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In the same way that observing the Sabbath did not prevent Joshua from marching around Jericho for seven consecutive days, [18] Sabbath observance did not prevent the chief priest Jehoiada from organizing a palace coup on the Sabbath in order to remove queen Ataliah from the throne and replace her with Joash, a rightful heir to the throne. Ataliah had murdered all the other heirs to the throne upon the death of Ahaziah and usurped the throne of Judah for herself.

Jehoiada's wife had rescued young Joash, and Jehoiada had kept him hidden for six years while Ataliah reigned as queen over Judah. The priest Jehoiada used the occasion of the transfer of the guard on the Sabbath to proclaim Joash as king because at that time, he could arrange twice the normal guard on duty at the temple of Yahweh. On that day, a covenant was made, Joash was proclaimed king, Ataliah was put to death, the temple of Baal was torn down, idols were smashed, and Mattan, the priest of Baal, was killed.

A number of the prophets condemn desecration of the Sabbath with various forms of work, including Isaiah, [20] Jeremiah, [21] Ezekiel, [22] and Amos. As a result, Nehemiah has to rebuke them and station guards to prevent commerce in Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Ibn Ezra taught that the Exodus account of the Ten Commandments contains the text exactly as written on the stone tablets and that the different version in Deuteronomy contains Moses words which remind Israel to obey the commandments, "as the L ORD your God has commanded you.

The Ramban explains that Moses wishes to emphasize that the prohibition of work extends even to agricultural work aimed at food production. He further explains the difference in the stated rationals creation in Exodus, exodus in Deuteronomy. The exodus from Egypt serves as further evidence of Yah's creation of the world. God's awesome display of power during the exodus annuls any doubts regarding YHWH as creator, because only the creator can possess such total control over the elements.

Thus the Sabbath is a remembrance of the exodus from Egypt, and the exodus is a remembrance of the Sabbath, for on it [the Sabbath] they remember and say that it is Elohim who Now he did not explain here [in Deuteronomy] that the reason for the rest [on the Sabbath] is that in six days the Eternal made heaven since this has already been mentioned many times in the Torah.

Maimonides the Rambam gives equal footing to both rationals for the Sabbath command:. YHWH commanded us to abstain from work on the Sabbath, and to rest, for two purposes; namely, 1 That we might confirm the true theory, that of the Creation, which at once and clearly leads to the theory of the existence of God. Moral imperatives mirroring nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament , but the commandment regarding the Sabbath is notably absent.

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It was not unlawful to eat on the Sabbath, even if food must be obtained by plucking grain from the ears. It was not unlawful to do good on the Sabbath day. Healing was a work of mercy, and Jesus, portrayed as Lord of the Sabbath , was merciful. Consequently, criticisms of healing on the Sabbath were unjustified. At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath.

His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath. He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.

Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?

How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

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The Catholic Church views the commandment to "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" Exodus Sunday is distinguished from the Sabbath, which it follows. According to Catholic teaching, ceremonial observance of Christ's resurrection on the first day of the week replaces that of the Sabbath. Sunday is described as a fulfillment of the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath and an announcement of man's eternal rest in God.

He gave you six days in which to work and one for rest and devotion and to tender your help to the poor and assist the Church. Martin Luther taught that with regard to external observance, the Sabbath commandment was given to Jews alone and not strictly applicable to Christians. Luther did see wisdom in voluntary observance of a day to rest from labor and pay particular attention to Christian duties of reading the Scriptures, worshiping God, and prayer.

He thought that this need not occur on any particular day, but should continue on Sunday the Lord's day , since this was the long established practice, and there was no reason to create disorder by unnecessary innovation. Luther emphasized that no day is made holy by rest alone, but rather by the individual seeking to be holy through washing himself in God's word. For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, yea, the only one which we Christians know and have…God's Word is the treasure which sanctifies everything, and by which even all the saints themselves were sanctified.

At whatever hour then, God's Word is taught, preached, heard, read or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are sanctified thereby, not because of the external work, but because of the Word which makes saints of us all. Therefore I constantly say that all our life and work must be ordered according to God's Word, if it is to be God-pleasing or holy.

Where this is done, this commandment is in force and being fulfilled. From Martin Luther there is also the following comments on the reason for, importance of, and continuing need for the seventh-day Sabbath, specifically, found in Luther on the Creation: A Critical and Devotional Commentary on Genesis God did not sanctify to himself the heaven nor the earth nor any other creature.

But God did sanctify to himself the seventh day.

