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Sunday or Saturday: What Day Is The Sabbath?

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Is There a "Right" Day?

There is much confusion in the modern world surrounding the concept of the Sabbath. Many feel that Sunday is the honorable Sabbath day, while others believe the requirement of a specific day or set time has been completely done away.

What is the Sabbath? Is there a day set aside by God to worship Him? If there is, what does He want us to do during that special time?

Jesus Christ explained that we must worship God in spirit and truth:

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

If we seek to worship God in truth, then it is critical for followers of Christ to understand His position on the Sabbath. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; so what has He done and taught in the past, and what is expected of us today?

What He did and what He taught His disciples are the standards by which we should live our lives today.

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The Sabbath Was Established at Creation.

Most followers of the Bible accept the idea that the Ten Commandments are beneficial and are worthy of our obedience. Yet the Sabbath (the Fourth commandment) is often diluted by theological rationalizations and personal feelings – it has become a point of contention and confusion partly because many assume the Sabbath was first introduced at Mt. Sinai, when Moses recorded the Commandments for the Israelites. However, the Bible is clear: the 7th-day Sabbath (Saturday) was given as a blessing to all of mankind from creation! 

Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

No other day was blessed and set apart in that special way! From sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, as God reckons time (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), we were instructed to follow His example.

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

Our Creator reminded the Israelites of what He had established at the very beginning. He consecrated, sanctified, and set apart the seventh day as something separate and sacred - the true holy day of the week!

Remember the Sabbath.

As God rested on the seventh day of the week, He told us to remember His Sabbath and to keep it holy. 

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
Deuteronomy 5:12 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.

The inspired Word of God reveals His special time and tells us to rest as He rested. The day is His, and we are also to assemble in a holy convocation, gathered together to worship Him. 

The Lord of the Sabbath keeps His promise to meet with us on that special day. The rest of the week is for us to do our work. But we pause from everything, on that day, to come before Him and to keep that day holy. The Sabbath was established for ALL mankind.

The Sabbath Is the Sign of His People.

God’s appointed time would be a test commandment for His people, whether they would obey Him or not. Choosing our own day was never an option, nor were we to add to or take away from His instruction. Honoring the Sabbath is the very sign of God upon His people. As believers commit themselves to the special day He has set apart, God sets apart His own special people. 

Exodus. 31:12-13, 16-17 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

God never did away with the Sabbath. It was a perpetual covenant and contract between Him and all who follow Him. 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So what happens if we choose our own day of worship or change what God instructed from the very beginning? In Exodus 31:14-15 we find serious consequences for disregarding or changing the Sabbath day, so emphasis must be on remembering and keeping holy the Sabbath.

Jesus and the Apostles Kept the Sabbath.

Jesus Christ confirmed the Ten Commandments are still valid for us today, and He led a perfect life in keeping God’s Law. He never took away from His Law, instead He fulfilled it by further clarifying His instruction and revealed the spiritual intent of the Law without removing the physical requirements. 

Luke 4:16 “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.”
Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 

There is no verse in the Bible which erases any of the Commandments of God, and clearly He did not “do away” with the Sabbath Day.  Christ observed the Sabbath, as did the Apostles and early church.

Acts 17:2  “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

The Sabbath was created by God, and determined by God to be of critical importance. The Sabbath was observed by His people, by Jesus Christ Himself, by His disciples and the apostles. Knowing this, should we dismiss the Sabbath today?

How We Keep the Sabbath Today.

God specifically set this period of time aside for mankind to rest from labor. However the Sabbath is so much more than a simple, physical rest. The Sabbath gives us time to spend with family. It forces us to stop and think about our lives and to assemble together with other followers of Christ

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We are encouraged to stir up love and good works in one another, as we gather every Sabbath in holy convocation, remembering God’s awesome plan of building His family. The Sabbath is a great time to talk with and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Isaiah 58:13-14 If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Resting from work and our normal routines is a blessing; it gives us more time to spend in study, prayer, and meditation. It provides valuable family time to teach our children about God's way of life. When kept properly, the Sabbath is a gift: a day of rest, joy, and peace. 

The Sabbath Points to the Future.

Those who honor the weekly Sabbath act out a future fulfillment of God’s Plan - when all the world will have peace. 

The Sabbath demonstrates His plan of salvation, which is 6,000 years of toil (6 days) and 1,000 years of rest (7th day). This future period of rest is called the Millennium, during which the Sabbath day will continue to be observed.

God’s Word points us to our future achievable salvation: an awesome inheritance for those who are faithfully obedient and observe His righteous commands. 

Isaiah 56:1-2 Thus says the Lord: Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
Hebrews 4:9-10 There remains therefore a [Sabbath] rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy as God intended gives us the physical and spiritual rejuvenation we need each week. He connects us back to Him and reminds us of His incredible plan. We must be diligent to enter that ultimate Sabbatical rest! 

swipe

Sunday or Saturday: What Day Is The Sabbath?

