Lord's Day 28

Week 27 :: Week 28 :: Week 29


I am often asked why the Christian Church observes Sabbath on Sunday, the first day of the week, rather than on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. The Sabbath, according to the Old Covenant, remembered the creation of the material universe, and the fact that on the seventh day God rested. As Christians living under the New Covenant, we find our Sabbath rest on the Lord’s Day, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Every Sunday is a reminder that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we now may rest from our efforts to be reconciled with God; that work is finished, we have only to trust in Christ and His atoning sacrifice to be at peace with God. 

How are we, then, to keep the Lord’s Day Holy? The one way to sanctify the Sabbath is to set the day apart for worship and communion with God. Charles Hodge, the 19th century theologian wrote, “It is the day in which He is to be worshiped, thanked, and praised; in which men are to be called upon to accept his offers of grace, and to rejoice in the hope of his salvation. It is therefore a day of joy. In the early church men were forbidden to pray on their knees on that day. They were to stand tall, exulting in the work of God’s love.” 

Another way to keep the Sabbath holy is to follow Jesus’ lead; how did He keep the Sabbath? Throughout the gospels we see that Jesus worshiped, healed, fed, and ministered to the lost on the Sabbath. For our Lord, the Sabbath was a day for acts of mercy and kindness. We can follow His lead by spending our Sabbath visiting shut-ins and the sick, sharing fellowship with one another, and finding ways to serve those in need. Our Lord is not as concerned about our practice of religion as much as He is concerned about our acts of mercy and kindness on behalf of those in need. 


Almighty God, may your Spirit teach us to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, setting your day apart from the rest as a time of worship and service in the love of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. 

Question 59

Q. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?

A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week, ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.

Scripture Proofs

Gen. 2:2-3;

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

1 Cor. 16:1-2;

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

Acts 20:7.

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

Question 60

Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:8;

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Ex. 20:10;

but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

Ex. 16:25-28;

Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?

Neh. 13:15-19;

In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” 

As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day.

Neh. 13:21-22;

But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

Luke 4:16;

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.

Acts 20:7;

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

Ps. 92: 1-4;


It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 

For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Isa. 66:23;

From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord.

Matt. 12:1-13.

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” 

He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.