Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#4): “Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep it Holy”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • Introduction: Name the country that has the highest average of vacation days per year. (Germany – 30)
  • Subject Step: Today we’re talking about a pretty relaxing topic: rest.
  • Proposition: Why Is The Sabbath Important?
  • (Genesis 2:2-3) The Sabbath Follows The Pattern Of God’s Creation Week
    • (Explanation) In Genesis 1, we read of the details about how God created the universe, and the things we see on earth. Days 1-6, God created everything that was to be made, but on the 7th day, He rested. It wasn’t like He needed a break, but He was purposefully setting a pattern for our weeks.
    • (Illustration) Tuning a guitar – the idea is, “We need a standard for living.”
    • (Application) If we take 1 day out of the week devoted to public worship, resting from our jobs, taking some time to relax, spend time with family and friends, I think we’d find our lives to be a little more in synch with God’s will.
  • (Mark 2:23-38) The Sabbath Is For Our Own Good
    • (Explanation) What had happened is that the Pharisees were hard-core law police. They knew very well that God had said for His people to keep the Sabbath and rest from work, but in their pursuits of keeping the rules of the law (and adding their own rules on top of God’s law), they missed the purpose of these laws and their attention was turned away from God Himself.
    • (Illustration) Comparison: a love letter from a wife vs. a grocery list
    • (Application) The Pharisees didn’t really seem to pay attention very much to the things written in the Bible about how God has a loving relationship with His people – on the other hand they had the commands down. It would be as if my entire focus in my relationship to Cindy was just to check off things in a shopping list but to have no affection for her. We can do that easily with studying God’s commands that we focus so much on doing obeying these 10 commandments, but we forget that these commands are for our benefit. This is good news that we have a day in each to reflect and worship God who pursues us for a relationship.
  • (Acts 20:7 & Heb. 4:9-10) The Sabbath Reminds Us Of The Gospel
    • (Explanation) So here’s what this verse teaches us: the churches from the time right after Christ had ascended into heaven were meeting together for worship. Now, instead of meeting on Saturday, they met on Sunday (“the first day of the week”). That brings us to an important point: When we gather together for public worship, our focus is not on ourselves, but on Christ and what He’s accomplished – we are reminded of the Gospel!
    • (Argumentation) Hebrews 4:9-10
    • (Application) The Gospel is so important because we really work hard to please God on our own efforts, but it’s never enough. On the other hand, the Gospel says that Christ has already accomplished the work necessary to be reunited with God.
    • (Illustration) Ultramarathon – some of these are over 1,000 miles during a period of several days. 70,000 people, approximately, attempt to run these events. I’d probably die, but I at least know that it doesn’t sound appealing to me. A lot of people constantly live their lives as if they always on a treadmill – that is, they are constantly trying to do religious things in order to be accepted in God’s sight. Can you imagine coming into church with the option of sitting in a nice, comfortable recliner or a treadmill – which one would you choose? Here’s the thing about the Sabbath – it reminds us of the Gospel! It reminds us that we are accepted into God’s family by simply placing our faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
  • Conclusion: What happens once we get rest? We are empowered to work; serving God, then, becomes a joy. That’s what happened to me, I thought if I could just complete a few more items of my “Christianity” list, then I would be accepted and have rest. But with God, it’s the other way around; He says, (1) “Enter my rest” (2) Now, go into all the world and make disciples.
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