For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 468-6990


Are Christians To Keep
The Sabbath (Saturday) or Sunday?

As a subscriber I get a regular email from the Bereans containing some thoughts about a particular Bible passage or concept. They take the name from a passage in the Bible where the believers were extremely focused on truth.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)

I received the following comment from them on Luke 4:16 the other day...

So 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 to read. Luke 4:16

There is no argument in the world of religion over which day the Old Testament reveals Israel was to keep holy. Jesus kept it. What is one supposed to think­that God goes to all the trouble to record all that information about the Sabbath in the Old Testament, and then after four thousand years, He has second thoughts and changes one of His royal laws? He changed no other law of that rank, so why that one? That demands an answer, especially since God-in-the-flesh kept it.

If anyone knew how to live life in a way that would please God, it was His Son, Jesus Christ, who never committed a sin. He kept the Sabbath. It was His custom, not only to keep it, but it was also to fellowship with His fellow Israelites and to read and expound Scripture to them (see Luke 4).

Do we worship some kind of unstable God? How can we have faith in Him and His way, if we fear that God might have changed something and we are not aware of it?

The truth about those ceremonies, rituals, and laws is not done away. Jesus’ own testimony to this effect is found in Matthew 5:17-18, “Not one jot or tittle will pass from the law.” They are still in effect but elevated to their spiritual application. The Head of the church, the One whose example His disciples are to follow in all things, kept the Sabbath. He did not keep it because He was a Jew but because the Word of God ­ the Old Testament ­ instructed Him to do so, and He set an example for His followers.

In considering context (the application) of any passage in the Bible we need to weigh (1.) what the verse says (2.) what the passage itself says (3.) what the book the passage is in says (4.) what the Testament the passage is in says (5.) and what the Bible says. Any passage has to be interpreted in agreement with the whole Bible.

The author is essentially saying that since Jesus kept the Sabbath, his followers should as well. The number one thing we need to understand is Jesus was never a Christian. Jesus kept the Sabbath because he was Jew and Jews before the death of Christ were under the law of Moses. Jesus lived and died under the Law. Jesus lived and died under the Old Testament. The Old Testament contained the Ten Commandments which included the commandment "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) The Ten Commandments were in the Law of Moses. And the Law of Moses was only given to the Jews, not to Gentiles (non-Jews) or to the church. (Deuteronomy 4:7-8, Psalm 147:19-20, Malachi 4:4)

The author says we would be worshipping an unstable God if we fear that He might change something without us knowing about it or telling us about it. Absolutely true. God is trustworthy far beyond our greatest human imagination. There is no inconsistency in Him.

The author says, "The truth about those ceremonies, rituals, and laws is not done away. Jesus’ own testimony to this effect is found in Matthew 5:17-18, “Not one jot or tittle will pass from the law.” The author uses an incomplete part of the passage.

Here is the entire passage with the omitted words underlined...

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18

The Law of Moses is not destroyed. It still exists and will always exist. We can read it, discuss it and examine it to our heart's content. It still exists, it simply is no longer in effect.

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25

What did we learn from the Law?

If anyone was able to keep the law that person would be righteous, justified, before God. The law was intended to make one righteous, and would have if one had kept the law. We learned that no man could keep the law. Therefore, even though the law made one righteous, it made no one righteous. Jesus kept the law to show that it could be done. But it wasn't the law that made him righteous, it was his obedience.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: Philippians 2:7-9

Remember the quote in the Matthew 5:17-18 passage we read before "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled?" Fulfilled means completed or finished or accomplished.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:28-30

What is finished? One of the finished, or fulfilled or completed is the Law of Moses.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Colossians 2:14

Again,

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25

The apostle Paul had this to say in the New Testament about relying on parts of the law of Moses in Galatians 5...

2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Galatians 5:2-3

Insisting on "remembering the Sabbath (Saturday) and keeping it holy" or relying on any or all of the Ten Commandments is relying on the law of Moses for justification since they are in the Law of Moses. If one keeps any part of the law, one is a debtor to do the whole law.

The author of the email questions the stability of God in that He might change things unknown to us and hold it against us because we weren't kept informed. As we said earlier, God is not unstable. The change is clearly spelled out in both the Old, Gospels and New Testaments. Not only does God announce the change He enhances it.

Every one of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament is restated in the New Testament in an enhanced form. For instance, the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," is elevated to "being angry without a cause."

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.Matthew 5:20-22

The 7th is elevated from "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (physical act) to a mental act.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

The day that takes the place of the Sabbath is the "first day of the week." It is not "our Sabbath." The Old Testament ends on the last day of the week. The New Testament begins on the first day of the week. The first day of the week is the Lord's day. The first day of the week is the day he arose. (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20) The first day of the week is when the apostles gathered to break bread, the first day of the week was set up for regular congregation collections for the saints. (Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:2) The first day of the week is a brand new beginning.

Jesus is so much better than the Law of Moses.

Salvation comes through Jesus and not observing the Law of Moses or any part of it...

If we can be of help in any way, please call on us any time.

Marv Walker
706 468-6990

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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 468-6990
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