Archive

Tag Archives: Sabbath


marriage supper of the lamb

In our previous post, we saw that Sabbath meant rest and we looked at a number of verses that talked about when various Christian in the Bible met. Jews traditionally maintained their Saturday Sabbath whereas the Gentile or Greek believers met on Sunday which they considered the Lord’s Day because that was the day he overcame death. If you missed this post, click here to check it out.

Today we are going to continue with this Sabbath theme and discuss what we should do on the Sabbath. (Don’t worry, it won’t be all that painful)

First, Cease from Working

Since the word Sabbath means rest, it is a day when we should rest from our everyday work. since the old testament law is a teacher and a foreshadow of what Christ has for us, we can look at when God first instructed the Jews in honoring their Sabbath. He had taken the Israelites out of Egypt and started feeling them manna. Every day they were supposed to gather their portion of manna and eat it. The only exception was the Friday before the Sabbath Day when they were told to pick up enough for that day too because there would not be any manna to pick up that day. After the Israelites settled, they were to continue the tradition of not gathering or preparing food on the Sabbath. Everyone was to rest from their labors.

What does that mean for us today? Well, if we are to continue resting from work on the Sabbath, I would think that we should also assist others in being able to rest on our Sabbath as well. As much as we are able that its. I think that we should be sensitive to those people who work in food services on our Sabbath. Granted, our Sabbath may not be their Sabbath, but I think that we need to show consideration to those who are allowing us to rest from working, cooking, and serving on our day of rest. I think that one of the worst things that we can do in our Christian walk is to mistreat those who serve us in restaurants. Both my own personal experience in the past as a cook and waitress who had to work on Sundays (my chosen Sabbath) and those I have known in food services all agree that some of the meanest spirited, demanding people who we have had to serve were people who had just come into the restaurant from a church service. And tip? I got far better tips from motorcyclist groups. Not only that, but they often treated me as though I were a heathen because I worked on Sunday. I cannot tell you how many tracts I got in leau of gratuity. When I have brought this to the attention of other Christians, I have been given the excuse that sometimes they just didn’t have the money to leave a decent tip. My response to that is that if they cannot afford to leave a tip, then perhaps they should have gone out for fast food (where no gratuity was expected)rather than to a sit down meal.

Second, Celebrate What God Has Done

The word Sabbath not only includes the concept of resting from work, but it also denotes the idea of celebration. Because God rested on the seventh day after all of his creation, the Israelites celebrated and praised God for his creation. As Christians, we too can do this. This time of year I find it especially easy to worship God through his creation. Everything is coming to life and the colors are so vivid after the drabness of winter. We have so much to be grateful for. We have been given so much. Our gratitude and praise is what God is looking for from us as we rest from toil and focus our attention on him.

In addition to worshiping God for his creation, we Christians also have Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We also have the gift of His Spirit living  inside of us, our helper, our counselor. We can also celebrate everything that his work on the cross gave to us. In addition to salvation to an eternity with Christ, as believers, he offers us healing in spirit mind, and body..

Third, Gather Together

One of the biggest arguments that I have heard from others about why they don’t go to church is that they can worship God wherever they are. Although that is true, God is available everywhere, I cannot recall anywhere in the Old or New testament where anyone thought that worshiping alone was what they were supposed to do on a regular basis. At first, the goal was to go to the Temple in Jerusalem for as many major days as possible. when the temple was not available, Jews built synagogues in the cities where they lived. Christians throughout the Bible also gathered together even at the risk of persecution or even death, they gathered together to worship God.

We also get together to pray. As the word says, where two or more agree as touching anything,, God will do whatever they ask. That’s some pretty powerful stuff when you think about the idea that one will put a thousand to flight and two ten thousand. Imagine what prayer could do if a whole church filled with people believed what God promised!

When we cease from our labors and gather together in prayer and  to praise of God for all that he has done for us, the Sabbath becomes a day of true celebration. At least one day in seven becomes a day of celebration. Joy begins to radiate in our lives to the point that we are gracious to all those we mean, even those who serve us.

IMG_8330 final copy

 

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback 

Get a free e-book copy of Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard, when you sign up for my free newsletter

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


A friend of mine mentioned the other day that the Jews have 613 laws that they follow in the Torah and he said that he only followed ten. I told him that I only follow the two that Jesus said we had to follow and was Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind along with love your neighbor as yourself which sums up the law and the prophets. And actually, we can round that out to just one four letter word and that is LOVE.

