SHOULDN'T WE WORSHIP ON THE SABBATH AS JESUS DID?
Question: "Shouldn't we worship as the apostles and Jesus Himself worshipped which would especially include worshipping on the seventh day Sabbath as noted in the middle of the ten commandments pointed out by God?"
Answer: It is true that in the ten commandments, Exodus 20.8 says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." However, the real issue is, does God command us to keep this law today?
The repetition of the ten commandments in Deuteronomy 5.1-3 makes it plain that the entire law which God gave through Moses, including the sabbath, was a covenant with the Old Testament nation of Israel--not with their ancestors, the Gentiles, people today, or anyone else, including people today.
Some claim that God commanded sabbath keeping from creation. It is true that He did rest on the seventh day of the creation week (Genesis 2.1-3). But there is absolutely no evidence whatever that God required sabbath keeping at that time. Moses simply noted in his account that God rested on the seventh day which He later blessed and sanctified for Israel. We read in Nehemiah 9.13-14 that it was not until Mt. Sinai that God made known the holy sabbath.
So, should people today observe the sabbath as a required day of worship to God? The New Testament teaches that Jesus Christ repealed the entire law given through Moses. Colossians 2.14 says of Christ, "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."
Some claim that there were actually two laws--the ceremonial law which concerned the sacrifices and so forth, and the moral which contained the ten commandments, including the sabbath. They will agree that the ceremonial law was taken out of the way but not the moral law. However, in Colossians 2.16 Paul identifies some of the requirements of the law that Christ took away, saying, "Therefore, let no one judge you in food or in drink or regarding a festival or a new moor nor sabbaths." Paul puts the regulations about food and drink, which could be considered "ceremonial," and the sabbath, which was part of the ten commandments which are called "moral", on the same level and concludes that we will not be judged on the basis of keeping the sabbath because the law containing it has been nailed to the cross.
Yes, we surely should worship as the apostles and other first century Christians did. But there is absolutely no record that, after Jesus was raised from the dead and the New Testament church was established, followers of Christ ever worshipped on the sabbath. When did they meet for worship? Acts 20.7 tells us, "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." This reveals that the early church met for worship on the first day of the week or the day which we call Sunday.
It is true that Jesus worshipped on the sabbath, but we also need to remember that He was born, lived, and died under the Old Testament law that God gave through Moses to the children of Israel. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law (Galatians 4.4). Yet, He never commanded Christians to worship on the sabbath. (From "Search for Truth," Mar. 8, 1998). Brotherly, Wayne S. Walker
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