DBG Weekend Spotlight (3-31-17)

Josh Buice

In the 2017 G3 Conference, Steven Lawson preached on the subject, “The Reformation Was a Recovery of the Gospel.”  You can hear his full sermon below.

What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals — Tim Challies writes, “I don’t think we should go back to using hymnals. But I do think there’s value in considering what we lost when, over the course of a relatively short period of time, we gave up hymnals for PowerPoint projection.”

Why Artists Need Theology — Some good thoughts on why the church should invest in the artists among us.

Three Reasons God is a Cessationist — Jordan Standridge provides some helpful points on the subject of the miraculous gifts and miracles.

Five Marks of a Servant Leader — “All professing Christians agree that a Christian leader should be a servant leader. Jesus couldn’t be clearer.”

From Kuyper to Keller: Why Princeton’s Prize Controversy Is So Ironic — More on the dust up over the recent debacle with Princeton Theological Seminary.

God Does Not Answer “Selfie” Prayers! — H. B. Charles Jr. writes, “Beware, lest the “selfie” mindset infiltrate your prayer life.”

Theology Word of the Week:  Sabbath

Sabbath. Scripture contains numerous references to the sabbath. In view most often is the weekly, seventh-day sabbath (e.g. Ex. 20:10; Mk. 2:27). In the OT there is also the pattern of sabbath years occuring every seven years and culminating every fifty years in the Year of Jubilee (Ex. 23:10–11; Lv. 25). The sabbath institution is integral to the life of Israel; it is a sign of Israel’s identity as God’s covenant people (e.g. Ex. 31:13; Ezk. 20:12).

The primary provision/demand of the weekly sabbath (the word comes from Heb., related to the verb šaḇat, ‘to cease’, ‘to rest’) is that the day be kept holy to the Lord by resting from the activities, especially labour, of the other six days (Ex. 20:8–11; 31:14–15; Is. 58:13). One of the major indictments in the later OT books is that Israel has desecrated the sabbath by conducting business as usual (e.g. Ne. 13:15–18; Je. 17:19–23).

Sabbath-rest, however, is not simply idleness or inactivity but is oriented towards worship. The sabbath is ‘a day of sacred assembly’ (Lv. 23:3); the sacrifices appointed for the tabernacle are increased on the sabbath (Nu. 28:9–10). How Israel as a whole worshipped on the sabbath during OT times is difficult to say. Some indications at least are found in the later custom of weekly synagogue worship which most likely developed from more ancient practices (cf. Lk. 4:16; Acts 15:21; 17:2).

Rev. 1:10 is the only explicit mention of the Lord’s Day in Scripture. Efforts to find in this verse a reference either to the eschatological Day of the Lord (the final judgment) or to Easter Sunday (an annual day) are not convincing. There can be little doubt that the first day of the week is intended. The adjective translated ‘Lord’s’ (Gk. kyriakos) describes the first day, no doubt because the day of Christ’s resurrection was in some way set apart by and marked out for the Lord, just as the only other NT occurrence of the adjective in 1 Cor. 11:20 describes the eucharistic meal instituted by the Lord to commemorate his death (v. 26). In this light Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2 are best read as alluding to the church’s regular practice of gathering for corporate worship on Sunday.

Is the Lord’s Day the Christian sabbath? This has been a matter of perennial debate in the church, especially since the Reformation. Those who answer negatively argue primarily 1. that the sabbath was not instituted until the time of the exodus and then only for Israel, and 2. that the sabbath has been abolished because it was a sign or ‘shadow’ anticipating the salvation-rest already realized by the work of Christ (Mt. 11:28; Col. 2:17). Of greater weight, however, are the principal arguments for an affirmative answer: 1. that the weekly sabbath is a ‘creation ordinance’, that is, based on the action of God in blessing, hallowing and himself resting on the seventh day at creation, before the fall (Gn. 2:3; Ex. 20:11; 31:17); 2. that the sabbath commandment, because it is included in the Decalogue (Ex. 20:8–11; Dt. 5:12–15), is part of God’s enduring moral law; 3. that the writer of Hebrews teaches that the weekly sabbath-sign points to the eschatological rest-order, anticipated by God already at creation and secured, in view of the fall, by the redemptive work of Christ, but which will not be entered by the people of God until Christ’s return (Heb. 4:3b–4, 9–11; 9:28). [1]

  1. Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 606.
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Author DBG Weekend Spotlight (3-31-17)

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.