2000-10-10 - Sabbath or Lord's Day
Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our
lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us.
Yesterday I attended a bible study with a group of people, in attendance
were an individual from Seven day Adventist, Pentecostal and myself Baptist
background. We started to speak of the Sabbath, and all seemed to have a
different point of view.
Are we binded by the laws of the Old Testament?
Is Saturday the Sabbath? Are we to keep this day holy? Are we committing
a sin if we don't?
If I attend church on Sunday but not Saturday is that an issue?
What laws changed when Jesus came? Was the Sabbath involved? I know I have
asked a lot of questions, but I would really appreciate your thoughts and
the corresponding scripture/scriptures to back the answers up.
A lot of these questions will be covered in the first question. They are
all good questions that I think many Christians wonder about when they come
in contact with seventh day adventists and those of the Jewish faith.
- Are we binded by the laws of the Old Testament?
Yes, and no. The laws in the Old Testament were divided into three sections
by the rabbis'; ceremonial, Judicial, and moral. In the Christian tradition
the ceremonial and civil laws have been fulfilled by Christ. The ceremonial
law was the need for sacrifices and the judicial law being the laws regarding
the government and policy of the Jewish nation, and so on. I am simplifying
a bit, but that is necessary here. Christ fulfilled both these laws and it
seems from the New Testament that only the moral law (ten commandments) still
This is a huge statement. To say the ten commandments still apply today will
cause consternation with some, and I can only say that I have to tell it
like I see it. The opinion that we are free from all laws in Christ is new,
and not within the historic Christian tradition. But it is evident, in Scripture,
that in the New Testament, all of the 10 commandments are repeated in some
fashion. And that is significant. (see Bible)
- Is Saturday the Sabbath? Are we to keep this day holy? Are we committing
a sin if we don't?
The New Testament church met for worship on the first day of the week, Sunday,
because Christ rose on the first day of the week. The day was changed from
Saturday to Sunday. I think we are to keep Sunday holy. One confession of
faith says, "The fourth commandment (Honor the Lord's day and keep it holy)
forbids … idleness, or doing that which is sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts,
words, or works, concerning our worldly employments or recreations." The
idea is to keep the day holy to the Lord. Something that is very hard to
do in a 24-7 culture.
- If I attend church on Sunday but not Saturday is that an issue?
This one of the reasons why the name of the day is changed. We no longer
call it the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, but with
the resurrection of the Lord and the practice of the New Testament church
meeting on the first day of the week, the day Christ arose, we now call our
worship day the Lord's Day and have changed the day. This has been done since
the New Testament Church. "And I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day..."
- What laws changed when Jesus came? Was the Sabbath involved?
I think we have covered this above. But let me sum up. You need to take these
things to the word of God and study them for yourself. These are deep questions,
but the church of Jesus Christ is fairly unified on these issues. A good
systematic theology, for example Louis Berkhof, a modern guy, or a good basic
book of theology, for example a theological dictionary, can help a lot. I
would suggest, if you are really interested that you email me and I will
tell you the best one's (I think) and where (most importantly) to get them
for the best price.
is a great place to start, but there are other places also.
But a systematic theology, good as it is, needs to be grounded in the Word
of God. One of my hobbies is collecting systematic theologies, I love to
look through them and read them. But some are poor, and some are really
useful. The key is the Word of God. What does that say. So I would remind
you all that you have the best systematic theology, and it has all the answers,
very close to you (I hope). The Bible is the place to start, but helps, like
a good theology book, can, well, help.
"Blessed be God for the day of rest and religious occupation wherein earthly
things assume their true size." William Wilberforce
Soli Deo Gloria,