How does one keep the Lord’s Day properly, avoiding both legalism and laxness? The author, Bruce Ray, ably addresses this question in his readable, practical volume.
Ray begins this work by briefly examining many churches that are denying the importance of the Lord’s Day by substituting entertaining services and shortened services on other days. This allows individuals to please themselves and not consider God’s requirements for His day.
The fourth commandment is insightfully explained in this volume. The author shows what this commandment teaches regarding God’s Lordship over life. Ray’s remarks are thought-provoking. They set the stage for his survey of the Old Testament Sabbath (which was changed to the Lord’s Day in the New Testament when Christ arose on the first day of the week).
Sinful man readily corrupts the good things God gives. This is true with the observance of the Sabbath in the Old Testament. The rabbis began to define for the people what constituted work and what could and could not be done on the seventh day. Christ confronted this legalism in His earthly ministry. He constantly pointed His hearers back to the lawful activity allowed in the command itself rather than men’s lists.
In answering current questions concerning proper Lord’s Day observance, Ray does not go further than the teaching of Scripture. He provides practical help without falling into either of the extremes man is so prone to embrace. Helpfully, he reminds the reader of the importance of celebrating the Lord’s Day. The day is to be celebrated on God’s terms, not ours.
Each of the eight chapters concludes with a list of review questions and questions of response that the individual, family, or study group can discuss and work through.
The author draws insights from the works of others who have addressed this topic. Officers and laity in our day need to read this helpful book and prayerfully work to apply its principles. Practically stressing the holiness of the Lord’s Day is an important way that Christians can be salt and light within our culture.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.