sundays at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, & 4:30 PM

Doctrine of Religious Worship - The Sabbath Holy & Glorious

January 16, 2022 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: Isaiah 58:13

Scripture -> Isaiah 58:13

Introductory Quotes

There is no hope of destroying the Christian religion while the Christian Sabbath is acknowledged and kept by men as a sacred day. – Voltair (avowed atheist)

It is a day of rest, and must not be made a day of labour, unless in cases of necessity. Take heed, watch against the profanation of the sabbath. Let not the soul be burdened with the cares of this world on sabbath days. The streams of religion run deep or shallow, according as the banks of the sabbath are kept up or neglected. The degree of strictness with which this ordinance is observed, or the neglect shown towards it, is a good test to find the state of spiritual religion in any land. - Matthew Henry, Commentary Jeremiah 17:21

Now from the foregoing we see what attitude we hold all Christianity and the service of God. For what was given to us in order to help us approach God, we use as an occasion for alienating ourselves from him even more. And as a result, we are led astray. We must recover it all. Is not such a diabolical malice in men? Would to God that we had to look hard for examples and that they were more rare. But as everything is profaned, we see that the majority hardly care about the usage of this day which has been instituted in order that we might withdraw from all earthly anxieties, from all business affairs, to the end that we might surrender everything to God.

Let us assure ourselves that it not enough for us to go to some Sermon upon the Lord’s Day, to receive some good instruction & to call upon the name of God: but we must also digest the same things, and bend all our wits to consider the gracious things that God has done for us: – John Calvin, John Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy


Last week we explored ways in which the Sabbath is considered a delight.

  1. Becasuse the Ordinances of God are expanded
    1. More savor, more prayer, more praise, more saints
  2. Because the Lord gives sufficient provision
    1. He provides in 6 what is required for 7
  3. Because the Glory of God is more greatly manifested
  4. Because the church is more edified
    1. The means of grace are in greater display
  5. Because it is a headge against apostacy
    1. Keeps the mind fixed on God, reminds one of their duties before Him

Exploring Deeper

"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath"

We talked about this before

  • About the propriety of treating the Sabbath
  • About trampling it
  • About turning our foot away and the doing of our pleasures and not the Lord's
  • About calling and treating the Sabbath as a delight.

"the Holy of the Lord"

There is a there is an ellipsis

We should read it as

  • "the holy thing of the Lord"
  • "the holy instrument of the Lord"
  • "the holy substance of the Lord"
  • "the holy possession of the Lord"

What does it mean to be holy?

  • It means that it is a day set apart
  • It is to be consecrated, pure, clean
  • It is to be a day set aside from ordinary use
  • It is a special day.

Notice, this is not just my opinion or the opinion of any certain Confession.

  • This is coming straight from the Word of God.
  • He calls is a Holy Day.

Genesis 2:2-3

What does it say there?

  • He "sanctified it"
  • That is another word for "hallowed," for "being holy," for "setting it apart for sacred use"
  • He rested and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The Lord's attitude, mind, thinking, proclamation, and His declaration concerning the Sabbath day has never changed.

  • It has always been a holy day.
  • It was holy in the beginning.
  • It is still holy today.
  • It has maintained its holiness throughout time.
  • John, in Rev 1, affirms its holiness

When the Prophet tells us here that it is a holy day, he is telling us nothing new.

  • The people knew it was a holy day, from Genesis 2
  • The people knew it would be a holy day until we enter that perpetual rest, the perpetual Sabbath Day.
    • Where every day with the Lord is the Sabbath day
    • When there shall no longer be night.

Ask yourself this question: If you cannot delight in the Lord for only 1 day in 7, how do you expect to delight in the Lord every day throughout eternity?

The Sabbath is set apart

It is set apart as a day of rest in Hebrews 4

  • He tells us that that it is an actual rest where we cease from our labors.
  • It is set apart as a day of rest because it continues to preach the gospel
    • As we cease from those labors of our own
    • As we work to be right with God
    • As we trust in the labors of another.

What do you think Adam did that first Sabbath day with the Lord?

  • Do you think perhaps he reflected on God's work?
  • Do you think he looked around and saw all that his Creator had made?
  • Do you think he looked around at the dominion that God had given Him?
  • Do you think his eyes were filled with wonderment at his creator?

Hebrews 4:9 tells that we are still to understand and treat it as a day of rest

  • "9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God"
  • We, as the people of God, do maintain a Sabbath day, in the days of the New Testament
  • It is still a holy day.
  • It is set apart because it preaches the work of redemption.
    • Deuteronomy 5:12-15
    • Back in Deuteronomy, the Sabbath was beginning to change from a remembrance of creation to a remembrance of redemption
    • The observance and importance of the Sabbath has not changed
  • It is the day that Christ rose from the dead.
    • Therefore, the holiness of the day, sets itself apart

The Lord sets it apart, to preach to us the resurrection of Christ in the change of the day

  • The change of the day causes us to look not at creation, which we did not accomplish
  • The change of the day changes our attention to look upon and admire the redemption that we did not accomplish so that we admire our Savior.
  • Shall we neatly accomplish that admiration in an hour?
  • Shall we appropriately admire our Lord in comfort, in our own righteousness, deciding that churches are not worthy of us, with our feet up on the couch, coffee in hand, watching television - all the while ignoring the plain teachings of Scripture?
  • The Lord has given us a day - a full day - evening and morning.