The Gospel sound simple put in these terms, doesn’t it. Love God, Love Others as you love yourself. However, there are those who would like to add another law from the ten commandments and that is Honor the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy. The question then comes to mind, Where does Honoring the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy fall into these two commandments. Is it possible that Jesus forgot to include it?

The Hebrew word for Sabbath is Shabbath (Hebrew-Strongs 7676) which comes from the word shabath  (7673)which means “to desist from exertion, to celebrate.” This isn’t about God trying to make us stop working on the seventh day so that we follow his law. It is about God blessing us with his rest.

The Bible says that we are to take one day in seven to rest as God rested. The Bible told the Jews that they were to worship God on the seventh day which commemorated the celebration of God’s finished work of creation.

Many Christians today believe that we should celebrate Christ’s resurrection which occurred on the first day of the week. Is there a correct day of the week to enter God’s rest? Is it Saturday or should it be Sunday? Does the Bible say anything about whether we should worship on Saturday or Sunday?

 

There are many references in the book of Acts about the early Christian church meeting together on the Sabbath (Saturday) to pray and study the Scriptures. Here are some examples:

 

Acts 13:13-14

Paul and his companions … On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services.

(NLT)

 

Acts 16:13

On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer …

(NLT)

 

Acts 17:2

As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people.

(NLT)

However, there are also several references to Sunday worship

The gentile Christians began meeting on Sundays soon after Christ rose from the dead, in honor of the Lord’s resurrection, which took place on a Sunday, or the first day of the week. This verse has Paul instructing the churches to meet together on the first day of the week (Sunday) to give offerings:

 

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

(NIV)

 

And when Paul met with believers in Troas to worship and celebrate communion, they gathered on the first day of the week:

 

Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

(NIV)

 

While some believe the transition from Saturday to Sunday worship began right after the resurrection, others see the change as a gradual progression over the course of history. Most Christians today believe Sunday is the Christian Sabbath day. They base this concept on verses like Mark 2:27-28 and Luke 6:5 where Jesus says he is “Lord even of the Sabbath,” implying that he has the power to change the Sabbath to a different day. Christian groups that adhere to a Sunday Sabbath feel that the Lord’s command was not specifically for the seventh day, but rather, one day out of the seven week days. By changing the Sabbath to Sunday (what many refer to as “the Lord’s Day”), or the day the Lord resurrected, they feel it symbolically represents the acceptance of Christ as Messiah, and his broadening blessing and redemption from the Jews to the entire world.

 

Other traditions, such as Seventh-day Adventists, still observe a Saturday Sabbath. Since honoring the Sabbath was part of the original Ten Commandments given by God, they believe it is a permanent, binding command that should not be changed.

 

Interestingly, Acts 2:46 tells us that from the start, the church in Jerusalem met every day in the temple courts and gathered to break bread together in private homes.

 

So, perhaps a better question might be, are Christians under obligation to observe a designated Sabbath day? I believe we get a clear answer to this question in the New Testament. Let’s look at what the Bible says. These verses in Romans 14 suggest that there is personal freedom regarding the observance of holy days:

 

Romans 14:5-6

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.

(NLT)

 

In Colossians 2 Christians are instructed not to judge or allow anyone to be their judge regarding Sabbath days:

 

Colossians 2:16-17

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

(NIV)

 

And in Galatians 4, Paul is concerned because Christians are turning back like slaves to legalistic observances of “special” days:

 

Galatians 4:8-10

So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.

(NLT)

 

As followers of Christ, we are no longer under legalistic obligation, for the requirements of the law were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Everything we have, and every day we live, belongs to the Lord. Giving him one day out of seven is  the very least that we should give honor his sacrifice to us. We are not to do it as an obligation but as a joyous celebration of his love for us. Finally, as Romans 14 instructs, we should be “fully convinced” that whichever day we choose is the right day for us to set aside as a day of worship. And as Colossians 2 warns, we should not judge or allow anyone to judge us regarding our choice.

Worshiping With Other Worshipers

One thing that I have noticed about the verses in the Bible is that the verses all talk about meeting with other worshippers when they were worshipping. If the worshipers were Jews who worshiped in the synagogue on Saturday, then that was where Paul (or whoever) joined the worshipers. In the case of Gentile believers, he met with them on Sunday rather than Saturday.  One of the biggest discussions in the New Testament about the Sabbath was in Hebrews 3 and 4 which was written not to the Gentiles in the Church but rather to the Jews.

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

%d bloggers like this: