Sabbath – Fundamental Belief 20

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God’s unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.) * Click here to jump directly to comment section, if you wish *

We recommend the website Sabbath Truth for further information on the Sabbath, including What Is It, When Is It, Who Changed It, Why Does It Matter.

See also these Bible lessons from previous years: (Unless otherwise noted, each title below is the weekly study title.)

Some possibly related blog posts follow:

Are Adventists Old-Covenant Christians? (part 4)

In the previous two posts,1 we reviewed the major systems of covenant thought in the Protestant tradition.  We split the systems into categories A and B – “A” being those that affirm the perpetuity of the law and “B” representing those that reject the perpetuity of the law. We also saw how Adventism’s understanding of … [Click to read more …]

Are Adventists Old-Covenant Christians? (Part 3)

In the previous post we examined the oldest systems of Protestant covenant thought. The two systems to emerge we labeled as belonging to “Category A: Covenantalism.” They include both the Westminster Confession and the Second London Baptist Confession. We also had the opportunity to see that Adventist theology has a lot of similarities with these … [Click to read more …]

Are Adventists Old-Covenant Christians? (part 2)

Covenant with the Lord

As mentioned in the last post, Adventism’s understanding of the covenants is not well known either to us, our inquirers or our critics. Some critics even go as far as to suggest that Adventism’s covenant progression is an unheard-of new heresy. Part of the difficulty in responding to these charges is that, while Adventists have historically written … [Click to read more …]

Are Adventists Old-Covenant Christians? (Part 1)

A few years ago I went through one of the most defining seasons of my life. Having been raised a Seventh-day Adventist I had come to the place where I had to confront, once and for all, the legalistic faith I had developed. The journey was both difficult and exhilarating at the same time. The … [Click to read more …]

The Observance of Christmas

Boys gazing at starry Christmas sky

Is it too early to think about what we shall do with Christmas next year? Perhaps not, because it takes time to change ingrained thinking, and some of us may need a year to change our pattern of thought. I. What Is Christmas?1 Christmas is coming,” is the note that is sounded throughout our world from … [Click to read more …]

Glory In the Lowest

Christmas candle

Yes, the celebration of Christmas may have pagan roots. But read on to see how that might actually be a good thing.  It seems almost inevitable at this time of year that an earnest friend, family member or perhaps someone at your church will announce – with all the breathless enthusiasm and urgency of one who has … [Click to read more …]

What Time is Sunset?

During the 1992 U.S. presidential debate, George Bush Sr. glanced at his watch, and lost the election. Many speculate, that by looking at his watch, Bush was disconnecting from his audience while a young Clinton was charming them. When we watch the clock on Sabbath are we disconnecting from God? God gave us the Sabbath to … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath (May 2, ’15)

You can view an in-depth discussion of “Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: The Sabbath

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. … [Click to read more …]


What do you think of when you hear the word “Jubilee”? Did you know that word is used in the Bible? “Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land … [Click to read more …]


Sabbath – Fundamental Belief 20 — 6 Comments

  1. All I would like to know is What was Paul saying regarding the Sabbath on Collosians 2 v 16. Could you kindly let me know.I believe the Sabbath observance is contained in the 10 Commandments written by the finger of God according to Exodus 31 and should be observed by all mankind. Is Paul trying to cause confusion here.? I need biblical scripture support here. Thanks & God bless. From Hatfield SDA Church, Harare, Zimbabwe.

    • Stanley, I am going to try to explain Col 2:16 the best that I can as I see it. I am sure others will have a slightly different way of approaching this difficult text which is used so much against the Sabbath.

      First of all, you need to know that Paul was battling the same problem in Colossae that he faced throughout his entire ministry. It is the same problem that he addressed in his letters to the Romans and to the Galatians. It is the same issue that emerged at the Jerusalem Council where, “certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’" (Act 15:1 NKJV). Circumcision in and of itself was not the issue; it was the requirement for salvation that was the problem. But the legalists, Pharisees and others went far beyond that by making it a requirement to adhere to all the little sticky regulations and traditions of the Pharisees that they encased both the Ten Commandments and the Ceremonial Law in. To them they became a requirement as well. Remember it is the problem of making the law a prerequisite to salvation that is the issue with Paul.

