You have already heard of the continuity of the Sabbath Commandment for Christians. Yet, you might still have problems as to why we are to keep it holy. Through the Scriptures we find many reasons for the continuity of the Sabbath Keeping for Christians today, for example we can look at the life of Christ and His followers in the Gospels onwards concerning Sabbath keeping for evidences. And I have already written about these other reasons in my other sermons. But today I want to focus on three biblical reasons for keeping the Sabbath. All the reasons I am going to cover in this study are found in Genesis 2:1-3 ─the first book of the Bible to be written. And the reason why I want us to look at the Sabbath Truth from Genesis is because it deals with the very beginning of the world’s Creation, where we find the very institution of the Sabbath day by the Creator God Himself.
The Very Beginning
The book of Genesis 1:1 starts by saying “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. Yes, as says Genesis, in the Beginning God created all things from the first day─everything on its literal day─up to the sixth day when He created the first humankind without sin, crowning them with dominion (Genesis 1:2-28). And it is on this sixth day that God, after providing them with food, finishes His creation work. And then He ceases to take a marvelous look at His perfect and wonderful work He’s made.
So what are these special reasons for keeping the Sabbath rooted in Genesis? As we open the Holy Scriptures, we will certainly explore the Bible on these Genesis Sabbath-Keeping reasons. So now with your Bible open, let’s go to Genesis chapter two, where they are clearly shown.
Creation Completed on the Seventh-day
- The First Reason
Having completed the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them on Seventh-day, God “rested from all His work. And God blessed the Seventh-day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3. So, the first reason why God instituted the Sabbath day is that He RESTED on it. Now you must be wondering the reason why God rested on the Seventh day (commonly called “Saturday” in our modern calendar). Could it be that God was tired? Of course not! When we turn to the NT book of Mark for explanation we understand the reason why God rested on the Sabbath. According to Mark 2:27, by resting on the Seventh day, God was instituting the Seventh-day Sabbath to meet the needs of man. On every Seventh day, the humankind would stop to behold the marvelous creation work of God─it’s a memorial of the creation work of God─it is the earth’s birthday. Yes, God has already set an example for us to follow. He says “Keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God” Ezekiel 20:20. Yes indeed, the Sabbath is the sign or seal for God’s people. Whoever is a child of God in Christ has to keep the Sabbath rest as did our Creator God in Genesis.
Now that we have a fallen nature, as we cease from our daily work to meditate upon its divine hours, we are freed from stress, anxiety, depression and even more. Yes, we can find our rest only from God alone. Whoever comes to Jesus Christ will find rest for his soul. Jesus says “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28. Would you like to rest on this week’s Seventh-day Sabbath? The choice is yours alone!
2. The Second Reason
Genesis 2:3 goes on to say “And God blessed the Seventh-day…” So, the second reason is that as God rested on this Earth’s first Seventh-day, He also blessed it. Yes, as God blessed Adam and Eve at creation saying “Be fruitful and multiply…” (Genesis 1:28), He also made the Sabbath to be our bountiful blessing flowing from Him alone. We find this echoed through the Scriptures. Isaiah 56:2 says “…blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest.” There is a great blessing behind keeping the Sabbath. Whoever is a blessing seeker has to come to this source of blessing─the blessed Seventh-day Sabbath. God says “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord…who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest…” Isaiah 56:6. Did you notice it? It reads “I will also bless the foreigners…” You see, the Sabbath blessings, deriving from keeping the Sabbath day holy, are to benefit every person on earth, not just for the Jews (as you might have heard out there). What a great blessing Creator we have in Jesus Christ! Would you like to partake of the Sabbath blessings? The answer is yours alone!
3. The Third Reason
Genesis 2:3 still goes on to say “and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:3. So, the last reason the book of Genesis gives for keeping the Sabbath, after RESTING and BLESSING, is that God Himself made the day holy─that is, He [God] who is holy made the Sabbath day holy or set it aside for sacred use. As the holy Creator God rested upon the Seventh-day, His holy presence upon the day turned it into holy Sabbath day. Now, you have to bear in mind that something holy, or that has been set aside for sacred use by God, is a very serious matter─not to be treated lightly─like any other common thing. You remember the story of the burning bush when Moses approached God. As God saw him approaching, He called to him “Do not come any closer, ” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. ” Exodus 3:5. Do you see how serious this matter is? Moses did not know that he was standing on a “holy” ground. He might have thought that that ground was commonly the same as another. Yet, God said “You are standing on holy ground” and thus Moses had to take off his sandals. You too might not have known that the Seventh-day Sabbath is holy. You might have thought that this Sabbath day (commonly called Saturday) is the same as others. Yet, today you know that truth. God says “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” Exodus 20:8 KJV. Yes indeed, the Sabbath day is not a common day. Instead, it is a day made holy by God, alone who is holy. Then, just as He created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days, and rested on this Seventh day (see Exodus 20:11), you too are called to rest on this Sabbath day so as to worship Him. God says to you and me “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11 KJV. You see, the Sabbath day was made for our communion with God. As God did, it is the day when we are called to stop our ordinary work, and be refreshed as we also take a marvelous look at the creation work of our Creator and Savior God. You and I need the Sabbath rest in order to prevent us from losing sight of God and getting caught up in materialism and overwork.
Now that we have become unholy because of sin, when we approach our Creator God in keeping the Sabbath day holy as Christ kept (Jesus kept the Sabbath see Luke 4:16, 31), by the means of His holy presence upon the day, we partake of His Holiness. Yes, as we keep the Sabbath day holy as was sanctified, we are also sanctified by our Creator and Savior God, who alone is Holy. He says “..I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them” Ezekiel 20:12 KJV. Would you like to keep the Sabbath day holy? The answer is yours alone!
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