Contempt of the Redeemer

“In the violation of the Sabbath there is the greatest disregard to, and contempt of the Redeemer, and the great work of our redemption. The Christian Sabbath is a standing memorial of this work; as the seventh day was of the finishing of the work of creation. On that day God ceased from creating, pronounced his works all good, and took pleasure in them. “He rested and was refreshed.” [Exod. 31.17.] By this he fixed a Church state connected with an eternal rest for man. The Sabbath was also a pledge of that rest. To profane that day was to contemn the work of creation, the constitution of the Church, and that rest which God connected with it. Redemption by Christ is the foundation of the new creation. This gives rise to a new and more glorious Church state, connected with more excellent privileges, and a much more glorious rest. All this is for sinners of mankind. In this work there is a display of astonishing love and condescension, by the Son of God. He undertook our cause, assumed our nature, and secured our salvation. To commemorate this the Sabbath was instituted. From its special respect to Christ and his work it is denominated, “The Lord’s day.” [Rev. 1.10.] As this great work was for us, gratitude would say, that we ought to sanctify the {22} memorial of it. The Author of this work is entitled to all glory, all worship, and obedience from us. For this end the Sabbath is instituted. The work of redemption opens a wide field for our contemplation and spiritual exercise. In it the divine perfections are wonderfully displayed; and should excite our love, wonder, and adoration. By disregarding the Sabbath, we declare that the Author of our redemption has not performed any great work, that he has no claim to any honour for it, and that his work is of very little moment to us. We undervalue both the Redeemer and his work, as unworthy of our notice. We prefer our sinful and wretched condition, to that happy state, to which he has redeemed sinners. In his resurrection, on the first day of the week, he finished his victory over all his and our enemies, and consecrated this day to be a rest to us, by enjoying communion with him in his victories. By profaning the Sabbath, we prefer the abject slavery of sin and Satan, to the most happy liberty in him. We cannot conceive sin more aggravated than in this case. Every thing great, amiable, and glorious in God is despised; and all that is valuable to ourselves, is vilified and rejected.”



Westminster Confession on the Moral Law

1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it.a

a. Gen 1:26-27 with 2:17; Job 28:28; Eccl 7:29; Rom 2:14-15; 5:12, 19; 10:5; Gal 3:10, 12.

2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables;a the first four commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.b

a. Exod 34:1; Deut 5:32; 10:4; Rom 13:8-9; James 1:25; 2:8, 10-12. • b. Mat 22:37-40.

3. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a Church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;a and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.b All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.c

a. Gal 4:1-3; Col 2:17; Heb 9 throughout; 10:1. • b. 1 Cor 5:7; 2 Cor 6:17; Jude 1:23. • c. Dan 9:27; Eph 2:15-16; Col 2:14, 16-17.

4. To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people, not obliging any other, now, further than the general equity thereof may require.a

a. Gen 49:10 with 1 Pet 2:13-14; Exod 21 throughout; 22:1-29; Mat 5:17 with 5:38-39; 1 Cor 9:8-10.

5. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;a and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it.b Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen, this obligation.c

a. Rom 13:8-10; Eph 6:2; 1 John 2:3-4, 7-8. • b. James 2:10-11. • c. Mat 5:17-19; Rom 3:31; James 2:8.

6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned;a yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;b discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;c so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin;d together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience.e It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin;f and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law.g The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof;h although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works:i so as a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace.k

a. Acts 13:39; Rom 6:14; 8:1; Gal 2:16; 3:13; 4:4-5. • b. Psa 119:4-6; Rom 7:12, 22, 25; 1 Cor 7:19; Gal 5:14, 16, 18-23. • c. Rom 3:20; 7:7. • d. Rom 7:9, 14, 24; James 1:23-25. • e. Rom 7:24-25; 8:3-4; Gal 3:24. • f. Psa 119:101, 104, 128; James 2:11. • g. Ezra 9:13-14; Psa 89:30-34. • h. Lev 26:1, 10; 26:14 with 2 Cor 6:16; Psa 19:11; 37:11 with Mat 5:5; Eph 6:2-3. • i. Luke 17:10; Gal 2:16. • k. Rom 6:12, 14; Heb 12:28-29; 1 Pet 3:8-12 with Psa 34:12-16.

7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it:a the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.b

a. Gal 3:21. • b. Ezek 36:27; Heb 8:10 with Jer 31:33.

By Faith and Not by Images

A.W. Pink, Gleanings From Exodus (…faith_06.htm):

“Two is the number of witness, and in this second commandment man is forbidden to attempt any visible representation of Deity, whether furnished by the skill of the artist or the sculptor. The first commandment points out the one only object of worship; the second tells us how He is to be worshipped-in spirit and in truth, by faith and not by images which appeal to the senses. The design of this commandment is to draw us away from carnal conceptions of God, and to prevent His worship being profaned by superstitious rites.”

Source:, Comment #1