Keeping The Sabbath

Q. I Just had one question about your answer about the Sabbath day. What I get from your answer is that I am free to commit adultery, steal, take the Lord’s name in vain etc., because you said we don’t have to keep the Sabbath if we don’t want to. What I am saying is the Sabbath day command is part of the 10 commandments and the only one that begins with remember!! If I don’t have to keep this command then I don’t have to keep the other nine. These commands are what defines sin, for sin is the the transgression of the law. (1John 3:4 & Romans 4:15)

The 4th commandment also states what day is the Sabbath, the 7th day Sabbath which is Saturday. There is no proof in the bible that I have found for the keeping of Sunday! There is no proof of the change of the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day either.

The Sabbath was not just an old testament law either, Jesus kept the Sabbath, read Luke 4:16. Jesus even kept the Sabbath when he died for us because He was in the tomb during the Sabbath. Matthew 28:1,Mark 16:2,Luke 24:1& John 20:1. All Christians observe resurrection Sunday, so time has never changed. I think the bible is very clear on this subject. I keep the bible Sabbath because I love the Lord not as a means of getting saved. Please study this subject in more depth, with prayer of course.

A. In a sense, according to Paul, you are free to do all those things because “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.(1 Cor. 10:23). None of your sins are unknown to the Lord and His death paid for every one. Of course you should expect to pay the earthly consequences for such behavior, but confession will bring forgiveness in Heaven.

What’s external and physical in the Old Testament often becomes internal and spiritual in the New, and the Sabbath is a good example. (His warning that anger is akin to murder and lust is as bad as adultery are others.) The Sabbath was given to commemorate the fact that God finished His work on the 6th day and rested on the 7th. He blessed the Sabbath and made it Holy. No work could be done on that day, but in fact God’s creative work was done forever. A Sabbath breaker was put to death in Numbers 15:32-36 to make the point that working on the Sabbath brought death.

Now comes the New Testament. As an observant Jew, Jesus kept the Sabbath. But He also went out of His way to perform miracles of healing on the Sabbath which was against the Law. And yet He never sinned. This was to prove to us that the real meaning of the Sabbath was internal and spiritual and is why He said that the Sabbath was made for man. As I said in my answer, there are good emotional, spiritual and physical reasons to rest one day in seven. And the Bible does encourage us toward regular Church attendance for the reasons I gave.

But here’s the whole point. When you were saved, you became a new creation and the work of your salvation was finished forever. (2 Cor 5:17) As Hebrews 4 explains, you entered a life long Sabbath Rest at that time. Any further work to earn or maintain your salvation will bring death because it will prove that you don’t really believe that the Lord’s completed work was sufficient. So remember your Sabbath Rest and keep it Holy by doing no further work and you’ll be keeping the commandment.

That’s why aside from Jesus flagrantly violating Sabbath Laws and getting away with it, there’s no big deal about the Sabbath in the New Testament except for that one chapter in Hebrews 4.

As for Biblical evidence that it was changed to Sunday, Paul referred to Sunday services in 1 Cor. 16:2, and here’s what he had to say about the Sabbath in Colossians 2:17-18. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Both these letters were written within 25 years of the Resurrection.

Finally, here’s a word of warning against venturing into any sort of legalism, no matter how slight. If you’re going to keep one part of the Law, you’d better make sure you’re keeping it all, because anyone who keeps the Law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10) In my opinion, dogmatically insisting on a Friday night to Saturday night Sabbath is a dangerous flirtation with legalism.

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