The Sabbath Day Observance is not a “Jewish” Institution

Genesis 1:27,31; Exodus 20:8,11; Mark 2:27
       God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
       Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy…for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
       The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): First, our Lord declares, “The Sabbath was made for man.” This at once refutes those who say that the Sabbath was designed for none but Israel.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900):God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,” Genesis 2:3. I find the Sabbath mentioned in the very beginning of all things.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): The Sabbath was kept before Israel was born.

A. W. PINK: That word “remember” also plainly intimates that this Sabbath commandment was not given at Sinai for the first time, for the Israelites of Moses’ time could not “remember” something which they had never heard of before! I mention this because erroneous teachers are fond of declaring today that the “sabbath” is entirely Jewish, that it began and ended with the Mosaic dispensation. The command to keep the sabbath holy did not begin at Sinai, as its opening “Remember” clearly tells us… The Lord God “sanctified it,” which means that He set it apart for a sacred use, for that is what the word “sanctified” means in Scripture. Thus from Genesis 2:2-3 we learn that the Lord God instituted the holy Sabbath two thousand years before Israel reached Sinai.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): Part of the sixth day’s work [was] the creation of man, which we are in a special manner concerned to take notice of.

THOMAS BOSTON (1676-1732): The work of creation was performed in six days, and nothing was made on the seventh day; so that the first day that man saw was a holy day―a Sabbath―that he might know the great end of his creation was to serve the Lord.*

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The setting apart of one day in seven for holy work, and, in order to that, for holy rest, was a divine appointment ever since God created man upon the earth, and the most ancient of positive laws…In Exodus 20 the reason annexed is taken from the creation of the world. [But in Deuteronomy] it is taken from their deliverance out of Egypt, because that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed: “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day,” Deuteronomy 5:15. In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): We are delivered from the bondage of our sins.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): The Sabbath now became a twofold memorial―of the deliverance, as well as of the creation; and this accounts for the new reason assigned for its observance.

ROBERT HALDANE (1764-1842): Why is such much stress laid on the resurrection?

MATTHEW HENRY: He arose upon the first day of the week; on the first day of the first week God had commanded “the light to shine out of darkness,” Genesis 1:1-5; on this day therefore did He who was to be “the Light of the world,” shine out of the darkness of the grave; and the seventh-day Sabbath being buried with Christ, it arose again in the first-day Sabbath, called the Lord’s day…Therefore, by the gospel-edition of the law, we are directed to observe the first day of the week, in remembrance of that glorious work of power and grace.

ROBERT HALDANE: Was not the work of Christ in this world finished by His death? Most certainly it was. But His resurrection was the evidence that it was finished.

CHARLES HODGE (1797-1878): The resurrection of Christ, as the evidence of the sacrifice of His death being accepted, and of the validity of all His claims, is a much more decisive proof of the security of all who trust in Him than His death could be.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Unless He be indeed risen from the dead, our faith in Him would be in vain, and we should still be in our sins. The resurrection of Christ, therefore, is a doctrine absolutely essential to our hope and comfort; and it is likewise a sure pledge, that they who believe in Him shall be raised from the dead also, by virtue of their union with Him, and according to His pattern. For “now is Christ risen from the dead, and is become the first fruits of them that slept,” I Corinthians 15:20.

JOHN BOYS (1619-1625): The resurrection of Christ is the Amen of all His promises.

JOHN NEWTON: What a train of weighty consequences depend upon His resurrection! If He rose from the dead, then He is the Lord of the dead and of the living—then He has the keys of death and Hades—then He will return to judge the world, and you must see Him for yourself, and appear at His tribunal—then, it is He with whom you have to do—and then, finally, unless you really love, trust, and serve Him, unless He is the beloved and the Lord of your heart, your present state is awfully dangerous and miserable. But let those who love His name be joyful in Him. Your Lord who was dead, is alive, and “because He liveth, ye shall live also.”

MATTHEW HENRY: It is the day which the Lord has made, Psalm 118:24―has made remarkable, made holy, and has distinguished it from other days; He has made it for man: it is therefore called the Lord’s Day, for it bears His image and superscription.

A. W. PINK: The Christian Sabbath was most strikingly honoured by Christ Himself in His glorious appearing on the Isle of Patmos and the prophetic revelation which He there made to His servant John. In narrating the wondrous visions which he there received, the apostle describes the time when they were given to him as “on the Lord’s day,” (Revelation 1: 10). Now all the days of the week are the Lord’s, but that one of them should be singled out and thus designated to distinguish it from the others, shows that this day is His in a peculiar sense, as specially devoted to His honour. It is called “the Lord’s day” for precisely the same reason that the holy feast is called “the Lord’s Supper,” I Corinthians 11:20―the one as a memorial of His death, the other of His resurrection.

JOHN CALVIN: The gift of the Spirit was a fruit of the resurrection of Christ.
*Editor’s Note: Thomas Boston’s point that man was created to serve God, and that the first day man saw was a Sabbath day is not insignificant. In the regeneration of man, when a believer becomes “a new creature” in Christ, he is re-created to serve God, and thus the first day he sees in his Christian life is a Sabbath day of rest in Jesus Christ.


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