Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Augustine on the Sabbath Rest

“The sabbath was given to the Jews to be observed literally, like the other things, as rites symbolically signifying something deeper. A particular kind of vacation, you see, was enjoined on them; mind you, carry out what that vacation signifies. A spiritual vacation, I mean, is tranquility of heart; but tranquility of heart issues from the serenity of a good conscience. So the person who really observes the sabbath is the one who doesn’t sin. This, after all, is the way the command was given to those who were commanded to observe the sabbath.” Sermones 270.5, cited in Bridging the Gap, page 102

<idle musing>
So, it looks like Augustine understood the sabbath rest in Hebrews to be relevant to life in the present, not in heaven after we die. It also seems he believed in the ability of the power of God to keep someone safe from sin (see this post for verification of that claim). Remember though, it is always and only by the power of God; never, ever, ever is it anything inherent in a person. It is imparted righteousness, as well as imputed, but the impartation is only as long as a person abides/rests/remains (μένειν) in Christ.
</idle musing>

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