Question & Answer Part 2

Last week I dealt with the question that basically asks if God made the 7th day special and is it to be honored above the other 6 days and my answer to that question is a resounding YES!!! If you have not read last week’s blog please do so to see why that is my answer.

This brings us to the second part of the question which is:

What are some of the things we can or must do in order to keep it different from the other 6 days of holiness?

Exodus 20:10 gives us the basis for answering this question and it reads as follows:

But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: Exodus 20:10 (Emphasis supplied).

Notice that in order to keep it holy we are forbidden to do any work. Of course we know that this does not include all work because works done for the purpose of helping others without desire for reward could be done on the Sabbath day. This is why when the Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath Jesus responded by saying:

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  Mark 3:4 (Emphasis supplied).

Jesus laid down a principle here and that principle is that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. But what is good? Jesus supplies the answer to that when He was asked this question:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Matthew 19:16

To this Jesus replied:

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Matthew 19:17

Many mistakenly think that Jesus was telling the young ruler that the good thing to do was to keep the commandments but that was not what Jesus was telling him because the young man was already doing that (see Matthew 19:20). Therefore when the young man asked Jesus what he needed in order to be and to do good Jesus said:

… If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me

Jesus expresses a very powerful truth here that few understand because they fail to understand the truth He expressed in vs.17 which is:

There is only one good and that is God.

When you understand that you also understand the truth that the apostle Paul expressed in Romans 7:14 where He said:

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Paul goes on to express what is true for every human being who is born of sinful flesh:

7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:   7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 

Paul was convicted by the Holy Spirit on the Damascus road that there is only one good and that is God: Therefore all of his efforts to be good by doing good was nothing but dung and his only hope of being good and doing good was to be totally surrendered to and dependent on Jesus because in Jesus dwells all the fullness of God and only in Jesus can sinners like himself can be complete (see Philippians 3:1-14 & Colossians 2:8-10).

So in summary, the 4th commandment only allows us to do works or activities that come as a result of taking up our cross daily and losing our lives for Jesus’ sake (see Matthew 9:23&24) because then the one who is good is doing the work and not us (see Galatians 2:20-21 & Philippians 2:12-13).  Again, this is why Jesus said to the young ruler:

… If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. Matthew 19:21 (Emphasis supplied).

Next week I am going to use the truth that Jesus expressed in Matthew 19:21 to finish answering the question:

What are some of the things we can or must do in order to keep the 7th Day different from the other 6 days of holiness?

Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture and a Spirit inspired quote from the book entitled, The Desire of Ages. First the quote:

To those who, like the young ruler, are in high positions of trust and have great possessions, it may seem too great a sacrifice to give up all in order to follow Christ. But this is the rule of conduct for all who would become His disciples. Nothing short of obedience can be accepted. Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save man than to cut away those things which, if entertained, will demoralize the whole being.  {DA 523.3}  (Emphasis supplied).

6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29 (Emphasis supplied).