Does Romans 14 Allow For Manmade Holy Days?

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

John Gill on Romans 14:5:

One man esteemeth one day above another,…. This is another instance of the difference of sentiments in this church, about the observation of rituals; and is not to be understood of days appointed by the Christian churches for fasting, or abstinence from certain meats, either once a year, as the “Quadragesima”, or Lent; or twice a week, as Wednesdays and Fridays; for these are things of much later observation, and which had never been introduced into the church of Rome in the apostle’s time; nor were there any disputes about them: much less of days of Heathenish observation, as lucky or unlucky, or festivals in honour of their gods; for the apostle would never say, that a man who regarded such a day, regarded it to the Lord; nor would have advised to a coalition and Christian conversation with such a man, but rather to exclude him from all society and communion: it remains, therefore, that it must be understood of Jewish days, or of such as were appointed to be observed by the Jews under the former dispensation, and which some thought were still to be regarded; wherefore they esteemed some days in the year above others, as the days of unleavened bread, or the passover; particularly the first night, which was a night to be observed throughout their generations; and in their service for it to this day, use these words, הזה מכל הלילות מה נשתנה הלילה, “how different is this night from every other night” (n)? and the feast of tabernacles, especially the last and great day of the feast, and the day of Pentecost; also one day in a month above others, the first day of the month, or new moon; and one day in a week, the seventh day sabbath: now there were some, who thought that the laws respecting these days were still in force, particularly the latter, and therefore esteemed it above another: but let it be observed, that the man that did so was one that was weak in faith; the same man that ate herbs, because he would not be guilty of violating those laws, which ordered a distinction of meats to be observed, the same weak man esteemed one day above another, imagining the laws concerning the distinction of days were still obligatory, not rightly understanding the doctrine of Christian liberty, or freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law:

~Exposition of the Entire Bible

HT: https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/a-romans-14-christmas/

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As if They Would Serve the Devil and Cheat the Lord

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1
Volume 7 http://www.spurgeongems.org 1

ABRAM AND THE RAVENOUS BIRDS

NO. 420
A SERMON
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 24, 1861,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“And when the vultures came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.”
Genesis 15:11.

…In company with these foul vultures, fly those ravenous birds called worldly thoughts, which spring from the force of habit. The wheels have been running the last six days in this direction; it is not quite so easy to reverse the action, and to make them go the other way. We have been sinking, sinking, sinking in the miry clay of daily business; it is not very easy for the soul that lies cleaving to the dust, to rise at once towards Heaven! It is no wonder, when you have so many things to think of in this age of competition, that the ledger should lie there in front of the pew instead of the Bible, and, that at times, the daybook should come in when your hand holds the hymnbook, or that you should be thinking of a bad debt, or of a long account which is rather precarious, instead of meditating upon the faithfulness of God, and of pardons bought with blood. These traffickers molest the very Temple, and we have not always the scourge of small cords to drive them out, nor the commanding Presence of the Savior, to say, “Take these things hence, it is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” How many a mother comes here with all her tribe of children on her shoulders? How many a father comes here with thoughts of where he shall apprentice his eldest son, or what shall become of his younger daughter? How many a merchant comes in, and every wind that makes the windowpanes rattle reminds him of his ships at sea; how many a farmer is thinking of his land, and the fitful gleams of sunshine and returning showers make him remember his cattle and his crops? Shops and stalls, bushels and scales, silks and cottons, horses and cows, and even meaner things intrude into your house, O King of kings!

Brothers and Sisters, how often do some of you indulge in them? I hope there are none of you who keep your account books on Sunday, and yet how common is this in London! There are some who shut up their shop in front, and keep it open at the back, as if they would serve the devil and cheat the Lord! If you register your ledgers on Sunday, why not open your shop? You might as well be in the shop as in the country house, for the sin is just the same; only you now add hypocrisy to it, by pretending to serve God when you do not! Yet how many there are, true Believers in Christ, who would scorn to look at the ledger on Sunday, and yet their mind is hampered with accounts, and debtor and creditor will be striking balances continually in their brain! Some professors on the Sabbath afternoon will be talking about the state of the markets, and asking, “What do you think of the rise and fall of Consols?” “When will this terrible American war be over?” “When is it likely the Manchester factories will obtain full employment by the arrival of ship loads of cottons,” or “How will Louis Napoleon pay his debts?” When they come up to the House of God in the evening, they wonder how it is they do not get on with the preacher! The preacher might wonder how he could be of any service to such hearers! They wonder that the Sabbath is not a refreshment to them; but, how is it likely to be when they still continue in their worldly employments, really giving their hearts to the world, though they profess to give their bodily presence to the service of Christ?…

