Summary: Are Christians required to keep the Sabbath? Should we be holding our congregational meetings on Saturdays?

Dakota Community Church

July 27, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

Summer Series at Dakota: The 10 Commandments

Exodus 20:8

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


I wonder how many of you have encountered this phenomenon in your journey in Christ.

A great conspiracy, so it seems, has taken place.

It happened so long ago that everyone has by now accepted the lie and forgotten God’s original intent for Christianity.

All the churches have been duped or are corrupted by the teaching of the conspirators.

Now at long last the Lord has appeared in some form to some special leader with the “truth”.

Now at last there is a fresh understanding of what the scriptures are really saying.

Almost always there is some sort of a nod to the idea of salvation by faith alone, HOWEVER, there’s more to it than that. Sure the gospel gets us in but now what does the Lord require to stay in? It’s JESUS plus… something.

Enter the Sabbatarians, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Hebrew Roots Movement, or as the bible refers to all of them; the Judaizers.

[In the early church, those who taught a combination of God’s grace and human effort were called “Judiazers.” The word Judaizer comes from a Greek verb meaning “to live according to Jewish customs.” The word appears in Galatians 2:14 where Paul describes how he confronted Peter for forcing Gentile Christians to “Judaize.”]

Many who encounter the seemingly always zealous adherents to this brand of error are left with doubts about the surety of their own salvation and a nagging fear that they are displeasing God.

Let’s begin by putting that notion to rest first:

Colossians 2:16-19

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

The ceremonial laws are called hukkim or chuqqah in Hebrew, which literally means “custom of the nation”; the words are often translated as "statutes." These laws are not obvious to common sense; for example, the destruction of perfectly good animals for sacrifice and the rejection of food sources such as pork and rabbit. Instead, these statutes seem to focus the adherent's attention on God. They include instructions on regaining right standing with God (e.g., sacrifices and other ceremonies regarding "uncleanness"), remembrances of God's work in Israel (e.g., feasts and festivals), specific regulations meant to distinguish Israelites from their pagan neighbours (e.g., dietary and clothing restrictions), and signs that point to the coming Messiah (e.g., the Sabbath, circumcision, Passover, and the redemption of the first-born)

So Christians are not required to observe the ceremonial laws that were given to the nation of Israel partially for the purpose of pointing toward or foreshadowing the coming of Messiah.

When it comes to the question of Christian Sabbath keeping I want to make three points:

1. More than when the Saints gather

There is far more to keeping the Sabbath than moving service times to Saturday.

The Torah defines what it means to keep or break the Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:32

It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.

Sabbath must be observed from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday - “from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath”

Exodus 31:12-17

And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

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