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This was especially designed of God, to cause us to understand the seventh day is to be especially devoted to divine worship. He also taught that faith in, God means more than obeying commandments; it is giving our whole selves in trust to him Faith in God see 56See the references to the teaching of Jesus above, also Matthew He said "Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. We show our love to God when we worship and serve him with joy, faith and obedience.

We love our neighbour as ourselves by doing for our neighbour everything we would like others to do for us. Jesus showed '"hat such love might mean by dying for others. Our neighbour is whoever we meet or to whom we can show love. There are no limits, of race, religion or geography, to those to whom we should show neighbourly love.

God's law reveals his wilL Jesus Christ fulfilled in perfect love, his Father's wilL He gives us power to do the same by his example and by his inward presence through the Holy Spirit Perfect love: They show the fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-controL But the greatest gift is love.

Through the Holy Spirit God has given us his love so that we may love him in return with all our heart, soul mind and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves. This gift is offered to all Christians, and by responding we affirm that there is no limit to what the grace of God is able to do in a human life. By giving us the Holy Spirit, God assures us of his love for us and enables us to love as he, in Christ, loves us When God's love is perfected in us, we so represent Christ to our neighbours that they see him in us without hindrance from us.

Perfect love, as Christian perfection is also called is the result of and can only be maintained by, complete dependence on Jesus Christ It is given either gradually or at one moment but does not mean that spiritual growth has ended for Christian perfection is perfection in love only: Only God is absolutely perfect Romans 8: Christian perfection or perfect love was a particular emphasis in John Wesley's preaching and writing: Begin a study of these issues from Isaiah , Amos and Micah.

Prayer is the communication, spoken and unspoken that takes place between ourselves and God Matthew 6: We need to pray because we were created for friendship with God and have been reconciled to him in Jesus Christ Prayer is the natural expression of this loving relationship with God our heavenly Father. We pray to him because we trust him and want to do his will in everything. We pray to him because we depend on him and seek his guidance, strength and comfort Jesus himself frequently prayed and taught his disciples to do likewise.

Prayer is the "natural" expression of our relationship to God but that does not mean that we necessarily find prayer easy. We have to learn to pray as a child has to learn to talk God is aware of our difficulties, and gives us the help of the Holy SpiritNote: Reconciled - Jesus Christ has broken down the barriers between us and God restoring the relationship between us. Our prayers should include: Adoration - we praise and worship God for what he is; Confession - we come to God in penitence, admitting what we are and seeking his forgiveness; Intercession - we pray to God on behalf of others; Petition - we pray to God about our own needs and concerns; Thanksgiving - we thank him for all that he has given us, especially for our salvation in Jesus Christ Meditation - we reflect quietly on the nature of God and what he has done, and wait for him to speak to us.

Psalm 18 Revelation 4: God always hears our prayers, but does not always answer immediately or in the way we expect Or he may answer, and we fail to realize that he has done so. Or we may be the means by which God answers our own prayers or those of others. He gave us the prayer we call The Lord's Prayer, which is both a prayer for us to use and a model for our own prayers. Jesus' teaching on prayer see 37 Notes Matthew 6: Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your Name,your kingdom come,your will be done,on earth as in heaven.

Amos - Surely the Lord GOD - Verse-by-Verse Commentary

Give us today our daily breadForgive us our sinsas we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptationbut deliver us from evilFor the kingdom, the power,and the glory are yoursnow and forever. The ending of the Lord's Prayer, "For the kingdom etc.

To pray in his name is to pray with his authority, as those whom he has saved and reconciled to God To pray in his name implies, also, that what we are asking is what he. The Book of Psalms, the prayers of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament Hymns and Psalms and the Methodist Service Book are all rich resources in which to discover more about prayer.

Keep a notebook into which you copy prayers, from all sources, which you find particularly helpful. The Church is all those on earth and in heaven who have been called by God through Jesus Christ, to be his people, and who share the unity that the Spirit gives. The Spirit guides the Church and equips its members with varied gifts, so that they may support one another, encourage one another and serve their neighbours with joy.

Church, see 63 Sacraments: All Christians are called to continue Christ's ministry by serving in the Church and in the world. By the Holy Spirit he equips them with spiritual gifts, for the benefit of the whole body in its disciplined life, and for its service to the whole world. This is what we mean by "the priesthood of all believers". The ministry of the Church is exercised as Christians respond to God's call and discover and use the gifts which the Holy Spirit has given them. Some callings are matched by the Church's acts of appointment when those whose vocations have been tested are commended to God's help.

