“ You shall have no other gods before me!” Exodus 20:3
So how are you doing with the catechism? Yes, I know life can get pretty crazy, and one result of that is our best intentions can get side-lined. But let me encourage you, even if you dropped out weeks ago, to pick up the catechism again and start memorizing and discussing it with friends and family. So even if you do miss a week or two, whatever you can commit to memory will be worth it. So jump back in with us as we move on to question #9 in the New City Catechism this morning.
This section of the catechism is drawn from the Ten Commandments as it seeks to apply them to our present life in Christ. Like most Christians throughout history, I’m convinced it is good for us to learn these commands since all but one of them (the Sabbath command) are explicitly repeated in the New Testament as part of the Law of Christ that governs our lives. The Ten Commandments are a faithful summary of God’s unchanging, moral character and thus a reflection of his expectations for his people in every age.
That being said, there are questions about how the Fourth Commandment, concerning the Sabbath, applies to us as Christians today. For one thing, we understand that the “rest” commanded by the Sabbath Law has been fulfilled for us in the finished work of Christ (Heb 4:9-10; Col 2:16-17). Our Sabbath Rest is found in Christ alone by faith! We rest by faith in Him who has fulfilled the Law on our behalf! (Rm 10:4). So while we no longer keep the Law of the Sabbath in the way Old Testament Jews did, there is still great grace to be found in observing the Gift of Sabbath Rest as part of our regular walk with Christ. And while we don’t keep a Sabbath Saturday under the threat of death (Ex 31:14), we do have the joy of gathering on Sunday (the Lord’s Day) to rest and worship the risen Christ with His people (Heb 10:25). We maintain the priority of worship and rest on this day, not as a law we must fulfill, but as a gift of God’s grace we get to enjoy. Lord willing, that’s what we’ll look at this morning.
May the Lord bless this day, and every day, as we gather in His name!