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October 1, 2022 4:00 am
Was Jesus somehow doing away with the fourth commandment, he declared himself Lord of the Sabbath are we being legalistic when we set aside one day as a holy day. Your entry for life weekend will hear the conclusion today of a message titled Jesus Lord of the Sabbath.
Alastair Begg continues his teaching from the opening verses of the Gospel of Luke chapter 6 where Jesus is talking to a man with a withered hand. So Jesus turns and addresses the man he's given them the opportunity to respond.
They do not respond and he then turns to the man and he says to him what from the lips of any other individual would have been the most cruel of Joe. Stretch out your manager said to himself, if only I might only I could. Jesus is now brought them into the very center of the synagogue and the general be standing there, presumably with sinews and nerve endings in every completely activating useless to them center stage said I want you to stretch out your what he was clearly unable to do. He did can sleep tonight lie awake thinking about that Jesus asked him to do what he was clearly unable to do and he did in the same way that he asked sinners to repent of their sins. To believe in him something there clearly unable to do and they do. It wasn't that he was able to do it as a Jesus just said do what you can do. You clearly couldn't do so, the word of Jesus was not only a life changing word but it was a life-giving work as it is to Oz this morning because the shriveled hand is only an indication of the shriveled hearts of men and women and he comes Disney does not stretch out and label it but I can his word is life-giving.
You can imagine the man putting his hand in his pocket, shaking hands with himself waving to people walking down the road, clapping people on the back and look at the Pharisees beauteous units you see. Fantasies can never share such joy and they began to discuss with one another what they might do with Jesus now that is essentially it.
There are two ways that we can go at this point. The first is this way to say once again the words and works of Jesus demand a response and neutrality is not an option confronted this morning by the works and the wonders, in the words of the Lord Jesus. He comes to people on the addresses as such, clarity, and we cannot remain neutral.
Saul of Tarsus, who was embedded in this kind of Pharisaism marriages from an experience of an encounter with the Lord Jesus to be able to say is we thought of the funeral service this Thursday evening need to live is Christ and to die is gain. This was a radical change that are being brought about in his life up until that point to him delivers regulation to him to live was formalism to him delivers Judaism.
It was Pharisaism.
It was all of these things. What was it brought about the change.
While he met Christ. He hair his voice. He bowed before him and his life was radically changed.
This, of course, you see is the great impact of Fort Lucas say that for some of us this morning need to think in those terms. The second route down which these verses take us is the root of asking the larger question concerning the observance of the Sabbath principle by each of us today. In other words, forces us to ask the question, is there any abiding significance to the fourth commandment and let me take a moment or two in this and I will come back to at a later time. The Pharisees clearly had added to the law of God, their own extensive list of accretions and there were many of these if you read all books. You can find, for example, a Pharisee that laid down that you could walk five steps on the Sabbath. You had to have a rest before you took the six step that was the kind of stuff.
Women were not allowed to wear ribbons in their hair on the Sabbath, because that would've been to carry a burden you could not drag a stick on the ground on the Sabbath, because that would be akin to plowing you could not pluck out a gray hair on the Sabbath.
It is stored in the mirror because that would be a king to replay some of you have done a little reading this morning in summer you wish you could so this was what the Pharisee did. I would imagine that very few of us have any appreciation for that kind of mentality.
Some of us by dint of our background may know something that I certainly do but I think that this congregation this morning is largely on the other side of the fence.
The majority of you this morning. I probably given very little thought to the notion of the perpetuity of the Sabbath. In other words there is any abiding influence and impact from the fourth commandment in the law of God and didn't eat so much so that we may be inclined to regard any attempts at maintaining the sanctity of the Sabbath of keeping it holy is nothing more than a form of the contemporary Pharisaism which Jesus here. Setting aside and that's what people say anybody says well you know we have to wrestle with this issue of remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it all the times are but I just Pharisaism you realize that in that in the Gospels, Jesus dealt with that. He said the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath in the endeavor that is, meaning you can do what you like unfairly, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath needed cited. Blown apart and that's why he dealt with the Pharisees, as he did. Clearly not reading our Bibles because he was dealing with the abuse that was the additions and accretions of the Pharisees.
He was not dealing with the use of that which God had harmed, and established from the very beginning of creation, not a foundational question with which we need to wrestle and I give it to you as part of your homework assignment is this question is then the fourth commandment, a divine ordinance in the same way that the other nine commandments are divine ordinance. Some argue that it isn't.
They want me to argue in defense that it is by the onus is on those who argue that it isn't to prove why it isn't because I can show you why. So clearly it is. It simply in between number three and number five and no one to get out so you want to explain that it's out, then come and explain to me why it's out, but it is so clearly there and if it is there, then adherence to it is not legalism because of adherence to the fourth commandment is legalism. Then adherence to the fifth commandment is legalism. Indeed, any adherence to the commands is ipso facto legalism which it clearly hasn't is fidelity, not until fidelity, legalism, no is total honesty. Legalism know if the honoring of my father and mother, legalism know then is the keeping of the Sabbath. Legalism, the kind of change that we want to create here and I find it in my heart as well is born of the charge that any attempt to deal with the Sabbath.
In this way is a form of legalism and the reason that you and I are tempted to regard it is legalism is because our consciences in large measure become totally insensitive to the very sanctity for which the commandment calls and I was we are so far removed from the very notion that for anybody to raise and as a matter of consideration is regarded as a form of Pharisaism. Admittedly, because after all, all of our ballgames on Sundays. All of our golf tournaments and on Sundays.
All of our legalism is on Sundays.
All of our stores are open on Sundays. All of our everything is on Sundays. I mean we can reverse that we can do with that. Therefore, if anybody were to stand up and see if there is any abiding place to this issue of the Sabbath principle nodding.
They got it completely wrong and what is happened. Well I think it's wordy for us to consider the possibility that theology has been replaced with expediency. In other words, we make decisions on the basis of expediency, not on the basis of theology and when that happens, my conscience then is no longer captive to the law of God, but it is rather captive to the fluctuating fancies ideas and moods of the contemporary genre so that we are move, not by an abiding principle of the law of God, but we are moved by the kind of ebb and flow of the culture around us and of the immediate culture of our own contemporary evangelicalism.
So if everybody is largely given up on it and we are caught in that flow, then we say to ourselves, will that's exactly what were supposed to be doing, but we are being driven out by the expediency of the moment, rather than by the theology and of course I recognize that such a statement is founded upon the notion that I do believe that there is abiding place for the fourth commandment.
If we determine that it is not an ordinance of God, and somehow or another that only nine commandments left and clearly my argument falls on the ground. I understand that and so to those of you who are thinking and where the sanctity of this Sabbath principle is observed simply as a matter of custom and is not the product of conviction, then it will only be a matter of time before becomes obsolete. In other words, you take Joseph and Joseph knew that the demands of God demanded absolute purity for him. He had a conviction about absolute purity. If his commitment to purity was simply on the basis of custom and I only have to be pure. If I'm in this situation, and amongst my own people and everything else. But when I'm gone from there. When I'm in Egypt.
I don't have to do those things because they don't relate.
Don't cross territorial boundaries and, therefore, on the basis of expediency. I will determine what to do in the advances of Potiphar's wife.
Where would Joseph of being in bed with part of his wife. What was it that prevented them from doing so. Not custom conviction. If he was living singly by custom and custom would've been blown away with the smell of her perfume, and if you are I have been brought to some kind of legalistic observance of the structure of life and it is never come to the level of conviction, then we will be moved anytime any day by any passing fancy. It will immediately become obsolete because after all it was a custom.
It was an accretion. It was an idea of man. Somebody told us he had a bit of a B in his ear and he was concerned about this and that's why we did and we don't do it anymore and who to factors more than any other contribute to this loss of the application of the Sabbath principle first and this is your homework the idea that Romans 14 five and Colossians 26 Dean which have to do with Sabbath days and special fees, etc. the idea and the teaching that they are in those two passages in Romans 14 and Colossians 2 Paul is dispensing with the moral law of God, I ask you to think about that.
