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The Pattern of Rest

“On the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work” (Genesis 2:2-3).

The week of creation ended with a day of rest for the Lord. We never read of God resting again in all of Scripture, but to the contrary, God is laboring for the redemption and restoration of man throughout the biblical account until final rest is again achieved in Revelation 21 and 22. The Lord Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). The Son finished His laboring on earth at Calvary, but in heaven He continues even now to make intercession for the Church. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is laboring to convict the world of sin and to win a bride for the Son. God is still working today!

The question may arise whether a Christian should observe the seventh day of the week as a day of rest. For Israel, the sabbath became a strict observance with the giving of the law at Sinai (Exodus 20:8-11). But for Christians, it is worth noting that the Lord Jesus reaffirmed all of the Ten Commandments except “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

The Apostle Paul strictly forbids Christians from legislating special days, feast days, or sabbath days and forcing their personal convictions on others (Colossians 2:16; Romans 14:5). His instruction is, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” about such things.

Individual believers can worship God any time and anywhere as believer priests (John 4:23-24). The early church did not gather on Saturday, but Sunday—Christ’s resurrection day (1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7). This is why John refers to Sunday as the Lord’s day (Revelation 1:10).

God has displayed a pattern in which we should rest one day in seven. It seems wise to follow this pattern, and that of the early church, which dedicated the first day of the week for corporate worship and service. We continue doing this on earth until the church enters God’s final gift of rest in glory.

—Condensed from Seeds of Destiny by Warren Henderson