All Articles For Vol 83 Issue 15 5/1/2007

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Mrs. Bosveld is a wife and mother in Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Work. Busyness. Stress. These three words often define our life in this world. Whether we are parents or children, married or single, our lives are busy and stressful. Often we complain that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that we must do. As the hours pass quickly, so do the days of the week, and before long it is Sunday once again. What a temptation it can be to use Sunday as a convenient day to catch up on...

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Rev. Kleyn is pastor of Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. What has happened and what is happening to the Christian Sabbath in society and the church-world all around us? Where has the Sabbath gone? I hardly need to tell you, if my purpose is to inform you. You can see it with your own eyes. But we do need to talk about it. Not because you are unaware, but because you, dear Reformed reader, are being desensitized by what is going on around you. Historically  Historically, different attempts have been made at eradicating the Sabbath. In 1792 the...

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Rev. Bruinsma is Eastern Home Missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches, stationed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is an age-old question. Is the fourth commandment still in effect for the New Testament church? “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work . . .” (Ex. 20:8-10). Most of the church world no longer concerns itself with this commandment. Most officebearers, as well as lay members, cannot even say which commandment it...

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Rev. Kuiper is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church in Randolph, Wisconsin. Foundational to a proper understanding of the Sabbath is a right view of God’s covenant. God made the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27)—specifically, for His covenant people. He gave Israel the Sabbath as a sign of His covenant (Ex. 31:13). The rest that we enjoy on the Sabbath is covenant rest. It follows that a wrong view of the covenant will negatively affect our view of the Sabbath. If God’s covenant with Old Testament Israel is essentially different than His relationship to His New Testament church, does the...

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Rev. Smit is pastor of Immanuel Protestant Reformed Church in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. The sessions of the Synod of Dordrecht on Friday, May 17, 1619 were filled with deliberations over issues that had been scheduled for treatment the previous day. On Thursday, May 16, Synod decided that it would treat on Friday many different issues, such as missions in the East Indies, infant baptism, marriage, the procedure for the receiving of ministers who came to the Reformed churches from Roman Catholicism, the theological schools, the persecuted brethren from other countries, the Formula of Subscription, which is still signed by our...

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Rev. Koole is pastor of Grandville Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. In its treatment of the fourth commandment (Lord’s Day 38) our Heidelberg Catechism is noticeably brief, one Q. & A. (103); and in reference to the lawful keeping of the Lord’s Day, it is without reference to any prohibitions whatsoever. Just positive exhortations, saying nothing about things that are forbidden. And when it comes to the important matter of the fourth commandment’s abiding authority, or perpetual character, and the first day of the week replacing the seventh as the God-ordained New Testament Sabbath, it is as silent as...

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Rev. Shand is pastor of the Winnaleah congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia. The fundamental doctrinal position of the Westminster Assembly regarding the Sabbath Day is set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter XXI, which bears the heading, “Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-day.” The Confession declares: VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in...

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If a denomination will survive as a true church of Christ, she will delight in keeping the fourth commandment. A denomination may perish for other reasons, but refusal to keep the fourth commandment will ensure it. She will perish, not because her permission to violate the Lord’s Day makes her unpopular among the people and she withers away. But she will cease to be true church because God will judge her. The Lord will not be pleased, even though her changed stance on the fourth commandment may well be met with praise by people. God’s judgment on Israel in the...

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Call the Sabbath a Delight! Welcome to our special issue on the Lord’s Day. The Old Testament name Sabbathemphasizes the truth that we are to rest in the mighty works of God, notably our salvation sealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament name Lord’s Dayemphasizes that Jesus Christ is Lord of the entire Sabbath, and He determines what is right for the day. This special day, established by God as a creation ordinance, is one that even the ungodly cannot ignore totally. And yet, in both respects—as Sabbath and as the Lord’s Day—God’s law is trampled underfoot. That the...

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Rev. Slopsema is pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles...

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