Sabbath or Sunday?

Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2

Christians are not required to observe the Sabbath, but could we explain why to Sabbath-keepers? I want to share 11 reasons why we gather for worship in Sunday, the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day.

1. The Saturday Sabbath was given to Israel.

It was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant [Ex. 31:15-17], “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath Day, he shall be put to death. The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” The Hebrew word means “to cease,” the cessation of work because God rested after the creation and a reminder of deliverance from Egypt. Christians are under the New Covenant and are not required to observe the Sabbath. “Who hath made us able ministers of the New Covenant,” 2 Cor. 3:6.

2. There is no commandment in the New Testament for Christians to observe the Sabbath. [Ex. 20:8-11]

The 4th commandment is not mentioned in the New Testament. Why? It was for Israel. Col. 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [substance] is of Christ.” The shadow is no longer binding on us since the substance has come [Jesus].

3. The O.T. neither commanded the Gentile nations to observe the Sabbath nor condemns them for failing to do so.

This is proof the Sabbath was given to Israel.

4. There is no record in the Bible of anyone observing the Sabbath before the time of Moses.

5. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 did not impose Sabbath-keeping on the Gentile believers.

The issue was being circumcised to be saved. There ruling was in Acts 15:24, “Some trouble you by saying you must be circumcised and keep the Law: to whom we gave no such command.”

6. The New Testament warns Gentile believers about many sins, but never about breaking the Sabbath.

7. Paul rebukes the Galatians for thinking that God expected them to observe special days, such as the Sabbath.

Gal. 4:10-11, “You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

8. To observe the Sabbath was to be a matter of personal preference until they understood their Christian liberty.

Romans 14:5, “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully convinced in his own mind.” The weaker brother is to grow in his Christian liberty.

9. The book of Acts and the writings of early church fathers make it clear that the early church met for worship on Sunday.

Why no rebuke from the Lord?

10. Christ’s resurrection and His post-resurrection appearances were on Sunday and the Holy Spirit came on Sunday.

11. The Sabbath commemorates the Father’s finished work of creation, while the Lord’s Day commemorates Christ’s finished work of redemption, the “new creation.”

God worked for six days and rested, the Son suffered six hours and rested. Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath and we cease from works and rest in Him.

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