Romans 14:5: The Sabbath
Listen to George Swinnock, a Puritan as he speaks about the beauty of the Christian Sabbath Day, ‘‘Hail thou art highly favoured of God, thou golden spot of the week, thou market –day of souls, thou daybreak of eternal brightness, thou queen of days, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst days…. Oh how do men and women flutter up and down on the weekdays, as the dove on the waters, and can find no rest for their souls, till they come to their ark, till thou put forth thy hand and take them in! Oh how they sit under your shadow with great delight, and find faith sweet to their taste! Oh the mountings of the mind, the ravishing happiness of the heart, the solace of the soul, which on thee they enjoy in the Blessed Saviour.’
Paul brings us to the argument in the Roman church to the matter over how a person esteems certain days, Romans 14:5, ‘One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.’ This has been the traditional battle ground for arguments over whether the Christian is still bound by the 4thcommandment. So today, to get the matter of the Christian Sabbath out of the way so that we can get at the true discussion of this text I would like to talk to you about the Sabbath. I have walked a journey on this question from being a non-Sabbatarian to a Sabbatarian position. Yet the Sabbatarian position I hold is not necessarily identical to Puritan interpretations of it. So today I am going to outline the different views on whether Paul is talking about the Sabbath, then I want to outline the biblical theology of the Sabbath, and then at it use for the Christian today.