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Developing a Biblical Worldview
“The Sign of Our Submission” Genesis 2:1-3

Date:June 13, 2021
Author: Wayne J. Edwards

Introduction:

 

The Shorter Catechism reminds us that the true end of man is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” God made man for a purpose, and that purpose is to worship Him. God also declared one day out of seven to be set aside as a reminder of our purpose. In other words, the Sabbath was a sign between God and man.

  • God established the seventh day to reveal His desire to have fellowship with man.
  • Therefore, man’s observance of the Sabbath was the irrefutable evidence that he had submitted himself under God’s authority.

The English word “worship” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “weorthscipe,” which meant to ascribe WORTH to something or someone. To truly worship God is to ascribe to Him all glory, honor, and praise. Therefore, our actions and our attitudes on The Lord’s Day reveal our true heart for God.

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Old Testament Reading: Exodus 20:1-26 – New Testament Reading Mark 2:23-28

Developing a Biblical Worldview
“The Sign of Our Submission”
Genesis 2:1-3

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

A Worldview is a framework through which one sees and interprets the world, including its origin, its purpose, and its future. To have a biblical worldview:

  • One accepts the Bible as the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God: truth with no mixture of error in its content and its intent.
  • One accepts Genesis 1:1-2:3 as the foundation upon which the truths of the Christian Faith are established.
  • Therefore, a biblical worldview begins by one’s faith in God as the Maker of heaven and earth:
    • That God acted in history by revealing Himself to us through the design of creation.
    • That God is active in the present, for in Him we live and move and exist.
    • That God will be active in the future as He brings His plan for our redemption to completion.

   In the Believer’s Catechism, under the heading: How God Reveals His Plan of Loving Kindness, these truths are stated:

  • “It pleased God in His goodness and wisdom to reveal Himself and to make known to us the mystery of His will; that man should have access to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and thus to become sharers in His divine nature!”
  • Everywhere we look, we can see the evidence that God created the earth as the habitation for mankind. Romans 1, Psalm 19, Colossians 1, Psalm 8.
  • The creation we can see is to draw us to the Creator whom we cannot see; to let us know that such a mighty God as He desires to have fellowship with the likes of me!

God’s work of creation was finished in six, 24-hour days. Other than the miracles Jesus performed, there have been no additional works of creation since the beginning.

  • On the seventh day, God rested from His work of creation, and He sanctified it as being holy unto Himself.
    • God did not establish a “day of rest” – Adam and Eve lived in a perfect environment and never experienced tiredness.
    • God did not establish a “day of worship” – Adam and Eve lived in the presence of God and enjoyed intimate fellowship with Him.
    • The “Sabbath” was a sign between God and man:
      • Man was the only being created in the image of God, with the ability to have fellowship with Him.
      • God wanted man to know He had also sanctified him and set him apart for God’s use.
      • Therefore, to observe the “Sabbath” was man’s way of letting God know he had submitted himself unto God’s authority.

1. The Hebrews Observance of the Sabbath was a Sign of their Submission to God as the Creator. Exodus 20:8-11 – “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy!”

The Hebrew word “Sabbath” does not mean Saturday or Sunday, but “holy” – to be set apart as unto the Lord!

  • There were at least 64 “Sabbaths” in the Jewish calendar, which means some weeks had more than one Sabbath, as it was in the week our Lord was crucified.
  • The regular “Sabbath” was from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

God established the seven-day cycle to give man six days to labor, and the seventh day was “Sabbath” – holy unto the Lord, as was every seventh year and every Jubilee.

  • The number “6” is the “number of a man,” which means “incomplete” – man is always in need of that which only God can provide.
  • The number “7” is the “number of God,” which means “completion, perfection, or sanctification.”

In Exodus 13 and 16, God instructed His people to set aside the seventh day as Sabbath, so they would not forget Him.

  • In Exodus 20, God commanded His people to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath.
  • In Exodus 31, God said His Sabbaths were a sign between Him and them throughout their generations.
  • Therefore, the Sabbath was a reminder for man to remember to show his respect to God as His Creator, for every seventh day, God’s people were reminded:
    • They were fallen people living in a fallen world who needed God to preserve them and to redeem them.
    • Of the paradise which was lost when Adam and Eve sinned.
    • To examine their own heart against the commandments of God to see how they had sinned and needed God’s forgiveness.
  • So, the purpose for the Sabbath was to produce gratitude to God for the wonder of His creation and to produce repentance for their violation of His laws.
  • To reject God as Creator by not observing the Sabbath was to question God’s word that He had created everything that exists in six, literal 24-hour days, and to question His integrity and His sovereignty.
  • For just as the existence of the universe was the continual evidence of God’s power, the Sabbath Day was a reminder of who put it there, how powerful He was, and that He was worthy to be worshipped.

“You shall surely observe My Sabbaths for this is a sign between
Me and you throughout your generations that you may know
that I am the Lord who sanctifies you!” 
Exodus 31:12-13

2. The Christian’s Observance of Sunday is a Sign of our Submission to Christ as our Savior. Colossians 2:16 – “Let no man therefore judge you in respect of a holy day, or of the Sabbath days!”

When Jesus came, Judaism was eliminated, and man’s access to God was changed, including the Sabbath.

  • Mark 2:27 – “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath!”
  • Matthew 12:8 – “Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath!”

   For a time, first-century Christians continued to participate in the synagogue services on Saturday, as well as the worship services on Sunday, which later became the Lord’s Day.

  • Jesus deliberately violated the various restrictions the Pharisees had added to the law regarding the Sabbath:
  • To show them their religious hypocrisy –
  • To show them who instituted the Sabbath –
  • God designed the Sabbath to be a blessing; to give man rest; to give man a day to thank God for the glory of His creation, and to be reminded of what man lost because of sin.
  • When Jesus came, He established a New Covenant, of which He is the Head, and we worship Him today, not only as our Savior but also as our Creator and our Sustainer.
  • When Jesus came, the day of worship transitioned from Saturday – the end of the week, when all the work was finished – to Sunday – the first day of the week – to give our first fruits unto the Lord.
  • If God intended man to memorialize the seventh day unto God as His Creator, certainly He intended man to memorialize the first day unto Jesus Christ as His Savior, and that transition has lasted for 2000 years.
  • When we worship on the Lord’s Day, we are showing our submission unto Him. We are reminded:
    • Of the intimacy God desires to have with us every hour of every day.
    • Of the glorious fellowship we will enjoy with all of God’s people on that day which is soon to come.
    • Of our need to return unto God, His tithes, and our offerings, as the evidence that we recognize that He is the owner of it all.