Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Christian Sabbath in Hebrews 4

In The Holy Sabbath, A.W. Pink looks at the differences in the Judaical Sabbath and the Christian Sabbath (pp. 41-65).  He argues that the change from the Sabbath observance on the seventh day in the Old Testament to the Lord's Day observance on the first day of the week in the New Testament is demonstrated in Hebrews 4.  Mr. Pink summarizes his exposition:

"First, Hebrews 4 opens with a pointed warning taken from the case of the unbelieving Israelites of old (Heb. 3:16-18).  Second, but though those Israelites failed to enter into it, yet there is a rest of God proposed unto us in the Gospel, and which believers enter into (v. 3).  Third, this led the Apostle [Paul] to take up the different "rests" of God and His people: the Edenic, Mosaic, and Messianic (vv. 4-10).  Fourth, in leading up to his climax the Apostle throws the emphasis not so much on the "rest" as on the day appointed to celebrate it.  In verse 7 he declares that God (prophetically) limited or determined "a certain day."  In verse 9 he expressly refers to "another day" which supplies proof that a different one from the old seventh day is now instituted.  In verse 9 this other day and the rest it memorializes is definitely designated a "Sabbatismos" or "keeping of a Sabbath."  In verse 10 he shows why the Sabbath Day had been changed: because it was on that day Christ entered into His rest," (p. 63).

"For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief," (Heb. 4:8-11).