Should Christians Observe the Sabbath?

Are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today?
Christians and the Sabbath – John MacArthur
See the comments for a (weak) rebuttal if you are so inclined.

Colossians 2:16-17 HCSB
Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.

Hebrews 4:9-10 HCSB
A Sabbath rest remains, therefore, for God’s people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His.

Interesting that HCSB capitalized Sabbath in Hebrews but not in Colossians.

Galatians 4:10-11 HCSB
You observe special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.

Romans 14:5 HCSB
One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.

54 Responses to “Should Christians Observe the Sabbath?”


  1. 1 Bryon

    Of course; it’s the days we all get together to dedicate that day to God, time of worship, and it’s a commandment. I think those scriptures are about those who are being legalistic.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    But how much of the commandment should be observe then?
    Jeff

  3. 3 Bryon

    Before I comment further, I should mention that we could have different definitions of what it means to observe the Sabbath. We could also be bringing different presuppositions and have a different definition of what the Sabbath is. Which could then lead to all commenter’s to talk past each other.When you ask, “how much of the commandment should be observed then?” If I’m understanding you correctly, what would be ‘no observance’, ‘some observance’, or ‘full observance’? Apologies if I’ve misunderstood.Have a good night!

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Hi,
    What I mean is there are rules and regulations spelled out in the OT regarding keeping the Sabbath. If we are to keep the Sabbath then don’t we have to obey the ceremonial laws associated with it in order to truly keep it?

    Hope that helps. Let me know if that needs further clarifying.
    Jeff

  5. 5 Bryon

    My own opinion probably isn’t going to be that pertinent. Most will follow the indoctrination they’ve received from whatever denomination or group they’re a part of. I think for most, what keeping the Sabbath is, is going to be in the ‘eye of the beholder’. You probably wanted more from me and my apologies if I disappointed.

  6. 6 Richard

    Colossians 2:16-17 , Galatians 4:10-11 and Romans 14:5 are not about the one-day in seven but rather refers to the ceremonial sabbaths and feasts of the law, it is Torah. The one-day in seven is creational (not Torah), just like marriage, and so continues until Jesus comes again.

  7. 7 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for the insight and for stopping by Richard. I will look into this more.
    Jeff

  8. 8 Alan

    What about Matthew 5:17-20?  I would be very careful about teaching people that they don’t have to observe the Sabbath when it is one of the 10 Commandments.  The early Christians met on the first day of the week to break bread and prepare for the week.  They did not convert the Sabbath to Sunday.  The Romans moved the official day of worship for the Catholic religion because the peasants of the Roman empire worshipped their Sun god on Sunday.  This made it easier to convert them to Catholics.

  9. 9 Scripture Zealot

    My questions then are:
    -What exactly is “the Sabbath” in new covenant times?
    -What does observing the Sabbath entail?
    Jeff

  10. 10 Richard

    The best summary is provided in the Westminster Larger Catechism.Question 116: What is required in the fourth commandment?Answer: The fourth commandment requires of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath, and in the New Testament called the Lord’s day.
    Question 117: How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?Answer: The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to betaken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.
    Question 119: What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?Answer: The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required, all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.
    Also try:The Work of the SabbathThe Means of Grace: The SabbathThese are both by Pipa who wrote The Lord’s Day

  11. 11 Scripture Zealot

    Richard thanks for posting that. I’ve been meaning to read through that and am embarrassed to say I haven’t yet, even though I consider myself reformed.
    Jeff

  12. 12 gianbiggy

    Look, people say the sabbath doesn’t count. Why do they say that? It is part of the ten commandments that GOD wrote with his finger. I think all of you missed out on the major reason of laws we follow. The priesthoods. Aaron was the Priest in the LEVITICAL LAW. Melchisedec was the most high priest before that law. The melchisedec priesthood consisted of the 10 commandments, clean and unclean animals, and tithing. all of the these laws were before the israelites were placed under the levitical law. If you read all of hebrews  chapter 5-8 it will explain that jesus is the high preist of the melchisedec priesthood that was installed in the beginning of the world, before the levitical law. At the end of chapter 8 it says the law will disapear (saying the levitical law will disappear). Also in chapter 7 verse 1212For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.States that when the priesthood that was changed  back to the melchisedec priesthood the law was also changed back and the levitical was gone. NOw that we have been returned to the other priesthood the laws would be the same as before including the ten commandments which clearly states remember the sabbath day. If it were not so, then why did Jesus go to the synagouge on the sabbath and why did paul do likewise? Not one word will be changed from the bible. Some may use galatians and what paul said as saying, “we are no longer under the law” but he is really talking about the laws in each priesthood. In that case he talks about the Levitical priesthood of which we do not follow anymore and the book of Hebrews backs that info up.

  13. 13 gianbiggy

    What day of the week are we to worship the Lord?

    Key Verse:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. [Exodus 20:11]

    Did God set one day apart from the others?

    The second chapter of Genesis begins:

    Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.  [Genesis 2:1-3]

    It is clear that from the beginning of creation that God set the Sabbath day apart to be a day of rest.  This is also stated in the fourth commandment.

    Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  [Exodus 20:8-11]

    These verses make three things clear about the Sabbath.  1) We are to keep the Sabbath holy.  2) The seventh day is the Lord’s Sabbath, the day he blessed.  3) Neither we, nor anyone in our house, are to work on the Sabbath day.  The Sabbath day was created for man as a day of rest and worship.

