“The Holy Day”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Relax, I’m not suggesting that Christians should observe some arbitrary day in the year. I am declaring that God established one day in seven to be holy, set apart to Him. From “the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ…” that day was Saturday. Since Christ’s resurrection the Christian Sabbath is Sunday (The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 21, Par. 7).
The Protestant Reformation did not change the Sabbath Day from Saturday to Sunday. Some Pope of the Church of Rome did not change the Sabbath Day. The early Church began to worship on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, Acts 20:7; 1Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10.
Christians know that God’s command, “keep holy the Sabbath Day” is still binding! If you profess Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, you will make worship on the Lord’s Day your top priority. Christians worship on the Lord’s Day not only because God has commanded it, but because God has given them a desire for Him.
Sabbath observance demonstrates four aspects of life in Christ. First, it is the time when God’s people gather to praise Him as the Creator. Second, God’s people gather on the Lord’s Day to remember His salvation. Third, God gave man the Sabbath to call men to rest from their normal labors and be reminded that we are all equal in Christ. Fourth, the Sabbath Celebration on the Lord’s Day is a time during which God’s faithfulness is celebrated by those who declare their membership in the Covenant community.
Those who have been born again by the Spirit of God desire to worship Him on the Lord’s Day. The word of God declares that Christ is the reality of the Sabbath Day revealed in the Old Testament, Colossians 2:16-17. There is an eschatological meaning of the Sabbath. The Sabbath points to the final “rest” promised by God to all genuine Christians.
God’s order of salvation revealed in Scripture is necessary in understanding who God expects to worship Him on the Lord’s Day. The order of God’s salvation is: Effectual Call, Regeneration, Conversion, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification and Glorification. Each step along the way is by God’s action. In other words, a Christian is one who has been saved, is being saved and will be saved by God’s grace alone in Christ alone through faith alone.
Christians, those made “new creations” don’t go to church. Christians are the church. The visible church, the one we see, is defined as those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and their children. Therefore, genuine Christians know why corporate worship on the Lord’s Day is their top priority. Even though there are times when we might be prevented from worship on the Lord’s Day, we still have the desire to be in the presence of God with God’s people. Some Sundays, we might not “feel” like going to church. Yet, we know that we belong at church on Sunday. When we miss corporate worship, we miss being encouraged by our brothers and sisters. More, we miss being lifted up by our sovereign God.
God made every one for worship. Men and woman will worship someone or something. All men intuitively know that worship is not an option. Worship, in its plain meaning, is to bow down before and serve the object of worship. The Christian bows down before and serves God and in the process is “served” by God!
The worship manual of the Old Testament Church and the New Testament Church, the book of Psalms states the Christian’s desire to worship God. Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”’ God places in each believer a desire to gather with God’s people to declare His praises and to hear Him speak both in the reading of Scripture and in the Proclamation of Scripture. As a result, believers are edified or if you choose to use this word, fed.
God commanded His people to “Keep holy the Sabbath Day.” Christians keep the Sabbath holy by worshiping Him on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. As we worship Him, we remember that He is the Creator and we are His creatures. We are reminded of His deliverance out of the bondage to sin. We know that we have been designed by Him to rest in Him. And we affirm that we are members of the Covenant Community.