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October 23, 2013, 11:32 AM

Resting in Jesus Our Sabbath

Various Scriptures

One of the areas in which I have been forced to study is the doctrine of the Sabbath in scripture. Growing up I have always been taught that Sunday is a sacred day of worship for God’s people. Early in my life one could scarcely find a place of business open on Sunday, especially in a smaller town. In my mind it was the seventh day. I am almost embarrassed to say that even early in my pastorate my views had not changed. I just did not give it much thought or study. I saw my week as seven days with Sunday as the seventh.

All of this philosophy was challenged when a good friend and church member began to dabble with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He was a health nut of sorts and enjoyed a particular health food store near our town run by members of a local SDA church. Needless to say we began to have conversations on the matter. The gist of which included a long held understanding by the SDA church that the Roman Catholic Church had changed the “biblical” seventh day Sabbath to Sunday, the first day of the week. The accusation seems to be that churches who practice a Sunday Sabbath are “Romanized”.

I must admit, my life philosophy and guiding doctrine was based on tradition not scripture. Without realizing it, I viewed Sunday as a Sabbath day. Unfortunately, many in the church still ascribe to this view. In this treatise I hope to present a clear biblical discussion on the Sabbath and how we should view it in the New Covenant. I would like to present the understanding that from the beginning the seventh day Sabbath was meant to be a shadow of the Fulfillment, Jesus the Christ. In Him we have ultimate eternal rest. Even though I believe I can reveal through scripture that we are not held to an Old Covenant practice of the seventh day Sabbath, there still exists a principle of physical rest and intentional corporate worship.


  1. Look at the word of God from the right perspective.
    1. Our redemption was planned when? ________________________
      1. Ephesians 1:4-5 
    2. Who did the Old Testament scriptures point to? _________
      1. John 5:39
    3. Creation and salvation are a celebration of the work of God.
      1. Romans 8:29-30 – Is salvation the work of God? Genesis 2:1-3 – Is creation a work of God?
        1. Specifically we see that God finished His creative work in six days while proclaiming another day, the seventh, in which He rested. This day was a special day, a blessed day, as Moses writes. When we look through the lens of the finished work of Christ on behalf of all who believe we see these verses more clearly. We see that God was giving His people Israel, through the hand of Moses, a glimpse into His will. Rest is an eternal plan of God at the completion of His work.
      2. Hebrews 4:4-10
        1. By faith we enter into whose work?
  2. The promise of a redeemer
    1. The ordained destruction of our archenemy
      1. Genesis 3:15
        1. Is a bruising on the heal fatal?
        2. How about a bruising on the head?
    2. The mode of our redemption
      1. Genesis 3:21
      2. Hebrews 9:22
    3. The bird’s eye view
      1. By allowing the New Covenant revelation to color our interpretation of the Old Covenant(s), we get a broader perspective. We are able to see that God had a plan far greater than the Old covenant would reveal. When one reads the pages of Genesis he sees the history of the heavens and earth, the creation of man, the fall of man, the foretold redemption of fallen man, the salvation of Noah from the wrath of God (which is highlighted as a foreshadowing of Christ in the New Testament), and the beginning of the nation (starting with Abraham) through which God would bring the blessed Rest.
    4. Moses gave the law to drive men to Christ.
      1. Galatians 3:19-22
    5. The Old Covenant is a shadow.
      1. Hebrews 10:1, 5-10
        1. Though it is certain that in context these verses specifically focus on the sacrificial system, they still establish the fact that the Old Covenant with the nation of Israel was a temporary arrangement leading to Christ. The writer refers to the Law in its entirety then specifies the sacrifices as an example. The letter to the Hebrews was a warning to believing Jews as well as non-believing Jews that they must embrace the doctrine of Christ. A Jew was sorely tempted to reject Christ in favor of their way of life. Jews loved their heritage, sometimes to a fault.
  3. The New Covenant in Christ
    1. Gentiles are not required to live like Jews.
      1. Galatians 2:14
  4. The festival, new moons, and Sabbaths were a shadow. Christ is the substance.
    1. Galatians 4:9-10
    2. Colossians 2:16-17
  5. We have freedom in Christ.
    1. Romans 14:5
      1. The point of the matter is that we are to live by faith. When we make a decision to eat or not to eat, to observe or not to observe, we must be certain. However, we are not to judge those who may be different than ourselves in unessential matters regarding food or the observance of days.
  6. The law of love
    1. Matthew 22:37-40
      1. Loving the Lord your God means to trust completely in Jesus Christ our Sabbath rest.
    2. Loving people means to live in such a way as to build up and not tear down.
  7. A case for corporate worship and even rest
    1. Acts 2:43-47
      1. New believers had a change of heart, a shift in priorities that caused them to accentuate love for God and love for His people. They were unified, generous with each other, devoted to God in worship, and devoted to one another.
      2. This is quite the opposite of our current culture (even among Christians) that accentuates perhaps the motto, “Get all you can. Can all you get. Then sit on the can.”
    2. Acts 4:32-35   
      1. Again, unity, love for God, brotherly love, and generosity is expressed.
    3. Hebrews 10:19-25
      1. There is a dire need to keep our new life in Christ in perspective and at the forefront of all we do and think. Regularly, consistently, we need to meet together with the purpose of encouragement, prayer, and stimulation.
    4. There are ultimately two forms of rest.
      1. One, we rest in the work of salvation accomplished by Jesus, our Sabbath Rest.
      2. Two, we rest from our labor of sustenance in order to share in generous encouraging fellowship with our brother. 

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