Among these is the ordained ministry of word and sacrament Whether or not their calling is recognized by some form of commissioning, all Christians share in the service to which the Church is called. The ordained ministry is only one of the many ministries recognized by the churches. There are also administrative and practical ministries which often receive no formal recognition. Deed of Union, clause To worship is joyfully to proclaim in the power of the Spirit the wonderful acts of God and to celebrate his glorious nature.

We worship God, not only in formal or informal acts of worship, but also with our lives, by serving him in serving other people. Worship may include silence, drama, music, dance and various art-forms. The sacraments disclose and proclaim what God has done for the world in Jesus Christ and convey its benefits to the community of believers. They are also signs of our allegiance to God. Protestant churches recognize two sacraments: The Latin word sacramentum meant a soldier's oath of allegiance, and also a sacred rite.

Baptism looks forward to a life to be lived It proclaims the grace the Father has shown in Christ to us in our helplessness, the forgiveness and cleansing of sin, the end of the old life of sin in the death of Christ, and rebirth through the Holy Spirit to new life in Christ Baptism places us within the people of God and claims for us God's promised salvation and a share in the priestly calling of his children From our side baptism requires a response of repentance and faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour. In traditions like our own which practise infant baptism, the opportunity of public response is offered in the rite of Confirmation 49 What is the Lord's Supper?

In the Lord's Supper Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour. As they eat the bread and drink the wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit they receive him by faith and with thanksgiving.

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They give thanks with the whole Church for Christ's sacrifice of himself once and for all on the cross. It proclaims Christ's passion, death and resurrection, unites the participants with him so that they are a living sacrifice in him and gives them a foretaste of his heavenly banquet Mark It is also called Holy Communion because we all share together in Christ and, by some, The Mass from the Latin "I send" , because at the end we are sent out to serve Christ in the world in the power of the Holy Spirit 50 Why are there many churches?

The church on earth is a human social institution. It therefore shares with all such groups the need to achieve its identity, to protect itself against threats, and to obtain and control power. From New Testament time onwards this has led to conflict separation and hostility. Old historical divisions, however, are now weakening, and the present century has seen the rise, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of ecumenical bodies, such as the World Council of Churches, in which the different churches can work together.

Disagreements between East and West began as early as the 5th century. The Great Schism separation between Eastern and Western churches came in Divisions between Non-conformist denominations have continued since the 17th century. Traditional Protestant emphases have been the supreme authority of Scripture, salvation by grace through faith, and the priesthood of all believers.

The Bible, comprising the Old and New Testaments, is the collection of books, gradually compiled in which it is recorded how God has acted among, and spoken to and through his people. We, too, when we try to talk about God are frequendy limited by the inadequacy of human language. It was composed probably in the late fourth or early fifth century, that is, after the time of Athanasius ca.

Trinity see 65 54 What is the Apostles' Creed? I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spiritand born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified died and was buriedHe descended to the deadOn the third day he rose againHe ascended into heavenand is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the deadI believe in the Holy Spiritthe holy catholic Churchthe communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. The Apostles' Creed is so called because it summarizes the teaching of the apostles of Jesus, and was at one time believed to date back to them. It has been used in the Western Church since the early days in the teaching of those being prepared for admission to the Church.

Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvationhe came down from heavenby the power of the Holy Spirithe became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;he suffered death and was buriedOn the third day he rose againin accordance with the Scriptures;he ascended into heavenand is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in gloryto judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, thegiver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son With the Father and the Son he is worshippedand glorified He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolicChurch We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, -and the life of the world to come. To believe in him however, implies more than assent of the mind.

Fully to believe in him is to trust him alone for.


Faith see 12Deuteronomy 6: Genesis 1,2 John 1: Jesus Christ is God the Soa who from eternity was with God the Father, sharing his nature, and acted with him in creation. Jesus Christ is God the Son who was born among us as a human being; in him alone we can see God the Father. Jesus Christ alone is both completely human and completely divine. Jesus Christ is called Lord because we recognize in him the full authority and majesty of God the Father, which have been confirmed by his being raised from death to share God's rule over the world.

That in Jesus Christ God took human flesh and blood, and shared our human experience of birth life and death That Jesus Christ was not bom of a human father, but by the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit John 1: Jesus Christ's unique birth was to be a sign that he came from the Father, and that his coming marked a new beginning for the human race. He came to save the human race. He did this by entering into the human experience of life and death. By rising from the dead he demonstrated that there is no realm which is beyond the reach of his saving power.

