Keeping the Sabbath How Holy?

This past week my pastor did a sermon on making choices. The text was Psalms 1:1-3. He brought up some controversial and hard to swallow points such as how Christians treat the Sabbath day. He said that New Testament Christians use Jesus’ third day resurrection, Sunday, as the Sabbath day. Hebrews 4 talks about the Sabbath being an opportunity for Christians to both rest and set an example to others.

The idea of doing absolutely no work on the Sabbath, however, is a standard that some Christians have set for themselves based off of old testament restrictions.

I personally think that my pastor’s point was that Christians should treat the Sabbath day differently from other days of the week because we follow God’s example and not the worlds and it’s also a testimony to those watching us. He mentioned how important it is to attend a worship service on Sundays, whether at your home church or another local church if you’re on vacation and it’s at all possible. Hebrews 4: 11 seems to suggest that prioritizing other commitments over attending worship on Sundays is direct disobedience. It goes on to speak about the Word of God being living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword and useful for judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart which, in respect to the issue of the Sabbath, seems to mean that our neglect of showing up to hear the Word of God on Sundays causes Christians to miss out on the opportunity for the Word to do its refining.

So…what are your thoughts about the Sabbath? Where do you draw the line on how much you will or won’t participate in on the Sabbath? Do you think Sunday should be seen the same as any other day of the week or is it a day that believers should treat special?



Filed under bible, Christ, Christian, christianity, church, faith, hebrews, Holy, ministry, sabbath, scripture, spiritual, Theology

8 responses to “Keeping the Sabbath How Holy?

  1. i think there is a problem looking at parts of the Tanakh (OT) without the whole. there is good reason that Isaiah reprimands people for their misunderstanding of God’s Sabbath. Isa 58 puts the Sabbath in context.

    by the way, early christians didnt hold the Sabbath on sunday, and Sabbath actually means seventh day. (and no i am not a 7th day adventist) we may be remembering the principle of Sabbath, but not keeping the Sabbath by resting on Sunday.


  2. kishstag

    Hi There,

    Just happened to see your site using the “next” button…

    I’m interested in the idea of the “Sabbath” being a different day, somewhat special you may say. My feeling is that it should be the same as any other day.

    It should be a day filled with praising God, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping with fellow believers. In this sense it should be like Monday through to Saturday. What I’m saying is that we should have 7 “Sundays” a week, if we see Sundays as our day to “do God”.

    I’m against this making Sunday special, especially if non-believers see Christians behaving exactly the same as them, and then turning out in their finest for God on a Sunday.

    But an interesting topic for debate…

  3. Marci Walton

    Hi – there is no way that no one on earth can change God’s command in Genesis to keep the Sabbath – the 7th day, Saturday. He by His own Word made it Holy and sanctified it – forever. I guess that’s the “final answer” modernly speaking. I cannot understand anyone trying to change His Holy Word. Marci

  4. peter

    from what im told in the new testament(will) if you like.please note that if you are the beneficery of a will or testament that it is the latest written will or testament that will apply to you and NOT that of an older will or testament! and so what the new will says is that not one part of the law will be done away with,and applies to us until the day we die……….now the fact is that now i have met christ i have died ,and its no longer i that liveth but christ who lives in me.(note this is t.he end of the ten commandments criterea for pete

  5. steve

    hi, im a footballer nd i train all week and play game on saturday, does this mean i have to give up my dreams? cant i play nd keep the day holy at the same time?

  6. Jesse

    Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, which equals Saturday! If God made the 7th day and made it holy, why does man think he has any right to change it? There is no where in the bible where the 7th day Saturday was changed for Sunday! So why does man insist on changing it? I believe it’s for two reasons: 1. Ignoranace and not enough time in the word of God to see the truth and 2. Selfishness…We like our lives the way it is, it’s sad to see that so many people profess to be Christians but do not keep Gods commands. Those commandents have not changed over time, we have! Yes I include myself in this group because it’s easy to bend the rules and accomadate the 10 commandments to fit our life style. That does not work with God. He requires for us to give him our hearts completely. Surrender to Him everyday and acknowlegde that He is perfect, therefore His word is perfect! We should worship God everyday, but don’t dare to take the Sabbath= Saturday out of the equation, He God made the law not man, so only He God, has the power to change it.

