Tag Archives: sabbath

ON THE OBSERVANCE OF DAYS


William Andrew Dillard

The observance of days was very much a part of the Old Testament Law. However to esteem one day more holy than another is foreign to the New Testament. Still there are many in the religious world who would condemn the most dedicated Christian simply because he paused to worship on the “wrong” day. So just what is the truth about the Sabbath and other holy days? Think with me about this as we reference the scriptures for information.
Under the Law it was forbidden to do anything but rest on the Sabbath day. Once, a man was stoned for picking up sticks on the seventh day. “Sabbath” does come from a word that also gives us the number “seven.” However, that same root word also gives us the meaning of “rest.” Then, under the Law, a number of other holy days were designated for special remembrances and worship. So, I have been asked a number of times and probably you have, too, “Why do you not keep the Sabbath?” Think about it!
I do not keep the Sabbath for the same reason that I freely enjoy pork, catfish, frog legs, etc. The Law was fulfilled and removed from us. Not just a part of the Law, but all of it. Col. 2:14-17. The first church met to worship on Sunday, the first day of the week in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, Who arose on the first day of the week. Is this appropriate? Yes it is! But think with me a little further.
Paul told the church at Colosse that they must not allow men to judge them in respect of new moons, holy days or Sabbaths. So, if the observance of days is unimportant, even wrong, then why do we observe Sunday? The truth is we don’t or at least we should not. This may shock you, but think with me.
We do not observe Easter as a holy day. We say that Easter is all the time with us. Our Lord is risen. We do not observe Sunday as a day more holy than Tuesday or Friday either. But, since the “Christian” world has influenced our calendars and Sunday has been set aside for hundreds of years as a time to worship collectively, we do not buck the trend. It is good that we have a time when it is convenient to assemble to worship. The thing that is important is the spiritual organism of which we are a part—the church. It is our Sabbath!
Much is made of this point in Hebrews Chapter Four. The people of ancient Israel were saved people, but God did not allow them to enter into His rest because they failed to believe Him again and again. That promise of rest to them is given to the New Testament church. However, not all who have their names on the church roll enter into that rest because they do not progress in the teaching of Christ enough to know what He is talking about. However those who are saved, then follow the Lord in baptism, Church fellowship, and continuing discipleship do enter into His rest and cease from their labors even as God ceased from His. Now is this getting clearer?
Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” His rest is Sabbath. Every day is a Sabbath day to the knowledgeable, trusting Christian. Hallelujah! And, this rest we know in Him here and now will continue on in the ages to come, but where will people be when there is no calendar, no days….just one day and it is not named?

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WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE LORD’S DAY


Colossians 2:14-17 – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made
a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink,
or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to
come; but the body is of Christ.
 

The idea that the seventh day Sabbath is still binding today is promoted by “works for salvation” folks and their rejection of the Bible teaching that all the Law of Moses was “blotted out” by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for those saved or born again. When I have time, I will delve into this further so that clarity is applied about the Law and what it’s relationship to the lost and the saved. For now we are looking at the Sabbath. 

I. THE OLD TESTAMENT SABBATH.
A. It was instituted by God before the giving of the Law. (Gen. 2:2,3)
B. It is clear that God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a law. (Exo. 20:8)
C. In the Law of Moses this commandment is put on an equality with all other commandments. (James 2:10)

II. THE SABBATH WAS DONE AWAY WITH THE REST OF THE LAW.
Colossians 2:14-17
It was written in the hand writing of ordinances.

III. THE SABBATH WAS A COVENANT OR SIGN BETWEEN ISRAEL AND GOD.
Exodus 31:12-17

IV. SOME MODERN OBJECTIONS TO THE LORD’S DAY INSTEAD OF THE SABBATH.

A. It is objected that a Catholic Pope changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week. There is no history to prove this, and if it did it would not change the facts simply because a Catholic Pope issued a decree. (Jesus actually did away with it. he did not change it.)
B. It is objected that Jesus kept the Sabbath, so should we. He FULFILLED the law. he observed it in its highest sense, then He did away with it. (Galatians 4:4,5; Matt. 5:17)
C. It is objected that Paul observed the Sabbath. So should we (Acts 18:4). Paul preached to the Jews who were gathered on the Sabbath, but he preache that the law was done away (Col. 2:14-17).
D. It is objected that the Sabbath was instituted by God before the Law of Moses was given, therefore we should observe the Sabbath. it is also true that animal sacrifices were made before the giving of the law but all of this was done away by Jesus. if we must observe the Sabbath for this reason, then we must also have the animal sacrifices for the same reason.

V. WHY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS OBSERVED BY BAPTIST.

A. Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week (John 20:19).
B. Jesus appeared to the ten disciples on the first day of the week (John 20:19).
C. The day of Pentecost and the baptism of the holy Spirit came on the first day of the week (Acts 2; Lev. 23:16).
D. Peter preached and 3,000 converts were added to the church on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
E. The converts were baptized on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
F. The church in Troas assembled for worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
G. The church took the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
H. Paul preached to the church in Troas on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
I. Paul instructed the Corinthian church to make contributions on the first day of the week (I Cor. 16:2).
J. John was worshipping on the first day of the week when Jesus appeared to him and gave the Revelation (Rev. 1:10).
K. The Great Commission was given on the first day of the week (matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:9-15).

VI. WE HONOR THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD EACH FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK BY ASSEMBLING FOR WORSHIP.

A. He is the firstfruits from the dead (I Cor. 15:20).
B. The great harvest from the grave, in the resurrection, is guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (I Thess. 4:14-17).
C. There is no scriptural proof that we wear the mark of beast by keeping the first day of the week.
D. If the law is still in force then we are bound to keep all of it (James 2:10). We must have animal sacrifices, earthly priests, must not eat hog meat, must not eat catfish, a man must marry his brother’s widow, disobedient sons must be stoned to death, sabbath breakers must be killed, and many other like ordinances.
E. The keeping of the Sabbath law is impossible on a world-wide scale – it was given to a particular people in a particular region.
F. Sabbath keeping cannot give life (Gal. 3:19-21).
G. CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH (Rom. 10:4).

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