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The Third Commandment and the Christian Sunday

The Synod adopted this statement in 1863. It was prepared by Rev. J. A. Ottesen. See ”Grace for Grace” p. 143 and following for more information.
1. When the Third Commandment says: “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy,” the word Sabbath does not for us Christians refer to a specific day, as it did for the Jews.          (Cf. Col. 2, 13, Rom. 14, 5-6, Gal. 4, 9-10).
2. On the contrary, for us Christians the “Sabbath” in the Third Commandment means every day, our whole life, which is to be a spiritual sabbath, or day of rest, in Christ.
3. This spiritual day of rest, namely the Christian’s whole life, we shall in accordance with the Third Commandment keep holy, and this is done by diligent and right use of the Word of God. This is the moral element in the Third Commandment which is valid at all times.
4. Therefore, that which at the present time obligates us Christians to keep Sunday is: (a) The order and custom of the Christian Church, which we shall follow for the sake of peace and love in accordance with Phil. 4, 8-9, Rom. 14, 13, I Cor. 8-9; (b) The laws of our government regarding Sunday, which we shall observe for the sake of God, in accordance with the Fourth Commandment and I Pet. 2, 13.
5. Consequently, we sin by unnecessary work on Sunday (a) against the Fourth Commandment, when we transgress the government’s laws regarding Sunday; (b) against the Third Commandment, in so far as we thereby neglect and despise the Word of God; (c) against love, when we without reason break the order and custom of the Christian Church and cause offense.

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