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New City Catechism 10.2

NOTE: I am modifying the answer on this question somewhat because I, along with the elders of Cornerstone, hold to a somewhat different understanding of the Sabbath than is presented in the catechism.

Question 10: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?

Answer: Fourth, that we prioritize worship and rest and not live only for work, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.

The catechism references the “eternal Sabbath,” which is a way of picturing our inheritance in the new creation with God. In the original account of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:1-3), indicating that, having finished his task, he took delight in the result of his labor. It seems significant that, whereas all previous six days speak of “evening and morning,” the seventh day contains no such time marker. Many interpreters believe the point of omitting “evening and morning” on the seventh day is to indicate that for God, the seventh day rest is an ongoing reality. God, having entered his Sabbath rest, invites us to do the same and join him once our labors are done. This is why the New Testament pictures the final result of our salvation in Christ as a Sabbath rest. As Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Suggested passage for family or personal reading: Hebrews 4:1-13. Why didn’t the exodus generation enter God’s rest? What held them back from it? How are they presented to us as a warning? What must we do to enter God’s rest?

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