    And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:  [Mark 2:27]

    God realized that man needed a weekly day of rest when he created him.  He therefore set the Sabbath apart to be that day of rest and also to be a holy day in which we can worship and strengthen our faith. 

    What day of the week does the Sabbath fall on today?

    To answer this question let us first read of Jesus’s actions in the gospel of Luke:

    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  [Luke 4:16]

    The key phrase in this verse is “as his custom was”.  It is clear that Jesus attended church (synagogue) every Sabbath day.  The day that Jesus kept and that God set aside was kept by the children of Israel in the days of Moses, in the days when Jesus walked the Earth, and is still kept today by members of the Jewish faith.  That day of the week is Saturday and has been carefully followed for the last 3000+ years by the Jews.

    Was the Sabbath done away with when Jesus died on the cross?

    To answer this question we need to study the Priesthood under which we live.  When Jesus died for our sins on the cross, he did away with the “law contained in ordinances” or the “book of the law” and was established as a high priest after the order of Melchisedec.  The law that Jesus did away with was the added law that was given to the children of Israel under the Levitical priesthood because of transgression.  However the laws that were established under the Melchisedec priesthood before the Levitical laws were given still remain in effect today.  The Sabbath day was given before the Levitical priesthood immediately after creation and still remains in effect as part of the Melchisedec priesthood today.  Paul’s letter to the Hebrews makes this clear.

    For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.  And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:  Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.  [Hebrews 4:3-11]

    Why then do most churches worship on Sunday?

    There is no biblical evidence that the day of rest that God established was changed from Saturday to Sunday.  This is because this change occured well after the writing of the books in the New Testiment.  The Roman Catholic Church was established in 325AD at the council of Nicaea and they didn’t want any part of Judaism in their church.  They forbaid Christians from “Judaizing by resting on the Sabbath”. The effect of this council, backed by the force of Roman law, cause a majority of churchs at that time to switch from Saturday to Sunday as their day of rest and worship.  We follow the teaching of the Bible as the unique, inspired word of God and the Bible teaches that Saturday is the Sabbath. See the tracts The Change of the Sabbath and The Lord’s Santified Day for a more in-depth discussion on this subject.

    Conclusion The Sabbath day, which falls on Saturday, was a covenant established by God for man from the creation.  It is a day created for man to rest and worship God.  God’s commandment concerning the Sabbath was established at the creation and is still in effect for us today.

  14. 14 Goifma

    The following seems a reasonable explanation of a Christian perspective that neither challenges Christ’s promise of Mat 11:28, “Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”, by which all who are in Christ are freed from the constraints of observing a single day of rest, nor does it forbid the practice of sabath observance by those who do feel so constrained.

    ” Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:

    Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

  15. 15 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks Goifma. That sounds good.
    Jeff

  16. 16 Kelly

    Looking at the different perspectives and seeing that early Christians followed the seventh day sabbath, Sunday sabbath is a defense of tradition because at no point in the Bible is that changed.

    It seems we do that a lot lately. I get more and more surprised at this kind of thing when I read how Jewish words have been translated.

    This was a good thread to read thanks,
    Kelly

  17. 17 Scripture Zealot

    You’re welcome. Thanks for commenting. It’s a touch subject.
    Jeff

  18. 18 Tanya

    The laws for the priests were the blood sacrifices of animals for the redemption of sins before Christ. After Christ there was no need to continue in those laws and practices as Christ paid the ultimate and only true sacrifice for the sins of us all. Christ was sithout sin Holy and righteous on all counts and the only one worthy of such a sacrifice to appease God of our sinful nature. This was the only law of change that was changed upon the death of Christ. The bible is the only true knowledge that we as Christians must throughly study and continually seek wisdom and guidance in. The words of the Lord never contradicts itself. May your day be blessed.

  19. 19 antonio

    their once was a sabbath day, now we are to remeber it?,,if i give my wife a ring,which is a speical sign between her and i,,then i take a ring just like that one and give to another woman is that still a special realationship between her and i? jeues was a born under the law so he kept the law,thats why he kept the sabbath,he also redeemed those under the law, we are under 2commands now 1. love the lord,and love your nebigor,,the seven day adventist which is founded by ellen g white,is a false religon which tries to control the people

  20. 20 Scripture Zealot

    I don’t understand what you wrote but I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.
    Jeff

  21. 21 Kevin McGill

    Scripture Zealot, I just stumbled across your blog. I appreciate your sincerity and honesty at looking at this particular topic.

    I have been doing some research on Col 2:16-17 and I suppose that’s how I came across your blog.

    As far as Sabbath observance goes you ask a good question, “How does one keep the Sabbath?”

    I don’t have a perfect answer to that either but I agree it is important to discuss. I found this quote about Sabbath observance at a site called SabbathTruth.Com:

    “When it comes to Sabbath observance, do what God tells you to do. Seek a personal relationship with Him and take care that you don’t fall mindlessly into habit and cultural traditions.”

    “Because the Bible’s instructions on how to keep the Sabbath holy are just a little bit “gray,” your neighbor’s understanding may be different than yours. I bet you don’t want him forcing his understanding on you. “So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Love your neighbor, encourage him in his walk with our Creator, and trust that God speaks to his heart just like He speaks to yours.”

    God Bless You, the link to that website is :

    http://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/article-library/articletype/articleview/articleid/919/how-should-i-honor-it.aspx

  22. 22 Scripture Zealot

    Kevin, sorry it took so long.

    Nice comment.

    In your article, how about mentioning “The Lord’s Day” which is what it may have been called in the NT? Ross, in Creation and Blessing says it’s not resting, it’s ‘ceasing’ and enjoying accomplishment. He says in the NT it does refer to ‘rest’, but in a spiritual sense. Resting from works of the law. And he says there remains a rest in the world of peace to come.

    Thanks for commenting and for the article.
    Jeff

  23. 23 Desiree Riddlespur

    God Bless those of you who keep the Sabbath! If God said it, it matters!!!! Look at Adam and Eve, they lost paradise because they did not listen to God! How many examples do we need before we finally get the POINT! God means business!!!! We are not to worship him OUR way we are to worship him the way that is pleasing to him. We are not to forsake God’s tradition for the tradition of man, nor do we follow the commandments of MEN over GOD”S! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!

  24. 24 Scripture Zealot

    Are you saying we should do everything the OLD TESTAMENT SAYS???!!! DO YOU KEEP THE SABBATH AS IT SAYS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?

  25. 25 Kevin McGill

    First of all Ephesians 2: 8-10 is a good starting point and reminder on how we are saved. We are not saved by keeping any of the commandments including the 4th one, which interestingly begins with the word Remember (even though it is the most forgotten of the 10)

    We are saved by grace. All have sinned, and all need God’s grace. It is impossible to keep any of the 10 commandments in our own strength and righteousness, esp with the way that Jesus redefined them in the Sermon on the Mount. If we hate our brother it is equal to murder, if we look at a woman with lust it is adultery. We are carnal, but as Paul so often points out…that is why we need to die to the flesh, and allow the Spirit to live in us and write His law on our hearts. Our role as Christians has always been surrender and the opposite of surrender is rebellion.

    Should we do away with the law? Paul again and again says, “God forbid, for if it wasn’t for the law he wouldn’t know what sin is.

    I can’t keep the Sabbath apart from faith. Just as I remain faithful to my wife as well as the rest of the commandments by faith. It is by grace that we are saved, but we obtain that grace through the avenue of faith. (Eph 2:8-10)

    I agree with Desiree “We are not to worship him OUR way we are to worship him the way that is pleasing to him. We are not to forsake God’s tradition for the tradition of man, nor do we follow the commandments of MEN over GOD”S! (Mark 7:7-9)

    The topic of Worship is an important one. Psalms 95:6 is one of many texts that say we worship God because He is our creator. The 4th commandment is a direct reference to creation.

    God rested on the Sabbath at the beginning in Eden. Commanded the Sabbath from Mt Sinai. Kept the Sabbath throughout His life on earth, and the Sabbath will be kept by everyone once the earth is made new (Isaiah 66:22,23).

    So in response to Scripture Zealot, I don’t think we should keep the commandment because of the Old Testament alone. I think the Sabbath should be observed because of the whole bible, all of which testifies of Him (John 5:39).

    Personally I observe the Sabbath because that is what Jesus did. Luke 4:16 says that it was His custom to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. This was also Paul’s custom Acts 17:2. And Acts 13 explains that it wasn’t just the Jews that kept the Sabbath the Gentiles also requested Paul and Barnabas to preach to them on the Sabbath.

    Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27,28) The Greek word for man there is anthropos which isn’t limited to the Jews it encompasses all of humanity.

    Scripture Zealot I don’t know you, the little bit of what I have read from your blog makes me think that you are honest and sincere. If you are, really look into this issue. And if you haven’t been able to look at the website I referenced before: http://www.sabbathtruth.com/

    Check it out, because you may find as I have that many of the common objections about the Sabbath have no solid biblical basis. Why would God have us observe 9 commandments and allow us to forget the one that says Remember?

  26. 26 Scripture Zealot

    For those who keep the Sabbath, do you follow all of the regulations the Old Testament stipulates? In Revelation it’s referred to as The Lord’s Day.

    Also, using capital letters and exclamation points doesn’t make the matter more true.
    Jeff

  27. 27 Kevin McGill

    I agree using capital letters and exclamation points doesn’t do anything.

    I definitely do not follow all of the regulations that the old testament stipulates. If I did I would likely be in prison right now. It is interesting to study the difference between the Law of Moses(ceremonial law) and the 10 Commandment law. The 10 Commandments were written with the finger of God(Ex31:18)Placed in side the arc of the covenant(Ex 40:20)and will stand forever(LUKE 16:17)

    Compared to the Law of Moses that was written in a book by Moses(2 CHRON.35:12),Placed beside the arc of the covenant(DEUT.31:26, and ended at the cross(EPH.2:15). If we examine closely there is nothing about the 10 commandments that contains ordinances or shadows of things to come. The law of Moses however was full of ceremonies,ordinances, and symbols that pointed to the coming of Christ.

    Famous bible commentator Albert Barnes points out this difference with his comment on Eph 2:15. He says, “This does not refer to the “moral” law, which was not the cause of the alienation, and which was not abolished by the death of Christ, but to the laws commanding sacrifices, festivals, fasts, etc., which constituted the uniqueness of the Jewish system. These were the occasion of the enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles, and these were abolished by the great sacrifice which the Redeemer made; and of course when that was made, the purpose for which these laws were instituted was accomplished, and they ceased to be of value and to be binding.”

