Can I observe the Lord's day and study for my exams?

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Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Before I came to Reformed Theology I didnt observe the Lord's day. I was taught Church could be held any day of the week and that you could work on a Sunday because "it's all fulfilled in Christ".

I now want to obey the Lord and honour the Lord's day. I have final exams coming up, some of them fall on a Monday morning. Is it a sin to study for exams on a Sunday?
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
Is it a work of necessity or mercy? If I have no gasoline in the car Sunday and must travel ten miles to church can I argue that it is necessary for me to buy the fuel on the Lords Day? What if I could have gotten the fuel Saturday but did not utilize the time for that?
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I see what you are saying. So would I be correct in saying you are advising me to utilize my time well from Monday to Saturday so that it is not necessary to have to study on Sunday?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I see what you are saying. So would I be correct in saying you are advising me to utilize my time well from Monday to Saturday so that it is not necessary to have to study on Sunday?

I'm pretty sure that is what Bob is advising, and it is what I would advise too.

A few years ago I went back to law school to get a Master's Degree in Tax Law. I was working full time as well. Still, with good time management, I found I did not have to do any school preparation on the Lord's Day.

And the discipline had the added benefit of being able to truly look forward to and enjoy a day of rest.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks gentlemen, I appreciate the advice. As someone who came from Calvary Chapel this is all so radical :)

Interesting, my final exams are for my Law degree, so I can relate.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I believe the Lord will bless you in your Sabbath-keeping. I first came to an understanding of resting on the first day of the week in my second year of my master's program. Never once did I think that my academic performance suffered because I would no longer work on this day.

I also believe this applies to one's ability to be gainfully employed. One will not suffer financially for keeping the Sabbath, but rather will be financially blessed. Test the Lord on this. He will be found to be a faithful Provider.
 

Reformedfellow

Puritan Board Freshman
Simon,
This may be an awkward analogy but I have heard of some who, in order to pay the mortgage on their house quicker they will make one extra payment a year. This does not mean that they make two whole payments in December, but that each month they will put in a little extra.
This principle should be applied to our work week. It doesn't mean that we put all the preparations off until Saturday, but that each day of the week, we put in a little extra so that we may fully enjoy and fully benefit from the Lord's day.
This goes along with what Bob was saying.
And also to what Tim was saying. The Sabbath was made for man (not man for the Sabbath), and the Lord's commands are not burdensome.
You will find that you work harder, to a much better profit, and that the day of rest shall truly be a blessing and profit for your soul.
May the Lord bless you as you continue to desire to do what honors and what pleases Him.
Bless you brother Simon.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
It doesn't mean that we put all the preparations off until Saturday, but that each day of the week, we put in a little extra so that we may fully enjoy and fully benefit from the Lord's day.

Good Protestant work ethic :)

---------- Post added at 09:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:33 PM ----------

You might get some good insight from this blog post. This is a pretty good understanding of the Sabbath.

http://www.puritanboard.com/blogs/pu...s-hebrews-444/

Thanks for that. It is still something I am trying to wrap my mind around, having believed Sunday was nothing special for so long.

I just bought a book called 'Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views'
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
I see what you are saying. So would I be correct in saying you are advising me to utilize my time well from Monday to Saturday so that it is not necessary to have to study on Sunday?

Yes. Think of it as looking ahead as you fill out your planner for the coming week. While all the squares are still blank seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (tests & exams included) will be added to you.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
I am also a University student and usually when I feel like it is "necessary" to write a paper or study on the Lord's Day it is because I did not work diligently enough on it during the previous week. I would recommend not studying on the Lord's Day and though Monday exams are made slightly more difficult, as Bob said the Lord will bless you as you seek Him. Another thing I do is sometimes wake up very early (like 5am) and get in a few more hours of study in.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
The duties of the fourth commandment have several aspects:

1) advance preparation
2) abstain from work
3) abstain from recreation

So that one is able to make "holy" (set apart) the whole day to prioritize the worship of God, individual, family and corporate. Exceptions for mercy and necessity are established as part of the command.

"Necessity" meaning the work is necessary to do at that time.

Ordinarily, arrange your study time to break from it on the Lord's Day. It really is your 'work' as a student. Prepare in advance for it by getting your studying done by Saturday night.

While practical convenience or benefit is not the basis of obedience, you will find this discipline will benefit you in all of life, even beyond the time when you are a student.
 
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Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
The duties of the fourth commandment have several aspects:

1) advance preparation
2) abstain from work
3) abstain from recreation

How do you define 'recreation'?

I know of some reformed pastors who would not believe recreation is prohibited on the Lord's Day.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
I believe the Lord will bless you in your Sabbath-keeping. I first came to an understanding of resting on the first day of the week in my second year of my master's program. Never once did I think that my academic performance suffered because I would no longer work on this day.

I also believe this applies to one's ability to be gainfully employed. One will not suffer financially for keeping the Sabbath, but rather will be financially blessed. Test the Lord on this. He will be found to be a faithful Provider.

I mostly agree with this post, but one MIGHT suffer financially for keeping the Sabbath and might NOT be financially blessed. But yes, I agree with the rest, that the Lord will be found to be a faithful provider. But you still might suffer financially. God does not promise to bless us financially.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
London Baptist Confession of Faith

Chapter XXII.
Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

....

8._____ The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

The summary of the doctrine of Scripture here (and the Westminster Standards) is an ordinary abstinence from recreation. To study that further, study the Scripture proofs. The book, The Lord's Day by Joseph Pipa may be helpful, also The Day of Worship by Ryan McGraw.

There are some that try to make distinctions between recreations (e.g. "heavy" v. "light"), some that assert that recreation is fine on the sabbath because they enjoy it.

But the Christian sabbath is for a whole day, sanctified (set apart) to prioritize the worship of God in a way not ordinarily possible the other days. Those other days are filled with work (and recreation), common use. But the sabbath, in that sense, is not "common."
 

Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
Before I came to Reformed Theology I didnt observe the Lord's day. I was taught Church could be held any day of the week and that you could work on a Sunday because "it's all fulfilled in Christ".

I now want to obey the Lord and honour the Lord's day. I have final exams coming up, some of them fall on a Monday morning. Is it a sin to study for exams on a Sunday?

I'm also a law student and have managed to avoid studying on Sunday for most of my law school career, even with a few Monday exams. A helpful tip from one of the members here (Rev. Todd Ruddell) really helped me out when he described his eldest son's practice for school. What he'd do is go to sleep very early on Sunday evening - 7-8ish if you can and then get up around 2-3 on Monday morning to get started. If there's an evening service then you still can get to sleep by 8:30-9ish and get up at 3-4 for 6-7 hours of sleep.
 

asc

Puritan Board Sophomore
Sorry for the newb question, but do any Christians follow the Jewish Sabbath pattern of sunset to sunset? What exact 24 hrs is specified?
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
In school, I would be generally prepared by Saturday, then would give a quick read over my notes before going to bed on Sunday nights if a test loomed the next day. I also wound down any work or studying on Saturday by about 8 p.m.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I believe the Lord will bless you in your Sabbath-keeping. I first came to an understanding of resting on the first day of the week in my second year of my master's program. Never once did I think that my academic performance suffered because I would no longer work on this day.

I also believe this applies to one's ability to be gainfully employed. One will not suffer financially for keeping the Sabbath, but rather will be financially blessed. Test the Lord on this. He will be found to be a faithful Provider.

I mostly agree with this post, but one MIGHT suffer financially for keeping the Sabbath and might NOT be financially blessed. But yes, I agree with the rest, that the Lord will be found to be a faithful provider. But you still might suffer financially. God does not promise to bless us financially.

That this possibility exists does not negate the general pattern of obedience and blessing. Obedience in the area of work/rest in our lives, coupled with the diligence, effort, honesty, prudence, etc. that the Bible teaches, carries with it the general promise of material benefit from our labors. Work is the ordinary means of financial blessing (in contrast to the health/wealth false gospel). By ordering our work, rest, and worship according to the Lord's commandments, we best employ the ordinary means for financial blessing.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Another off topic, but maybe someone can generalize; what is the practice of confessional Reformed seminaries/schools as far as refraining from giving exams on Mondays?
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
The duties of the fourth commandment have several aspects:

1) advance preparation
2) abstain from work
3) abstain from recreation

How do you define 'recreation'?

I know of some reformed pastors who would not believe recreation is prohibited on the Lord's Day.

LBC 22:8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

Any "Reformed" pastor who is conscientiously "Confessional" will be sure to keep a good conscience in regards to the Lord's Day.
 

Reformed Irish Man

Puritan Board Freshman
In one of my part-time jobs I was asked if I wanted to work either Saturday or Sunday nights. I was fortunate that my work colleague was happy to be free on a Saturday night while I filled the post.
Im sure it isnt always easy to observe the Lord's Day, however, since I have begun to observe it I have looked forward to that holy day of rest and have been bleesed by it.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
Generally speaking my refusal to work on Sunday drives me to finish my work on Saturday and prevents procrastination.
 
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