And so, when we rest with the Lord, as the Lord Jesus Christ comes to those worshipping assemblies and rests with them in those ordinances of worship.

  • we behold His labors, those labors of redemption
  • we stand wide eyed and in awe of our Savior's salvation
  • just as the first Adam stood wide eyed and all of the creation around him.
  • but so much more than that creative ordinance
    • we have the redemptive ordinance
  • it is still a holy day.
    • But the holiness of it today preaches redemption, not creation.
    • It preaches redemption.
    • It is a holy day in that the Lord has called his people together
    • It is a holy day in that He has set that day apart for their gathering
  • Treating it as anything less is disrespectful and dishonoring to the Lord
    • anything less is treating the "Holy of the Lord" as common
    • anything less is treating the “Holy of the Lord” not as holy but unholy

Aside - Churches have no authority to call you to worship on any other day than the Sabbath

Some churches have Wednesday night services

  • but they cannot be anything other than optional
  • The Lord has blessed up with 6 days
    • to work
    • to rest
    • to play
    • to pursue our pleasures and enjoyments
    • to complete whatever is necessary so that we might be fully engaged in the Sabbath
  • The Lord has also blessed us with 1 day in 7
    • to honor Him in the assembly
    • to worship Him in the assembly
    • to keep His Day as Holy
    • to cease from what we would do on the other 6 days
    • to be refreshed in Him

So, the Sabbath is set apart as being Holy unto the Lord


It is honorable.

The word that is use -> "kbd" (ka-bad)

  • It means to glorify, to show proper respect, to esteem, to make weighty, to give sufficient weight and attention

You see, there are certain days, more weighty than other days.

  • For America
    • 4th of July
    • Thanksgiving
  • For the Christian
    • We remember Pentecost
    • We remember the resurrection of the Lord
    • Isaiah tells us that it is our duty to call the Lord's Day, heavy, weighty, worthy, glorious
    • because of all the things that the Lord has attached to the Sabbath day it is better than other days

If we would have a right sense of what worth is

  • we would confess that it is worth more than other days.

Notice what Isaiah says:

  • Call the Sabbath a delight
  • Call it the Holy Day of the Lord
  • Call it glorious.
  • Call it heavy, worthy, weighty.

Think about this: the Hebrew mindset had a concept of "weight and non-weight" or "heavy and light"

  • They used scales and balances.
  • A fulcrum with two points on either side to measure one thing against another
  • Remember in other places of Scripture…
    • the nations are compared to as drop in a bucket
    • the nations are but as dust compared to the Lord
  • Whatever goes down in the balance is of greater weight

Therefore, the Sabbath day, as compared to the other days is glorious.

  • Were you to compare the Sabbath on one side and the other six days on the other side, which side would be more weighty, more heavy?
  • The answer to that question depends on how you view the Sabbath.

"and shalt honor Him"

There is a semicolon before "and shalt honor him"

  • It is the same Hebrew word for shall glorify Him.

There is a parallel that the Prophet draws here

  • between thinking or considering the Sabbath day to be glorious and thinking and considering the Lord to be glorious.

We know the Lord commands that we OBEY Him wrt to the Sabbath day.

  • And if we would obey Him, we would glorify Him because it is His day
  • And if we would treat His property as He wants us and commands us
    • we would glorify Him because He has made it a delight.

We do not primarily call the Sabbath a delight because of what we get out of it

  • We call the Sabbath a delight because God calls it a delight.
  • He knows what we need, and He calls it delightful, and He calls it glorious.
    • We glorify Him if we call it glorious
    • If we refuse to call it glorious, what are we doing to him?
      • We are refusing to glorify Him.
      • We are refusing to consider his opinion as weighty
      • We are refusing to glorify Him.
        • It is the opposite of glorifying him.

So, when we are non-plussed about the Sabbath day…

So, when we have a “take it or leave it” approach to the Sabbath day…

If we think we can keep a good Sabbath at home, and we do not need to go to church and go through all that bother and all that trouble...

  • We are not calling the Sabbath, the Holy of the Lord, honorable and glorious
  • We are not glorifying the Lord.

Even if we have come to keep the Sabbath

  • But we have not prepared our minds and our hearts
  • Or it is all we can do barely get to church on time or perhaps a few minutes late
  • Or we find ourselves thinking of what we have to do later that day or after the service

are we giving the proper weight to the Lord?

Most of America gives greater weight

  • to getting to the movies
  • to getting to a dinner
  • to getting to the airport
  • to having guests over
  • to almost anything we find ourselves giving greater weight and greater glory than we give to honoring the Lord on His Holy Day.

To call his day glorious, is to call Him glorious.

  • That is what the prophet says.
  • And if we neglect His day, do not glorify it, then we do not glorify Him


Close by looking at Matthew 12:1-9

  • "For the Son of man is Lord, even of the Sabbath day"
    • He does not mean, because I am Lord of the Sabbath, I can do what I want.
    • He means because He is Lord of the Sabbath
      • I will tell you, what is right and wrong regarding it.
      • I am the arbiter of it.
      • You should be following my example, not condemning me
    • If they would have honored the Sabbath, they would have honored the Lord that gave the Sabbath.


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