From the Word: 12 But when Gallio was governor of Achaia, the Jews came together against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This man is enticing people to worship God contrary to the law.” (Acts 18:12–13)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Third Commandment
How then, does this sanctifying happen? It does not materialize because we sit behind the stove and do no external work, or deck ourselves with garlands and put on our best clothes, but as has been said, when we occupy ourselves with God’s Word and apply ourselves in it.
Pulling It Together: Be persuaded by the testimony of Scripture to worship God as he commands, not as the civil law or cultural conscience dictate. In other words, if local, state, or federal law change to the degree of demanding that you must not worship on the Lord’s Day, you have but one option, Christian. Worship! Be absorbed with and strengthened by the Word. Find a way to strengthen others as well (Acts 18:23). If cultural correctness maligns you for your intolerance, recognize its prejudice for what it is. Remember that a larger power is at work in your life, and do as God commands.
Then, there are the lighter but presently, more persuasive opponents to the Third Commandment. Because Christians have submitted to inducements like the lake, the beach, the mountains, sporting events, and additional income (to name a few), they will fall under the heavier hand of culture and statute. Despite such temptations and demands, those who fear, love, and trust the Lord above all else, will therefore, be occupied together in his Word on the Lord’s Day.
Prayer: Give me courage and strength, Lord, then give me more, so that I may obey your Word. Amen.
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The purpose of Epistles, A Guide to Reading the Scriptures is twofold: to encourage Christians to read God’s Word on a regular basis, and to help the reader slow down and concentrate on each chapter of the epistles before moving on to the next.