Seventh-Day Adventists/Sabbath not for Christians
I would like to run this past your expertise for evaluation. I respect your opinion. The idea of Christians having to worship on the Sabbath is wrong on many levels. The Sabbath was an Old Covenant day of worship never meant for New Covenant worshippers. The Sabbath was given to Israel only. Jesus never taught that the Apostles should keep the Sabbath. The Apostles never taught Christians to keep it. This is very telling since Gentiles who didn't keep the Sabbath were never taught how to keep it. The Sabbath Commandment is the only one of the Ten Commandments not restated in the New Testament as necessary for Christians. The idea that the Sabbath was given to all people in Genesis 2 is flawed. God never commanded Adam to keep the 7th day and he never did according to the Bible. God gave the example of resting one day in seven. The actual day of the week is unknown. God resting on the 7th day of creation does not mean that it was the 7th day of our week,Saturday. One may worship on any day of the week and it is biblically correct if one is following God's example of one day of rest after six days of work. Do you agree? What do you think of my argument?
Thanks in advance,
Dear Brother Steve:
I understand what you are saying and why you are saying it. I agree with much of what you said, but not all. You state, "Jesus never taught that the Apostles should keep the Sabbath." I would add to that sentence, "in the New Covenant" or "after the Resurrection." Since Jesus kept the Sabbath before the Cross he no doubt whether by words or example taught Sabbath-keeping for Jews while under the Old Covenant Law.
"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5 NASB).
This is just a small disagreement, but a bigger problem I have with your argument is your statement that we do not know the actual day that God rested from creating. We do know that God rested on the 7th day.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3 NASB).
True, the Bible doesn't say Day One was Sunday, Day Two was Monday, etc. The Jews had no problem understanding the day God rested on in Creation Week to be Saturday in our calendar setting. When God revealed the Sabbath to Israel He gave them a definite day, not just any day, for them to observe. What day? The 7th day of Creation Week or Saturday. In the Jewish way of reckoning that is sundown Friday to sundown Saturday (cf. Leviticus 23:32). It was not one in seven, but the 7th day. It's just not a good argument to deny that the 7th day of Creation was Saturday. When God gave the Sabbath Commandment to Israel it was linked to the 7th day of Creation Week. "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:11 NKJV). All can agree that Israel observed the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week. If God rested on Tuesday or some unknown day I don't think Moses would have told the people that you are to rest on the 7th day because God rested on the 3rd or you are to rest on the 7th because God rested on some day. It just doesn't make any sense. However, if it was understood that God rested on the 7th day of the week then it would make perfect sense for the Israelites to also rest on that day.
True, it doesn't matter what day Christians choose to worship on. Paul note this fact quite clearly.
"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 14:5-6 NKJV).
There are many reasons why Christians don't have to observe any particular day and you mentioned some of them. In my opinion you would be better off leaving your argument at that and not bringing in the idea that we don't know the actual day that God rested on. The Bible clearly says that God rested on the 7th day of Creation Week. We know, and the Jews knew, this day to have been Saturday.
Under the Old Covenant Jews were to rest from their work on the Sabbath which prefigured salvation by grace not works. In the New Covenant we have learned this truth.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).
Therefore, Christians rest everyday in Christ the true fulfillment of the Sabbath. In whom we find not rest for our bodies, but rest for our souls.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV).
God ceased from working in Genesis 2 and rested in His finished work of Creation. We must cease from working to save ourselves and rest in the finished work of Christ. We must do this not on one day, but everyday.
"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His" (Hebrews 4:9-10 NKJV).
You correctly note the importance of the fact that the 7th day Sabbath is not restated in the New Testament as necessary for Christians. By the same token Sunday is also not commanded to be observed. While it is obvious that Sunday as the day of the Resurrection is worthy of commemoration as the greatest day in salvation history it, nonetheless, is not commanded of Christians. What is commanded is that Christians assemble together to praise God and fellowship with one another.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB).
Therefore, if one does that on Saturday (the Sabbath) of Sunday (the Lord's Day), or some other day it doesn't really matter. So long as we are giving thanks to God and fellowshipping to strengthen one another God is being exalted in our lives. Isn't that what is really important?
Have a Merry Christmas,