Faith Chapel

Free Enough To Rest

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Dale Leamon


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000004

00:28 Hello, it's good to be with you.
00:31 We're studying God's word together
00:34 and we're going to be looking
00:36 at another one of God's commandments.
00:39 But, let me introduce myself first.
00:42 My name is Dale Leamon,
00:44 I'm a pastor from Battle Creek Michigan
00:47 and I am really looking forward to opening
00:49 God's word with you.
00:50 Let's ask for his blessing before we do that.
00:54 Father in heaven, it is such a joy
00:57 just to take Your word as it reads,
00:59 to let You be our teacher and guide,
01:02 it's such a privilege to take the whole Bible
01:06 and let it be our truth
01:09 and our source of doctrine and light.
01:12 Father, please help me today
01:14 that I may teach in Your name and with Your Spirit's power,
01:18 in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
01:24 The Ten Commandments, God never intended for them
01:28 to be scary, that wasn't His plan at all.
01:31 He was so disappointed
01:32 that the Jews misunderstood their meaning.
01:35 They were so frightened after they heard
01:36 the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai
01:38 that they said, Moses,
01:39 we can't listen to God's voice anymore,
01:41 if we keep listening it'll kill us,
01:43 you go and talk to Him.
01:46 Well, Moses was privileged indeed
01:48 to go to the top of the mountain
01:49 and talk to God face to face.
01:51 But the Jewish nation could have enjoyed
01:55 that fellowship too, they just didn't get it.
01:57 They didn't understand that God's commandments
02:01 were meant to be promises of what
02:02 he was going to do for them,
02:04 by his own Spirit and by his own power.
02:08 They thought they had to promise Him
02:09 to keep the commandments and they even said
02:11 that "everything you say, we will do,"
02:12 now please don't talk to us anymore.
02:15 God said well, I'm glad you want to do what I've said,
02:17 but he shook his head, if God shakes his head,
02:20 we can see it that way in our human sense.
02:23 And he said, oh, that they had a heart
02:27 to really keep my commandments.
02:28 But He knew they needed help, He knew we needed help,
02:31 He knew that in fact the commandments were never
02:34 intended to be something a road or a ladder to heaven,
02:41 that they're intended instead to be His promise to us,
02:45 of what He would do inside of us.
02:47 To bring us back into harmony with himself.
02:51 The Apostle Paul, one who we always
02:54 look to for theological explanations of things
02:58 has written some words to that effect,
03:00 in Romans Chapter 7.
03:02 Let's read verses 10 and 14,
03:07 first of all verse 10.
03:12 "And the commandment, which was to bring life,
03:16 I found to bring death."
03:22 What was God's purpose in that commandment,
03:25 not death, but life.
03:26 Verse 14 says, "For we know that the law is spiritual,
03:29 but I am carnal, sold under sin."
03:35 There it is, the great tragedy.
03:38 God never intended for his commandment
03:39 to be discouraging or to bring death.
03:41 It was still be looked at as a hopeful thing.
03:45 This is my covenant with you,
03:47 this is what I am going to do for you,
03:50 but the people instead chose to see it
03:52 in their humanness and God was merciful to them
03:56 as a regulation by obeying
04:01 which they hoped to gain God's favor.
04:04 Well, you know, we have God's favor
04:06 through Jesus Christ, don't we?
04:08 We already have it.
04:09 He is the ambassador for us
04:11 and he has reconciled us to God through his blood,
04:14 so we already have his favor.
04:16 We're not seeking His favor through obedience,
04:20 we're seeking obedience through his favor.
04:23 We want to be like Him
04:25 and because He already favors us,
04:26 He's also going to give us
04:28 His commandments in our hearts.
04:31 That was always God's intention
04:33 and some people did understand that from time to time,
04:35 we find great characters in the Old Testament
04:38 who even loved God's law
04:39 and didn't see it as a terrifying thing.
04:42 But most of them were frightened by Him.
04:45 You know, just by looking at the commandments
04:46 themselves we can see the gospel, that's right,
04:53 right in the middle of the commandments
04:55 is a commandments which shows us the gospel
04:58 and therefore takes away the fright of the commandments
05:02 and gives us peace.
05:04 Which commandment am I referring to?
05:06 The fourth commandment. Commandment that says,
05:09 "remember the Sabbath." Let's read that together,
05:14 you can find the fourth commandment
05:16 in Exodus, Chapter 20
05:22 verses 8 through 11.
