Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Continuing Sabbath in the Christian Dispensation

As I have said before (use the "sabbath" tag at the bottom of this post), I hold to the traditional view of
Sunday as the Christian Sabbath, binding on Christians just as - though in a non-legalist fashion - on the Jews under the Old Covenant.

Consider the juxtaposition of these two Scriptures.

In Deuteronomy 23:1, we read, "No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD." My apologies for the indelicacy here, but this refers to eunuchs. They were denied membership in the covenant community. However, add the prophecy from Isaiah 56:4-5: "Thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."

Those two verses should create a certain dissonance in our minds. We have the same group excluded from the covenant community in one verse promised  covenant blessings in another. The fulfillment of that could only come under the New Covenant.

The significance of that applies much more widely than just to the few people in the world who have been castrated. it indicates a Sabbath blessing that can only be to Christians in the Gospel dispensation.

To my mind, this is further - not the only - evidence that the Fourth Commandment has not been abrogated for Christians. 

Thus, I again endorse as true what is said in the Westminster Confession of Faith (XXI:7): "As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which in Scripture is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath."

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