Recent questions have revealed that there remains a vast amount of unsettled points regarding the significance of the sabbath for truly born again Christians. As most denominations regularly hold worship services on Sunday, others insist that Saturday is the more appropriate day. Obviously, this debate has polarized many who proclaim Christ as Savior and a universal remedy acceptable to all is unlikely in this present age.
Regardless, scripture does present a solution. When properly researched under the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit, the answer is very clear. Once again, a true believer is privy to the truth that sets them free from any doubt or confusion.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – Jn. 8:32
The answer to what day is the ‘true sabbath’ lies in a proper understanding (Holy Spirit breathed) of the significance between the Old & New Testaments. The centuries-old debate over these two covenants will sadly continue among those who hold to LAW, against those that have grasped GRACE. A deeper research is required on that matter, but is NOT the subject of present attention. For further information on that, several articles are available: Salvation: Obedience / Works vs. Faith / Grace and Has the Entire Law Been Replaced.
The first record of ‘command’ regarding the Sabbath is found in Exodus, but it refers to the seventh day of Creation from the book of Genesis.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” – Ex.20:8.
Many attempt to heed the LETTER of the Law, but in doing so, completely miss the intended ‘spirit’ behind it. God RESTED from Creation on the ‘seventh-day’ and in instituting the sabbath He desired a similar REST for His people at least every seventh day.
Unfortunately, by the time Christ came, the Jewish religious leaders had made the sabbath a thing to be strictly observed, rather than enjoyed as the REST it was intended to be. Jesus was therefore constantly ridiculed & accused of breaking the sabbath.
“For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath” – Jn. 5:16.
“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” – Jn. 5:18.
“The Pharisees said [of Christ], “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” – Jn.9:16.
Years later, the writer of Hebrews explained the true purpose of the sabbath.
“For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works … For he who has entered His REST has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His…Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” –Heb.4:4,10,11.
Sadly, many teach and many more accept the ‘obedience’ to the traditions of man with regards to sabbath, rather than the oracles of God as proclaimed by Jesus. Thereby missing not only the point, but the REST God has provided for them in Christ.
Paul also warned about not rightly discerning the true purpose of the sabbath.
“Let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival, or a new moon, or sabbaths” – Col.2:16.
Those who fully understand the intent of the sabbath as REST, can celebrate it EVERY day through the Holy Spirit as unto the Lord. Those who continue to insist on a literal observation of sabbath regulations on a particular day, naively circumvent the sabbath’s real purpose. Jesus expressly hoped to emphasize that.
“Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” – Mk. 2:27.
Being Incarnate God, the Lord of the sabbath, He Alone had authority to make such declarations.
“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” – Mt. 12:8.
This information has purposely been confined to a spiritual discerning of the sabbath. As with all scripture, there is a case for figurative poetic interpretation as well as strictly literal ones. A competent research into the historical applications of the sabbath, as illustrated by the Jews throughout their heritage, reveals that they observed many sabbaths, not just once a week as a seventh-day suggests.
Those who contend that THE SABBATH – or seventh-day observance – began on Friday at sundown are absolutely correct. However, although this is true of the Jews who were under the Mosaic Law, it is NOT the same that history reveals pertaining to Christian fellowships, assembling for regular times of worship and instruction, as in Jewish synagogues.
Because history also has reported the Resurrection occurred on a Sunday – the first day of the week – most Christians celebrate and conduct religious gatherings primarily on Sunday. Of course, according to GRACE, true believers are free to express their faith and devotion any day of the week, and many churches hold meetings throughout the week accordingly.
Those who strictly abide by sabbath regulations – favoring one day over another – are equally free to do so, as long as they do not judge others who disagree. Remember the much more important ‘spirit’ of the sabbath, which is REST, and avoid unfruitful disputations that tend towards division, rather than unity.
“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” – Mt.7:2.