05:24 This is the longest of all of the ten
05:28 and that ought to give us some thoughts, shouldn't it?
05:33 All right, let's read, Exodus 20:8-11.
05:36 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
05:40 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
05:44 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
05:47 In it you shall do no work,
05:48 you, nor your son, nor your daughter,
05:51 nor your male servant, nor your female servant,
05:54 nor your cattle, nor your stranger
05:56 who is within your gates.
05:57 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the Earth,
06:01 the sea, and all that is in them,
06:04 and rested the seventh day.
06:06 Therefore the Lord blessed
06:08 the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
06:14 Well, some people find
06:15 that to be the most difficult of all the commandments,
06:18 that one is the one they just can't comprehend,
06:21 how can that be important.
06:22 After all, aren't all days the same.
06:24 Well, it says right here that one day is special,
06:27 God made that day holy it says, he hallowed it.
06:30 And of course many find it objectionable
06:34 to have to change their habits
06:35 that they've gained in precious
06:37 Christian fellowship over many decades.
06:40 And to be different from family members
06:44 and so forth we fully understand that.
06:46 And yet instead of thinking
06:49 about all the objections to this commandment,
06:51 let's look at it in a different way,
06:53 let's look at it as we have been looking
06:56 at the others in these studies as a promise.
07:02 In fact, the promissory aspects
07:05 are almost right here on the surface
07:08 in this commandment because in this commandment we see,
07:12 first of all, an invitation to look at creation.
07:16 The Sabbath is about creation,
07:17 it's about celebrating a creation
07:20 which is already finished.
07:23 Wow, that's right,
07:26 he did finished it, didn't he?
07:27 On the sixth day, He looked
07:28 and He saw everything He'd made
07:30 and He said it's very good.
07:33 He made Adam and Eve and then He rested.
07:39 And so the Sabbath becomes
07:41 a celebration of the work already done.
07:48 You know, Jesus himself
07:49 who rested that Sabbath day because in the New Testament,
07:54 John the first Chapter, Colossians the first Chapter,
07:56 Hebrews the first Chapter they all tell us
07:58 that Jesus was the immediate agent of creation,
08:01 He was the one who formed
08:02 Adam out of the dust of the ground.
08:04 And so it was Jesus who rested that day
08:06 and it is Jesus who completed the creation
08:11 and then rested on the Sabbath.
08:15 And don't you see what that says about the gospel.
08:18 We're to be new creatures
08:21 and if He's already created everything
08:23 and made it so perfect
08:24 that he could stop and rest once,
08:27 he can do it again, can't he?
08:29 It gives us so much faith,
08:32 not that we're saved by works,
08:33 but by rest in his creative power,
08:38 what a magnificent lesson we learn from the Sabbath.
08:42 No wonder Mark 2:27 tells us
08:48 that the Sabbath, let's read it here.
08:50 "The Sabbath was made for man,"
08:53 don't you love that?
08:55 He made it for us as an object of our study
08:58 so that we could discern his character
09:03 and the way of salvation through it.
09:05 Now, we see another lesson in the Sabbath promise
09:09 or Sabbath commandment,
09:10 here we see God's intention to give us rest
09:16 and relaxation, not strife and stress and fear.
09:21 For many, the Christian life is not restful,
09:25 it's--it's a terrible, terrible battle
09:27 and I would be the first to admit,
09:28 there are battles in our Christian life.
09:30 But there is also rest.
09:32 The battle is of course with self
09:34 and the strife is of course in surrender of self.
09:38 But oh, what glorious rest there is in letting go
09:44 and giving into God
09:47 and then we find peace of mind
09:49 and even peace in our physical bodies
09:51 as our stress level goes down
09:53 and our whole body relaxes and we feel so much better.
09:57 The Sabbath reveals that aspect of God's character,
10:02 that he wants to invite us into rest.
10:04 A very physical rest from our labors on the seventh day
10:07 but a spiritual rest everyday.
10:12 Thirdly, we are to remember every week
10:16 that human endeavor cannot add anything to God's work.
10:20 You see, the first thing God did with Adam and Eve
10:24 after creating them was to give them
10:30 a day of rest, spiritual lesson?
10:35 You can't help me with creation,
10:37 I already did it, it's done, it's perfect,
10:39 it's as good as it's gonna get,
10:41 you can't add anything to it, it's all finished.
10:45 And I love that because that is such
10:47 a beautiful gospel lesson.
