Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 635 · 3 months ago

The Book of Judges #20

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Judges 14:5-20

And we think about the greatness of it, and how we, like the Psalmist, have to cry for mercy. And Lord, we need mercy. It is our desperate need in our condition. And so Lord, indeed like this almost we cry to you and we say, Lord, please have mercy upon us. We admit Lord that we do not always do what we should, that we do not love you with all of our heart, mind, strength and soul. But Lord, we thank you God that still you work in us. And Lord you are ever changing us from glory to glory. And we thank you Lord for all that you're doing. But Lord, we need you in order to understand your own word. And Lord, I pray this morning as I deliver your word to your people, that I would be faithful to it. Lord, keep me from false doctrine, from heresy, keep me from anything that would put a bondage upon your people that has not proper. Help me, Lord, to be forthright and honest. But Lord, help me not to go beyond your word. And Lord, if I do, I pray God that you would just keep it from the people, and Lord, help them Lord to know it in truth. But Lord illuminated it to us this morning. We love your word. It is truly a lap to our feet, light to our path. It is God the treasures. Lord. It is sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb. And so Lord, we love to come to it. And we pray God that you would bless it to your people, for I asked this now in Christ name. Amen. The text I'm reading is from the Gospel of Luke chapter six. I mentioned last week. I spoke on the first five verses, but I wanted to put both stories before you, and I want to do that again this morning, because they kind of form a little combined story. He here and one deals with one aspect and another another. So I'd like to read the text as well that I read last week, and and we also. I will begin with verse six as I preach, but let us start with verse one. Luke chapter six, now reading God's word to you. On a sabbath, when he was going through the grain fields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, why are you doing what's not lawful to do in the sabbath? And Jesus answered them, have you not read what David did when he was hungry. He and those who were with him. How he entered the House of God and took and ate the bread of the presence, which is not lawful for any but the priest to eat, and also gave it to those with him. And he said to them, the son of Man is lord of the Sabbath. I another Sabbath. He entered the synagogue and was teaching, and the man was there whose right hand was with her, And the scribes and the pharisees watched him to see whether he would heal in the habits, so that they might have keep find a reason to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, come stand here. And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, I ask you, is it lawful and the Sabbath day to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it? And after looking around at all of them, he said to him, stretch out your hand, and he did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. That's will in the reading of God's word, please be seated, so again, I've read both of these um accounts to you, even though I preached on the first five verses last time, because again I think it very closely related to one another. And last week I tried to give you some incipos of sabbath keeping, uh knowing uh those...

...that were found in these verses. And I could say that last week's text, the first five verses, we were dealing I think with what we're perceived, not real sins, as their lords said they weren't sins, but perceived sins of commission, with the disciples eating the grain and plucking that and rubbing that and doing what the Pharisees would have said that they were reaping and they were threshing, and they were winnowing all which were forbidden by their man made rules about the Sabbath. So this morning we're gonna deal more with sins of omission in the Sabbath. And I I think oftentimes, and maybe particularly and reform circles where we actually do try to keep the Sabbath, I think oftentimes we think of it more of what we shouldn't do. As I spoke about last week about the thirty nine categories of work that the Pharisees had put together there um and come up with But I don't know if we think it's so much about what we should do on the Sabbath. And that's what I think this second story is about. That's why I'm linking them together, because I think those are two different aspects of what can be sins on the Sabbath. But I think, and it might not be true of you individually, but I think it's a common thing in our ranks to think more of sins of commission than sins of omission. So we're gonna begin this morning. At verses six through eight, Luke tells us that he's relating the story that takes place on another Sabbath, but he doesn't specifically identify for us what sabbath that is uh. In other words, is that the next Sabbath after what had just happened previously, We don't know. But I do want you to note once again, where do we find the Lord on the Sabbath. We find him in the synagogue, gathered with God's people. So if there's one thing we can positively know about the right way of keeping the Sabbath, it is attending the Lord's house with God's people. We can be absolutely assured of that that that is true. I have heard people say at times to me through the years, well, I don't really like going to church because I really never learned anything new there. I think, well, I think our Lord might have had that objection a bit. Uh. I don't know what he ever heard that was new. Um, So I think if there's anyone that could have legitimately used that excuse, it was he, And he did not use that at all, but he attended that. And uh, I think about that, and I think, you know, I've I've had some difficult audiences that I've preached through the years, but I don't think anything so difficult, as you know, having the lords sitting like in the front row as I'm speaking, that would be quite uh intensive. But then again, he is here, so he is in the audience, so I have to remember that as well. We not only don't know what Sabbath, you don't know what synagogue. Luke doesn't inform us what synagogue it is that our Lord is in. But there is a man who has a withered hand. It's a strange word. It's only found twice in the entire New Testament, and any other place, you probably wouldn't even think about it as where it would be. But the only it's in Luke. It's later on in Luke and as Jesus speaking, and he says that if they do these things when the wood is green, what will they what will happen when it's dry? And so they're the word is translated dry. The idea is that the juices of the arm have have have become useless and dried up. That's that's kind of the thought behind this man with the withered hand, some some kind of deformity that that he has. Uh there defines the word as members of the body deprived of their natural juices, shrunk, wasted, and withered. And I'm sure I've known people through the years and you probably have too, who had an arm that was basically useless and not being able to be used, and so um,...

