16 May 2004
Leviticus 23:3, Psalm 92:1, Luke 4:16, Matthew 12:11 & Jeremiah 17:21
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such wordly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.60. How do we keep the Sabbath holy?
A. We keep the Sabbath holy by resting the whole day from worldly affairs or recreations, even ones that are lawful on other days. Except for necessary works or acts of mercy we should spend all our time publicly and privately worshipping God.
1. What do we mean by sanctifying the Sabbath?
The Sabbath is sanctified by God in that He made it holy. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by man by man’s keeping it holy, by his using it for other purposes than his regular employments.
2. What two things are we to do on the Sabbath day?
We are given permission by God to do two things: holy resting and holy worship.
3. From what are we to rest on the Sabbath day?
We are to rest from all things that are not of necessity and mercy. This means that we are to rest even from things that are not sinful, that are lawful on other days, such as worldly employments and recreations.
4. When we speak of “holy worship” do we mean we must spend all day in church?
No, it is not meant that all day must be spent in church, but it is meant that we should spend our time in either public or private worship. It should be a time for our souls to be renewed by God as we worship Him in prayer, Bible study, family worship.
5. Would you say it is alright to rest the body on the Sabbath day?
Yes, it would be well within the keeping of the commandment to rest the body. This is one of the reasons for the Sabbath day for God knew in the beginning that the body would need one day of rest out of seven.
6. Should there be any preparation for the Sabbath day?
Yes, there should be both physical and spiritual preparation. For example, everything possible should be done prior to the day in the physical realm so that the day might be spent as unto Him. Our devotional article speaks of the spiritual preparation.