The resurrection also proclaims that Jesus has defeated sin and death The ascension proclaims that Jesus Christ's work on earth is now complete, that he has returned to God the Father and reigns with him. The work of Christ see Section b and accompanying references.

Jesus Christ's work on earth is now continued by the Holy Spirit through the church. In his own way and in his own time God will finally judge the human race through Christ bring all things together under the authority of Christ and establish his reign of love for ever. Jesus specifically warned against speculating about the time of his return. From eternity he is God He has been present and active in the world from the beginning - in creation in the inspiring of the prophets, in the equipping of God's servants.

In the New Testament e. The word indicates his role as the one called alongside to help and strengthen us. He has been given to the church to enable it to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ 63 What do the Creeds teach about the Church? The Church is holy, because it belongs to God who has set it apart to do his work, and because he is present in it It is catholic, that is, universal, because through it God offers the complete good news about Jesus to every person everywhere, without distinction.

It is apostolic, because it proclaims the same message about Jesus that the apostles did. There is an unbreakable bond the communion of saints, between all God's people, in heaven and on earth, who rejoice together in all God's blessings. The church baptizes as a sign of God's free offer of forgiveness. If Baptism is the sign of God's once and for all offer of forgiveness in Jesus Christ the Lord's Supper is the sign of his continually renewed offer of forgiveness, to match our continuing need 64 What do the Creeds teach about the Christian hope?

Those who trust in Christ receive now a foretaste of the new life in which they will share in Christ's triumph over death and rise, transformed like him, to perfect life in the presence of God. When we think about the universe, and our place in it and all that we have been given, we worship God as Creator and Father. When we look at Jesus, we see in him the expression in human form of all the qualities of God especially love, and we worship Jesus as God and Saviour.

Although Jesus has ascended to the Father, Christians have continued to experience the presence, power and love of Jesus in the Church and in their own lives through the Holy Spirit whom we therefore also worship as God. Though we experience and respond to God in these three ways, we are not conscious of any division in God. There are no specific references in the Bible to the Holy Trinity.

But the doctrine is implied in all those passages which refer to Jesus or the Holy Spirit in the same terms as God the Father. Compare the outline of Christian theology contained in the Contents pages of Hymns and Psalms with the outline we have been studying in this Section. Read the following hymns, and note how they illustrate the doctrines contained in the Creeds. MHB 2, , 83, , , , , , , , WorshipReading: With the support and help of other like-minded clergy and lay people, he preached in churches, in homes and in the open air, offering to his hearers the same salvation and assurance that he had experienced himself Those who responded to his preaching he organised into religious societies, divided into classes, each with its own leader.

The affairs of the societies were regulated by an annual Conference of preachers.

Although it was not John Wesley's intention that Method-ism should separate from the Church of England by the time of his death it had become a distinct church. After a period of service in Savannah, Georgia, he returned to England, where his heart-warming experience took place, in Aldersgate Street London, on 24th May, Among those who supported him the most notable were his brother Charles see Note below, 68 and the Rev.

The first Conference was held in The Deed of Union states Clause In the Rev. Thomas Coke, sent by Wesley to North America, landed in Antigua This date is usually regarded as the start of Methodist overseas missions, but in fact many societies had already been established in America and other places by the witness of Methodist lay people. The Methodist Church is part of the universal Church. Its doctrines are based on the revelation of God in the Bible.

It has received and preaches the Gospel the apostles preached It accepts the Creeds of the early church. It accepts the principles of the Protestant Reformation The Creeds: Its message has been summarized as: John Wesley's brother, the Rev. Charles Wesley , wrote over 7, hymns. The Conference is presided over by a President, who is elected annually. Each Circuit is in the charge of a Superintendent, and each District of a Chairman. Compare with 1, 2Deed of Union, clause 33 a 70 What are the duties of a member of the MethodistChurch?

In addition to recognizing full Membership, Methodism also maintains a Community Roll which includes all Members and adherents of the local congregation. This Catechism is intended to provide a starting point for the fulfilment of the obligation to engage in prayer and Bible study. Are you now ready to respond to the questions asked of candidates for Membership in the Methodist Church? Methodist Service Book, page A What is a Christian? What is a Christian's calling? What is the mission of Jesus Christ? Repentance is turning in sorrow away from sin and turning to God to seek forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ.

What are the effects of sin? What is the Good News? God offers us his love, forgiveness, acceptance and new life in Christ. Salvation is the forgiveness of our sia deliverance from guilt and the gift of new life in Christ It is a process that begins now, gives us victory over death and is completed with God in heaven. How does God save us?