10:48 Doesn't it teach me that I cannot do anything
10:51 about changing my thoughts, changing my feelings,
10:53 changing my attitudes, changing my character,
10:55 that's gonna have to be His creation,
10:57 I can't add to it, He will do it,
11:01 He has done it in Christ Jesus.
11:04 And so in the Sabbath we see the lesson
11:09 that we need to rest in his promise
11:11 instead of trying to do it ourselves.
11:14 The Sabbath is also a weekly reminder
11:18 that all of the ten Commandments
11:21 are really promises.
11:23 Because we can see that he who made
11:28 everything perfect can make everything perfect again.
11:35 And so all the commandments are meant
11:37 to be seen as glorious
11:41 promises of his grace.
11:45 And finally in the Sabbath,
11:48 the Old Testament experience looking forward to the time
11:52 when the promise will be fulfilled
11:54 that Christ would actually
11:57 create the human race over again.
12:04 The tragedy of the fall of Adam and Eve,
12:11 I believe was foreseen by God
12:15 and I believe the reason He gave that Sabbath to man,
12:19 doesn't say He gave to the angels
12:20 or to the people of other planets,
12:22 He says He gave it to man.
12:23 Maybe that-- maybe
12:24 he also gave it to the other people I don't know,
12:27 but He gave it to man,
12:28 knowing for well that man would fall,
12:31 knowing that in our sinful state
12:32 we would desperately need a promise.
12:36 And in every Sabbath day,
12:38 we find a promise of the perfect rest
12:43 that that we will enjoy with Him in the Earth
12:46 made new and the glorious, glorious promise of our hearts
12:50 being at rest through our Redeemer.
12:54 Did Jesus intend when he came to this Earth
12:58 to erase the commandments?
13:02 Many have suggested that it was his purpose
13:05 at least to do away with the Sabbath
13:09 and yet in Jesus own life and experience,
13:11 we find a tremendous reference for the Sabbath
13:14 but he kept it quite differently
13:15 from the Scribes and Pharisees, didn't he?
13:18 Well, Jesus own testimony
13:20 in Matthew Chapter 5 and verse 17 is very clear.
13:27 "Do not think that I came to destroy
13:30 the law or the Prophets.
13:32 I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."
13:37 And so Jesus must have fulfilled the Sabbath.
13:42 It must be in fact a promise
13:45 which we can find already ratified
13:48 in the life of Christ.
13:52 Specifically, we should expect to find
13:55 in Christ rest from our old sinful life.
14:01 We should expect to find in him
14:03 rest from the struggle with our current natures.
14:07 I truly love the Sabbath day,
14:09 my own testimony is that on the Sabbath Day
14:11 there is a special blessing, people who have not tried it,
14:15 not experienced it, probably
14:17 wouldn't be able to anticipate it,
14:20 but there is a tremendous leaving
14:23 behind of everything of this world,
14:27 it is just a time of peace,
14:29 you're still in the same place,
14:31 you live in the same house,
14:32 you still live among the same people.
14:35 But when you take seriously Jesus invitation
14:39 to lay aside earthly things, it is just precious.
14:44 How deep is the rest that comes into your soul
14:50 and that rest definitely says everything
14:53 about the gospel and about grace,
14:56 as it says you have been created
15:01 in Christ as a new creature.
15:04 In fact that's exactly what is explicitly promised,
15:08 isn't it, in the New Testament?
15:10 And the Apostle Paul again tells us
15:13 that this is already been done for us through Christ.
15:17 I like you to see this wonderful passage,
15:21 Ephesians Chapter 2,
15:24 we're gonna read verse 10, speaking of Jesus.
15:30 "For we are His workmanship,
15:35 created in Christ Jesus for good works,
15:40 which God prepared beforehand
15:41 that we should walk in them."
15:44 Okay, we've been created,
15:46 where were we created?
15:48 We've been created in Christ Jesus.
15:51 Well, that's an odd theological concept, isn't it?
15:54 How can you be created inside of somebody else?
15:57 Well, I don't claim to fully understand it,
16:00 but the words of the Bible indicate
16:02 that when Jesus lived on this Earth,
16:05 he took all of our flesh upon himself.
16:10 Bible says in the Old Testament,
16:11 "the iniquity of us all was laid on Him."
16:17 And we know, Christians have always
16:19 said that happened at the cross,
16:20 but I believe it happened all along,
16:24 that he was in fact somehow the new Adam.
16:27 Doesn't the Bible say that,
16:28 that somehow he had taken into himself the entire race,
16:32 just as Adam had the entire race
16:35 potentially within himself
16:37 and so Jesus had all of us in him.
