We Are Not Under the Sabbath Today

We Are Not Under the Sabbath Today

God said, “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Deut. 5:12). So, are we supposed to “observe the Sabbath day” today? The Biblical
answer to that question is, “No.” Let’s study the Bible together.

First, we must observe to whom the command was given. “God made a covenant with [Israel] in Horeb” (Deut. 5:2). The command to keep the Sabbath was part of that special covenant that God made with the Jews, while they were at Mount Sinai. “The Lord did not make this
covenant” before Sinai “with [their] fathers, but with” Israel (5:3).

It was to the Jews, and the Jews alone (Ex. 20:1-2; 31:12-17; Ezek. 20:12, 20), that God came down…on Mount Sinai, and…made known to them [His] holy Sabbath” (Neh. 9:13- 14). Thus, it was not “made known” before Sinai, and it was not “made known” to any other nation but Israel. The Sabbath was given to the Jews, so they would “remember that [they] were a slave in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 5:15). There is no command in the Bible of Sabbath observance by any non-Jew, for it would be meaningless to anyone who was not delivered by God from bondage in Egypt. It was not a universal command to all mankind.

Second, we must observe that the Sabbath was part of the Ten Commandments, which was part covenant and law that God made at Mount Sinai. Some folks try to separate out the Ten Commandments as a “moral law” (their words) that was not removed with the “ceremonial law” (their words) of the OldTestament. Closely observe that the “covenant” that God made with Moses “and with Israel” included “the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments” (Ex. 34:27-28). The “covenant” that He “commanded [them] to perform” contained “the Ten Commandments” (Deut. 4:13). Compare also verses 9 and 21 in 1 Kings 8. God uses “the covenant” and the Ten Commandments interchangeably.

Finally, we must observe that Jesus took “away the first [covenant] that He may establish the second” (Heb. 10:9). We are “released from,” “free from,” “dead to” and “delivered from” the law that includes, “You shall not covet” (i.e., the Ten Commandments) (Rom. 7:1-7). The covenant that was “brought to an end” (2 Cor. 3:7, 11, 13) was “written and engraved on stones” (i.e., the Ten Commandments) (3:7). The covenant that was “wiped out,” “taken out of the way” and “nailed to the cross” included the “Sabbaths” (Col. 2:14-17).

We are “no longer under” the law requiring (or even permitting) observance of the Sabbath day (Gal. 3:19-25). In fact, if we try to bring over just that one part of the old covenant, we are “under obligation to keep the whole law” and are “severed from Christ” (Gal. 5:3-4).


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