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October 15, 2022 4:00 am
The reason there are Commandments in Scripture Reading the Sabbath is to draw God's people closer to him, not to create an opportunity for endless rules and regulations. So how we take the Sabbath seriously without becoming legalistic or self-righteous today on Truth for Life weekend.
Alistair Begg answers that question as he concludes the message titled the delight of the Sabbath.
Some of you are already sick and they're saying, well, you know, this is simply a matter of I really don't need to be concerned are Londa really pay very much attention to whatever is about to say because he just got to simply share his preferences with and that doesn't matter at all. This is not a matter of personal in the first instance. What is it that is many things I must be selective, not exhaustive, as I'm going to say that this issue is this number one.
It is a doctrinal issue. Secondly, it is a biblical issue.
In other words, it is a method of biblical interpretation. Turn to Galatians chapter 4 if you would Galatians chapter 4 and verse 10. While verse nine he says you know you used to be slaves to those who by nature are not gods but now that you know God are rather known by God. He says now that you've been redeeming, justified, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles. What are these weak and miserable principles. He says you want to be enslaved by them all over again, and he reiterates them. Verse 10 you are observing special days and months and seasons and years and then in verse 11 we haven't kind of shaking his head in disgust. He said you not fear that some I've wasted my efforts on you. I came here and I proclaim to you the grace of God. He says I told you that you could not gain acceptance with God by climbing up this latter but not of the law of God confronted you with your need of a Savior and that if you trusted in Christ you would discover that he justifies the ungodly, wind, and even going back to these weak and miserable principles but where they knew they were seeking by means of observing special days and months and seasons and years to build their hope of acceptance with God. And Paul says this is a superstitious futility and it must not be as an attorney to this because this is one of the phrases and passages that people use for saying you see that the fourth amendment and the Sabbath on the Lord's day they're not around anymore. After all, look at what Paul says in Galatians 4 your sensible people and you must judge do you want to conclude on the strength of what you have learned so far of the Bible and what you understand. Do you want to conclude that Paul is referring to the moral law of God as we miserable principles. You can. Not if you know the book of Romans.
You can so many didn't. Colossians chapter 2 same kind of approach, verses 16 and 17. Since Paul says don't let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to religious festival, a new Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. People say there you go were not supposed to be concerned about this matter of the Sabbath day of the Colossian heresy was simply this, the false teachers were suggesting that faith in Christ was not enough to provide fullness of knowledge and wisdom and power and salvation than Paula sick anybody come to you and give you that garbage is as you know your Bibles well enough. You know, that is, in the case. But I ask you again to think seriously you think of what he saying here in Colossians 2 is that the Sabbath day is the fourth commandment which is being vetoed from the Decalogue or lastly in Romans chapter 14 when it comes to classic head. Romans 14 519 considers one day more sacred than another. Another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind he regards, one day is special does so to the Lord. Hewitt's needs, each to the Lord for he gives thanks to God and he who abstains does so to the Lord gives thanks to God and so long you notice the beginning of the chapter that this has to do with the issue of disputable matters because in verse two he says one man's faith allows them to eat everything but I'm not a man whose faith is weak. Each only vegetables okay so the guy who is really the guy who says you can do this, the chap who is strong says you can do it if you want.
We tend to think of it the other way around. We tend to cast the strongmen as the manner says you can do this and the Wheaton man is the manner says I can do what I like the other way around, looking verse three. The man who eats everything must not be guilty of contempt must not look down on him who does not, and the man does not heed everything must not be guilty of condemnation of the man who does for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant to his own master that is to the Lord.
He stands or falls. And he will stand for the Lord is able to make instead. I was then in the context that even under the matter of the day, the same question, do you think the end of the data which he repairs the forthcoming. Do you think that he is ready heading now to what is being this day of resurrection. This amazing discovery of the fullness of the spirit. This, that is being sanctified by the arrival of Christ and has taken on such a perspective these early believers. Do you think that what Paul is doing here to say don't let anybody stand up as your pastor and tell you that the Christian has to comply with the fourth commandment is when he said of course if you conclude yes then you can just plainly disregard all that I've said so far know that I'm about to say by way of now, here's the question for the biblical interpreter.
One man considers a day more sacred than another, and another man considers every day like what is the day was he talking is why musings are for the Bible what is the day you know, the fact of the matter. We don't know what it is because he doesn't actually articulate so there are number of things that might be.
For example, it is distinctly possible that the D one man considers more more sacred than another.
All right, who in this case would be the weak man right is he saying this is something you've got to do the strongmen say this is a matter of indifference.
