Q. I never feel worthy, although I would die rather than deny Christ. I know my sins are forgiven, there are just so many good people, better Christians than I am, how can I live up to all this?
And what about the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy? I don’t understand exactly what that means. I am no fool, its a huge requirement without understanding.
A. Paul asked himself the same question. You can read about it in Romans 7 beginning in verse 7. Then be sure to read his answer in Romans 8 especially verses 1-4 and 28 through the end.
As for the Sabbath, things that are external and physical in the Old Testament are often internal and Spiritual in the New. The Sabbath is a good example. On the seventh day the Lord rested from His work of creation. Thereafter He ordained that no work could be done on the Sabbath day. It was a day of rest. Working on the Sabbath was a sin and the penalty was death.(Numbers 15:32-36)
Hebrews 4:8-13 tells us that when we give our hearts to Jesus we enter into a life long Sabbath rest. That means that for us the work of salvation is complete. Continuing to work to gain or keep our salvation is a violation of this rest and is a sin because it proves that we really don’t believe that Jesus saved us, and that we have to finish the job ourselves. We’re saved by faith alone, and denying the sufficiency of the cross demonstrates our lack of faith. This lack of faith is punishable by death.
If you truly believe that Jesus died for you, and paid the full penalty for all your sins, then you’re saved. The work of salvation is complete. How good you think you are is irrelevant. In fact those who think they deserve to be saved most likely aren’t. None of us is worthy but our salvation isn’t based on our worthiness. It’s based on His faithfulness.
So for a New Covenant believer, observing the Sabbath doesn’t mean going to church every Sunday, although regular church attendance is beneficial. It means remaining in a life long state of Sabbath rest, trusting fully in Jesus for your salvation, not your own good works.