Old Testament Sabbath Command
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
God’s Rest After Creation
And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.
God as the Source of Salvation
You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstreched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.
Sabbath as a Sign
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.”
Delight in the Lord on Sabbath
If you turn back your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth.
Jesus’ View of the Sabbath
At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath.”
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath
The Practice of the Early Church
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come.
1 Corinthians 16:2
Resurrection and Sabbath
- Lord of the Sabbath rose from the dead on the first day of the week (John 20:1)
- First creation was finished on the seventh day of the week
- New creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 2:10) was finished on the first day of the week.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Sabbath on Saturday?
- Seventh-day Adventists worship on Saturday but have other beliefs are not in line with Reformed doctrine (eg. Humans not possessing immortal soul; permanent destruction rather than torment in hell; controversy between Jesus and Satan; emphasis on the remnant who keep Old Testament commandments).
- Some Baptist churches have added Saturday evening services for various reasons, mainly to attract a group of people who cannot or do not come to worship on Sunday morning, but might be able or willing to come on Saturday evening (eg. work schedules, travel schedules, health problems, afraid of stereotyped Sunday morning church).
- Ignatius wrote in the early 100’s A.D., describing Christians with a Jewish background as those who “have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death” (Magnesians 9 )
One man judges one day above another, while another man judges all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind.
16 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. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
Final Sabbath Rest
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
- The Lord’s Day = τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, “ta kuriaka hamera”
- Formal designation of the church’s worship day.