September 19 - LD 38, Day 3: God’s Perfect Work
Wednesday the 19th of September
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Deuteronomy 5:15 - “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”
The Sabbath, now observed on the first day of the week in the Christian church, was set apart by God for our sake. It was set apart that we might enter His perfect work, the enjoyment of His covenant fellowship with us in Christ Jesus.
What is that perfect work? It is not a work of our own. Our works are all corrupted with sin. The perfect work into which God calls us to enter is His work. Deut 5 explains. After telling us that the Sabbath is the Sabbath of Jehovah our God, God gives the command that in it we shall not do any work, in order that we, our families, and any who are our servants, may rest. He then explains that rest in verse 15: "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."
The purpose of the entire Sabbath day, therefore, is to enter into the enjoyment of the salvation that God has given us. It is very important that we understand this: The purpose of the Sabbath and the meaning of the Sabbath rest is to enter into the enjoyment of the salvation that God has given us.
The history of Israel’s deliverance from bondage represented their deliverance from the bondage of sin and death by the wonderful work of God’s grace. The salvation, which we God’s people enjoy, is God's mighty work of sovereign grace, by which He has delivered us from the bondage of sin and death and has given us new life in Christ. By that new life in Christ, we are not only delivered from death and hell, which is the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), but we are taken into the very fellowship of God Himself! That is the rest God gives us to enjoy especially on the Sabbath.