  7. Wow. Controversial topic. Seems like it is one that David/Maranatha is especially passionate about.

    “Therefore, you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 31:14-15, NASB)

    A death penalty definitely calls the standard to our attention.

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NASB)

    Because of Jesus Christ, we can have eternal life regardless of the nature of our sin (or our sin nature, for that matter).

    “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'” (John 8:7, NASB)

    None of us is righteous enough to punish another for his or her sin.

    “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on, sin no more.'”

    Here’s the rub: once we know our sin (violating God’s sabbath), we are commanded to go and sin no more. Do we take the extreme position and not flip a light switch or microwave leftovers on the sabbath (whether we practice that on Saturday or on Sunday – the text specifies that it is on the seventh day of the week, not any particular named day)? Do we rest by not driving to church but instead sit in our recliners and watch NFL football on the television (God forbid!)?

    “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NASB)

    It is right to honor God’s sabbath. How we do that is between us and Him. Regardless of how that is, we should avoid condemning others for their behavior and focus on the way we ourselves honor God with our lives.

  8. Ethan

    Let me just state that I agree with David. So many of the people who call themselves Christians have been deceived! They say they worship God but do they? They say they follow the commands of Jesus, but do they? When I hear my pastor preach sermon after sermon based mostly on the things he learned in Bible college and his many commentaries and other books filled with the wisdom of man, I constantly find myself grieved in the spirit. I have never been to Bible college, I don’t have any letters after my name with which to boast of my accomplishments. My name isn’t on the sign out front, and not many people know me.

    I may not have much of what man says is important, but I do have the Word of God which tells me everything I need to know about living a life for God’s glory. And at the beginning of the Bible, I read how God made the heavens and the earth and everything in them in just 6 days, and then rested on the 7th day, and blessed that day and made it holy. Then he commanded his chosen people, who were to be examples to the rest of the peoples and nations of the world, that they were to keep his Sabbath as a remembrance of his work of creation, so they would not forget the God to whom they owe their very lives. I also read in Isaiah how the people of other nations, the ones we call gentiles, if they honor God’s Sabbath and keep it holy as God commanded, they would receive a blessing for it. I see how Jesus clarified the fact that man is not ruled by the Sabbath, but rather the Sabbath was made for man. God gave it to us as a much needed period of rest at the end of every week, a time when we would think of God and what he has done for us. I also saw how that throughout the New Testament there is no mention of the Christian believers meeting regularly on Sunday. They do not revere the first day of the week which was nothing but a normal workday at that time, like our Monday. No command is ever given to worship or rest on that day. When you read through the Bible with this in mind, you quickly come to realize that the tradition of Sunday as a day of worship and rest is nowhere to be found in all of Scripture. If we believe that the Bible is where we get our instruction from God, then how can we with a clear conscience disregard his instructions for the Sabbath, and replace them with man’s instructions for Sunday?

    I also have taken notice of the prophecy that there will be a falling away or apostasy at the end, just before the revealing of Antichrist. I think we may be seeing that apostasy taking place today, as men trust in their human teachers and books more than they trust in the Word of God. The prevalence of the idea that Jesus will return BEFORE he returns (that is, a secret coming for his saints up to 7 years before his public return, to save them from persecution, which God never promised nor should we expect it, rather we should expect persecution) shows me that people do not care to look in the Bible to confirm the ideas they hear from the pulpit, because if they did they would see that in spite of its being widespread and strongly held, this “rapture” doctrine is very much a delusion, with absolutely no support from Scripture, and direct opposition from Jesus himself, who warned his disciples of the tribulation to come and told them to expect his return at the end, after the signs in the heavens.

    And to that I say, AMEN! Even so come, Lord Jesus!

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