Question: I believe Saturday is the Sabbath. I was told that Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath, and we don’t as Christians take Saturday as the Jews do. Is this correct?
Answer: I know that Seventh Day Adventists and some other Christians hold to the view that Christians still need to keep Saturday as the Sabbath, but actually ‘Sabbath’ means ‘rest’ not Saturday. And, yes, Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath as He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28.
I was speaking to some Seventh Day Adventists recently about this, and one seemed to think I might be saved, even though I went to church on Sunday, the other one didn’t seem to be sure I would make it to heaven.
This is in fact, what they teach and believe, and that is, that you have to keep the Sabbath (Saturday to them) or you cannot have assurance of your salvation. Some even go so far as to say you have the mark of the Beast if you don’t worship on Saturday. Now, let me make it clear, I do believe many of them are truly born again and are brothers and sisters in Christ.
This being the case, we will spend eternity together with them. However, it does bother me that they put so much importance on the keeping of Saturday as the Sabbath. By doing this they have really added to salvation the keeping of the Sabbath, which Paul warns us against doing in Galatians.
“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” ), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:11-14)…
“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.” (Galatians 4:9-10)
Paul tells us in Colossians, also, to be careful about anyone who would try to deceive you about sabbaths. “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17)
In Romans Paul spoke about this issue of the Sabbath as well. “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” (Romans 14: 4-6a)
This sounds to me like the day we worship and rest on is not the important thing in the Church Age, but that we do worship Christ, and have a day of rest each week. For some of us it is one day, for others it is another day.
“People have always argued over which day should be observed as a day of worship.
“In the early church, Christians began to worship on Sunday, as that was the day on which Jesus had risen from the dead (Acts 20:7). This pattern was continued throughout history and was discussed by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and other church fathers.
“But some of the Jews in the early church were pushing for Saturday worship, according to the Jewish tradition. There are still those today, including the Seventh Day Adventists, who advocate Saturday worship.
Paul pointed out here that some people esteem ‘one day above another; another esteems every day alike.’ It is acceptable to have these differences of opinion and these differences of practice. What isn’t acceptable is to judge each other based on these convictions. Paul said in Colossians 2:16 to not let anyone judge you according to Sabbath days.
“I am personally the kind of person who ‘esteems every day alike.’ To me, every day is the Lord’s day. I wake up every morning and dedicate the day to the Lord. It is irrelevant to me what day it is, as they are all the Lord’s days. But I won’t judge you if you see it differently, and I hope you won’t judge me. These are not the kinds of issues that the body of Christ should be dividing over and arguing about.” ( The Word For Today by Chuch Smith of Calvary Chapel)
Yes, we do need a day of rest, and for me right now it is Sunday, but as the passage in Romans points out, for other Christians another day may be their day of rest and worship. By worshiping and resting on that day, Christians are keeping the Sabbath (‘Sabbath’ means ‘rest,’ not ‘seventh’ or ‘Saturday’) and also honoring the Lord Jesus, who rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
We are not to judge each other on this issue. We are not to make it a part of salvation either. Nowhere in Scripture does it say, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and keep the Sabbath and you will be saved. It does not say this, but it does say “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,. Acts 16:31
We should search the Scriptures as St. Paul commended the new Christians in Berea for doing, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Now we have a far more detailed answer from Scripture on this same question if you want to study this out further.
Thanks for your question,
Gary T. Panell
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