Happy Midweek! Though we had a cold night here in the heart of Georgia, and it was below freezing even as the sun was rising, yet the sun did rise. And as I look out my window, the sky is a beautiful blue and the deciduous trees are reviving with an emerging, living foliage of green. Spring is on the way. Even nature testifies that God is still at work and therefore, there is hope.
I also want to remind you of that hope from the word of God. The scriptures truly are the safeguard to our faith and our hope. All things must be tested through that standard, for the Bible is our “only standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms”1. Seventh-day Adventists are called to be reformers even as Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin and later the Wesleys were called to be reformers. When skeptics and unbelievers question, “What is truth?” and when there are so many opposing opinions and traditions of men that contradict the Word of God, our safety is to follow the Bible and not merely opinions or traditions.
This is why I have been preaching my current series, “Righteousness, Peace, and the Law.” This past Sabbath I gave the seventh sermon, “Christ’s Righteousness and the Sabbath Controversy.” And I had wanted to complete the series with seven, just because I like that number. However, God had other plans and His Spirit impressed me greatly for the need of another. And so there will be a second part to that seventh sermon, if you want to call it an eighth.
And remember this point: In my humble opinion, sermons never settle a matter. There must be a humble interest and desire to know truth. Then to prayerfully seek for understanding through Bible study. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit as you allow Him to impress your heart and mind from the actual words and doctrines of scripture.
Now I would like to make a little clearer the following:
Does the creation story reveal what righteousness has to do with the the Sabbath Day? Yes, I believe it does. You see, the Genesis account declares that God actually spoke things into existence for six literal days, with one exception. On the sixth day of creation, the Creator formed the first man with His own hands from earthly clay, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and Adam became a living soul.
The first man and woman, created in the image of God, spent their first day of life learning about God’s creation. In fact, Genesis chapter 2 reveals that Adam named all the animals. Can you imagine the original conversation that he was having with God as he was trying to figure out an appropriate name for each kind of creature?
What did the first human couple learn about God? They saw His creative power. They saw the wonders of all His works in nature. They saw the beauty of the earth made new, fresh from the Creator’s hands. They saw themselves… and Adam said of Eve, “she is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” And together, this holy couple participated in the first ever Sabbath Day on this earth. They worshipped their Creator and talked with Him, and He with them on that first Sabbath.
This is when the Sabbath day was inaugurated and instituted by the Creator God. Therefore, when the Bible says, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3. And the very next verse testifies, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,” Genesis 2:4.
And four thousand years later, Jesus still affirms that same creative act of establishing the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week when He declares, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Well I ask you, what could be holier than what God made holy in the beginning? What more evidence does anyone need? And yet, I will followup with a second part to show where, when and how Sunday worship began to replace and usurp the Seventh-day Sabbath. Here is the link to the sermon if you would like to watch and hear it again or share it. https://youtu.be/SSKOC7acTHE
I am preparing the followup sermon and my current plan is to present it to Thomaston this coming Sabbath and then at Griffin the last Sabbath in March.
Grace & Peace,
1The Great Controversy page 595.