The Sabbath: Sabbath, Christian Sabbath or Lord's Day

 

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Though written into the moral fabric of man created in the image of God, etched in stone in precept, taught by Christ as being Divine ordained for man's good and practically established as the pattern for the early church by Christ's Apostles, the Lord's

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the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day a confessional approach

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the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day a confessional approach published by confessional press the publishing ministry of faith community baptist church 416 s cherry lane white settlement tx 76108 817 367-3051 fcbchurch@sbcglobal.net © jason c montgomery 2007 http confessionalbaptist1689.blogspot.com scripture quotations marked esv are from the h oly bible english standard version® copyright © 2001 by crossway bibles a publishing ministry of good news publishers used by permission all rights reserved -2-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day table of contents preface 5 section i ii iii introduction outline of confessional exposition the prescription of the christian sabbath excursus 1 the law of nature excursus 2 positive-moral-perpetual law excursus 3 the ante-mosaic sabbath excursus 4 the post-mosaic sabbath excursus 5 exegetical evidence iv the practice of the christian sabbath 9 15 21 23 41 47 101 115 183 appendices 1 2 3 4 5 6 chart on the content of the law/conclusions chart on tabernacle imagery in genesis 4 chart on messianic/sabbath controversy ethical violations of 1timothy 1:8-11 exegesis of hebrews 4:9-10 by john owen bibliography 227 231 233 235 237 253 -3-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day preface a herein is presented an examination of the doctrine of the sabbath as it is found in the confessional standards of the second london baptist confession of faith of 1689 this confession has been the standard confession among reformed baptist brethren for over 300 years it is the agreed upon confession for the reformed baptist pastors fellowship the th assembly of which on the 29 of march 2007 as well as several succeeding meetings is the occasion of this presentation before being presented officially to the pastors fellowship the contents of this study were presented to the congregation of the faith community baptist church of which the author serves as one of the pastors this paper seeks to examine our confessional standards in particular its doctrine of the christian sabbath or lord s day in light of scripture history theology and christian practice if we are to agree to walk together in christian love it must be around the truth of the word of god -5-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day agreeing together upon its meaning and import for the benefit of the church and uppermost to the glory of our great god we would surprisingly find agreement with our new covenant theology brother fred zaspel when he writes that it may be an oversimplification to say that disagreements regarding the subject of divine law are all settled on the question of the sabbath then again he adds perhaps in some sense this is not oversimplification at all it is common knowledge that disputes concerning the subject of divine law eventually and almost inevitably make their way to this subject and often with considerable energy zaspel 211 we hope and pray that this energy will be well spent for the cause of christ and for the good of his beloved church our prayer is two-fold first that we might once again as our brethren in past ages have done grow to a point for the glory of christ where we will again taste and see the goodness of god in the precious gift of the sabbath second we pray that we might come to a point primarily in our hearts but also in our practice where the words of isaiah will ring true within if you turn back your foot from the sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the lord honorable if you honor it not going your own ways or seeking your own pleasure or talking idly [14 then you shall take delight in the lord and i will make you ride on the heights of the earth i will feed you with the heritage of jacob your father for the mouth of the lord has spoken isaiah 58:13-14 esv -6-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day i would like to thank my brothers of the reformed baptist pastors fellowship for the confidence they have bestowed upon me to lead our study of this precious subject the past months have moved me much closer to seeing isaiah s vision fulfilled personally and i believe for my beloved congregation as well thanks are also due to them for being patient as we worked out these truths together in our wednesday evening bible study may the lord be glorified in what is presented here soli deo gloria jason montgomery august 2007 -7-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day section i introduction a

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day section i introduction a nce there was a great king who built a splendid city in the middle of the city the king designed a delightful park which was laid out with ponds fountains and springs magnificent trees from all over the world gorgeous aromatic plants inviting stretches of lawn pathways and benches where people and families might walk and sit together and a spacious amphitheater for public meetings weekly the king met with his subjects in the park his people delighted in the time with him and one another o one day the king had to go away in his absence the rulers he left in charge began to let the park run down although they still held civic -11-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day events at the amphitheater these rulers had little interest in the park they did not truly have in mind the king s interests soon the park was overrun with weeds the trees were not pruned the exotic plants died and the pools of water stagnated the park was in ruins after a time a new group of rulers came into authority in the city they were genuinely concerned about the park and began to restore it to its former beauty they pulled out all the weeds replanted all the gardens pruned the trees repaired the pathways and the benches and opened the streams so that fresh water again flowed through the park these rulers however were fearful that the park once again would fall into disrepair in order to protect the park they made it a memorial to the king rather like a museum they continued to hold meetings at the amphitheater but they put a fence around the park s border and along the pathways so people could look at the beautiful sites in the park but could not actually use it then one day quite unexpectedly the king s son came to the city one of the first things that he did was to tear down the fence they continued to hold meetings at the he exclaimed to the rulers amphitheater but they put a fence around the enough of this this park was park s border and along the pathways so people built for the people of the city could look at the beautiful sites in the park but to remember my father and to could not actually use it enjoy but you have kept them out of the park so after removing all of the fences he invited the people to come and meet with him and with one another in the park because the king and his son are still occupied throughout their great kingdom they have appointed leaders in the city regrettably of late these leaders once again have allowed to the park to become unkept and trampled down again weeds overrun it the trees are not pruned and the -12-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day ponds have become stagnant because it has lost much of its charming beauty people no longer come to it admittedly they have kept the amphitheater in good repair and continue public meetings but increasingly the people are losing interest the park is so unattractive that they see no need to go there at all recently developers seeing the land unused have begun seeking to put up an amusement park the historical society is opposing them wanting instead to restore the park and preserve it for the sake of tradition but there is a third group who wants to restore it to its original purposes to make matters more confusing all parties are claiming to act on behalf of the interests of the king and his son meanwhile as you might imagine the king s subjects are thoroughly it is my hope and confused if you have read joseph pipa s the lord s day then you probably recognized the story above when i first read this allegorization of the sabbath it was a breath of fresh air what insight and delight god can move men to set forth with a pen it is my hope and prayer that as we study together as well as prayerfully on our own that our experience and that of our brethren will be one of passion for the true interests of the king and his son may the worship of watts become ours as we press on in our delight in the sabbath of god prayer that as we study together as well as prayerfully on our own your own experience and that of your congregation will be one of passion for the true interests of the king and his son sweet is the work my god my king to praise thy name give thanks and sing to show thy love by morning light and talk of all thy truth at night sweet is the day of sacred rest no mortal cares shall seize my breast o may my heart in tune be found like david s harp of solemn sound my heart shall triumph in my lord and bless his works and bless his word -13-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day thy works of grace how bright they shine how deep thy counsels how divine fools never raise their thoughts so high like brutes they live like brutes they die like grass they flourish till thy breath blast them in everlasting death but i shall share a glorious part when grace has well refined my heart and fresh supplies of joy are shed like holy oil to cheer my head sin my worst enemy before shall vex my eyes and ears no more my inward foes shall all be slain nor satan break my peace again then shall i see and hear and know all i desired and wished below and every power find sweet employ in that eternal world of joy and then what triumphs shall i raise to thy dear name through endless days for in the realms of joy i ll see thy face in full felicity isaac watts hymn from psalm 92 a psalm for the lord s day -14-

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a study on the sabbath sabbath christian sabbath or lord s day section ii outline of confessional exposition a

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