Many in the evangelical and reformed churches treat the moral law of God like it was part of that old Sesame Street song. You remember the song?
One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?
Now you may think that sounds absurd. But it’s not. Watch:
As Christians we are free to have other gods before God.
As Christians we are free to make carved images of God.
As Christians we are free to take God’s name in vain.
As Christians we are free to do what we want on the Sabbath.
As Christians we are free to dishonor our parents.
As Christians we are free to murder.
As Christians we are free to commit adultery.
As Christians we are free to steal.
As Christians we are free lie.
As Christians we are free to covet what does not belong to us.
One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell which things is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?
You see it? Many Christians today teach that the fourth commandment (the Sabbath) is not binding on the church. They argue that the New Testament fulfilled the Sabbath because it was part of the ceremonial law. Here it’s part of the moral law- God’s eternal and binding code of ethics.
Why does it seem strange to hear that Christians are free to commit adultery or to murder, but not strange to hear of Christians violating the fourth commandment?
The Larger Catechism of the Westminster Assembly reads:
Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment? A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath, and in the New Testament called The Lord’s Day.
Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified? A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose, and seasonably to despatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.
Maybe we need to rewrite our song and reclaim part of God’s ethics for holy living in the church today. How long can we continue to throw out a part of God’s Word and think that he will bless the Church with revival and reformation?
Maybe this thing is like the others, Maybe this thing really does belong. Can you tell that they are all like the others, by the time I finish my song?