Sunday, April 12, 2009

Crass and Carnal Sabbatarian Superstition

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 2 - God the Redeemer

Chapter 8 - Explanation of the Moral Law:
The 10 Commandments 

Sections 28-34 - Fourth Commandment - Sabbath
Section 28 - Interpretation
The Sabbath was a foreshadowing of Christ which is not abolished.
It continues in these respects:
1. It represents a spiritual rest for God's people
2. There should be a set day to worship
3. Servants need a day of rest.

Section 29 - The Sabbath commandment as promise
The promise of spiritual rest holds the "chief place in the Sabbath."
Num 15:32-36; Ex 31:13; 35:2; Ezek 20:12-13; 22:8; 23:38; Jer 17:21, 22, 27; Isa 56:2; Neh 9:14; Hebrews 4:9.
"We must be wholly at rest that God may work in us."
This implies we must always be so, and that Sabbath is a sign of it.

Section 30 - The seventh day
Seven means perfection in Scripture.
The Sabbath represents the "coming perfection" of the last day.
Gen 2:3; Isa 66:23.

Section 31 - In Christ the Sabbath (as spiritual rest) is fulfilled
Rom 6:4-5; Col 2:16-17
The Sabbath is not kept by physical rest alone - Is 58:13-14.
"Christians ought therefore to shun completely the superstitious observance of days."

Section 32 - How far does the 4th Commandment go beyond external regulation?
Though abrogated ceremonially, we still need to worship on stated days (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 14:40) and give rest to laborers (Deut 5:14-15; Ex 23:12).

Section 33 - Why do we celebrate Sunday?
We do not keep Sabbath - it was abolished to put away superstition and over-scrupulousness regarding it (Col 2:17; Gal 4:10-11; Rom 14:5).
We observe the Lord's Day for church order (1 Cor 16:2).

Section 34 - Spiritual observance of the sacred day
The Lord's Day does not continue, but replaces the Sabbath day.
This was the day of Christ's resurrection, when the shadows were dispelled (Col 2:17).
It is not wrong to have "other solemn days for their meetings, provided there be no superstition."

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