In all honesty, do you really believe that Paul is setting aside the Decalogue in Romans 14 after he is explain the abiding place of the law, you have to argue that he does in order to get it out of there. He is obviously dealing with the ceremonial die mentions of man-made days, accretions and alternative Sabbath. I do not believe for a moment that he is setting aside the Sabbath principle and the second element that contributes to the notion that as Sunday is whatever we wanted to be. Is this whole matter of how did we get from the Sabbath on the seventh day this Sunday on the first day and no one writes to me more than Seventh-day Adventists. I think I have more mail from Seventh-day Adventists who hear me addressing major issue of the Sabbath and be harder than the 10 commandment series and the lesson they listen there as they said this is one of our boys and all of a sudden I turned left on them and they were furious and so they write to me frequently to tell me that Alistair Begged you cannot be a Christian unless you follow a Saturday Sabbath rule.
If the right of course I am not a Christian, and neither are you is quite an allegation is on the basis of this, I want to give you just a very brief sketch and I'll wrap this up. How do we establish a change, then from the seventh stage of the first day.
Is there a verse in the Bible you go to and it says now changing the sentence of the first know absolutely no.
Therefore, we come to it as we come to many understandings in the Bible.
For example, our understanding of the Trinity, not by turning to a verse which explains the Trinity by taking the enveloping unfolding pattern of God's revelation and saying this is how we come to one God in three persons coequal and coeternal it's there in Scripture. When you read your Bible, you will discover that apart from Paul's use of Jewish synagogue worship, and his evangelistic use of Jewish synagogue worship Luke chapter 23 in verse 56 is the last reference to the followers of Christ keeping the Jewish Sabbath. Luke chapter 23 in verse 56 then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes talking about the woman by the rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment, that is the last reference that you find to the followers of Jesus, maintaining the Jewish Sabbath.
You then turn the pages you discover that the first Christians very quickly chose the first day of the week as the special day when they would need to worship God find this throughout the letters and also enacts acts chapter 20 verse seven first Corinthians 16 verse two and by the time that Paul John is writing from the island of Patmos.
The revelation which is our closing book of the Bible.
He is discreet. He is referring to the first day of the week is the Lord's day, and he is doing so in a way that he understands, everybody would be able to fasten on to. Why, then, would there be a change in the day because the early Christians wanted to separate themselves from the Jewish way of worship. This raises another side note, which I will not get into that has to do with the whole idea of professing messianic Jewish believers reintroducing the Sabbath on the seventh day. I'm not going to touch that. But when you read the New Testament you see very clearly that there was no attempt on the part of the apostles or the immediate followers of Jesus to try and create some kind of quasi-Jewish Christian interface. But no, Jesus came and revolutionized their lives. Paul had been a Pharisee, par excellence. Paul was now enjoying the liberty that was his and the Lord Jesus Christ. He had no interest in trying to marry the two things in the Council of Jerusalem.
The next 15 speaks to the they had great things to celebrate on that day Christ is risen on that date, the Holy Spirit had been poured out on that date and the early Christians celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus without forgetting the original purpose of the Sabbath, but the question comes frequently to me.
Can we be sure that the New Testament Christians intended to replace Saturday with Sunday. Isn't it true to say that the first Sunday legislation wasn't brought in until the time of Constantine in the fourth century and that's what the Seventh-day Adventists always write to me about this if you don't have a leg to stand on because you have to go to the fourth century and to Constantine before you can show that this was introduced. I understand that that was the first official dimension of it. This is what Constantine said on in A.D. 321 on the venerable day of the sun as you and let the magistrates and people residing in the city rest and lead all workshops be closed Seventh-day Adventists as you see the principal of the first day of the week is actually a pagan thing and the true people are still on the seventh day of the week will know you don't understand the reason that Constantine was able to legislate in this way because there was 300 years of developing principle whereby the people of God were worshiping celebrating on this first day of the week they had been using it as their Sabbath day they recognize that there were differences between the Sabbath and the Lord's day. Just as there were differences between the celebration of the Passover and the celebration of the Lord's supper.
