

  • is a place for physical rest but not for sports and recreation

  • benefit of spiritual exercise – to be used to grow in the Lord

  • benefit to congregate in the church – no Sabbath would make churches into drop-in centres; no Sabbath means there be no witness in society; No Sabbath = no church = no witness

  • harm when day is desecrated – no time for Sabbath means no time for God

We have to use our influence where we can to “close the gates” for the Sabbath.

There is a blessing in taking a stand for the Lord’s day even if there is a price to pay for it.

No Need of the Church

Cymro on the Puritan Board:

“If Christians do not keep the Sabbath day, then there is no need of the church. Its observation is as obligatory as thou shalt not kill. God’s moral reflection as delineated in the commandments is not subject to relaxation or change. We are commanded to “remember the sabbath day” and keep it holy. To remember it before it comes,(preparation),remember it when it comes,(participation), remember it when past,(meditation), on the Monday and successive days. ”

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/christians-watching-the-super-bowl.85756/, Comment 14 (one typo corrected)

As A Visible Force And Power

“The Church as a visible force and power could not exist without the Sabbath”

— Donald McLeod, Presbyterian pastor

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

By Other Acts Of Piety And Devotion

Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley:

February 6, 1711-12

“___As I am a woman, so I am also mistress of a large family. and though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you; yet, in your absence, I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my care as a talent committed to me under a trust by the great Lord of all the families both of heaven and earth. And if I am unfaithful to Him or you in neglecting to improve these talents, how shall I answer unto Him, when He shall command me to render an account of my stewardship?

“As these, and other such like thoughts, made me at first take a more than ordinary care of the souls of my children and servants, so—knowing our religion requires a strict observation of the Lord’s day, and not thinking that we fully answered the end of the institution by going to church unless we filled up the intermediate spaces of time by other acts of piety and devotion—I thought it my duty to spend some part of the day in reading to and instructing my family: and such time I esteemed spent in a way more acceptable to God than if I had retired to my own private devotions.

“This was the beginning of my present practice.  Other people’s coming and joining with us was merely accidental. Our [1] lad told his parents: they first desired to be admitted; then others that heard of it begged leave also: so our company increased to about thirty, and it seldom exceeded forty last winter.”

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The Sabbath Will Be Observed In All Lands

Albert Barnes, Reflections on Isa 66:23:

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And from one Sabbath to another. . . . {Compare the notes at Isa 58:13,14}

There can be no permanent worship of God, and no permanent religion on earth, without a Sabbath; and hence it was, that while the observance of the feasts of tabernacles, and of the Passover, and of the new moons, made a part of the ceremonial law, the law respecting the sabbaths was incorporated with the ten commandments as of moral and perpetual obligation; and it will be literally true that all the race shall yet be brought to worship God on the return of that holy day. It was instituted in paradise; and as one design of the plan of redemption is to bring man back to the state in which he was in paradise, so one effect of the true religion everywhere will be, and is, to make people reverence the Sabbath of the Lord. No man becomes truly pious who does not love the holy Sabbath. No nation ever has been, or ever can be converted which will not, and which does not, love and observe that day. Every successful effort to propagate the true religion is a successful effort to extend the practice of observing it; and just as certain as it is that Christianity will be spread around the world, so certain will it be that the Sabbath will be observed in all lands. The period is, therefore, yet to arrive when the delightful spectacle will be presented of all the nations of the earth bowing on the return of that day before the living God. The plans of this life will be suspended; toil and care will be laid aside; and the sun, as he rolls around the world, will rouse nation after nation to the worship of the true God; and the peace and order and loveliness of the Christian Sabbath will spread over all the hills and vales of the world. Who that loves the race will not desire that such a period may soon come? Who can wonder that Isaiah should have fixed his eye in the close of his prophetic labors on a scene so full of loveliness, and so replete with honor to God, and with goodwill to people?

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

No Hope of Destroying the Christian Religion

“There is no hope of destroying the Christian religion while the Christian Sabbath is acknowledged and kept by men as a sacred day.”

~Voltaire

Source: http://thecontinuingwitness.com/menu/id/54/The%20Lord%27s%20Day

The OPC on the Perpetuity of the Sabbath

1. The Sabbath is a “creation ordinance,” a weekly rest patterned after God’s creation rest, and established for mankind by God at the beginning of history. This is the teaching of Genesis 2:2–3 as interpreted by Exodus 20:10–11 and especially by Mark 2:27–28 and Hebrews 3:7–4:13.

2. The Sabbath was intended for all men from the beginning and is thus for all ages until the consummation of all things. Among others, Mark 2:27–28 particularly points to the inclusiveness of the Sabbath ordinance, and Hebrews 3:7–4:13 to the final goal of entering into God’s eternal rest that awaits those who persevere in faith.

3. The Sabbath is meant to be a day of rest from labor and a day of worship, holy to the Lord. It is defined in terms of rest, as in Exodus 20:10–11 and the activity of worship is not only appropriate to the sanctifying of the day commanded by God, but is prescribed as in Leviticus 23:3; cf. Acts 15:21.