    I think that understanding that there is a difference between ceremonial law and Moral law helps clear up much of the confusion.

    Throughout the life of Jesus He made an effort to free the people from the letter of the law to help them understand the spirit of the law. In John 5:16-18 the Pharisees are complaining once again because Jesus performed a miracle on the Sabbath vs 18 says that Jesus broke the Sabbath. The Greek word here for broke literally means to untie. Jesus always has been about setting captives free, and knowing His truth plays a fundamental role in doing that.(Jn 8:32)

    What is more powerful the command of a father or the example of a father? God commanded the Sabbath from Mt Sinai, but He Himself first observed the Sabbath in Eden before there was even such a thing as a Jew. Jesus through out his life kept the Sabbath as was His custom, as did Paul Acts 17:2 as did the rest of the Christians at least up until the second century *(http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/sabbath-through-the-centuries/articletype/articleview/articleid/999/1st-century.aspx)

    In light of this why do bible believing Christians worship on Sunday? I understand why Catholics do because they believe that tradition and the authority of the pope is superior to the bible. But why do Christians who claim to believe in the bible and the bible alone worship on Sunday when there is no scriptural basis for doing so? Even if the Sabbath wasn’t one of the 10 commandments why worship on Sunday when Jesus and all of the disciples worshiped on Saturday? Isn’t that at least an interesting question to ask?

    That said I want to make the point again we are not saved by commandment keeping. Eph 2:8-10 is clear we are saved by grace, through faith. Our role is submission to Christ and the opposite of submission is rebellion.

    In Revelation the Sabbath is referred to as The Lord’s Day. And I agree this is how we should Remember the Sabbath.

    Many commentators have said that “The Lord’s Day” is in reference to the first day of the week. But is this biblical? 3 Times in the New Testament (Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5) Jesus says that He is Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath Jesus is referencing here is the 7th day of the week. So how do commentators make the jump that the Lord’s Day spoken of by John in Revelation is Sunday? Many Christians reference Resurrection Sunday as reason for worshiping on Sunday. But according to Romans 6:1-6 baptism is what commemorates the resurrection.

    Scripture Zealot I hope that you see that I am sincere. I know it is possible to be sincerely wrong, and I want to be honest when shown when I am wrong.

    My challenge for you is the same look at http://www.sabbathtruth.com/faq/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

    If you can explain why we as Christians should worship on Sunday as opposed to the example of Jesus of Worshiping on Saturday. I will absolutely submit to the evidence. However as I see it currently the weight of the biblical evidence rests on the side of the 4th commandment.

    Sincerely your Brother in Christ

    Kevin

  28. 28 Scripture Zealot

    I wasn’t asking about the whole law of Moses. I was asking about if you keep all the stipulations of the Sabbath as it says in the Old Testament. Not all the other ceremonial law things. I’ve yet to find a Christian who does. But they call it the Sabbath. I prefer to call it The Lord’s Day John does in Revelation. It’s a day when most people are working that people can get together for building each other up and corporate worship. Same with Wednesday nights (or whatever night is best for a group of people).
    Jeff

  29. 29 Kevin McGill

    That sounds very subjective to me. Whatever night works best or whatever we prefer to call something sounds nice. But remember it was God who spoke all these words (Ex 20:1) in reference to the 10 Commandments. He wrote them in stone with His finger. Definite permanent language being used there.

    Jeff my questions to you remain. I hope that you can see that I am not seeking to be legalistic. I love Jesus, one of the ways to express love to Him is by keeping the commandments “If you love me you will obey my commandments” John 14:15. Obedience is different from legalism. I made the point before we cannot keep any of the commandments apart from the righteousness that comes by faith. Obedience is simply submitting our will to the will of God and allowing Him to do what we can’t.

    So my questions from the previous post still stand. Why would sincere bible believing Christians submit to tradition as the highest authority when it comes to doing away with one of the Commandments, the one that begins with the word Remember? The Catholic doing so is understandable, because tradition and the authority of the Papacy trumps the Bible. But why protestant Christianity? Doesn’t it seem that this is at least a question worth examining?

    And Jeff I know you can’t fault me for seeking to Worship the way that Jesus worshiped, by worshiping on the Sabbath.

    We were created in the image of God, and as His image it only makes sense to do what He did and reflect His light to the world in doing so. Is it possible to make God into our own image when we justify worshiping Him in the way that seems best to us? Why do that? Its not because of any biblical reasons that I see. If we are honest I think it comes down to tradition, and not wanting to appear peculiar to the majority. Everybody worships on Sunday therefore it must be the right day…

    One last question as Protestant Christians how would you respond to the following three statements by the Catholic Church:

    “Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” John Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

    “Sunday is a Catholic institution, and… can be defended only on Catholic principles…. From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” Catholic Press, Aug. 25, 1900

    “The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, ‘Keep holy the Sabbath Day.’ The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church.” Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Explained, p. 89.

    Those are just a sampling many more statements of the same caliber could be listed http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/denominational-statements-on-the-sabbath.aspx

    Jeff sorry to give you so many questions to answer but I would be very curious to see how you would respond to the questions I posed in this post and in my previous one.

    Continue to search the scriptures with zeal

    God Bless

    Kevin

  30. 30 Scripture Zealot

    As it’s late, I just want to let you know I will answer some of these things a little later (not later tonight!). Also, my question also still stands–Do you practice the Sabbath as stipulated in the OT?

    Also, Jesus had not yet died on the Cross and rose from the dead giving us a Sabbath rest from the works of the law. But of course this didn’t abolish the law. However, as you said I can’t fault you for worshiping the Sabbath however you feel is appropriate and I wouldn’t question your faith for any of this.

    More later. And please realize I haven’t investigated this as much as you have and frankly don’t put as much importance on the minor details. But this is something I need to look into more as time goes on. So much to learn.
    Jeff

  31. 31 Kevin McGill

    I can respect that Jeff. Thanks for writing back. As I mentioned before I don’t practice the Sabbath as stipulated in the OT. The reason for this is the difference’s I see between the Moral(10 Commandment) and ceremonial laws.

    The following is a one page answer that may get more to the heart of what you are asking
    http://www.sabbathtruth.com/faq/arguments-refuted/articletype/articleview/articleid/1021/arent-sabbath-breakers-supposed-to-be-stoned-why-dont-you-enforce-that.aspx

    If that answer isn’t what you are looking for let me know. I look forward to hearing some of your thoughts on the questions I asked you.

    Kevin

  32. 32 Desiree Riddlespur

    To Scripture Zealot Revelation also says those who keep God’s COMMANDMENTS will eat from the tree of life. I do not think he is referring to nine or eight of them. The truth is, if you do not keep Sabbath, it is either because you do not know and understand, or you refuse the truth and would rather do what you please. For me Keeping Sabbath is not a burden, duty, or saving me. It’s a time set aside for me to give thanks to God for creating me, it’s a joy to me and my family, and a promise from God. I am not as educated as most one here, I only learned about the truth of Sabbath 2 years ago. But it has changed my life, I have been blessed beyond measure and Thank God for finding out the truth. Thank you Kevin, for talking to people and witnessing and teaching the truth. I wish that all could appreciate the promise of Sabbath! God Bless!

  33. 33 Desiree Riddlespur

    Please Read Hebrews 4:1-12 It’s beautiful and explains so much!

  34. 34 Scripture Zealot

    In rereading these comments I don’t see why there is all the question asking. All I’m saying is that I don’t believe we keep the Sabbath as stipulated in the Old Testament. I’m all for worshiping on the Lord’s Day. I’m sorry, but I don’t care if it’s on Saturday or Sunday. I never said I didn’t believe we should worship the Lord as he tells us to in Spirit and in truth. Observing the “Sabbath” isn’t the only way to worship God.

    In your first comment you quoted:
    “Because the Bible’s instructions on how to keep the Sabbath holy are just a little bit “gray,” your neighbor’s understanding may be different than yours. I bet you don’t want him forcing his understanding on you. “So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Love your neighbor, encourage him in his walk with our Creator, and trust that God speaks to his heart just like He speaks to yours.”

    Then you got more verbose and asked more questions and made more insinuations. I worship the way I think is right and refer to it as the Lord’s day. “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” I will continue to think and pray about this and see if God points out anything different to me.

    I still believe most of what John MacArthur said, even if it has a couple of problems.
    Jeff

  35. 35 Scripture Zealot

    Desiree I’m truly happy for you. I don’t keep the ceremonial law for the most part and prefer to call it The Lord’s Day instead of the Sabbath. Kind of like Tithing vs. giving or alms. People are practically accusing me of things they know nothing about.

    If you’d like to worship by keeping the ceremonial law, that’s up to you. (I’m being sarcastic there. I could insinuate that’s what you do but in reality I have no idea how you worship.)

    I won’t defend myself by describing what I do multiple times everyday because it would be prideful and I don’t need to defend myself.
    Jeff

  36. 36 Kevin McGill

    Fair enough Jeff. I guess all i was asking is why not keep the Sabbath (Lord’s Day) as Commanded and exemplified in the OT and exemplified by Jesus in the NT? My guess was that most people worship on Sunday because of tradition.

    Why did the switch to Sunday become so prominent when there is no biblical basis as for why?

    These are food for thought questions, I don’t care if you answer them on here. I really don’t mean to riddle you with questions. These are just things that really intrigue me.

    Both of us I am sure want to worship God in the way He would have us worship Him. To me the Sabbath is important and not a minor issue because God Himself told us to Remember it.

    I wouldn’t have an explanation for Him if He were to ask me why I had forgotten it. But I know he is merciful and people who have had no opportunity to be convinced of it I believe He would understand. James 4:17 says “To Him that knows what is good but does it not to Him it is sin”

  37. 37 Scripture Zealot

    Most people who say they keep the Sabbath don’t do it as exemplified in the OT.

    As for why the switch from Saturday to Sunday, I’ve never even thought about it. I’m not sure if it’s important to God or not. I’m sure there are a lot of traditions carried over from the Catholic church that we don’t even realize.
    Jeff

  38. 38 Desiree Riddlespur

    No need to defend yourself Jeff. And I worship just as the bible says. We do not work, We wake, bathe, and spend the morning reading the bible together as a family, We pray, and after that we head to church where we do the same with our church family. It’s not difficult or confusing. People do way too much rationalizing instead of just letting the bible interpret itself and hearing the word of God. It’s simple, do what pleases HIM. If you really want to please God and not yourself then you do what he asks. Simple as that:)

  39. 39 Kevin McGill

    I guess what I meant by exemplified in the OT was God Himself giving the example of resting in Genesis 2:2. The example I follow though is of Jesus in the NT. Not that there is a difference between God’s resting on His Day in the OT or NT. But there is some stipulations that Jesus set His Day (Sabbath) free of when He came to live as our example John 5:16-18.

