We have several questions regarding the relation between the Sabbath day and the Lord's Day. The focus of these questions has to do whether the Lord's Day is a continuation of the Old Testament Sabbath.
Some do not believe they are the same. Most of these people do keep the Lord's Day, but do not believe that it has anything to do with the O.T. Sabbath or with the Fourth Commandment, which requires Sabbath keeping.
We believe they are the same. We have two reasons for believing this.
First, Hebrews 4:9 says, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." Remember that the word "Sabbath" means "rest" and note that the word "rest" in Hebrews 4:9 is "sabbaton," that is literally, a "Sabbath-keeping" or "Sabbath-rest." It is difficult to see that this "Sabbath-keeping" can be anything else but the Lord's Day, especially because the passage is talking about the New Testament in relation to the Old.
In the context the reference to "Jesus" (4:8) is not to the Savior Himself, but to the Old Testament leader, Joshua (Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew, Joshua). Hebrews 4:8 is saying, therefore, that Joshua did not give the people the true promised rest when he brought them into the promised land.
Joshua did not give it and therefore it remains for us. In speaking of that rest, however, Hebrews 4:9 deliberately uses not the usual Greek word for rest, but a word that is taken from the Hebrew and refers to Sabbath observance! Think about that!
Secondly, and more importantly, Jesus Himself identifies the Sabbath and the Lord's Day in Matthew 12:8, a remarkable passage. There Jesus says that the Sabbath is the Lord's Day: "The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
He first claims the Sabbath as His day, the Lord's Day, in this controversy with the Pharisees and then goes on to lay down the principles of Sabbath keeping as they still apply to us. Significant passage indeed!
We would add that He claims the day as His own not only by the statement He makes in Matthew 12:8, but by performing His great works of redemption on that day - His resurrection, His appearances, and the outpouring of His Spirit were all on the first day of the week.
It is by these great works that He establishes Himself as the sovereign Lord of His people. By performing these great deeds on the same day He tells us that there is something special about that day. Not only Christ's words, but His example is given for our instruction!
This is the day, then, in which they raise us with Him through the power of the gospel, the day in which He "appears" to us through the Spirit (Jn. 14:18), the day in which He pours out His grace and Spirit without measure and cause us to rest in Him. Let us for His sake honor this great day of rest. Rev. R. Hanko
We have a special offer of a lecture tape. Prof. David J. Engelsma, editor of the Standard Bearer and professor of Old Testament studies in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, recently gave a lecture which should be of interest to all. It was titled: "AD 2000: Year of Jubilee - by Papal Indulgence or Reformation Gospel?" Cassette copies can be obtained for $5.00 and sending to:
The Evangelism Committee, First Protestant Reformed Church,
2800 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
- Volume: 6
- Issue: 3
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA