The Sabbath Question: Introduction

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to Insights from God's Word, a Bible Study Programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

Friends, we greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In this study, we bring you the introduction to our series on the Sabbath. Among the topics in Scripture that have generated a lot of controversy within Christendom is the Sabbath. For several decades, the majority in Christendom has furthered the argument that the Sabbath was specifically given to the people of ancient Israel and that believers in Christ today are not bound to keep it. This large class makes the argument that just like the various laws in the Old Testament; the Sabbath commandment was also abolished at the death of Christ. Some scriptural passages that the majority in Christendom today utilize to further their stance are as follows: 1) "2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

(Colossians 2:14-17)
2) "14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

(Romans 14:5-6, 10)

3) "4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

(Galatians 4:9-11)

4) "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace" (Ephesians 2:15).

5) "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

6) "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:4).

In spite of these biblical quotations, another class of Christians (that actually represent the minority) also hold on to the point that the Sabbath commandment, which is actually a part God's Ten Commandment Law, was not meant only for the people of ancient Israel but the entire human race. They further argue that the death of Christ did not affect the Seventh - day Sabbath in any way. Hence, its requirements are still binding on all of God's children across the globe. This group of believers also makes use of several Bible passages to further their stance. Among such quotations are these:

1) "1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3).

2) "20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

(Exodus 20:8-11)

3) "13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 58:13-14).

4) "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read" (Luke 4:16).

5) "4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:4, 9).

6) "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).

Friends, from a casual reading of these twelve texts of Scripture, it looks as if each class of believers has solid biblical support for their stance. But from Christ's own words in John 10:35, we learn that "the Scripture cannot be broken". In other words, the Word of God is not inconsistent. The Scripture does not quote one thing in one passage and refute it in another. Thus, in this series, we are going to take our time to look at the subject of the Sabbath from the lens of the entire Scripture. At the end of the entire series, we believe that you would have come to know so much about the Sabbath from Scripture that you will be able to ascertain for yourself whether the Sabbath commandment is still binding upon God's people or not.

The entire series is dubbed: The Sabbath Question. The topics in this Special Series of Bible Study are as follows:

1. The Sabbath: the Memorial of God's Creation.

2. The Feast Days and the Sabbath.

3. Christ and the Sabbath.

4. The Disciples and the Sabbath.

5. "Let no man therefore judge you ...": an exposition on Paul's words in Colossians 2:16.

6. Esteeming one day above another: an exposition on Paul's words in Romans 14:5-6.

7. Turning back to observe the weak and beggarly elements: an exposition on Paul’s words in Galatians 4:9-11.

8. "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day": an exposition on Paul's words in Hebrews 4:8.

9. Which day is the Bible Sabbath?

10. If the Seventh - day is the true Sabbath of the Lord, why do the majority worship on the first day today?

11. Is our Seventh day the same day that was honoured by Christ and the apostles? Hasn’t the weekly cycle changed over time?

12. How do we observe the Seventh - day Sabbath from the light of the Bible?

13. The Sabbath: the Seal of the Living God.

Beloved, we believe that this 13 - Part Series of Bible Study is going to be a real blessing in your life. These studies will be highlighted with beautiful slides that will enable you to have a deeper understanding of the issues that are being discussed. We will want to encourage you to follow the studies closely one lesson at a time so you can fully understand and appreciate this series of Bible study. Moreover, we also want to encourage you to share the studies with your friends so they can also experience the rich blessings that come from studying God's Word.

Our next Bible study is captioned: The Sabbath: the Memorial of God's Creation. The Bible study references for this study are Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 20:8-11 and Revelation 14:6-7. Please do well to go through these passages before the next study is released.

We wish you the rich blessings of God and encourage you to keep shining for King Jesus.


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