...we can imagine what that man might have looked at. It is interesting though, that out of the three gospel writers that record this for us, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Matthew and Mark both mentioned a man at a withered hand. But Luke, who is the physician, he notices it is the right hand that is withered, And so we find that out in Luke. And this is important. You might say, what difference does it make? It made it. It made a big difference, because in those days it was the right hand there was looked at is necessary for you to have gainful employment. So our Lord is actually going to restore a man to gainful employment by healing his right hand. So who are the two groups that are there in the synagogue, whether the groups that always seem to be opposed in the Lord, the scribes and the Pharisees. And although they're never really painted very favorably in the Gospels, we don't find much favorable bottom we have, as I mentioned a few messages ago, we at least know about some favorable Pharisees, and in Nicodemus and uh in Um Paul, and so we know there were some good Pharisees that came out of things. But nonetheless, out of all the things describes and the Pharisees do in the Gospel, this is probably the absolute lowest that they sink to in this particular story. They're watching Jesus for the express purpose I've seen whether or not he will heal on the Sabbath day. Why so they can rejoice, so they can be glory together and say, oh, this is We've never seen anything like this. No, they're doing it so they might accuse him. They're not going to rejoice that this man can be a profitable, profitable member of the community. Again, they're not going to do that. They're just looking at him to see if you'll do something like that, if you heal the man, so they can accuse him of sin and put him to death. I mean, that's pretty despicable to do that. Reverend Annabua Boy mispronounced his name, but he points out that in social sciences, this is called confirmation bias. He says, confirmation bias happens when a person takes whatever evidence is contrary to their position and interprets it in a way that confirms their position. Now, I don't know if you do that. We have done that. We we actually, my wife and I have come up with another name for this. We name it after a lady in one of our churches, and we call it the I won't say it, but the blank blank uh syndrome named after this lady, which means that the person has become to us such that whatever she does, however, nice. The thing that she does to what is we see an ulterior motive. I don't know if you know anybody like that, or if you've ever been afflicted with that particular syndrome, but I can tell you that we were. And so this is very similar to this confirmation bias. So if she brings a gift to us at church, we think, okay, what's she up to now? And we start wondering about that. So anyway, that's something we've encountered. Maybe again, you you may be more holy than I, but here is Christ doing one of the most wonderful acts of mercy. And the scribes and the Pharisees are determined and looking at it as a negative thing. And and he says, Reverend Annabuey goes on to say, when we operate with the confirmation bias, we do not really adjust our thinking with new evidence presented. We rearranged the evidence to leave our bias undisturbed. And so Luke says, they're watching him. The word actually means they're watching him closely. They're observing him very closely. Calvin says, here, and this is one of those governdants say this, I say this, This is one of those sermons. I'm going to quote Calvin quite extensively because he just had so much good to say about this. But uh, he said, Uh, this narrative and that which immediately proceeds it have the same object, which is to show the scribes watched with the malicious for the...