You have heard persons say, “I would sooner wear out than rust out.” There is no occasion for either, if we would but keep this day of rest as a perfect rest to our heart and soul; but, that we can never do unless we love Christ, for a Sabbath is an impossibility to an unconverted man! If we would but, as Christians resting in Christ, keep this first day of rest, giving our souls thorough ease, there would be no fear of the brain giving way. We would labor on, even to a good old age, and then die in peace, and our works would follow us. I cannot expect you to believe me if I should say, you can carry on your business all the days of the week without care, without diligence, without very earnest thought. We must be “diligent in business,” and you must put both your hands to the wheel if you would make it go! But do leave the wheel alone today. Now, have done with it. You will madden yourself, or, if it comes not to so sad a climax as that, you will destroy your comfort, destroy the acuteness of your mental powers, if you do not give them rest today. I am no preacher of the old legal Sabbath; those who are teachers of the Law insist upon that quite enough. As for me, I am a preacher of the Gospel, and rejoice that Believers are not “under the Law, but under Grace.” A worldling is under the Law, and it is his duty to remember the seventh day, to keep it holy, for so runs the Law which is his taskmaster! But I am not under the Law, and therefore I keep this day—not the seventh, but the first day of the week, on which my Savior rose again from the dead—keep it not of Law, but of Grace—keep it not as a slavish bondage, not as a day on which I am chained and hampered with restraints against my will, but I keep it as a day in which I may take holy pleasure in serving God, and in adoring before His Throne! The Sabbath of the Jew is to him a task; the Lord’s-Day of the Christian, the first day of the week, is to him a joy, a day of rest, of peace and of thanksgiving. And, if you Christians can earnestly drive away all distractions, so that you can really rest today, it will be good for your bodies, good for your souls, good mentally, good spiritually, good temporally and good eternally!…

Time is the ring, and these Sabbaths are the diamonds set in it! The ordinary days are but the walks in the garden, hand trodden and barren; but the Sabbaths are the beds full of rich choice flowers! This day is Care’s balm and cure, the couch of time, the haven of Divine calms. Come, my Soul, throw yourself upon this couch; for now the bed is long enough, and the coverlet is broad enough—rest and take your ease—for you have come unto Jesus, to a finished Sacrifice, to a completed Righteousness, and your soul may be satisfied in the Lord, and your spirit may rejoice in the Lord your God. This is to keep Sabbath!

An unconverted man or woman cannot do this; and there are many of you, I fear, here present who never knew what Sabbath means—never had a Lord’s Day in your lives! In vain do you keep the day, unless, your hearts keep it too. Oh, may your hearts know how to find in Christ a perfect rest! Then shall the land have rest, and shall keep her Sabbaths. May God give you Divine Grace to know your sin, and enable you to fly to the Savior, and find in Him all your soul needs! May He enable you to rest in Christ today, and then you shall keep Sabbaths on earth till you keep the eternal Sabbath before the Throne, “For thus says the Spirit, ‘They rest from their labors.’” “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” and you shall have rest. Trust Him, and so shall you be saved, and your spirit shall be at ease.

http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs420.pdf

Why So Many People Think of the Sabbath as a Burden

“The reason that so many people feel it as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don’t feel the need for the sabbath rest; but more important, I think, is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the sabbath, namely, himself. Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God in his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls.

Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the sabbath command as a burden not a blessing. This is what John says in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” The measure of your love for God is the measure of the joy you get in focusing on him on the day of rest. For most people the sabbath command is really a demand to repent. It invites us to enjoy what we don’t enjoy and therefore shows us the evil of hearts, and our need to repent and be changed.”

-John Piper Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy

Source: https://contrast2.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/resources-for-studying-the-sabbath/

Freedom from Being Forced to Worship According to Human Invention

“While positively, gospel liberty in worship is freedom to worship God as He would be worshipped, negatively it is freedom from being forced to worship God in ways devised by human invention. It takes away our liberty in Christ to be forced to sit and watch while a priest goes through some sort of mumbo jumbo or hocus pocus, with gestures, incense and the like. It equally curtails our liberty to be forced to sit and watch while ‘the fat lady sings’, while doting parents admire (and perhaps applaud) a children’s choir, while a dance troupe performs or while a dramatic production is presented. It does not matter if the performance is well or badly done. It does not matter if the performers are talented or not. It does not even matter if the performers intend in their hearts to honor God. For none of these things is required of us in Scripture, there is no indication God wishes to be worshipped in these ways. And to impose such worship on believers gathered together to worship God is to force on them worship of human invention. Whether or not they recognize that this is being done, the gospel liberty given us in Christ is thereby taken away.”

