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Do Christians Keep the Sabbath?
Bible study on the Sabbath.

After creating everything in the universe, God rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:1-3).

Sabbatarians incorrectly claim this is the beginning of the Sabbath observance, and that man was commanded from the very beginning to keep the Sabbath, a command that is bound upon all people who ever live upon the earth.

In truth, though, God's rest on the seventh day foreshadowed the Jewish Sabbath which was instituted after Israel's exodus from Egypt, and the saints' eternal rest (i.e., eternal Sabbath) in heaven (Ex. 31:13-17; Heb. 4:1-10).

Sabbath Commanded After the Exodus
The Jews were commanded to keep the Sabbath after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. Previously, God had not made this covenant with anyone.

  • "Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: 'Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today'" (Deut. 5:1-3).
  • "'"Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. . . ."'" (Deut. 5:12-14).

The Sabbath was not instituted at creation, but after the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. It was only bound upon the Jews, not Gentile nations.

Thus, Adam did not keep the Sabbath, as Sabbatarians contend, nor did Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, or Moses prior to God's command after Israel's exodus from Egypt.

Sabbath: Sign Between God and the Israelites
The Sabbath was a sign of the covenant God made with the Israelites, which was instituted after their exodus from Egypt.

  • "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed. When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God " (Ex. 31:17-18).

We Live Under the Law of Christ
God changed the law (Heb. 7:12-14). We no longer obey the Mosaic Law; we live under the law of Christ (Heb. 5:9; Gal. 6:2; 1 Cor. 9:21).

Under the law of Christ, we assemble on the first day of the week (Sunday) to worship God (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2), not the Sabbath.

  • Note, the first day of the week is the day following the Sabbath, which is a point of contention with Sabbatarians (Matt. 28:1; Mk. 16:1-2; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1).

If we try to worship God as prescribed in the law of Moses, rather than worshiping as commanded in Christ's law, we are severed from Christ and have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4), and our worship is vain (Mk. 7:6-9).

We Live Under the New Covenant
Corresponding to the fact that we live under a different law than the Jews who came out of Egypt, we also live under a different covenant (Heb. 8:7-13).

The Sabbath was a sign of the covenant God made with Israel when they came out of Egypt. When the covenant ceased to exist, the sign also ceased.

We do not keep the Sabbath as a religious ordinance from God today, because the old covenant is no longer in effect.

God Put an End to Sabbaths
Hosea prophesied that God would put an end to sabbaths.

  • "I will also put an end to all her gaiety, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths and all her festal assemblies" (Hos. 2:11).

God put an end to the observance of sabbaths at the cross, at which time the Mosaic Law was abolished and put to death (Eph. 2:15-16; Col. 2:13-14).

Sabbatarians Don't Keep the Sabbath as Commanded by God
Here is a list of things that must be done to keep the Sabbath as commanded by God. I have found that these things are not done by Sabbatarians.

  • Anyone desiring to keep the Sabbath must kill anyone in his household who profanes the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14; 35:2).
  • If anyone keeps the Sabbath, he must stay at home. Therefore, he cannot go to a church service on the Sabbath (Ex. 16:29).
  • If someone keeps the Sabbath, he cannot kindle a fire or cook food on that day (Ex. 16:23; 35:3).
  • Anyone keeping the Sabbath must have a Jewish priest offer an animal sacrifice for him (Num. 28:9-10).

As Christians, we do not keep the Sabbath. We assemble on Sunday, the first day of the week, as God commands.