The Ten Commandments - The Sabbath
we to obey all ten, or just nine?
COMMANDMENT #4 - Remember
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do
2 - I am
the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house
3 - You shall have no other gods
4-6 - You shall not make for yourself an
idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in
the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the
Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children,
on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness
to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will
not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all
your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall
not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant
or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord
made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on
the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land
which the Lord your God gives you.
13 - You shall
14 - You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
16 - You shall not bear false
witness against your neighbor.
17 -You shall not covet
your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife or his
male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs
to your neighbor.
Christians generally do not observe
the Sabbath. Why not? It is a part of the Ten Commandments. If we are to keep
God's moral law, should we not keep all of the moral law?
What is the moral
The Ten Commandments are not arbitrary laws. They describe
the character of God. We are created in the image of God,and as bearers of the
image of God we are to have the moral character of God. That means we are to obey
the Ten Commandments... except for observing the Sabbath.
The rest of
The Ten Commandments were given to the people of Israel, through
Moses, following their exodus from captivity in Egypt. Basically the deal was,
if you obey me, I'll bless you... you will join me for eternity. In today's words,
obey me and you'll go to heaven.
And that still applies today. If
you perfectly obey God... if you perfectly have the moral character of God...
you will go to heaven.
What about the Sabbath? The purpose of the Sabbath
is given in Exodus 31:16-17
So the sons of Israel
shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations
as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;
for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased
from labor, and was refreshed.
Ezekiel 20:12 tells us a little more:
I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know
that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
Observing the Sabbath
was a sign that you were agreeing to the Mosaic covenant. Deuteronomy 5:15
adds to that:
You shall remember that you were a slave
in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty
hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to
observe the Sabbath day.
MacArthur states: "The Sabbath was a reminder of creation. The Sabbath
was to remind the people of Israel that they had forfeited paradise, that man
had forfeited paradise. The law said to them, Obey this law and you will
be blessed. God said that repeatedly, Obey this law and you will be
blessed, to show them that righteous behavior would restore a taste of Edens
paradise. Righteous behavior would also point to a future, a future kingdom when
paradise would be regained.
So the Sabbath, every Sabbath that went
by when they rested, they were reminded of a perfect creation, a paradise of God
dominated by righteousness, which had been forfeited by sin and could only be
regained again by righteousness.
And they therefore were to consider
the importance of obeying the ten commandments. They were to consider the importance
on that seventh day of examining their own lives and looking at how they were
measuring up against the law of God. Recognizing sin was the objective, and bringing
them to repentance."
Why don't we observe the Sabbath now?
as the rainbow is the sign of the Noahic Covenant, the Sabbath is the sign of
the Mosaic Covenant. But, we are no longer under the Mosaic Covenant... we are
under the New Covenant of grace.
For by grace you
have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9
now provides a permanent Sabbath rest for those who are trusting Him as their
Therefore no one is to act as your judge
in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath
daythings which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance
belongs to Christ. - Colossians 2:16-17
Because of what Jesus did
on the cross, taking the full wrath of God on Himself as the just penalty for
our sin, we can rest... we a free from sin. Just as the exodus freed the Israelites
from slavery in Egypt... slavery with no rest... so Jesus has freed us from slavery
When the Mosaic Law was given, Israel was
to obey that law perfectly, and the Sabbath was the sign of that covenant. But
the law cannot save us, because we unable to live in obedience to the law. We
all have sinned (broken God's law)... none of us is righteous, not one.
those who have repented and are trusting Jesus Christ as having paid the penalty
they have earned for disobeying God... paid it in full... are no longer under
the law, but are covered by the grace of God. So we are no longer under the Mosaic
covenant. However, all of the Mosaic laws, except the Sabbath, have been reiterated
in the New Testament. They describe the character of God, and they describe who
we are to be. So, we are still commanded to live in obedience to God's moral law...
the Ten Commandments... except for keeping the Sabbath.
Return To: Where
do our moral values come from?
American humanist's source of morality