So it is this thing the possible that the D is the seventh day, the Jewish Sabbath and that here you have an individual or individuals within the Roman church, and while they worship on the Lord's day, acts 20 verse seven he still believes that he must shut up Shaw on the Saturday so he is around the fellowship say I'm glad to be here to sing the song with you in worship today or tonight, but yesterday I shut up my shop and you know what you should have shut your shop as well because yesterday was the Sabbath and you did not observe know that's the case what Paul is saying is don't let this guy tie you up in knots because he believes he has the shut of the shop because that was the seventh day this is the first day. This is the Lord's day, and he can go to this day when he chooses he should not be guilty of condemnation and you must not look upon them with contempt, but do you honestly think that the day is the Lord's day, and that what Paul is saying here is that it is the weak person who has a concern about the Lord's day, and that it is a strong person who says hey you know when old Ricoh here finally figures is by allowed he'll discover that every day is the Lord state now.
Be careful of that because every day is in a sense, the Lord's day, but it is not the Lord's day, in the sense of the first day of the week has been given to us is a unique privilege to enjoy and most of the people that I meet who tell me that every day is the Lord's day are concerned to make Sunday like Monday through Saturday rather than to make Monday through Saturday look like a Sunday so you'd understand where I'm coming from. For example, in churches who say well I Sunday is just any old day and so on Sunday we do a Saturday night evangelistic rally on a Sunday morning and we have Sunday on a Wednesday night and we're free to do that because all of Galatians 4 because of Colossians to them because Romans 14 let's imagine biblical interpretation.
I'm sorry I flat-out disagree with. I do not believe that you're free to call Wednesday Sunday and when somebody phones up the radio and says my son has recently become a believer and he works in the market gardeners and he is interested in coming to church, but unfortunately he is scheduled to work all day on a Sunday. What should I do with them. I want them so much to come to church and the answer comes from a well-known high-profile Christian teacher on radio that you folks here every day. The answer is tell your son not to worry about it. There is no Sunday there is no Lord's day, every day is the same. It is a matter one day the researcher I was the answer I heard it with my own big years. Now that is a product of a systematic theology. It is a doctrinal issue. He betrays where he's coming from.
I disagree. It is a matter of biblical interpretation. He says that this sets an aside, I disagree and you are sensible people and you must learn to read your Bibles know you come here for me to spoonfeed you every answer. It is a matter of biblical interpretation.
If we were to allow that. Romans 14 fine the day there is the Sabbath day, then what Paul would be saying is this the fourth commandment has no abiding obligation that the first day of the week has no prescribed religious significance and then actually observing the Lord's day is a sign of a weak Christian because he has understood that all the days are the same. Thirdly, it is a personal issue, that is, once we have concluded that when Jesus declares himself Lord of the Sabbath he is not depriving men of its benefit B is establishing form and its fullest enjoyment, then the way in which each of us work out this aspect of our salvation will not be uniform here me will not be uniform when you travel the world as many of you have done and you go in amongst the people of God to discover that the only fact of uniformity amongst the nations of the world, and indeed amongst clusters of believers, even in this continent. The only uniformity is not the uniformity of the details, but is the uniform approach of either saying there is no Lord's day to be concerned with, or the uniform approach of saying we want to understand what it means to believe and to honor and to obey God on this date. There is the uniformity and that actually is where the uniformity starts and finishes because the law of God. If you think about it for a moment in terms of the loan's totality and not just the fourth command, the law of God provides us with a comprehensive ethnic but it does not give to us an exhaustive application is not striking. No indent for the people in Genesis Exodus Leviticus numbers within the Pentateuch. That's where you could light fires. That's why there were all those things.
God hedged all that about and all of those mosaic obligations. I found their fulfillment in the rest in peace, and reality which is provided in trusting in Christ who came to fulfill the law and he by his life and his keeping of the law and finally by his death and resurrection fulfilled in all of its finality. All of the obligations of the law so that we need an intern in trusting in him need not go through all of that mosaic stuff, you will find people from time to time they've been here in our church and going out for other places because they can convince me of the fact there called Fiona Mrs. you will find that their conviction is that we should reestablish all the mosaic legislation and that she wishes reimported into the church today and that we should then champion it in our culture, and so on the matter. Biblical interpretation with which clearly I find no concurrence, God's word binds us as believers. The word of God binds us, but it binds is notice this only to him and to his word to want you to be bound as a believer where you should be bound to Christ and you should be following to his work. And that's it. As individuals today, we are free of every human directive which is additional to the Scriptures in matters of faith and worship is clear in matters of faith and worship because were not free from everything that is additional to the Scriptures. For example, were not free to do not pay our taxes and were not free to disregard the speed limit what I'm saying is this, we are free in matters of faith and worship from every human direct which finds no sanction in the Bible. The Westminster confession of faith puts it like this, we are free from the doctrines and commandments of men.
