The Ten Commandments, Part 4
"I am no preacher of the old legal Sabbath. I am a preacher of the gospel. The Sabbath
of the Jew is to him a task; the Lord's Day of the Christian, the first day of the week, is to him a joy, a day of rest, of
peace, and of thanksgiving. And if you Christian men can earnestly drive away all distractions, so that you can really rest
today, it will be good for your bodies, good for your souls, good mentally, good spiritually, good temporally, and good eternally."
In this lesson
we are going to look at the Fourth Commandment: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus
20:8). Some today insist that Christians must keep the Sabbath day, and that those who worship on the first day of the week
(Sunday) are in great error. They reason that "Sun-day" originates from the pagan worship of the Sun god, that Jesus
and Paul kept the Sabbath day as an example for us to follow, and that the Roman Catholic church is responsible for the change
in the day of worship. Those who continue to worship on Sunday, they believe, will receive the mark of the beast. Let's look
briefly at these arguments.
First, nowhere does the Fourth Commandment
say to worship on the Sabbath. It commands rest on that day: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it
holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall
not do any work ... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
Sabbath-keepers worship on Saturday. However, the word "Saturday" comes from the Latin for "Saturn's
day," a pagan day of worship of the planet Saturn (astrology).
a Christian's salvation depends upon his keeping a certain day, surely God would have told us. At one point, the apostles
gathered specifically to discuss the relationship of believers to the Law of Moses. Acts 15:5-11, 24-29 was God's opportunity
to make His will clear to His children. All He had to do to save millions from damnation was say, "Remember to keep the
Sabbath holy," and millions of Christ-centered, God-loving, Bible-believing Christians would have gladly kept it. Instead,
the only commands the apostles gave were to "abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled,
and from fornication."
There isn't even one command in the New Testament
for Christians to keep the Sabbath holy. In fact, we are told not to let others judge us regarding Sabbaths (Colossians 2:16),
and that man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath was given as a sign to Israel
(Exodus 31:13-17); nowhere is it given as a sign to the church. Thousands of years after the Commandment was given, we can
still see the sign that separates Israel from the world-they continue to keep the Sabbath holy.
The apostles came together on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7). The collection
was taken on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2). When do Sabbath-keepers gather together to break bread or take
up the collection? It's not on the same day as the early church. They tell us that the Roman Catholic church changed their
day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, but what has that got to do with the disciples keeping the first day of the week?
That was the Roman Catholic church in the early centuries, not the church in the Book of Acts.
Romans 14:5-10 tells us that one man esteems one day of the week above another; another esteems every
day alike. Then Scripture tells us that everyone should be fully persuaded in his own mind. We are not to judge each other
regarding the day on which we worship.
Jesus did keep the Sabbath. He
had to keep the whole Law to be the perfect sacrifice. The Bible makes it clear that the Law has been satisfied in Christ.
The reason Paul went to the synagogue each Sabbath wasn't to keep the Law; that would have been contrary to everything he
taught about being saved by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Instead, it was so he could preach the gospel to the Jews, as
evident in the Book of Acts. Paul had an incredible evangelistic zeal for Israel to be saved (Romans 10:1). To the Jew he
became as a Jew, that he might win the Jews (1 Corinthians 9:19, 20). That meant he went to where they gathered on the day
they gathered-"he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath" (Acts 18:4). D. L. Moody said, "The Law can only
chase a man to Calvary, no further." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law so we are no longer in bondage to it.
If we try to keep one part of the Law (even out of love for God), we are obligated to keep the whole Law (Galatians 3:10)-all
613 precepts. If those who insist on keeping the Sabbath were as zealous about the salvation of the lost as they are about
other Christians keeping the Sabbath, we would see revival.
 Cameron, K., & Comfort, R. (2004). The school of biblical evangelism: 101 lessons: how to share your faith simply, effectively, biblically-the way Jesus
did (pp. 59-62). Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.