...purpose of turning into slander everything that Christ did, and consequently that we need not wonder if men whose minds were so depraved were his implacable enemies. And so last week I talked about these man made rules that they had the thirty nine categories for Well, not only did they have those ones on reaping and threshing, et cetera, but they also had categories about healing and what kind of healing could happen on the Sabbath. And there were only really three kinds of healing that were permitted on the Sabbath. So let us go through these three quickly and just see if this particular healing would pass the test. So the first rule is that if the matter is life and death, if you don't attend to it right now, the person is going to die. That was permitted on this isn't it gracious? That was permitted on the Sabbath, you could do that. Well, Obviously, the man has had a withered hand for a long time. He can have it for a few more days. Not gonna matter, not life or death. The second thing was whether or not by healing on the sabbath you could you could stop a certain condition from worsening, so it would be harder to heal after that. Well, again this fails the test, because no, it wouldn't matter to the man if you waited a day or two more. Third one might be a little more difficult for you to determine whether or not it falls in the category. It is whether or not Uh, people were people would be allowed to help in the birth of a child on the Sabbath? Uh? Probably not the case here. So and those things, most most things, almost everything to do with healing was work and so forbidden. Well, if you have been observing closely and listening to the sermons I preached here, you might notice that Lucas made several strong statements about the deity of Christ. As we've gone through this, He has authority to forgive sins that only belongs to God. He is the lord of the Sabbath. Only God can be the lord of the day that he's instituted. And now we have another statement. It says in verse eight he knew their thoughts. And the last chapter of John, Peter comes up to Jesus, and of course they have that exchange about whether or not Peter loves the Lord, and Peter says, at one point, Lord, you know all things well? Who knows all things? God, past, present, future, everything. God knows all of that. So again Peter saying, Jesus, you are God. You know everything. And so now he knows the thoughts. And again Luca's assigning deity to Christ. And so he asked the man to come forward and stand by him, and the man obeys him. It's always a good thing to obey Christ. It's a good thing. It's going to lead to great things, and it's going to do here as well. So let's move on to verses nine and ten. In verse nine, Jesus asked one of those wonderful questions that really there's only one answer for. But of course for the scribes and Pharisees there's not even going to be that one answer. And that's what's so wonderful about this question. He asked, this, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it. But those of you that have young children, I think if you ask those kids and said, and you could do that, said, uh, is it better to do good things on the Sabbath or really bad things? I bet most of your children that are two, three, four or something, they I'm betting they can answer that question. It's not a difficult question. And it's not only not difficult, but it's brilliant. And of course this shouldn't surprise us coming from Jesus. But the question is phrased even though it's a very simple question, but Jesus puts it in such a way that they can't answer it. There's no way for them to answer the question. It's like the...

...old question. The old question I'm going to um, I'm going to paraphrase it for Sunday morning. But because have you stopped mistreating your wife yet? You know that that question that you're in trouble no matter which way that you answer it. But in the Lord's case, the question he asked, if they say it is lawful to do good, then they're going to condemn themselves for what they're thinking. And no rational human being is going to say, no, it's better to do evil on the Sabbath day. So what do they do? They keep quiet, probably good idea. They don't say anything. But I think our Lord is getting at something even more direct here because he knows their thoughts. So he's not just saying I know you're here, and I know your thoughts are malicious that you want to accuse me. But I think what he's saying is here, I am trying to restore life to someone, and you want to plot how to kill me. Which is which is more proper to the Sabbath. I think that's what he's trying to say to them. So the fair Sees are getting ready to do the worst possible thing to the greatest human being that's ever been, both man and God, which is the height of evil. And yet they're criticizing the Lord Jesus for wanting to restore a man to health on the Sabbath. Do you see how illogical people in sin become. They can't think straight? And so the Pharisees teach us that there can be evil done in the name of religion, and often many times. I was having a discussion with one of my family members who believe Christians are like the most evil people on the face of the earth. And I told him that much good, more good has been done by Christians in this world than any other group. But there are people who justify religion to try to do some evil actions and all of that. And of course, depraved hearts will do depraved things, and we understand that, and it only confirms us in our doctrine of the depravity of man. And so the right we have obedience to this abbath. They're trying to stop our Lord from doing and what could be a worse violation than that. But Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, so he can do whatever he wants. He's free to do whatever he wants to do on the Sabbath because he's the Lord. That's why John calls it the Lord's day. As I mentioned earlier, it's his day. He instituted whatever he wants to do. Who can say it's not right to do this? And I wondered as I was preparing this message, that thought came into mind. I'm trying to think that this disciples after Christ's resurrection, did they ever run into a Sabbath controversy? And I couldn't find one in the Book of Acts where they ever ran into a Sabbath controversy. I mean, Paul talks about the Sabbath and his writings and things, but I don't remember them ever uh running into one. Now, maybe you can think of one that I didn't come up with. It possible, and then I tried to figure out why that would be, and I didn't really come up with a good answer. So if you solve that, you can tell me that would that would be fine. But anyway, in Matthews, the count of this story, Matthew adds one thing that our Lord says in chapter twelve of Matthew Versus eleven and twelve, he said, which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into the pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lifted out of how much more value is a man than the sheep? So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Now, what's interesting about that is it appears that this particular saying of Jesus all Um actually changed rabbinic law on that particular subject um, because some later writings after the New Testament among the Jews said different things about this. Uh, and it appears because of what Jesus said. One later law said, you couldn't help the beast, that would be a violation to Sabbath, but you could put planks in the pit so the beast could walk up it. So that was that was then legal to to do that. Another said on Sabbath, you couldn't help them out of the pit, but you could at least provide food for them so they could live till the...