16:40 Paul talks about this in several passages,
16:43 Second Corinthians where he suggests
16:45 that when one died, all died,
16:47 Romans 6 when he talks about
16:48 we are all crucified with Christ.
16:51 So we get this idea that we've all been somehow
16:54 contained in Christ and as Christ was overcoming
16:59 and battling with Satan
17:01 and gained the victory over temptation,
17:03 that he was doing it not only for us,
17:07 but he was somehow taking us
17:10 through the victory within his own life.
17:15 Can you comprehend that at all?
17:17 That's a challenging thought,
17:18 but again, read this verse.
17:20 "For we are His workmanship,
17:22 created in Christ Jesus for good works."
17:27 So as He was developing His character,
17:30 actually He was just reflecting
17:31 the character of the heavenly Father,
17:33 but He was-- was making
17:36 that character in flesh for us.
17:38 And as He was making that character in flesh for us,
17:41 He was making it for us and in us very much so.
17:45 So our salvation, folks, it's already so real,
17:47 it's already so real and so complete.
17:50 If you don't feel all at this moment,
17:52 it's only for a lack of faith
17:54 because it is so complete in Christ.
17:57 And this Sabbath rest then is a tremendous
18:02 time of claiming the grace of Christ.
18:06 It's a tremendous time of just saying,
18:08 yes, I am a new creature.
18:10 Yes, I am crucified with Christ.
18:12 Yes, I have new life
18:15 because Jesus has won the victory for me.
18:20 Well, let's just review this for a minute,
18:23 how the Sabbath becomes a promise
18:27 even of salvation and of redemption,
18:30 how the Sabbath not only looks back to the old creation
18:33 but it also looked-- looks back now
18:37 to the new creation in Christ.
18:41 Review the story in your minds,
18:44 we just said from the New Testament it's clear,
18:49 Jesus was the active agent in the creation.
18:52 So we see Jesus coming to this Earth and saying,
18:55 "let there be light."
18:56 We see Him forming the continents
18:58 and separating them from the waters.
19:00 We see Him putting the firmament,
19:02 we see Him calling for the light from the sun,
19:04 and the moon, and the stars.
19:07 We see him bringing fields of flowers to life.
19:14 He even did that before the sun and moon, didn't He?
19:17 I can just hear Him, can't you?
19:19 Let there be a meadow and there it is.
19:25 Just that easy, no sweat.
19:27 Let there be a pine covered mountain
19:33 and there it is, no sweat, just as easy as can be.
19:37 He speaks and it is.
19:39 Let there be a sky filled with birds
19:46 and then He names of all the birds,
19:48 let there be birds that have long feathers
19:50 and birds that have short feathers
19:51 and birds of many colors and birds of one color
19:54 and birds with long beaks and short beaks
19:56 and big feet and small feet
19:58 and He makes all these creatures
20:00 by his word, no sweat at all.
20:04 Finally, on the sixth day,
20:07 after He's made the other mammals,
20:10 land creatures, He takes some clay,
20:13 some soft clay from perhaps the side of a stream
20:20 and He shapes someone in His own image.
20:25 He makes them to look just like himself
20:31 and the image is so real, so perfect, so beautiful,
20:36 so flawless that it seems like it should be alive,
20:39 but it's not yet until Jesus bends down
20:44 and puts His lips to the man's nostrils,
20:50 the Bible says, and breathes into him the breath of life.
20:54 The man's eyes begin to blink and he looks up
20:58 and the first thing he sees is the face of his maker.
21:05 Well, after naming all the animals,
21:07 He makes a mate for him and the two of them,
21:10 Adam and Eve are perfect
21:14 and Jesus has not yet dropped a single drop of sweat
21:20 because it was all so easy for him
21:22 in his creative power.
21:26 So it wasn't that he rested because he was tired,
21:28 the Bible finally says, the reason
21:29 he rested was because he was done,
21:32 it was finished, and that was Friday afternoon
21:37 and the evening he quit all of his work
21:39 and he spends the Sabbath day showing
21:42 Adam and Eve all the beauties and joys of His creation.
21:47 Well, it wasn't nearly that easy
21:48 when Jesus came to create the world
21:50 and create humanity the second time.
21:53 Now humanity had fallen so low
21:57 we were barely still even recognize as God's image.
