Wednesday, July 6 2022 - 7:37 AM
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A Sense of Belonging

Lesson 7 |  Click here to print a PDF copy of this lesson.

“No doubt about it, this is mine! I’d know it anywhere because I made it. I even etched my initials in it. See?” The sergeant in the “lost and found” room at police headquarters looked at the carved initials for verification. Sure enough, the designer of the recovered stolen property had just positively identified it. The designer then proceeded to explain how he had created each of the pieces to fit together, including the specifics of its inner workings, which no one could possibly know unless they were the designer and builder. Then, the man revealed several ugly scars on his arms and hands that he had received while rescuing it from a fire that destroyed his home. He prized the object because he created it. Then later rescued it from destruction, at great peril to his own life. He was delighted to be able to reclaim it once again!

Scripture depicts God as our Creator and Redeemer!

Answer the questions below

I. God is our Creator

1. God created human beings with characteristics that clearly identifies them as His. Genesis 1:26-27.
2. God created "the heavens and earth and every thing that is in them" in 7 weeks. Genesis 1:31; 2:1.

The Genesis account of creation clearly teaches six, 24-hour periods of time. Throughout the first chapter, it uses the Hebrew terminology, "evening and morning" (v.5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), which, in the Hebrew vernacular, designates a day.

3. God created the world and everything in it by merely speaking matter and life into existence. Psalm 33:6-9.
4. According to Isaiah, God's claim to authority is based upon His creative power. Isaiah 40:21-28.
5. The Psalmist says God's thoughts toward those He has created are positive and precious. Psalms 139:13-18.
II. A Day of Rest and Reflection

6. God did three things on the seventh day to set it apart from the others. Genesis 2:2-3.
7. At creation, before sin, the Sabbath was made for Adam and Eve and for all who would follow. Mark 2:27.

As they came out of 400 years of Egyptian slavery, the Sabbath was introduced to the people of Israel near Mt. Sinai. To a great degree, its importance had been forgotten and lost. God chose Israel to reintroduce the Sabbath to the world.

8. When God spoke and wrote His law for the recently emancipated Israelites, He proclaimed the Sabbath as His day. Exodus 20:8-10.
9. According to Scripture, God pronounced a special blessing on the seventh-day Sabbath! Exodus 20:11.
10. The Sabbath is a symbol of God's ability to "sanctify" us. Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

The Sabbath is a sign of God’s saving power through the ministry of Christ. To sanctify means to make holy. He makes humanity holy by saving them from sin, thus enabling them to become His children (John 1:12). When a person has been "justified by His blood" (Romans 5:9), he becomes part of the family of God.

11. The Bible identifies "the Word" as the Creator of "all things," including the Sabbath. From the succeeding verses, the "the Word" is obviously a mysterious angel. John 1:1-3, John 1:14.

Jesus is the Creator of heaven and earth. (See also Colossians 1:16-17). He created the Sabbath, consecrating an interval of time to be His memorial, and made it holy so that man would take time to reflect on his divine origin. Jesus is not only Creator of the human race—He rescued it. Therefore, He has two claims on humanity!

12. According to Scripture, Jesus is "Lord" of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:27-28.

Since the Sabbath memorializes Jesus’ work as both Savior and Creator, He truly is the "Lord of the Sabbath." It follows, then, that the Lord’s Day is none other than the Sabbath, for He designated it to be "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." (Exodus 20:10).

III. The Faith Factor

13. God invites His people everywhere to "enter into His rest," a special blessing prepared for those who honor His Word. Hebrews 4:4-5, Hebrews 4:9-11.

Reference to the "example of disobedience," in verse 11, was the time when Israel, because of their lack of faith, refused to enter the Promised Land, the land of their earthly reward and blessing. Here God would have given them rest from their travels and protection from their enemies. (See Hebrews 3:7-19). But their faithlessness disqualified them to go in and led to their disobedience (Hebrews 3:19)

The discussion in this passage continues: We, too, have received the promise of "entering His rest" and Paul warns us to beware lest we should "come short of it" (Hebrews 4:1). "For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard" (Hebrews 4:2). What "rest" is Paul referring to? While Israel missed an opportunity to enter God’s rest at the borders of the Promised Land, Christians should not miss their opportunity to enter God’s rest.

Let’s continue reading from Hebrews 4:3, "For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest,’ although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, ‘and God rested on the seventh day from all his works’." "There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9).

From what should a Christian rest? Taking a break from our daily workload is certainly part of what the Sabbath provides. Physical rest is important and contributes to our physical, mental and spiritual health. But God invites us to rest in faith from our striving to attain salvation by our own efforts. The Sabbath invites us to find peace and assurance in what Jesus has accomplished for us.

IV. The New Testament Sabbath

14. The last day of the week is the seventh day. Luke 23:50-56; 24:1.

In Bible times they only had names for two of the days of the week. What we call Friday, they called Preparation, the day before the Sabbath (Mark 16:42). They called it Preparation because it was the day they got ready and prepared for the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is what we call Saturday, and is still honored as the holy day of the Lord by Jews and some Christians. The other days of the week were numbered: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. The first day of the week is the day we call Sunday (Mark 16:1-2).

The sequence of the days of the week have come down to us since creation. There is no movement of the heavenly bodies to mark out the weekly cycle. The day is governed by the rotation of the earth on its axis, the month by the revolution of the moon around the earth, and the year by the revolution of the earth around the sun. The only reason we have a week of seven days is that God took seven days to create the world, and gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest and as a memorial of that great event.

When Jesus was here on earth, He worshiped on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). Since that time, there have been several calendar changes, but none of them affected the sequence of the days of the week.

15. Wherever they were preaching, whether to Jews or non-Jews, Paul and the apostles continued to honor the Seventh-day Sabbath many years after the crucifixion. Acts 13:42-44; 17:2; 18:4.
16. Isaiah proclaims that the Sabbath will cease to be observed in the New Earth? Isaiah 66:22-23.
17. God’s designated Sabbath extends over 24 hours, from sunset to sunset. Leviticus 23:32; Mark 1:32.

Wherever they might be, God’s people begin and end the Sabbath at sunset. Man’s way of keeping time has changed over the years, but God never changes (Malachi 3:6). It’s true that every day belongs to God, but He hallowed the seventh day by giving it His blessing, an honor no other day has received. It's reassuring to know that we still are able to observe the very same day that Jesus declared to be His holy day, a day that He Himself observed while on earth.

18. When we choose to follow God's Word and honor His Sabbath, we are giving proof that we have been "born of God." 1 John 5:1-3.
19. Just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus, Scripture identifies God’s people as those who keep God's commandments. Revelation 14:12.
20. Do you believe God wants you to honor and keep His seventh-day Sabbath?

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