Resources On The Christian Sabbath

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation (Gen 2:1–3; ESV).

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Ex 20:8; ESV).

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Matt 12:1–8; ESV)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Matt 28:1–10; ESV).

103. What does God require in the fourth Commandment?

In the first place, God wills that the ministry of the Gospel and schools be maintained, and that I, especially on the day of rest, diligently attend church, to learn the Word of God, to use the Holy Sacraments, to call publicly upon the Lord, and to give Christian alms. In the second place, that all the days of my life I rest from my evil works, allow the Lord to work in me by His Spirit, and thus begin in this life the everlasting Sabbath (Heidelberg Catechism).

The Sabbath is a creational (not Mosaic) institution that pointed (and continues to point) forward to glory. It did so in creation and it does so now. It was not ended by Jesus but he did transform it by his resurrection. The Christian Sabbath is a divine institution for humans. It is for our benefit. It is for rest. If ever there was an age that needed a Sabbath it is our go-go 24/7 culture. The Sabbath is for worship. We cannot give ourselves over to God and to his people if there is no time for it. God has set aside time for just that and it is built into the very fabric of creation. God declared the Sabbath day/rest “holy” even before the fall, before Adam existed, before Noah, before Abraham, and before Moses. If there was a holy rest day even before the fall, what happened to it? Jesus is our Sabbath rest in Jesus but there remains a day of rest, worship, and works of mercy in the new covenant.


  1. Sources
  2. Books And Essays
  3. Heidelmedia


  1. The Synod of Dort on the Christian Sabbath
  2. Westminster Confession Chapter 21.7 on the Christian Sabbath
  3. Alan Jacobs, A Sabbath for An Outfielder
  4. Scott Manetsch, The Practice of the Sabbath in Calvin’s Geneva
  5. The Hungarian Reformed Sanctified the Sabbath
  6. Christopher Coldwell,  There Is No Evidence That Calvin Bowled On The Christian Sabbath
  7. New: Cocceius’s Federal Theology Of The Sabbath
  8. Beza: The Sabbath As Set-Apart, Not Superstitious
  9. Beza On Saints’ Days, The Christian Sabbath, And Festivals
  10. Beza On The Sabbath
  11. The Apostle John, Sabbath Perspective

Books And Essays

  1. Bavinck, Herman. Reformed Ethics. Edited by John Bolt. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2019.
  2. Bownd, Nicholas. Sabbathum Veteris Et Novi Testamenti, or, the True Doctrine of the Sabbath Held and Practiced of the Church of God, Both Before, and Under the Law, and in the Time of the Gospel : Plainly Laid Forth and Soundly Proved by Testimonies Both of Holy Scripture, and Also of Old and New Eecclesiastical Writers, Fathers and Councils, and Laws of All Sorts, Both Civil, Canon and Common. Edited by Christopher Coldwell. of 17th Century Presbyterians. Dallas: Naphtali Press, 2015.
  3. Campbell, Iain D. On the First Day of the Week : God, the Christian and the Sabbath. Leominster: Day One Publications, 2005.
  4. Cawdrey, Daniel. Sabbatum Redivivum : Or, the Christian Sabbath Vindicated. of Westminster Assembly Facsimiles. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011.
  5. Clark, R. Scott.  Recovering the Reformed Confession. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2008.
  6. Dawn, Marva J. The Sense of the Call : A Sabbath Way of Life for Those Who Serve God, the Church, and the World. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 2006.
  7. Dieleman, Kyle James. The Battle for the Sabbath in the Dutch Reformation Devotion or Desecration? Reformed Historical Theology, Volume 52. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, 2019.
  8. Douma, Jochem. The Ten Commandments : Manual for the Christian Life. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R Pub, 1996.
  9. Hamilton, Ian. The Gospel-Shaped Life. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2017.
  10. Kuyper, Abraham. On Business & Economics. Edited by Peter S Heslam. of Collected Works in Public Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, Action Institute for the Study of Religion with Liberty, 2021.
  11. McGraw, Ryan M. The Day of Worship : Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011.
  12. Miller, Stephen. The Peculiar Life of Sundays. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008.
  13. Witherow, Thomas. I Will Build My Church : Selected Writings on Church Polity, Baptism and the Sabbath. Edited by Jonathan Gibson. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Westminster Seminary Press, 2021.
  14. Brad Isbell, Chariots of Hire
  15. R. Scott Clark, Tim Tebow, Evangelicals, and the Sabbath
  16. R. Scott Clark, Eric Liddell Lives!
  17. R. Scott Clark, I Get Questions: What About the Sabbath?
  18. R. Scott Clark, Obeying Roger or Jesus? You Make the Call
  19. R. Scott Clark, Evangelicalism and the Reformed View of the Law
  20. R. Scott Clark, Are There Two Distinct Reformed Views of the Sabbath?
  21. R. Scott Clark, Heidelberg 103 on the Christian Sabbath (1)
  22. R. Scott Clark, Heidelberg 103 on the Christian Sabbath (2)
  23. R. Scott Clark, Heidelberg 103 on the Christian Sabbath (3)
  24. R. Scott Clark Do Reformed Christians Confess the Sabbath?
  25. R. Scott Clark, Sabbath or Sabbaths in Colossians 2:16–17
  26. R. Scott Clark, What Passion City Gets Right and Wrong About the Sabbath
  27. R. Scott Clark, A Rest to Be Resisted
  28. R. Scott Clark, Slouching Toward New Orleans
  29. R. Scott Clark, Is Missing Church A Sin?
  30. R. Scott Clark, What To Do About Halloween On The Sabbath?
  31. R. Scott Clark, A Guide For Your Devotions On The Christian Sabbath
  32. R. Scott Clark, On Cancelling Services And Holding Devotions At Home On The Christian Sabbath
  33. R. Scott Clark, What Passion City Gets Right And Wrong About The Sabbath
  34. R. Scott Clark, A “Rest” To Be Resisted: Resting From The Sabbath
  35. R. Scott Clark, It Is A Super Lord’s Day Not A Super Bowl Day
  36. R. Scott Clark, Is Missing Church A Sin?
  37. R. Scott Clark, SCOTUS: Employers May Not Prohibit Sabbath Observance, But Do American Christians Care?
  38. R. Scott Clark, On Cancelling The Christian Sabbath And The Means Of Grace
  39. What To Do About Halloween On The Sabbath?
  40. Jacob Gerber, Psalms, Sabbath, And Iconoclasm Are Not Quirks But Acts Of Confession


  1. Heidelcast: Chick-Fil-A and the Sabbath
  2. Audio: With Presbycast on the Sabbath and Intinction
  3. Heidelcast 82: the Fourth Commandment
  4. Video: With Chris Coleman On The Grounds, Reason, And Fruit Of The Second Service On The Lord’s Day
  5. Heidelminicast: Heidelberg Catechism 103—How Should Christians Keep The Sabbath?


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