Merritt writes to ask, “Where do you stand on the Sabbath?” To which I respond, “In Church, twice.” But wait there’s more.
It’s a difficult but no insoluble problem. For me the key was creation. This is the part of the equation that people often overlook. Why does God reveal himself as having “rested” on the seventh day? He reveals himself as having rested even before the fall. He calls the sabbath day “holy” even before the fall. In other words the 6 (work) and 1 (rest) pattern is built into creation before we ever get to sin and salvation or grace.
In grace or salvation or redemption, the 6/1 pattern is reinforced in Deut 5 and Ex 20. The latter connects the Sabbath again to creation. In Deut 5 it’s connected to salvation.
In the new covenant the sabbath is reclaimed by the inauguration of the new creation in Christ. It becomes 1 and 6. We begin on the first day with rest/resurrection and live out of that for 6 days.
This is why all the Reformed confessions (European and British) teach the “Christian Sabbath.” The denial of the same among some Reformed folk is a modern corruption of the faith. The almost universal “evangelical” denial of the sabbath signals their virtual denial of “creation” or “nature” as a category of thought and ethics.
I have a chapter on this forthcoming in the Recovering book next month.