Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 30
Q & A 57
Q Which is the fourth commandment?
A The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservent, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your 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.*1
Q & A 58
Q What is required in the fourth commandment?
A The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.*2
Q & A 59
Q Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
A From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath;3 and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.4
Q & A 60
Q How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days;5 and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship,6 except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.*7
Q & 61
Q What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A The fourth commandment forbids the omission, or careless performance, of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.*8
Q & A 62
Q What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments,9 his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath day.10
*1 Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15.
*2 Exodus 31:13, 16-17.
*3 Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11.
*4 Mark 2:27-28; Acts 20:7; Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10.
*5 Exodus 20:10; Nehemiah 13:15-22.
*6 Exodus 20:8; Leviticus 23:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7.
*7 Matthew 12:1-13
*8 Nehemiah 13:15-22; Isaiah 58:13-14; Amos 8:4-6.
*9 Exodus 20:9; Leviticus 23:3.
*10 Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11; Exodus 31:17.