...next day when you could take them out. So, uh, these are laws that we see that there's an incongruity between the Pharisees concerning animals and humans, but it was apparently a common practice at this time to do this. So Jesus argues from the less to the greater. So, in other words, if it's lawful to help a beast, how much more lawful is it to help a human being? Now you notice what Jesus is doing there. He's actually admitting there is a difference between an animal and a man. Okay, he's saying he's arguing from if you can help a beast, you can certainly help a human being who is much higher and much greater of worth. And that so our our Lord is doing that. Uh, spurgeon said, at last, some acts if a man were not better than an animal, for their dogs and horses are better housed than their laborers. And they are more indignant about the killing of a fox than the starving of a pauper. So that's spurgin, that's not me, So don't get mad at me. Um. So again, how much more is it true? In our day? We we need to keep a Biblical view of creation and the order of creation and doing this so if we offer to help an animal, the Pharisees don't even dispute it that the Bible doesn't condone cruelty to animals in any way, but it doesn't endorse putting the life of an animal above the humans. And so the point our Lord is making, as the words of Gooday said, he said, good omitted is evil committed. Good omitted is evil. Good omitted is evil committed. James Edwards puts it this way. For Jesus, human need poses a moral imperative. Human need poses a moral imperative. So in verse ten, our Lord is gonna ask someone to do a work on the Sabbath. They're gonna He's gonna ask him to stretch forth their hand. The problem is can't do it. So our Lord is asking the man to do something that he can't do. So he has to exhibit faith in doing so. Faith which the Lord gives James Edwards against his faith is a risk that Jesus is worthy of trust when no other hope can be trusted. Mark adds in his account of this story, and he looked around them with anger, grieved at the hardness of heart. He's looking with anger and grief. Calvin says again, as this passage assures us the Christ was not free from human passions, we infer from it that the passions themselves are not sinful, provided there be no excess. He goes on to say, in consequence of the corruption of our nature, we do not preserve moderation, and our anger, even when it rests on proper grounds, is never free from sin. And he closes by saying, we ought therefore to or from Heaven the Spirit of God to correct our excesses. Well, let's look at verse eleven. The s V says they were filled with fury. The Greek word that's translated His theory again has only found two places in the New Testament. Here is one of them. The second one is in Second Timothy three nine. Paul says they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. That's what Paul says. So there's translated folly. So Strong says the word basically means stupidity. But it's anger, but it's stupid anger, it's it's dumb anger. There should shouldn't be anger in this. And Luke is much kinder than Matthew and Mark, for he simply says they discussed what they might do to Jesus. Mark says, the Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him? And Marxis the Pharisees went out and immediately...