Therefore, no one should be bound by a taboo or by a directive which lacks the sanction of Scripture we see that to you again this is fundamentally important. No one should be bound by a directive or a taboo which lacks the sanction of the Bible. Melanie Croce from his course, theologians begin to wrap this up. This is a crucial area because in the Church of God. There is always been a tendency to multiply directives, restrictions and taboos is not true.
If you been around church circles for any length of time at all you know that's true. You go to church and very quickly will tell you what your list is only very concerned about this very concerned about that and you need to sign off on this and sign off on the next thing I understand the motivation but there is no biblical sanction for things that are merely matters of human tradition. The difficulty says Donna MacLeod, is that not only do human authorities and mainly ministers and elders I might add, not only do these characters have a tendency to multiply directives, but there is something in the believer himself or herself an element of childishness that craves the securities of such taboos. We want someone to tell us what is wrong.
We won the list of taboos and traditionally churches produce lists. Smoking is always on it. Drinking is always on. Dancing is always on in Scotland.
Makeup is usually on it and I'm not going about men wearing makeup and on about women wearing makeup that's on it, and I continued to churches this morning in the north of Ireland west of Scotland where all of you ladies about masonry so graciously would be to get into the ladies restroom and have your face well and truly scrubbed in order that you would be FedEx for the worship of God. It's on their list of taboos shopping on a Sunday pop music any day."
Length of hair earrings, nose rings, belly button rings telephone rings anything in the rings on the list.
Now listen here and listen we will carefully church leaders and I speak to myself here and to my colleagues have to learn that they do not have the right to interfere with the liberty of God's own children in matters where there is no biblical mandate loyalty to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ requires that we refuse to let men lorded over our consciences.
Christ has purchased the right to be our only master Christ has purchased the right to be our only master that Fridays. Some of you I can tell by your eyes because each of us leaning in one direction. On the other. Some of his lien into the arena of what I would call restrictive formalism and others of his lien in the direction of unbridled freedom and this might end of our personalities and our backgrounds and every other thing.
There is no question that I lean in the direction of restrictive formalist because freedom brings risk and so you find yourself saying I don't know if I wanted give to my dear children, these kind of freedoms because there's a tremendous risk attaches to. That's right.
It's called parenting skull, letting go is called giving principles and recognizing that ultimately they will have to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, ask yourself this afternoon. Think about it. If you lien unless of course you're the one person that I've never met who doesn't lien if you lien what direction are you leaning in and then maybe you can ask the question. I wonder if it's possible for me to stand up a little straighter. It's really all about a matter of time. So matter of time we get to this little illustration of pre-imagine there is a bank or credit your account each morning with $86,400 carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
What would you do, you would drive every cent of course. While each of us has a bank and his name is time every morning credit you with 86,400 seconds every night at Wright's office lost whatever of this year failed to invest a good part carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft each day and opens a new account for you each night. It burns the remains of the day if you failed to use the days deposits. The losses years. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the tomorrow you must live in the present on today's deposits and you must invest to get from it all, that you may well what about the investment in this large day whatever it is. Christian Sabbath are not. How can I take the issue seriously without becoming a Pharisee without it becoming a form of suffocating legalism without me immediately being guilty of judging others about matters which the Bible provides no requirements for or no specific directives about how is it possible for me to hold my convictions about the Lord's day without it becoming an instrument of self righteousness. Such an important question. As believers we are bound by God's word and not the unsanctioned mandates that human beings may add to it were listing to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life weekend. Alastair will be back close with prayer in just a minute, and today's message Alister pointed out the importance of reading our Bibles so we can tell the difference between biblical teaching and false teaching God's laws them man's extraneous rules. That's why Alister teaches verse by verse from Scripture and frequently begins by inviting us to open our Bibles.
You could have access to God's word right at your fingertips. No matter where you go download the Truth for Life mobile app to your phone or your tablet if you haven't done so already. The app contains all of the Scripture and the format of the ESV Bible, you can download for free when you search for Truth for Life in the app store when you visit our website today. Check out the current book recommendation to book called partners in the gospel 50 meditations for pastors and elders wives. This is a book that addresses many issues that pastors wives were elders. Wives can face this is the last weekend to request your copy Truth for Life.org to find out more about the book partners in the gospel. Now, here is Alister with prayer father, thank you that the Bible is alive worthy of our study demanding of our most careful attention.
We realize again how much we need the spirit of God to be our teacher, we want to acknowledge today that as we approach this day regarding the Lord Jesus Christ is our worship leader and we want to look to you. Regards your Holy Spirit is our teacher through the Bible and we want to depend upon you and pray that you will help us in the hours of this day to understand a little more of what it means that you are the Lord of time, the Lord of the Sabbath and may your grace and mercy and peace from father, son and Holy Spirit, be our abiding portion today for evermore on Bob Lapine. What is permissible on the Sabbath.
That's been the source of quarreling for centuries. Next weekend will learn some helpful principles that can guide us Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living