    I also am not out to attack the Catholic church. I do believe that there will be many honest catholic people in Heaven. Catholic simply means universal. At one point the Catholic church was the only church, but over time it apostatized and brought in many traditions that are not biblical. So when I speak against it I speak against it as an institution that has done damage to the authority and validity of the bible.

    For instance many people are not aware that if you look in a Catholic catechism you will see 10 commandments listed. However the entire second commandment listed in the bible (Ex 20:4-6) is completely removed from the catechism’s list. They are able to have ten because the last commandment about coveting is split in two. Compare any catechism next to the 10 commandments of Ex 20 and these changes are as plain as day.

    This to me is very interesting especially in light of verses like Deut 4:2 which says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.” See also Proverbs 30:6,Ecclesiastes 12:13,Jeremiah 26:2,Deuteronomy 12:32,Matthew 5:17

    Why would protestant denominations follow an institution that sometimes very arrogantly places its authority and traditions above the bible? To me it is more simple to follow the example of Jesus as best we know how, and do as the bible tells us to do.

    If you haven’t looked at this page on denomination statements for why they choose to observe Sunday instead of Saturday check it out because it is very interesting.

    http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/denominational-statements-on-the-sabbath.aspx

    Kevin

  40. 40 Kelly

    I do wonder how concerned we Gentiles should be about following Torah. Paul gave some commands for Gentiles to follow, but understood that they would still be hearing Torah in the synagog. My family are Christians that think I’m crazy, I’m not worried about their souls but I think they miss out on blessings.

    Then I am reminded of the group of Levites (was it Korah’s group?) that wanted to be priests and not let Aaron’s clan have all that honor. They fully intended to serve God, but they wanted to do it their way, and not the way God told them through Moses. This did not work out for them.

    I type this on my Sabbath, and am I breaking some law? I find reading this post and contributing to it a discussion that works on a Sabbath. Hopefully generating new thoughts and taking some with me.

    I also thought the discussion on sacrifices were interesting, the words implied to me Jesus changed things. I don’t think any of that has been changed. I do think Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice which redeemed us all, there may not be a need for a heifer because the requirement has been fulfilled.

  41. 41 Scripture Zealot

    Ross says on pg 113, Creation and Blessing, that the word [for rest] actually means “cease” more than “rest” as understood today. We enjoy accomplishment. NT believers rest in a more spiritual sense, (from works of the law I would assume), and there is the complete rest to come.

    I think that how we worship on the Lord’s day is an individual thing like giving and we shouldn’t judge or be judged, especially over the internet by people who have no idea how we live. And it’s not something that God is watching over us and waiting to point a finger. For NT Christians, there are no exact prescriptions.
    Jeff

  42. 42 Kevin McGill

    Jeff I agree with Ross, Sabbath means cease. And I agree with you that I believe that spiritually speaking that would refer to the works of the law. However our interpretations of the significance of that may differ. The apostle Paul in Romans repeatedly addresses this point but always concludes with the question, “What then should we do away with the law? God Forbid”(Romans 6:1,2,15; 7:7,13…)

    I believe that you and I would also be in agreement that there is value to the 10 commandment law today. After all it was God who wrote that law with His own finger(Ex31:18). And it is Jesus that says, “If you love me you will obey my commandments”(John 14:15)

    And I want to stress at this point that I am not judging anyone who interprets things differently than I do. On the contrary as I mentioned before I thought that this was a very open and honest discussion taking place here. I was attracted to this particular blog because it was discussing a question that I am interested in “Should Christians Observe the Sabbath” I ask questions because I am genuinely interested in people’s opinion on this subject.

    Now here is my interpretation of how these things connect. The bible is clear that the law does not save us and that we of our own selves can do nothing(John 15:5) and all or our “righteousness” is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). This is true of our relationship to all of the 10 commandments. That is why I believe the 4th Commandment (the Sabbath) is an excellent symbol of righteousness by faith.

    We cease from “our works” and Remember our creator to allow him to create in us a new heart. Write His laws on our heart, and acknowledge that, “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
    (Philippians 2:13)

    God is a relational God. Quality time is one of His love languages. Once a week God has set apart and sanctified a chunk of time to be with us. Its like a weekly anniversary to Remember our relationship to our God. The created spending time with the Creator. Of course its not that God just does this on the Sabbath but the Sabbath is special because it is God who made it Holy.

    In my first post I said, “Because the Bible’s instructions on how to keep the Sabbath Holy are just a little bit “gray,” your neighbor’s understanding may be different than yours.” What I mean by that is we should not have a Pharisaical attitude by monitoring what people are and are not doing on the “Lord’s Day”. The bible simply tells us to cease from work. I for instance like to go to church (as Jesus did) Luke 4:16 and then spend time in nature on the Sabbath, but by no means would I force that sort of observance on someone else.

    However I don’t believe the bible is “just a little bit gray” when it comes to what day the Sabbath is. And I guess that is why I was asking the question, “why do protestants follow the example of the Catholic church in worshiping on Sunday?”