22:01 Now we had fallen so low that in order
22:03 to reach clear down to our depths
22:05 Jesus had to take on the terrible
22:10 weaknesses of flesh that was easily hungry,
22:15 easily tired, easily weak, easily sick,
22:19 easily exhausted and He took that on,
22:23 He became just like us.
22:26 Bible says, He was tempted in all points as we are.
22:29 When He was remaking the human race,
22:31 He came as a impoverished person
22:36 and He was born amongst the smells of goats and sheep,
22:44 and He walked barefoot so often
22:48 and He got dirty and He sweat
22:51 and He learned to be a carpenter.
22:53 And He suffered ridicule from his brothers
22:55 who thought that he was such a goody, goody
22:59 and even His parents didn't always understand Him
23:04 and He struggled. It wasn't like Eden anymore,
23:09 where it was all flowers, the perfume of blossoms,
23:12 and the beautiful songs of birds no, no, no,
23:16 this was hot days,
23:18 this was cuts to his feet and knees,
23:21 this was the pain of seeing loved ones die,
23:29 this was recreating the human race
23:33 from the mess it had fallen into.
23:35 Recreating childhood' by being a perfect child,
23:39 recreating teenager-hood by being a perfect teenager,
23:43 recreating young man-hood by being a perfect young man
23:46 in a world filled with sin
23:47 and every temptation was thrown at Him.
23:50 You can believe He had far more temptations
23:52 than any of us will ever have,
23:53 because Satan knew who he was
23:56 and singled Him out for every allurement,
24:00 but Jesus was recreating the human race
24:05 and He would not be deterred.
24:07 And so Jesus goes all the way to the last, doesn't He?
24:14 Faithful to the end.
24:16 He tells His disciples, you know,
24:18 I've got to be abused by the Scribes
24:23 and the Pharisees, is they're going to kill me.
24:27 His disciples could hardly believe what they heard,
24:29 they didn't want to believe, they refused to believe it.
24:32 But Jesus went on,
24:33 He set His face like a front, He went to Jerusalem
24:36 when He knew the political climate there.
24:38 And He took a place right there in public
24:41 and gave His last sermons, and He faced the cross.
24:46 Well, this time as He's rebuilding
24:48 the human race, He's building a race
24:50 which will stand firm,
24:51 He's building a race which will be faithful to the end,
24:53 He's building a race which cannot be deterred
24:55 by any inducement to reject God's will.
24:59 And so He Himself must follow through
25:01 and He goes through He goes all the extra miles.
25:06 And He takes the crown of thorns on his head,
25:12 and he takes the flogging on his back,
25:16 and he takes the purple robe,
25:20 and finally he takes the cross on his shoulders,
25:23 he's bleeding, miserable back,
25:28 and he stumbles and falls under it, so we can see.
25:33 He takes upon himself the sins of the whole human race
25:38 and He takes them down to hell on the cross.
25:46 And His suffering is like no man suffering
25:50 because he bares the separation from His father
25:53 that the sin of the entire race has caused.
25:57 And then-- oh, folks,
26:01 I love this part, then He cries out,
26:05 "it is finished," and you know what,
26:10 that was Friday afternoon, all Christians know that.
26:15 And the next day was the Sabbath
26:16 and that was the day he rested from his work
26:19 of recreating the human race
26:21 and the day after that was Sunday morning
26:23 when he got up again and started his work again
26:26 of sharing his victory with all of us.
26:30 We are new creatures in Christ Jesus
26:36 and the Sabbath day, this great commandment
26:39 which is also such a wonderful promise.
26:43 The Sabbath day is our celebration,
26:46 both of the first perfect creation
26:49 and of the second perfect creation.
26:53 When we rest with Jesus and we say by face,
26:56 I can't add anything to what you've done,
26:59 you have done it just right, I can only trust you,
27:05 I can only put my confidence in you,
27:08 you've already made me a new heart,
27:10 you've already made me a new mind,
27:12 you've already given me the victory over temptation.
27:14 You've already kept all the commandments
27:16 and now you're ready to put that obedience in my life.
27:22 On those precious Sabbath hours,
27:24 we rejoice in our Savior,
27:28 we rejoice, and we claim the faith
27:31 and we grow in faith
27:33 as we hang on to Jesus ever more tightly
27:36 in that precious 24 hours with him.
27:40 Jesus has kept the promise of the fourth commandment.
27:44 He has given us rest from our old natures.
27:49 He has given us salvation.
27:51 We have a new heart in Him.
27:53 Let's claim that by faith,
27:55 let's celebrate with Him the new creation.


Revised 2014-12-17