Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

By Dick Ward

Did you know Christians are not required by the scriptures to keep the Sabbath? Although several religious groups contend for Sabbath day keeping, the word of God argues against this Old Testament practice.

Which Day is the Sabbath?

We learn from Exodus 20:10 the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath day ("the seventh day is the sabbath…"). Now, look at a calendar and find the seventh day. Do you worship God on the seventh day (Saturday)? Most denominations worship God on the first day of the week (Sunday) but few have taken any thought as to why. Often, we hear folks speak of the "Christian’s Sabbath" as being "Sunday" but you will never read that from God’s Book!

Why the Sabbath is Not Binding Today

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or OF THE SABBATH DAYS:" (Colosians 2:14). In this text, (Col. 2:14-16), we see these "ordinances" (meat, drink, holyday, new moon, SABBATH DAYS) have been "blotted out…taken out of the way…nailed to the cross" (:14). Therefore, no man can "spiritually judge" us as pertaining to these Old Testament acts; we are under law to Christ (I Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). The Sabbath days (all of them) are not to be followed by Christians!

In Romans 7:1-7, Paul is pointing out to saints in Rome the fact of the "death of the old law". Reading the verses, we see his illustration of a woman being free from her dead husband so she can be married to another without being called an adultress. His application of this illustration is that of the Jew being free from the old law (now a dead law) and thus married to a new law (the law of Christ) without being guilty of spiritual adultery. But we ask, which law is dead? And, in the text, we find our answer - the dead law is the same law which said, "thou shalt not covet." (see :7). Well, the law which stated "thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17 is also the law which stated "remember the Sabbath day" (Exodus 20:8). So, obviously, the Christian is not under that "dead" law; the law of Moses which included the ten commandments. Friend, have you ever wondered why the Sabbatarian argues for the Sabbath day but refuses the penalty for Sabbath-breaking? The death penalty is required of the one violating the Sabbath. "…a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH." (Exodus 35:1-3) Let us hasten to say, Christians are not free to steal, kill, covet, etc. but the reason is not because of what the law of Moses demanded but what the New Testament law requires. No, the Christian is not obligated to keep the Sabbath!

[Editor’s Note: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! This article was published in a newspaper column titled, "Did You Know?" in the Carrier Newspaper in Madison, Florida. He may be reached at: Dick Ward, 18 Eldorado East, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405, (205) 556-2407.]

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