The early church leaders confirm what the apostles displayed that is that the Christian Sunday taken the place of the Jewish Sabbath.
I don't bore you with a lot of information, but you will discover, if you read history that this is true preaching in the fourth century, a bishop by the name of Melita, the Bishop of Sardis.
I beg your pardon, preaching in the second century, he made clear these things, Tertullian, Oregon, Eusebius, all the church fathers would've concurred with Eusebius's word Christ has changed and transferred the feast of the Sabbath to the rising of the light of a true rest.
The Lord's day. So the question remains how then are we to think about our use of the Lord's day. I didn't want because I never finish.
Sorry to run out of time. Dreadful planning on my part, but enough. I think to get some furious interest or questions of faith in others will guard our heavenly father, we bless you this morning for your Word, the Bible, what a wonderful book. What an immense privilege to be able to study it as we do, how impoverished we are before his wisdom.
How greatly in need of your insight in the teaching of your spirit. How we see ourselves aligned with the Pharisees and we repent of that in the joyful freedom of the disciples we joy in in the immense need of the man with a shriveled hand and we identify with. We bless you this morning to be confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ demands a yes or no demands faith or fury, but certainly neutrality is not an option here as a goddess. We offer into your custody and care. Those who are on our minds in need of your grace and your help. We pray for our culture. We pray for the troubled spots of our world. We pray for fresh understanding of what it means to love your law and to delight in to rejoice in the freedom that is found not in doing what we want, but in being able to do what we are received in our lives. Thank you for the example of Christ whom we desire to follow and in whose name we pray. Amen. Powerful argument about why believers in Christ, we should obey the fourth commandment. Keep the Sabbath day holy listing to Truth for Life.
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The month of October is pastor appreciation month. If you are a pastor.
We want to recommend to you an assortment of books series and articles to help you grow in your preaching and in the way you lead your congregation. There are also resources available that address the importance of personal devotion to God and theological challenges.
You can visit Truth for Life.org/pastor to browse our list of recommended books find audio series or articles that are specifically prepared for you as you serve in ministry.
We know that when a man is called into ministry. It often involves years of study internships seminary. But how is his wife prepared for service in the local church will usually her training is less formal, primarily through mentors or books. Today we want to recommend to you a book called partners in the gospel that can help guide both new and seasoned pastors wives through the joys and challenges of ministry work. Find out more about the book partners in the gospel when you visit our website today that is Truth for Life.now here's Alister with a preview of the message will appear next weekend.
In the late 19th century a southern theologian here in the states. A man by the name of Dabney expressed in quick graphic terms what he saw as the implications of failing to take seriously the fact that God does not intend for us to be like the Energizer Bunny and when men and women engage their lives in that cycle. Then there are inevitable implications. Now it's almost humorous the way in which Dabney describes it, but perhaps he is as far from the mark as his somewhat archaic language may tend us to believe is what he says if you try and work seven days straight or if you try and please yourself seven days straight or if you try a combination of working like a crazy person and pleasing yourself like it like a deaf person all the time and lay aside the notion of the priority of the Lord's day and he says attempting to do so brings upon the body. Lassitude it brings upon the body for tea, nervous excitability disease and premature old age and often sudden death on the mind. Morbid excitement in patients righteousness blindness of judgment and not sell them lunacy I was saying is this, if you ignore what God has laid down as a fundamental aspect of humanity and as a gift to his creation and is a privilege to his redeemed, then you actually go nuts as a contemporary explanation and you don't have to look very far around to find people living on the edge of craziness about opinion, is honoring the Sabbath a duty or is it a gift from God, will you answer that question will impact the way you approach the day the way you begin each week here more next weekend. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living