~David Lachman on Gospel Liberty in Worship from the book “Worship in the Presence of God”

Source and read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/gospel-liberty-rpw-is-freedom-from-being-forced-to-worship-god-in-ways-devised-by-human-invention/

Christmas Services Must Be Abolished

“Likewise then, the appointment and celebration of religious holy days (that have no divine warrant) is sinful and will without question offend the consciences of all good Puritan and truly confessional Presbyterian believers. Thus, the imposition of Christmas religious services apart from faith, resting solely on human invention and authority, is a gross violation of Christian liberty and charity. Is a love of human traditions so important that the liberty of Christ’s sheep should be disregarded and trampled under foot? Is it an act of Christian love to tempt believers to sin by doing that which is not rooted in biblical faith, but rather pagan and popish tradition? For the sake of all Christians who want to be faithful to Scripture, Christmas services must be abolished.”

~Brian Schwertley, “The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas”

Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20150331225339/http://entrewave.com/view/reformedonline/Christmas%20%28web%29.htm#_ftnref85

Now That The Nativity Feast Day Is Over…

Please consider what our Protestant ancestors believed, taught, and practiced:

“Shall we suppose that Christ and his apostles, in abrogating those days which God himself had appointed to be observed, without instituting others in their room, intended that either churches or individuals should be allowed to substitute whatever they pleased in their room? Yet the Christian church soon degenerated so far as to bring herself under a severer bondage than that from which Christ had redeemed her, and instituted a greater number of festivals than were observed under the Mosaic law, or even among pagans.”

~M’Crie on Esther

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88256-Do-you-plan-on-celebrating-Christmas/page3, Comment #86

Under a More Heavy Bondage

It is good to ponder the observance of Christmas and other feast days apart from the emotion of the season:

“Yes, some will say, to observe the Jewish days after they were abolished by God, was sinful and dangerous, but we do not keep Jewish days. But mark what these men say, God abolishes his own, and yet they think he gives liberty to man to set up others. If upon God’s abolishing his own, men have liberty to set up theirs, then Christians are under a more heavy bondage, and grievous pedagogy, than ever the Jews were, for it is better to have a hundred days of God’s appointing, than one of man’s, and more honourable. Further, if God appoint, there needs no scruple, as if man appoint: yea, if God appoint, we may expect a special blessing, and efficacy, and presence of God; we cannot expect such things in man’s appointment. Now, if when God has taken away Jewish ceremonies and days, man might lawfully appoint others as he pleases, we may pray to God with good reason to bring us under the bondage of the law again, rather than to be thus under man’s power.”

~Burroughs on Hosea.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88256-Do-you-plan-on-celebrating-Christmas/page3, Comment #86

Is Sabbath-Keeping Bondage?

CovenanterCast:

Objection: 

If we are thus straitly bound to rest, we are still in as great a bondage as the Jews were under the law. 

But whereas some men might hereupon gather that if the case is thus between the Lord and us, in the matter of the Sabbath and that the commandment of resting stands in such force and strength, and binds us so strongly as it does; then our estate is no better than the Jews; the same yoke of bondage still lies upon our necks, that was upon them; and the freedom purchased by Christ is of none account; the liberty proper to a Christian man worth nothing, the gospel has no preferment above the law.

Answer: 

We are not to rest for those ends and purposes for which they did…

Read it here: http://www.covenantercast.com/2016/02/true-doctrine-of-sabbath-objection-that.html

What Could Be Wrong With Feast Days?

Sean Anderson:

“We may ask, as long as the day is cleansed from popish and heathen superstition, what could be wrong with the feast days? Is it not just another occasion to preach redemptive history? One issue is that of Christian liberty. When the church elders call a meeting, they expect the congregation to attend. This arguably binds the conscience of the congregation to a man-made tradition, thereby violating their Christian liberty. Another issue is that of the regulative principle of worship, that we should worship the Lord according to his will rather than our own… When it comes to public worship, we cannot justify a practice simply because we feel we ought to do it – without scriptural warrant – or because we simply think it is a good thing to do in order to honour God.”

Read more: https://solascripturachristianity.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/feast-days-and-the-sabbath/