Monday, March 28, 2011

The Sabbath Blessing - Part 6

This will be my final post on the blessings of the Sabbath. I want to conclude by adding one further consideration. As we consider the keeping of the Sabbath day our motives are of great importance. We must never obey God out of a fearful or servile obedience. We must never obey out of a desire to win God's approval. Obedience must always be rendered out of our great love for Christ. This is the difference between servile obedience and evangelical obedience. When obedience is rendered from the right motive there is glorious pleasure from the act of pleasing Christ.

There is always a danger when churches begin to enforce the Sabbath in a harsh or legalistic manner. The Sabbath must be observed out of delight, not out of fear. Pastors must guard against "lording over the flock." They must guard against overstrict authoritarian oversight that keeps the congregation on the level of children rendering legal obedience rather than allowing them to grow in maturity and holiness. At Trinity we preach and teach our duty to obey the 4th Commandment but never make harsh demands as to its observance. As we recognize the blessings of this day we will find greater ways to observe it. This kind of obedience cannot be forced upon a congregation. The motive for all of our obedience must always be Christ. As we delight in Him His Law will also be a delight. When Christians fail to delight in the Sabbath the root cause is either a lack of delight in Christ or ignorance of His Law. The Law will always convict of sin, but only grace will make the Law a delight. May God be pleased to raise up a generation of Christians who call His Law a delight.

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