Recently a Christian asked me a great question about the Sabbath. They were wondering whether or not we as Christians should be practicing the Sabbath today and what the Bible had to say about it. Here were some of my thoughts.
Since Jesus Christ came as the promised Messiah, He fulfilled “every” requirement of the Law so that God’s people were no longer under bondage to fulfill the Law but under the grace of Christ that came through the shedding of His blood. The approximate 613 laws in the Old Testament that were placed upon the Jews found their fulfillment in the “One” person and redemptive act of Christ. This is very important in that the Law could never save but it served to point to our need for a Savior. This is not to say that the 10 commandments would not apply to us any longer. In fact, all of the commandments can be found repeated in the New Testament apart from the command to keep the Sabbath. Romans 6:14 explains to Christians that they are no longer under the Law but under grace through the work of Christ. If we want to be technical, the Sabbath principle was not technically focused on the day of the week (although it was Saturday for the Jews) but the emphasis was to have a designated day where no work would be done (Ex. 20:8-11) and God was the complete focus of worship. According to Acts 2:46-47, the early Christians were meeting every day of the week for worship and not just on the “Sabbath” (or Saturday). In the early church, if there was a specific day that was primary for much for their worship it was Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
The early church, which comprised of a great number of Jewish converts, had much transition happening in their lives. All they ever knew was the Mosaic Law as they waited for their Messiah. They had to make sense of their faith, their traditions, and the work of Christ. There is always a feeling of safety in keeping tradition, which is why we can be so strong on imposing our own traditions on others. There is nothing wrong with making one day our specific day of corporate worship over another. In fact, Paul told early Christians who were struggling with special holy days to give grace and freedom in this area (Romans 14). He encouraged believers to be fully confident for themselves that their actions would bring glory to God—which should be our focus today as well.
Is there anything wrong with choosing Saturday over Sunday??? Absolutely not. Sunday has been a day that has worked for Christians for many years and many things are shut down in respect for that day. I feel it works best for us but for some people worshiping on Sundays is not possible because they work that day. I believe that Galatians 5:13-15 sums up the principle for Christians to follow in respect to choosing the way that we worship. It suggests that although you are free in Christ to choose (because He has set us free from the bondage and weight of the Law) how we worship, don’t allow our freedom to be a stumbling block for others and be careful judging others in these matters. Each person will give an account to God for all of his or her actions, whether good or evil (Matthew 12:36).