Brian Schwertley on the public means of grace and the Lord’s Day

Brian Schwertley

“The sabbath day is the day that God has set aside for the public worship of Himself. This involves preaching from the Bible, [1] reading the Word of God, [2] the administration of the sacraments, [3] the giving of tithes, [4] hearing the Word of God, [5] prayer to God, [6] and the singing of psalms. [7] Those who believe and teach that church attendance and public worship are optional do not understand the Scriptures. Those who claim Christ as Savior, yet neglect the public gathering of God’s covenant people on the Lord’s day, the day specifically set aside to honor Jesus Christ, are Christ-dishonoring hypocrites. “The New Testament sabbath being observed on the first day of the week, is without doubt designed particularly for the honor of Christ, and to be celebrated as an abiding memorial of his resurrection from the dead, by which he was declared to be the Son of God with power, and our accepted surety: for, as by dying he paid our debt, being ‘delivered for our offenses,’ so by his resurrection he took out our acquittance, for he ‘was raised again for our justification,’ Rom. iv. 25. The advancement of that despised Stone to be the head of the corner, was that which made this day remarkable, Ps. cxviii. 22, 24; and they who despise this dignified day, do in effect still trample upon that exalted Stone.” [8] When God has given us six days in which to conduct our affairs, the missing of public worship for sleep, business or personal pleasure is inexcusable. The state of our hearts is proved by our outward actions (Mt. 6:16-20); to neglect the public honoring of Jesus Christ for any reason other than illness or emergency proves that one’s love and allegiance to Christ are a sham.”

Rev. Brian M. Schwertley, The Christian Sabbath: Examined, Proved, Applied 


[1] Mt. 26:13; Mk. 16:15; Ac. 9:20, 17:10, 20:8; 1 Cor. 14:28; 2 Tim. 4:2.

[2 Mk. 4:16-20; Ac. 1:13, 13:15, 16:13; 1 Tim. 4:13; 1 Cor. 11:20; Rev. 1:13.

[3] Mt. 26:26-29, 28:19; Ac. 20:11; 1 Cor. 11:24-25. The neglect of public worship on the Lord’s Day shows not only a total disregard of the fourth commandment, but also a disregard of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper and God’s visible church. God instituted a government—an authority structure—for His visible church. The administration of the Lord’s supper is to be done on the Lord’s day by a duly-appointed minister of the gospel. The Lord’s supper is a public ordinance that is only for members of Christ’s visible church. It also is only to be taken after the preaching of God’s Word. In the Lord’s supper, Christ’s death is showed forth. Believers, by faith, spiritually feed upon Christ and are made “partakers of his body and blood with all his benefits.” To purposely avoid becoming a member of Christ’s visible church, and especially to spurn the Lord’s table, is in a sense a form ofself-excommunication. In the parable of the wedding feast those who refused to come because of various excuses (business, etc.) were cast into outer darkness (Mt. 22:1-14). Although this parable applies specifically to those who reject the gospel, what about those who spurn the Lord’s table in order to sleep in or go to the beach, etc.?

[4] 1 Cor. 16:1-2.

[5] Lk. 2:46, 4:20; Ac. 8:31, 20:9; Rom. 10:41; Jas. 1:22.

[6] Dt. 22:5; Mt. 6:9; 1 Cor. 11:13-15; Phil. 4:6; 1 Th. 5:17; Heb. 13:18; Jas. 1:5.

[7] 1 Chr. 16:9; Ps. 95:1-2, 105:2; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.

[8] Matthew Henry, Works (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 1:125.

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One Response to “Brian Schwertley on the public means of grace and the Lord’s Day”

  1. Esther Says:

    Excellent blog post! Thank you for sharing. This is very important for many people especially in today’s fallen culture. I will share this on my blog.

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