What is the Fourth Commandment?


Introduction

The questions and answers below are copied from different catechisms. Please see the note at the end of each question for the reference.

Fourth Commandment

  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV).
  • Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day (Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ESV).

Which is the fourth commandment?1

The fourth commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor they cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

What is required in the fourth commandment?2

The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself (Leviticus 19:30; Deuteronomy 5:12).

How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?3

The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Leviticus 23:3), and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Psalms 92:1; Psalms 92:2; Isaiah 58:13; Isaiah 58:14) except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Matthew 12:11; Matthew 12:12).

What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?4

The fourth commandment forbids the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about worldly employments or recreations. (Ezekiel 22:26; 23:38; Jeremiah 17:21; Nehemiah. 13:15, 17; Acts 20:7)

What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?5

The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself, in these words, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Does God require us [Christians] to observe the Sabbath and other holy days of the Old Testament?6

The Sabbath was a sign pointing to Jesus, who is our rest. Since Jesus has come as our Savior and Lord, God no longer requires us to observe the Sabbath day and other holy days of the Old Testament (Matthew 11:28; Matthew 12:8; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 4:9-10).

Does God require the church to worship together on any specific days?7

  • God requires Christians to worship together (Acts 2:42, 46; Hebrews 10:25).
  • He has not specified any particular day (Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11).
  • The church worships together especially on Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday (Luke 24:1-2; Acts 20:7).

Footnotes

  1. A Puritan Catechism (1855), Question 49.
  2. A Puritan Catechism (1855), Question 50.
  3. A Puritan Catechism (1855), Question 51.
  4. Baptist Catechism (1677), Question 67.
  5. Westminster Larger Catechism (1647), Question 120.
  6. Luther’s Small Catechism (1529), Question 36.
  7. Luther’s Small Catechism (1529), Question 37.

Follow, Like and Share

Leave a Reply (The first message from an e-mail address must be approved by a moderator)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.