4. The Sabbath received the same kind of attention from our Lord during his earthly ministry that was given to other commandments of God, as he purified it from “traditions of men,” brought it to perfected expression, and thus prepared it for his New Testament people. Jesus’ concern for the Sabbath is seen in such passages as Mark 2:27–28; 3:1–6; Luke 13:10–17; 14:1–6.

5. The Sabbath was not abrogated for the New Testament dispensation. Colossians 2:16–17 refers to the loosing of the bonds of the Mosaic requirements in respect to ceremonial and sacrificial elements of the Old Testament holy days in the light of Christ’s perfect sacrifice; but it does not remove the obligation of the Fourth Commandment itself. Such passages as Romans 14:5–6 and Galatians 4:10 do not nullify all distinctions between days, since the New Testament itself distinguishes the first day of the week from other days, as in 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7, and designates that day as the Lord’s Day or Christian Sabbath, as in Revelation 1:10.

6. In summary: The Scriptures teach that God, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, has appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him.

Source and read more: http://www.opc.org/GA/sabbath.html

Subject To Assault Even From The Professing Church

David Chanski:

There is one commandment that has been subject to assault even from the professing church of Christ itself. That is the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The Puritan pastors who wrote the Westminster Larger Catechism were right when they said about the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath, that “Satan with his instruments much labor to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.” We have seen the evil one make such progress in this battle in our generation that we have to wonder if he is declaring, “Mission accomplished!”…

The church historian Philip Schaff wrote that observance of the Lord’s Day “is a wholesome school of discipline, a means of grace for the people, a safeguard of public morality and religion, a bulwark against infidelity, and a source of immeasurable blessing to the church, the state, and the family. Next to the Church and the Bible, the Lord’s Day is the chief pillar of Christian society.”

Many Christians today are calling for a return to the faith of our nation’s founding fathers. The Lord’s Day was a pillar of their religious worship. The godly Jonathan Edwards wrote, “Those who have a sincere desire to obey God in all things, will keep the sabbath more carefully and more cheerfully, if they have seen and been convinced that therein they do what is according to the will and command of God, and what is acceptable to him; and will also have a great deal more comfort in the reflection upon their having carefully and painstakingly kept the sabbath.” As Edwards points out, we should observe God’s day because the Bible tells us, not just because our forefathers did it. But we fool ourselves if we think we will see the blessings they experienced if we are unwilling to imitate their devotion to God…

Read more: http://reformedbaptistmn.org/lordsday.html

WLC on the Fourth Commandment

Q115: Which is the fourth commandment?
A115: The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 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, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[1]

1. Exod. 20:8-11

Q116: What is required in the fourth commandment?
A116: The fourth commandment requires of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath,[1] and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day.[2]

1. Deut. 5:12, 14, 18; Gen. 2:2-3; I Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Matt. 5:17-18; Isa. 56:2, 4, 6-7
2. Rev. 1:10

Q117: How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?
A117: The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day,[1] not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful;[2] and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to betaken up in works of necessity and mercy)[3] in the public and private exercises of God’s worship:[4] and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.[5]

1. Exod. 20:8, 10
2. Exod. 16:25-28; Neh. 13:15-22; Jer. 17:21-22
3. Matt. 12:1-13
4. Isa. 58:18; 66:23; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2; Psa. ch. 92; Lev. 23:3
5. Exod. 16:22, 25-26, 29; 20:8; Luke 23:54, 56; Neh. 13:19

Q118: Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A118: The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own.[1]

1. Exod. 20:10; 23:12; Josh. 24:15; Neh. 13:15, 17; Jer. 17:20-22

Q119: What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A119: The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required,[1] all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them;[2] all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful;[3] and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.[4]

1. Ezek. 22:26
2. Acts 15:7, 9; Ezek. 33:30-32; Amos 8:5; Mal. 1:13
3. Ezek. 23:38
4. Jer. 17:24, 27; Isa. 58:13

Q120: What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A120: The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself, in these words, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:[1] from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:[2] from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.[3]

1. Exod. 20:9
2. Exod. 20:10
3. Exod. 20:11

Q121: Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?
A121: The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,[1] partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it,[2] and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments,[3] and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion;[4] and partly, because we are very ready to forget it,[5] for that there is less light of nature for it,[6] and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful;[7] that it comesthbut once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it;[8] and that Satan with his instruments much labor to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.[9]

1. Exod. 20:8
2. Exod. 16:23; Luke 23:54, 56; Mark 15:42; Neh. 13:19
3. Psa. 92:13-14; Ezek. 20:12, 19-20
4. Gen. 2:2-3; Psa. 118:22, 24; Acts 4:10, 11; Rev. 1:10
5. Ezek. 22:26
6. Neh. 9:14
7. Exod. 34:21
8. Deut. 5:14-15; Amos 8:5
9. Lam. 1:7; Jer. 17:21-23; Neh. 13:15-23