    Should we follow the bible and the bible alone? Or should we place tradition ahead of the bible in some things?

    Most intellectually honest people will agree that the bible is clear that the Sabbath is the 7th day of the week. See for example some famous denominational statements regarding this here:http://www.sabbathtruth.com/sabbath-history/denominational-statements-on-the-sabbath.aspx

    My questions are from an intellectual stand point, not a judgmental one.

    Faith is taking God at His word. To live by Faith is to live by the promises in His word. If God tells us to Remember something why would we remember some things but forget the precise thing that He told us to Remember? Or has the whole law been done away with? Is it now ok to steal,kill,commit adultery, forget the Sabbath etc because Jesus died on the cross to enable us to do those things? Was that why He died? I am fairly certain Jeff that you and I as well as most people on here do not think that Jesus did away with the law so that mankind could fulfill the lusts of the flesh and continue to do so throughout eternity.

    Some people see a conflict between the writings of Paul(faith) and the book of James(works). But I don’t think there is a conflict there at all. The book of James is very clear that Faith and Works are interlocked. Basically what James is saying in Chapter 2:14-26 is that, faith without works cannot be called faith because works is the fruit of real faith. Often times people will use Paul to emphasize faith, while others use James to stress the importance of works. But here is the thing…James and Paul are not arguing different gospels, they are fighting back to back against the issue of legalism (Paul) and shallow belief (James) which both account to a dead faith.

    In regards to commandment keeping James says in chapter 2 vs 10-12. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

    12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.

    Obedience to God gives freedom. Is it possible to abuse this freedom and rebel against God when we worship God by following the traditions of men instead of the guidelines that He, Himself has Commanded? Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    That text comes across stronger than I would phrase it myself. I quote it not to judge my fellow Christians, but to bring up from an intellectual basis my oft repeated question “Why as Protestants do churches follow the example of the Catholic church, the traditions of men, and set aside the clear command of the will of God to Remember the 7th day.

    Seeing how the change was made to Sunday through the history of the church is very interesting. A video with Hal Holbrook as narrator address this and can be watched here http://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/seventh-day-video-series.aspx

    Also the books, “The Lost Meaning of the Sabbath” as well as “From Sabbath to Sunday” do an excellent job of discussing this issue.

    Kevin

  43. 43 Kevin McGill

    Reviewing my posts I have seen that I am prone to being “verbose” I will try to be more precise. God Bless

    Kevin

  44. 44 Scripture Zealot

    I was going to say, you should write a book, or even better a blog. If you do, I’ll let people know about it on mine.

    I suppose many practice the Lord’s day on Sunday because that’s when almost all church services are held. For some reason, many even feel it’s not a good thing to hold them on Saturday. But I can almost guarantee that people who attend church services on Saturday aren’t going to practice the Sabbath on Saturday.
    Jeff

  45. 45 Scripture Zealot

    http://andynaselli.com/four-views-on-the-sabbath

    I take Blomberg’s view of course.

    Lot of stuff here with links at the bottom (many of which don’t work):
    http://www.letusreason.org/7thAd9.htm

    Also we can’t just say, “We should do xyz like Jesus did” because we aren’t Jesus and He lived before He died on the cross. I hate to use human logic but sometimes the basics are necessary and good.

    Jeff

  46. 46 Kevin McGill

    I will try to keep this post more concise. The reason I tend to be more wordy is because my position on the Sabbath has often been misunderstood as legalism, and I wanted to adequately show why it is not.

    Your first link which talks about (Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 views) looks very interesting. I have not read the book yet but I have read snippets of the different positions online. I take Skip MacCarty position which can be seen here http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/seventh-day-sabbath/

    I do believe that the 10 commandments still have significance and that there would have to be some substantial evidence to warrant a change. God wrote them with His finger, in stone, and placed them in the Arc of His covenant which is in the Most Holy Place. Not only on earth typified in the Hebrew sanctuary, but also in Heaven Revelation 11:19.

    Because the Sabbath was made for (anthropos) Mark 2:27 not just for the Jews. And was made as a memorial at creation before there was such a thing as a Jew. The weight of the evidence must be strong to validate disregard of one of the ten commandments.

    Your second link mentions Col 2:16-17. This is the text most often used to justify the eradication of the Sabbath commandment. So we must ask ourselves some honest questions. Does this text enable the forgetting of the commandment that says Remember? Is the Sabbath a shadow pointing forward to Christ’s coming like the other feast’s rituals, and ceremonies were? Does the bible make a distinction between the 7th Day Sabbath(a memorial of Creation)and the sabbaths typified in some of the ceremonies of Leviticus 23 for example?

    This link discusses some of these aspeccts of Col 2:16-17 http://www.sabbathtruth.com/faq/frequently-asked-questions/articletype/articleview/articleid/929/please-explain-colossians-214.aspx

    Much more could be said but for the sake of not being overly verbose I will end with that.

    Kevin

  47. 47 Scripture Zealot

    I don’t think you’re legalistic at all and I don’t really even disagree with you. It just got to be like I was questioned more and more and false assumptions were made but I have to remember I don’t need to defend myself.

    I’m not sure why you keep saying God wrote it with his own finger. I don’t see how it matters whether God said it, wrote it or has someone else write it. If God would have written one of the laws that’s no longer binding with his own finger I don’t think that would have any bearing.