Printer + Reader Friendly
swipe

Is There a "Right" Day?

There is much confusion in the modern world surrounding the concept of the Sabbath. Many feel that Sunday is the honorable Sabbath day, while others believe the requirement of a specific day or set time has been completely done away.

What is the Sabbath? Is there a day set aside by God to worship Him? If there is, what does He want us to do during that special time?

Jesus Christ explained that we must worship God in spirit and truth:

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

If we seek to worship God in truth, then it is critical for followers of Christ to understand His position on the Sabbath. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; so what has He done and taught in the past, and what is expected of us today?

What He did and what He taught His disciples are the standards by which we should live our lives today.

swipe

The Sabbath Was Established at Creation.

Most followers of the Bible accept the idea that the Ten Commandments are beneficial and are worthy of our obedience. Yet the Sabbath (the Fourth commandment) is often diluted by theological rationalizations and personal feelings – it has become a point of contention and confusion partly because many assume the Sabbath was first introduced at Mt. Sinai, when Moses recorded the Commandments for the Israelites. However, the Bible is clear: the 7th-day Sabbath (Saturday) was given as a blessing to all of mankind from creation! 

Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

No other day was blessed and set apart in that special way! From sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, as God reckons time (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), we were instructed to follow His example.

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

Our Creator reminded the Israelites of what He had established at the very beginning. He consecrated, sanctified, and set apart the seventh day as something separate and sacred - the true holy day of the week!

Remember the Sabbath.

As God rested on the seventh day of the week, He told us to remember His Sabbath and to keep it holy. 

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
Deuteronomy 5:12 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.

The inspired Word of God reveals His special time and tells us to rest as He rested. The day is His, and we are also to assemble in a holy convocation, gathered together to worship Him. 

The Lord of the Sabbath keeps His promise to meet with us on that special day. The rest of the week is for us to do our work. But we pause from everything, on that day, to come before Him and to keep that day holy. The Sabbath was established for ALL mankind.

The Sabbath Is the Sign of His People.

God’s appointed time would be a test commandment for His people, whether they would obey Him or not. Choosing our own day was never an option, nor were we to add to or take away from His instruction. Honoring the Sabbath is the very sign of God upon His people. As believers commit themselves to the special day He has set apart, God sets apart His own special people. 

Exodus. 31:12-13, 16-17 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

God never did away with the Sabbath. It was a perpetual covenant and contract between Him and all who follow Him. 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So what happens if we choose our own day of worship or change what God instructed from the very beginning? In Exodus 31:14-15 we find serious consequences for disregarding or changing the Sabbath day, so emphasis must be on remembering and keeping holy the Sabbath.

Jesus and the Apostles Kept the Sabbath.

Jesus Christ confirmed the Ten Commandments are still valid for us today, and He led a perfect life in keeping God’s Law. He never took away from His Law, instead He fulfilled it by further clarifying His instruction and revealed the spiritual intent of the Law without removing the physical requirements. 

Luke 4:16 “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.”
Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 

There is no verse in the Bible which erases any of the Commandments of God, and clearly He did not “do away” with the Sabbath Day.  Christ observed the Sabbath, as did the Apostles and early church.

Acts 17:2  “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

The Sabbath was created by God, and determined by God to be of critical importance. The Sabbath was observed by His people, by Jesus Christ Himself, by His disciples and the apostles. Knowing this, should we dismiss the Sabbath today?

How We Keep the Sabbath Today.

God specifically set this period of time aside for mankind to rest from labor. However the Sabbath is so much more than a simple, physical rest. The Sabbath gives us time to spend with family. It forces us to stop and think about our lives and to assemble together with other followers of Christ

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We are encouraged to stir up love and good works in one another, as we gather every Sabbath in holy convocation, remembering God’s awesome plan of building His family. The Sabbath is a great time to talk with and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Isaiah 58:13-14 If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Resting from work and our normal routines is a blessing; it gives us more time to spend in study, prayer, and meditation. It provides valuable family time to teach our children about God's way of life. When kept properly, the Sabbath is a gift: a day of rest, joy, and peace. 

The Sabbath Points to the Future.

Those who honor the weekly Sabbath act out a future fulfillment of God’s Plan - when all the world will have peace. 

The Sabbath demonstrates His plan of salvation, which is 6,000 years of toil (6 days) and 1,000 years of rest (7th day). This future period of rest is called the Millennium, during which the Sabbath day will continue to be observed.

God’s Word points us to our future achievable salvation: an awesome inheritance for those who are faithfully obedient and observe His righteous commands. 

Isaiah 56:1-2 Thus says the Lord: Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
Hebrews 4:9-10 There remains therefore a [Sabbath] rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy as God intended gives us the physical and spiritual rejuvenation we need each week. He connects us back to Him and reminds us of His incredible plan. We must be diligent to enter that ultimate Sabbatical rest! 

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