...held constant or. Matthew says, the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. And here they're so intent on at the Pharisees, who hate the Herodians. Why wouldn't they hate the Herodians. The Herodians are friends of Roman and Inheritance medium Adamite and all of that, but they even are willing to join together with their own arch enemies if by some way they can somehow put their Lord to death. The old Saints says, politics make strange but bedfellows, and it certainly does here as well. So let's apply what we have here this morning. Last week I gave you principles for help in keeping the Sabbath. But I think there's something to notice in this story that is different, that has much to say to us. As I said, I think, I think sometimes we that hold to have view the Sabbath can be quite phariseico in how people other people keep the Sabbath. And I think we can be more concerned about what we shouldn't do than what we should do. And that can be true in the way we judge others as well. We look at people and they're doing something on the Lord's Day that we wouldn't do, and so of course we point our fingers at them. And I um last um last Lord's Day, was preaching. A lad came up to me after the service and told me a story that I hadn't heard before. But it was about a man that was driving and he went by another member of the church, and this man was riding a horse on the Sabbath. I don't maybe it was Mike Pixley. I don't remember, but but somebody was was riding a horse on the sabbath and uh, and the man asked him and and said, what what are you doing? Riding a horse on the sabbath? And doing that on the sabbath? I might not be getting the story exactly right, but the man riding a horse said, why are you condemning me for riding a horse this day? When you had to use two of them to come see me? That's a good story. Hendrickson, who is Vonnie's professor, Uh said a sabbath in winter snow drifts blocking roads and highways. The only way in which a certain village pastor can get from parsonage to the church is by skating over the frozen canal. This he does. Upon his arrival. The consistory is not pleased. Was not what he had done tantamount to joy riding on the Lord's day? After lengthy deliberation, the decision has reached the demand of the pastor that he answered his question, did you enjoy the trip? If the answer is yes, he must be censored. If no, the case can be dropped in the pastor's action can be charitably regarded as a work of necessity. That's how ridiculous we can get. But we don't usually get too upset with people about what they don't do on the Sabbath. And as we look at these stories in Luke and other gospels, it seems like Jesus is always working on the Sabbath, doesn't it. It appears that he's always busy doing something on the Sabbath day. And and when when it's when the gospel writers tell us that's the Sabbath. He's not idle, he's not just laying around. He's doing things. He's healing somebody or doing something that looks suspiciously like work. And to me, the lesson is we should imitate our Lord in doing works of mercy on all days, of course, but especially on the Sabbath day. The apostle John says in First John four twenty, if Amancy I love God and hates his brother, he's a liar, for he loves not his brother whom he has seen. How can he love God whom he has not seen? Then, he says in chapter three seventeen, but if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother need, it closes his heart against him. How does God's love abide in him true at all times? But again, I think,...

...especially in a Sabbath, Calvin again says, he who takes away the life of a man is held to be a criminal. And there is little difference between manslaughter and the conduct of one who does not concern himself about relieving a person in distress. The fact that one shows compassion doesn't make one a Christian, but a Christian should be one who shows compassion. I wonder this is my own wandering now, But I wonder sometimes if the sharp division in our country doesn't sometimes hinder us from being merciful two people. That's just my thought. You can do with it what should like. And Isaiah one, the Lord complains of Israel's work worship that has become ritualistic. Converse thirteen, he says, don't bring any more vain offerings in senses an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations. I can endure niquity and solemn assembly. And in contrast, he says, in versus sixteen and seventeen, wash yourselves, make yourselves lean, remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. So I said, I have a lot of Calvin quotes, and here's another one. He says, for so strongly are we inclined to outward rights that we shall never preserve moderation in this respect unless we constantly remember that whatever is enjoyed respecting the worship of God is in the first place spiritual and secondly ought to be regulated by the rule which Christ has laid down in this passage. So Christ is saying here that not only should we show mercy, but it can be wrong to withhold mercy on the Sabbath day. And I'm gonna ask your forgiveness and advance. So I'm doing that now. So I'm going to refer to a television show, and the television show Seinfeld. End of that TV show ended with the four main characters being in a city in some eastern state and there's a man getting carjacked and they sit there and laugh at the man because he's heavy and and he looks ridiculous, and they they're all laughing at him, and the cop comes over and arrest is rest them for violating the state's good Samaritan law, which said you were required to help. Now that isn't a real law, but it's one was in the television show. But the idea of that is really good because it reminds us that we can be guilty not only by what we do, but by what we don't do. And so Ken you says, no matter how religious you are, if you don't care about the welfare of others, if you have no concern about the salvation of the lost, you are lost. Don't soften this because Jesus never did. But our sins of omission should set seldom bother us as much as our sins of commission do. Jesus did different acts when he healed people. You know that sometimes he touched their eyes, sometimes he touched their ears, or he might make mud out of dirt and put it in her eyes. But what does he do here? Nothing? Absolutely nothing. All he does is tells the man to stretch out his hand. What are they gonna be able to accuse the Lord of what has he done? He just said, stretch forth your end. Maybe they wanted to want to accuse the man of putting forth his hand. I don't know how you could accuse that, But what in the world could you accuse someone of doing that? And so it would be like, you know, it would be like the Pharisees accusing Jesus because there's a blind man on the Sabbath, and Jesus said, well, just go go go on your way and see what are they going to accuse him for doing that? So he outwitched at every turn.