    I’m going to try to read both links on Colossians.
    Jeff

  48. 48 Kevin McGill

    Its true you do not need to defend yourself. And I never meant to come across as polemic. The questions I am asking I am genuinely interested in.

    I also agree with your position and Blomberg’s view more than Pipa’s or Arand’s. In other words if the view that I have is not true, in my opinion it is more likely that your perspective would be the next logical conclusion.

    I also agree with you that if God wrote a law that’s no longer binding the fact that He wrote that law with His own finger is irreverent. But I bring up those points as evidence to the permanent linguistic markers connected to the 10 Commandments as opposed to the ceremonial law. Which was was written by Moses(Deut 31:9),placed beside the arc as a “witness against the Israelite’s)(Deut 31:26)and deals with ceremonial ritual matters as opposed to moral precepts i.e. love and relationships with God and man as seen in the 10 commandments.

    Interested in reading your thought’s on the Colossians link
    Kevin

  49. 49 Leo

    I have studied this for a while. First you must study and understand scripture from the original translations. If you study from newer translations you will be confused. Second you must study the torah/Bible in its entirty as a complete history or story.
    Having said that I want to make some statments. Sabbath(Rest Day) was made for man, at the begining of creation.It clearly is extremely important as it was mentioned many,many times in the Torah. The covenant was given to all those who God delivered from Egypt citizen and stranger,and mixed multitued.The covenant or 10 commandments was our sign between us and God “forever”. It was to be passed down for “all” generations.
    The symbology of the deliverance from Egypt was forshadowing the diliverance form Evil as Yeshua gave his life for the atoment of all sins , once and final. The life of Yeshua and his relationship with us follows anciant Hebrew marrige traditions. We are his bride and he is to be our”isha”. As in the traditions this sacrafice was one of other options the groom to be had when the wife was found to be unfaithful. There is “one law for the citizen and stranger” there is one law for the Jew and Greek/Gentile.Yeshua came to fufill the law(pay the atonment of sin )not abolish the law. The is to be followed forever as God has stated . It is for jew and Gentile alike as God has stated. The atonement is complete , no more cerimonial or sacrificial laws abide. Shalom
    Amen

  50. 50 Leo

    After deliverance from Egypt, God told all the Israelites, and mixed multitued, not just Jews,as Judah was only one of the tribes in captivity. In fact Joseph’s brothers all came and a mixed multituded left. At the base of the Mount ,God told them to stay clean for 2 days and he will come on the morning of the third day. In the Bible it speaks of 1000 years being as a day etc. When in Rev. we know that Yeshua will come down for a 1000 years sabbath millenium. Since Yeshua’s resurrection its been about to Days. We are coming close to the morning of the third day, completion of the 6000 years. six years as a servant , then we will be set free.Jewish year 5770. Study Hebrew traditions as Abraham the Father of all was in fact a Gentile given full grace by his Faith and salvation by his faith. We have the moral code or covenant spoken to us by God for “all” and “forever”. The atonement sacrifices and sabbaths are nailed to the cross.
    Side note! in Torah we learn that if we aquire a Hebrew slave we shall keep him for six years and setting him free on the seventh. Also a olive tree must be cultivated for 6 years before we harvest it on the seventh year. I can go on but you get the idea. We are on this earth for 6000 years and we are to be Harvested. We are to serve as a servant , for 6000 years and we are to be Harvest . The law is fullfilled not abolished. The law is the knowledge of sin.When we sinned we had to pay and atonement death- or sacrifices before Yeshua. We no longer have to die for our faith will ressurect us. The law or knowledge of sin was paid . “Remeber to keep holy the Sabbath” This is what we are to do Remember to keep holy for Yeshua is coming-lest we forget !!!!

  51. 51 Jeremy

    A lot of Christians seem to understand that the seventh day Sabbath commandment doesn’t apply to us because it is part of an old covenant now done away with. People tend to quote Paul’s mentioning “shadows that point to Christ”, but the Sabbath did not point to the future (the cross) but is commemorative of the past ( creation).

    “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” Exodus 20:11

    I often hear people say, “Why would God care what day I worship on?” The fourth commandment mentions twice the seventh day.

    I keep the Sabbath by turning off the tv, reading the Bible and praying. I abstain from physical tasks and I make sure to avoid thinking or dwelling on work related issues. Those things all get their time (six other days in fact). Oh, and I also go to church.

    As for the new covenant, read Jeremiah 31:33. “. But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds , and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” So the new covenant does not do away with the law but puts it in our hearts and minds, (we are all spiritual Israel) and through the Holy Spirit we will be able to keep God’s laws. The laws themselves have never changed.

  52. 52 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for your perspective Jeremy.

    Jeff

  53. 53 Tannysha

    Excellent conversation. I keep the Sabbath by ceasing from work or labor for pay. I read the bible, physically rest, pass out food to the hungry, go to church, study the word with my friends, visit sick and shut in, take nature walks on the beach, have bible studies with non- and growing believers, and a host of other God focused good things. I see Sabbath as a day to remember where I come from. God is my creator. I keep the day kept throughout the Bible by God and his followers. It’s a weekly holiday to celebrate God as my Creator.

  54. 54 Scripture Zealot

    It’s a weekly holiday to celebrate God as my Creator.

    What a nice comment. You obviously make it about God. Thank you for writing.
    Jeff

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