4th Commandment Catechism


What is the Fourth Commandment

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exo 20:8-11)

What is the purpose of the Fourth Commandment?

There are two purposes of the fourth command: to worship God as holy, and to be made holy by God.

How do we worship God as holy?

By setting aside the first day of the week as he designated in His Word, attending to worship services of our local assembly (which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit), by singing praises to the Holy One, praying and casting all of our cares upon the Holy One, Hearing his Holy Word, and being set apart as his holy people visibly by the Sacraments.

How are we made Holy by God?

By Him blessing the day, causing us to be set apart for his worship, by virtue of the holiness in Christ applied through the Holy Spirit who we received at conversion, by causing us to understand, live out and teach the word we hear, by being the one we trust with our prayers, by the Sacraments which set us apart as holy from the world, and by entering into the presence of the Holy God who communes with us through the Person of Jesus Christ his Holy Son.

How should we keep the Lord’s Day holy?

By keeping in a frame of mind all the day where we practice the presence of God who is Holy, ceasing from labors and recreations which distract from that end, by entering worship especially with a mind to God’s special presence among His church in the Holy Spirit, and hearing the Word of God read with personal knowledge of God speaking directly to us.