Not only does tell him it logically makes more sense to do good than to do evil, but before he performs a healing without doing anything that could even be against their own laws the wisdom of God. Let me mention something else along that line. I find it interesting that oftentimes what Jesus has these disputes with the Pharisees and describes, they often end up with no answer from the scribes and the Pharisees. And I find that fascinating because I don't know if you've ever listened to debates. I mean, they are religious debates out there right on infant baptism versus adult baptism or things like that, and people argue that or some exclusive salmody and non exclusive salmody. And you'll listen to these debates and people do. But at all the debates I've ever listened, I've never heard anybody in the debate go, you know, that's a good point. I think I'll change my mind. Let's send this debate right now. I've never heard anybody do that. But he or everyone that Jesus enters into nobody can continue the debate. They can't do it at all. And of course it's because our Lord is so brilliant, because he is God. And I think that's one of the most wonderful things about the ministry of Jesus is how often he made people just be silent and not be able to say anything. And I love that, you know, I just I'd love to I love to argue. I love to argue with people and then just walk away because they're silent, don't have anything to say. That'd be great. But that never seems to happen to me. But anyway, happened to Jesus a lot. So we looked again in our exposition. I look with you that that our Lord asked the man to do something, particularly that he was not able to do. You know, he could have said that, Lord said, you know, stretched forth, the army is that's my problem. I can't do that. I need healing. But Jesus said, stretch forth your arm, and so in so doing he was doing something that was impossible for him to do. But this is the same way it is in our salvation. God commands us. In next seventeen we read that the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. God commands repentance. And in first John three, this is his commandment. This is his commandment that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another. That's his commandment. We said, well, people say, well, well, pastor, if a man is totally depraved, how in the world can he have the ability to repent or believe? You say, he's totally depraved. So how is that fair? What's fair? For the same reason that Jesus can say to the amendment the withered and stretch forth your hand, because God gives the power in order for them to do that. And that's why it is fair. God grants these things. In Second Timothy, to Paul says, correcting his opponents gentleness, God may perhaps um grant them repentance, leading to a knowledge of the truth. God may grant them the power to repent. Efesians to aid in nine may know the scripture from a grace. You've been saved through faith, and that is not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast is God's gift. But what was commanded of the man to obey, and that's what God commands of all people to do. He commands them to obedience. And we can't give the excuse that I can't do that. Thomas Manton said. It is one of the sophisms of every age to argue to urge the spirits efficacy as a plea for the neglect of means. It is folly in presumption to think that because power is with God and from God, efforts should not be in ourselves. You know,...

I've heard people, well, you know, I can't do that till the spirit moves me. You know, now you are commanded to obedience, it becomes just an excuse. And as we close this morning's eye close, I mean the stories about Sabbath keeping, let me just say, well, I think we need to be careful that we go don't go to extremes either way on the subject, especially when we're dealing with the judging of other people. Again, courting Spurgeon said, let none, however, from this liberty and for a license, and treat the Lord's day as if it were their own and might be spent for their own purposes. They best keep the sabbath who on the seventh day? Are they? They best keep the sabbath who on the seventh day, and always rest from their own works, as God did from his. But how can a man rest until he knows the finished work of God in Christ, Jesus. How can a man rest unless he knows the finished work? How can you rest this morning if you've never rested in the finished work of Christ? Jesus said, come on to me, all you that are heavy laden, all you that are burdened, Come to me and rest. Because we need to learn the rest of the Lord. We need to learn what life is like without trying to earn our salvation by works, but by just totally resting in the atoning death of Christ that we're going to celebrate here in a few moments. That's what we need to do. Just rest in the work of Christ and what he has done. That is the proper way you can. You can keep the Sabbath today in no more proper way than if you've never rested on the death of Christ, that you would rest on his death this morning, you would most properly keep the Sabbath in that way. And then when we learned to rest on Christ, we learned to enjoy his rest on this day and to use it for his glory and to find ways. Not it won't be every week that we find something or anything like that, but that it reminds us that we're not only to perhaps cease from certain things, but indeed, in a line with that, we should do certain things where we can declare the Lord's mercy to the world around us. Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word. Thank you God that we were able to look at it this morning. And I pray we just judge our own hearts today. Lord, we all fail in many of these things. Lord, there's no question about it. We do. And Lord, we don't keep the Sabbath exactly as we showed, even to those that might be the most meticulous among us. Lord, even they cannot keep it the way it is properly to be kept. Because we just fail so often. But Lord, I pray above all things that every person here will rest on your finished work, and that they will trust only in your blood and atoning death, and rest done. That that they will receive and obey the faith that comes to them this morning. And God, that they would believe on you as you command all men to do, and then to properly keep. This day is your day. May all of us learn to rest in You, and may all of us, Lord be an example of what it's like to properly keep this day. We thank you for it in Christ's name, Amen,.

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