Here is a Bible-study summary about the sabbath:
Leviticus 23: This prologue shows us that the Sabbath was a feast, along with all the other festivals and feast-days. This prologue lets us know us the sabbath was one part of the over-all Old Testament ceremonial law.
Exodus 20:11 – The sabbath commemorated God's finishing of creation. Just as God stopped working at the end of the sixth days of creation, the Jews were to stop working on the sabbath.
Deut. 5:15 – The sabbath also commemorated the Jews' deliverance from Egyptian slavery. Although this is a second distinct reason behind the sabbath, the theme of not-working is shared between the two reasons. God stopped working at the end of the sixth day of creation, and the Jews were set free from the back-breaking labor of slavery by God's mighty deliverance. Both meanings involve no longer working.
Exodus 23:10-12 – Every seventh year was also a sabbath year. Lev. 25:4. The Jews were commanded to leave their fields unplowed and unplanted, and to live off that which grew naturally. It was a programmed exercise in faith in the Lord's provision. Their refusal to observe it (because it appears they never obeyed it) is why Israel spent 70 years in Babylon. Their term of exile was dictated by the number of they had failed to keep the sabbath year.
Exodus 31:14 – How important was sabbath-keeping? Breaking it was a death-penalty crime. Some poor fool was caught gathering firewood on the sabbath, and the Jews stoned him. The fact that the sabbath was a death-penalty law reveals to us that it was a civil law in addition to be a ceremonial law.
Exodus 31:16 – The sabbath day symbolized God's national covenant with Israel, and in this way it was equal in importance with circumcision. This fact illustrates why Christians are not required to keep the sabbath. Unlike His covenant with the Jews, God does not have a national covenant with Christians. Christ's new covenant is made with individuals only, and always results in that person's sins being remitted, and the Holy Spirit writing God's law upon their reborn heart.
Erroneous teachings about the Sabbath
Erroneous teachings about the Sabbath
- Sabbath-keeping saves you (Seventh Day Adventism). This is a heretical teaching, condemned by Christ in Galatians 1:6-8. Ellen G. White, the false prophetess of Seventh Day Adventism, taught that Christians will be judged for eternal life on the condition of how well they kept the Ten Commandments, and the sabbath commandment in particular. This doctrine illustrated her ignorance of the Gospel, which is that salvation is a free gift of God's grace.
- Christians are obligated to still keep the Sabbath. No, and this "no" includes Messianic Jews. The apostle Paul, speaking Christ's own words, made it clear that Christ's death on the cross canceled the Old Testament code. Colossians 2:13-14. Christ did not merely cancel the condemnation of the code, but the whole code itself. There is no such category as "moral law", that is, laws that carry over in an unbroken chain of continuity from the Old Covenant into the New. The Old Covenant ended in its entirety at the cross, including all ten of the Ten Commandments. The New Testament reinstates many Old Testament laws, but Paul calls them the "law of Christ" (1 Corinthians 9:21). Just as the New Covenant is its own thing and is not a revved-up edition of the Old Covenant, New Testament law is its own thing and is not a revved-up version of Old Covenant law. Christians are free to keep the sabbath, or not keep it, however they please. Romans 14:5-6
- Sunday is the Christian Sabbath? No. God never commanded us to observe “one day in seven”, the Bible tells us that he specifically commanded the seventh day. On this point the Seventh Day Adventists are absolutely correct. If it isn't the seventh day, then it isn't the sabbath at all. This clever phrase, ""one day out of seven", is a good example of what logicians call a sophism. The phrase sounds plausible, but it is really a piece of language legerdemain designed to make an end-run around Paul's clear teaching that the sabbath is done. We meet on the first day of the week, not out of obedience to the Fourth commandment, but because that's the day Christ rose. The anti-work rules, and deadly penalties of the Sabbath are never taught in the New Testament. “Breaking the Lord's Day” is never listed among church-discipline offenses. Jesus Christ is the NT fulfillment of the Sabbath. The New Testament fulfillment of sabbath is spiritual rest, through faith. Hebrews 4:1-3, 10. Christ Himself is the sabbath (Colossians 2:16-17), just as new birth is our circumcision (Col. 2:11-11).
- God never expected the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath, even during OT times. This is how we know that Sunday blue-laws never had any Biblical basis to them.