      Paul never released our obligation to be good citizens of Heaven by keeping the laws and regulations of God’s kingdom. God’s government is a government of laws and those who would be part of it are expected to adhere to its requirements. As Paul said, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom 3:31 NKJV). It was the purpose of the laws that God established that Paul was trying to straighten out.

      In the letter to the Colossians he is essentially doing what he did in Romans and Galatians only much shorter and more subtle. He first establishes Christ as the center of the church then he goes on to tackle the problem of the legalists which required doing in order to be saved.

      Let’s start with, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Col 2:6 NKJV). This verse sounds very much like what he asked the Galatians, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3 NKJV). He then goes on to say, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8 NKJV). This is one of the bracketing verses that establish Paul’s intent. Notice the phrase “tradition of men” this is what he is now going to discuss which is enclosed on the other end by the verse, “which all concern things which perish with the using-- according to the commandments and doctrines of men” (Col 2:22 NKJV). That is why Paul mentions, “taking delight in false humility and worship of angels” (Col 2:18 NKJV) which God never commanded us to do but was some of the things the troublers were involved in.

      It was all the minute requirements and traditions for salvation that Paul was against. They involved everything including the Sabbath. Paul, in effect, was doing what Jesus did. He was stripping away everything that God did not require. He was in no way undoing the Sabbath command only the attached requirements. Furthermore, the Sabbath stands as one of the most strongly established institutions of the church both in the Old Testament and in the New.

      Under the new covenant the only requirement for salvation is faith in God to do what we cannot do on our own. That was the main argument of Paul throughout his entire ministry and the argument he presents to the Colossian church.

  2. Well im feeling glad to join your discussion, but one thing i still want to understand is: why do people say the Sabbath law was done in the old testament therefore we no longer have to keep it. but Christ says i did not come to change the law but rather to fulfill the law....He goes on to say if u love me keep my commandments....please clarify these issues for me.

    • Joseph, perhaps your question can be answered by another question. Why did Cain attempt to offer a sacrifice from his garden when he knew very well that God commanded an animal?

      I realize that my question is an over simplification of a more complex issue. The fact is that when a large group of people hold to a very strong tradition it tends to feed itself and sticks like super glue. Many people in those congregations that believe that Sunday is the day Jesus commands us to worship on know better but social pressure has a strange way of working on people.

      People will believe what they want to believe even when there is overpowering evidence to the contrary. As Jesus said, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31 NKJV). This is especially true when a person's job is on the chopping block because of conflicts with the Sabbath. It's not so bad when a person is single but when your family depends on you for food and shelter the pressure sometimes becomes too much. At that point any plausible point is taken as a divine endorsement to go along with the crowd.

      The fact that there are only eight verses in the entire New Testament that mention the phrase "the first day of the week" (Sunday) should raise a warning flag that there is something wrong with their interpretation of the Bible.

      The fact that there is essentially no argument in the New Testament concerning changing the day of worship in spite of the Jew's very strong attachment to the law should raise a warning flag as well. But it doesn't because they are doing what they want to do and they support one another in doing it.

      This probably doesn't answer your question satisfactorily but I think it is the basic reason why they say what they say.

    • "Which day is the Sabbath?" is a very important question. We find our answer in the beginning of the Bible.

      Genesis 2:2-3 (ESV)reads thus:

      2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

      The fourth commandment refers back to this original Sabbath day (Sabbath means rest) which God made holy:

      8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV)

      Because we live on a round world, some may ask, "How do we know which is the real seventh day that God made holy?"

      We would probably all agree that Christ and the Jews knew which day was the Sabbath, and we know that Christ rose on the day after the Sabbath. (See Matt. 28:1-11) Since the world calendar names the day of the resurrection as Sunday, we know that the day before Sunday is the Sabbath of the Bible. It is also marked as the seventh day on most calendars, but even where this is not so, it is still easy to know which day is Sunday, the day of the resurrection. Therefore it is equally easy to know which day the Sabbath, since it comes just before Sunday.


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