On 11 May 2010, the Reformed Reading Book Club met to review and discuss the pamphlet on ‘Remembering the Lord’s Day’ written by Prof Engelsma of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Though this is only a ten page pamphlet, Prof Engelsma has concisely pointed out the essence of keeping or remembering the Lord’s Day.
In his introduction, Prof Engelsma equated the Lord’s Day to the dikes in Netherlands that keep back the threatening seas and preserve the Hollanders from destruction by the seas. In his analogy, he explained that the Lord’s Day holds back the raging waves of materialism, earthy mindedness and pleasure-madness that threaten to engulf the Church and the Christian.
In the subsequent three sections, Prof Engelsma stressed and elaborated the one and fundamental truth of Sabbath- observance – As of today, or in the present time, and according to the Fourth Commandment, Jehovah God still sets apart one day of the week as a special day and requires His people to remember this day by ceasing from their secular work and play, in order to devote themselves to worship Him. He also gave both the Biblical and confessional proof to show that remembering the Lord’s Day is the will of God.
In the last three sections of the pamphlet, Prof Engelsma gave some ideas on how we can go about remembering the Lord’s Day.
Prof Engelsma emphasised the urgency of remembering the Lord’s Day and he gave three reasons for his emphasis:
•First, keeping the Lord’s Day is a commandment that belongs to the first table of the Law.
•Second, the ‘Lord’s day’ belongs to the risen, glorious Lord Jesus Christ. It is not our day.
•Third, by the Lord’s grace, we receive the greatest benefit of rest, by remembering the Lord’s Day, because the Sabbath was made for man.
In our discussions, we asked ourselves these questions:
•What does the Lord’s Day mean to you and me?
•Does keeping the Lord’s Day still apply to Christians today or is it only valid in Old Testament times?
•Does keeping the Lord’s Day require Christians to cease from work and play on that day?
We concurred with Prof Engelsma that the Lord’s Day is still applicable to Christians today, and of the importance and urgency of keeping the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day is a sacred day, out of the seven days of the week, set aside for God and for our spiritual rest.
The Lord’s Day is a day where we come to meet God, worship Him, sing praises to Him and enjoy fellowship with the saints. The Lord’s Day is a time when we hear the preaching of the Word of God as we have been hearing the preaching of the world and the lies of the devil for most of time during the week. As faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17), we come to receive the Word of God on the Lord’s Day. Through receiving the word of God, we will learn more of God, understand more of His will for us and be reminded of the blessing of the forgiveness of sins. The Lord’s Day is a place where we can have a foretaste of heaven; entering into the heavenly kingdom and having a glimpse of heavenly worship. While most of the time in the week, we are subject to the unrest in the world, the Lord’s Day brings us into His sanctuary where we can find peace and rest in the presence of God.
As those in the office of believers, we are always on the receiving end on the Lord’s Day; however, for the office of the pastor, instead of receiving, he gives the word of God to the people through the preaching from the pulpit.
Lastly, we all recognised that to be in church the whole day on the Lord’s Day takes effort. We can do our part by encouraging each other, out of love one for another and love for God, to keep the Lord’s Day holy, as a whole day.
Written by: Lim Seow Thong | Issue 4