Rest is now found in a Person not in a Day.
As mentioned last week, we are going to examine the relationship between the believer in Christ and the necessity of keeping the Sabbath. We concluded that there was three conclusions that are most often reached when thinking about this topic.
As a review, they are, as follows:
- the Christian must keep the seventh day Sabbath.
- the Christian must keep the Sabbath (as described in the Law), but that the Sabbath is now the first day rather than the seventh.
- the Christian is not obligated to keep the Sabbath in any way, shape or form.
We covered numbers 1 and 2 in last week’s blog. And just for full disclosure, I am in agreement with conclusion number 3. Furthermore, I think that any reasonable person examining the full preponderance of Biblical testimony on this subject would conclude the same thing. Finally, just to keep you all in suspense, I believe that the Bible speaks clearly about the Lord’s Day and how we should view that and that will be my topic when I return in 2013 (specifically January 8, 2013).
As mentioned last week, we are going to examine the relationship between the believer in Christ and the necessity of keeping the Sabbath. Believe it or not, this issue comes up quite frequently and it recently came up in a recent conversation I was having with a young man.
This young man was born and raised in the Caribbean and he has been taught many things that simply aren’t true and seemingly contradictory. He is trying to discover truth, but on his own terms.
One of the tidbits of teaching that this young man is holding onto is the necessity of keeping the Sabbath as a Christian. He lives in fear of breaking the Sabbath. Does this young man have it right? The answer lies (of course) in the Word of God.
But before we delve into the Bible, let’s think of the most likely conclusions one could reach pertaining to the necessity of the Christian keeping the Sabbath.
- First: obviously, is that one could conclude that the Christian must keep the seventh day Sabbath.
- Second: one could conclude that the Christian must keep the Sabbath (as described in the Law), but that the Sabbath is now the first day rather than the seventh.
- Third: one could conclude that the Christian is not obligated to keep the Sabbath in any way, shape or form.
Clearly there are other conclusions that one could reach, but these three seem to be the most likely.
How would one conclude that we are still supposed to keep the Sabbath? Easily! The Law makes it very clear. The fourth commandment reads “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” It goes on to say that there is to be NO work done on the Sabbath day, either by oneself or by his servants or his beasts. It is supposed to be a day of complete REST.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. – Colossians 2:16-17 ESV
As I was writing last week’s post on secular vs. sacred, I was also considering the idea of “keeping the Sabbath.” In the location where I was preaching, there was a heavy influence on people’s thinking from those who profess to know Christ but require that you “keep the Sabbath” and specifically keep Saturday as a Sabbath. I am not sure how such things develop such a following, especially when the Word of God seems to me to be so clear on such issues.
Before Paul warned the saints in Colossae what to ignore, he described our new life in Christ. He wrote that we should walk (continue in our relationship with Him) in the same way we received Him – by faith – not by works, deeds, etc. He also reminds us that we were buried with Christ in baptism and we are risen with Him as well. Elsewhere we are told that we now “walk in newness of life.”