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A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part II: Questions about The Ten Commandments

49. Q. What does the fourth commandment teach us?
       A. To keep the Sabbath holy.

(Click through to read scriptural proof.)

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Sunday's Hymn: Praise Ye the Triune God!

Praise ye the Father for His lovingkindness;
Tenderly cares He for His erring children;
Praise Him, ye angels, praise Him in the heavens,
Praise ye Jehovah!

Praise ye the Savior—great is His compassion;
Graciously cares He for His chosen people;
Young men and maidens, older folks and children,
Praise ye the Savior!

Praise ye the Spirit, Comforter of Israel,
Sent of the Father and the Son to bless us;
Praise ye the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Praise ye the Triune God!

Eliz­a­beth R. Charles

I thought this hymn was fairly common, but I can only find two videos of it on YouTube. This is the best I can do.


Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


The Sabbath Is A Shadow

In 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law, Tom Schreiner discusses what Colossians 2:16-17 says about whether or not the Sabbath is binding upon believer.

In Colossians Paul identifies the Sabbath as a shadow along with requirements regarding foods, festivals, and the new moon (Col. 2:16-17). The Sabbath, in other words, points to Christ and is fulfilled in him. The words for “shadow” (skia) that Paul uses to describe the Sabbath is the same term the author of Hebrews used to describe Old Testament sacrifices. The law is only a “shadow” (skia) of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities (Heb. 10:11). The argument is remarkably similar to what we see in Colossians: both contrast elements of the law as a shadow with the “substance” (sōma, Col. 2:17) or the “form” (eikona, Heb. 10:1) found in Christ. Paul does not denigrate the Sabbath. He salutes its place in salvation history, for, like the Old Testament sacrifices, though not in precisely the same way, it prepared the way for Christ. I know no one who thinks Old Testament sacrifices should be instituted today; and when we compare what Paul says about the Sabbath with such sacrifices, it seems right to conclude that he thinks the Sabbath is no longer binding. 

Perhaps you’ve heard it argued that the Sabbaths of Colossians 2 are not weekly Sabbaths, but rather sabbatical years. To that, Schreiner writes, 

… [T]his is a rather desperate expedient, for the most prominent day in the Jewish calendar was the weekly Sabbath. We know from secular sources that is was the observance of the weekly Sabbath that attracted the attention of Gentiles … . Perhaps sabbatical years are included here, but the weekly Sabbath should not be excluded, for it would naturally come to the mind of both Jewish and Gentile readers. 

To conclude the argument:

What Paul says here is remarkable, for he lumps the Sabbaths together with the food laws, festivals like Passover, and new moons. All of these constitute shadows that anticipate the coming of Christ. Very few Christians think we must observe food laws, Passover, and new moon. But if this is the case, then it is difficult to see why the Sabbath should be observed since it is placed together with these other matters.

Watch for a review of this book soon.


The Cross of Christ: The Community of Celebration

This week’s reading from John Stott’s The Cross of Christ for Reading Classics Together at Challies.com is Chapter 10, The Community of Celebration

Stott starts by pointing out that Jesus didn’t die simply to save individuals but to make a new community of his own people, people from every nation who “live by and under the cross.” First of all, those in the new community of people have a new relationship to God, a relationship marked by

  • Boldness, “both in our witness to the world and our prayers to God.”
  • Love. Once we were alienated from him, but now we adore and serve him.
  • Joy. “The Christian community is a community of celebration.

The centerpoint of our community of celebration is the Lord’s Supper. Stott lists five ways that what we do at the Lord’s Supper is connected to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. 

  • We remember it.
  • We partake of it’s benefits.
  • We proclaim it.
  • We attribute our unity to it.
  • We give thanks for it, and in response “offer ourselves, our souls and bodies as ‘living sacrifices’ to his service….”

The rest of the chapter discusses the nature of the sacrifice we make in response to Christ’s sacrifice to us, contrasting both the Roman Catholic view and the view of the Protestant Reformation, and then discussing other mediating views, mostly put forward by various Anglicans, I think. I have to admit that this was my least favorite part of the chapter. For one, I found it difficult to understand the nuances of the vaiou I suspect if I were Anglican, like Stott was, I might find it all more relevant.

In the end, Stott affirms the view of the Prostestant Refomormation. Christ’s sacrifice and ours 

differ from one another too widely for it ever to be seemly to associate them. Christ died for us while we were still sinners and enemies. His self-giving love evokes and inspires ours. So ours is always secondary and responsive to him. To try to unite them is to blur the primary and the secondary, the the source and the stream, initiatie and response, grace and faith. A proper jealousy for the uniqueness of Christ’s sacrifice for sin will lead us to avoid any formulation that could conceivably detract from it.

Next up is chapter 11, Self-Understanding and Self-giving.


Thankful Thursday


I’m so thankful that I’m finally beginning to feel normal. I’ve had nearly 3 weeks of feeling either just plain sick or weak and tired. I am so thankful to be back in the land of the living. I’m thankful that I am beginning to get everything back in order, although it will be a while before I’m all caught up.

I am thankful that God helps me when I become discouraged, reminding me that he is there working in everything for my good and his glory.

I am thankful, still, for my new granddaughter. She’s been the brightest spot in my life during these weeks of trial. 

I’m thankful for sunshine to brighten things up.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.