The Christian Sabbath commonly known as the Lord’s Day is a subject that continues to raise a number of questions and debate among the New Testament believers. Since the 4th Commandment referring to the keeping the Sabbath holy unto the Lord is not clearly commanded, some Christians believe and teach that the New Testament believers are not bound to keep the commandment. On the other hand there are some who hold on to the seventh day Sabbath observing it legalistically.
It is important for all those who love God and desire to honor Him to have a clear and firm understanding of this matter. Dear reader, it is one thing to believe and teach that the Lord has appointed and set apart a day to be kept holy unto Him and yet another thing to put the same into practice.
Looking at the 1689 Baptist confession of faith article 22, paragraphs 7 and 8 it is clear that the command to keep the Sabbath holy is a positive, moral and practical duty of all God loving people. Paragraph 8 reads:
“The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, (sic) after a due preparing of their hearts and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship and in the duties of necessity and mercy” [Exod20:811; Neh13:15-22; Isa.58:13-14; Rev1:20; Matt12:1-13; Mark2:27-28]

Observe that failure to keep the Lord’s Day as unto the Lord is not just morally wrong but sinful as well. It’s sad that the Lord’s Day has been reduced by some to a social fun day in which they do all worldly employment and recreations. Lamentably so, on the other hand those who believe and teach the observance of the Lords Day continue to exhibit inconsistencies in the practice and observance of the command.
This issue of Reformation Zambia has endeavored to address some of the penitent issues on the Christian Sabbath called the Lords’ Day. I believe that the command to uphold the sanctity of the Lord’s Day and to keep it holy to the Lord is a matter that is central and critical to the worship of God and should therefore concern every God fearing person.
The articles featured are not just doctrinal but practical in nature. Firstly a doctrinal presentation by pastor Ndonji Kayombo labours to show from the Bible the institution and sanctity of the Sabbath. He also presents the continuation of the Sabbath in the Lord’s Day and presents the argument for upholding of the Lord’s Day as a perpetual and moral duty binding upon humanity throughout history.
The second article is historical in nature, pastor Jonathan Mwalimu shows some lessons from the history on how the puritans serve as an example to us on the keeping of the Lord’s Day. He highlights the spiritual and social life of the puritans in the context of the Lord’s Day and draws some practical lessons from the Puritans for us to emulate.
In the third article, Pastor Saidi Chishimba addresses the practical duties that are involved in the observance of the Lord’s Day. He shows the importance of observing the Lord’s day in private and public. He also gives some instructions and counsel on maintain a right attitude of observing the Christian Sabbath highlighting the tension that exists between the dangers of legalism and anti Lord’s Day observance.
Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa shows in the fourth article the spiritual implications of keeping or profaning the Lord’s Day at an individual, family church and society levels.
Let me conclude with a lengthy quote from Daniel Wilson as he comments on the keeping of one day in seven as special to the Lord. He speaks of the Lord’s day that:
‘it was initiated in Paradise, it was promulgated in the Decalogue, it was integrated in Mosaic law; it was practiced by godly Israel; it was emphasized by the prophets, it was commended by the Savoir; it was solemnized by the apostles; and it was continued in the early church. This is a day intimately linked with creation, with redemption, with resurrection, and with heaven. God knows that the keeping of this day is important. It is vital for us as individuals; it is imperative for us as a church, it is crucial for us as a nation’
The words of Isaiah the prophets echoes this truth so vividly when he says, ‘if you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on MY holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, honorable and you honour Him, not doing your own ways nor finding your own pleasure nor speaking your own words, Then shall you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth…’ Isaiah 58:13-14
Let us call the Sabbath a delight. Enjoy your reading