Wednesday: The Sabbath and the Law

As we saw in Monday’s lesson, many Christians still believe in the binding nature of God’s law.

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Again, as long as one accepts the reality of sin, it’s hard to see how anyone could believe anything else.

Yet, as we know so well, the whole issue of the Christian obligation to the law suddenly gets very murky when the question of obedience to the fourth commandment arises, particularly in regard to the seventh-day itself. In fact, the irony is that the Alabama judge who got himself in trouble for his insistence on placing the Ten Commandments monument in the courtroom, was himself living in violation of that law because, however strict a Sunday keeper he might have been, he wasn’t keeping the biblical commandment to rest on the seventh day. If we take the Bible for what it says, then according to James – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10) – then the judge was guilty of violating every precept of the law that he insisted upon leaving in the courthouse!

Exodus 20:9-10 explains the Sabbath commandment. The text is careful to point out when the Sabbath occurs (the seventh day), and how it is to be kept (cessation of regular work by all under one’s shelter) in order for its holiness to be guarded. “The Sabbath is not portrayed as a day of recuperation from those too weak to keep working day after day without rest. It is portrayed rather as a stoppage good for everyone, for the purpose of refocusing on holiness (all concerns that stem frombelonging to God, which is what holiness is) in order to enjoy God’s blessings of that day and its potential.” – Douglas K. Stuart, The New American Commentary, Exodus, vol. 2 (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006), p. 460.

The spiritual potential of the Sabbath is embodied in what it symbolizes. What do the following texts tell us about the spiritual meaning of the Sabbath? How has your own experience with the Sabbath helped you to better appreciate what these texts teach us? Exod. 20:11Deut. 5:15Exod. 31:13Ezek. 20:20Heb. 4:3-9.



Wednesday: The Sabbath and the Law — 13 Comments

  1. I thank you too! Because you received my comment, and addition to I think it's very important to discussed about the precepts of Gog from this moment, because a lot of people don't understand the Law of God and they can't make a difference between ceremonial Law and moral Law, They're confuse about them. We have to help people to understand the Law of God, this is our mission that God gave to us in the Bible. ( Matthew 28:19,20 ), most specially The fourth Commandment, because some of people accepted the ( 1-3, and 5-10 ) commandment, but they don't want you talk to them about the fourth commandment.

    • Hi.
      Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
      We argue a lot about the law. It is God's Character and serves as a road map to get sinners like us by on track. No one will be saved by the law but many will perish by breaking it.
      Have you ever thought of reading Psalm 119: 105 in the light of Proverb 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
      Take sometime to meditate on it and draw your conclusion on the purpose of the LAW.
      Remember Christ word in Mathew 24, about do not be deceived and count how many times that word is being used and to whom was Christ talking to.

      Be faithfull until He comes
      Yours in Christ

      • "No one will be saved by the law but many will perish by breaking it" - well said, Cyril. Similarly, keeping the law does not save us, but if we are being saved, we will keep the law. Romans 3:31 and 1 John 5:2-4 are a couple of my favorites in this connection.

  2. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10) How important is the Sabbath? It was so very important that God assigned an entire day of creation to it and this was long before there was any Jews plus Jesus Himself said that the
    Sabbath was made for man (not an exclusive nation or people). After the children of Israel's sojourn in the land of Egypt Moses was given the ten commandments by God Himself which included keeping the Sabbath holy. It is not a complicated issue, all the commands must be given equivalent regards. They are a package that cannot be dissected. We cannot circumvent keeping the Sabbath holy as a part of the Law of God and expect to remain obedient to the Creator, plus it is the Holy Spirit that enables and empowers us to keep it holy.

  3. I would like to know where in the Bible it gives reference to which day is the seventh day, such as when Jesus died and rose and it talks about the sabbath. This would help people to realise the true day of worship and also relate it to the changes made by the catholic church to worship on a sunday. (Can we have a ssnet study on this please??)

    • Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

      And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

      Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

      Luke 23:50-56
      Luke 24:1-5

      Jesus died on "Good Friday." Joseph buried him, and the women rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment. They (the women) then came to the tomb early on Sunday morning and learned from the angels that Jesus had risen.

      Conclusion: Saturday is the Sabbath of the commandment.

  4. The Law defines the character of God. By virtue of this, every man created in the likeness of God ought to be obedient to His Law.Hebrews tells us that all things were created by Him and for him. Nothing that exist today or that existed before came by its own will or design. We all came from the beneficient hands of God and as such His Laws MUST be obeyed by all.
    Strictly, where His Laws are obeyed, there is always happiness. No Law should be exlted above the other.
    Infact, in the Bible we get advise/instruction in area of life

  5. God is love, therefore simply put: The Law of God reveals His character which is love. We will find it easy to obey God when we love Him with all our heart and soul ; and love our fellow human beings like our selves. Above this as Christ said there is no greater Law.

  6. If there're people want to know the importance of the fourth commandment. there're many texts in either new testament and old testament could give lots information to them about the fourth commandment, such as (Heb. 4:1-9);(Ex 20:8-11);(Ez 20:11,12,19);(Es 56:1-7) I think if people really read the Bible they should not want anyone to give to them some wrong information about the fourth commandment. have a wonderful day!

    • Hi everyone,
      As Adventists, we have the tendency think of the 10 commandments when the Bible mentions about the law. Which to me is not right.
      Another thing is, we often call it the ten commandments, when the Bible calls it more often, "The Covenant" Deut. 4:13; 9:9-11. It was kept on an ark made specially for it and it is called the "ark of the covenant," never the arch of the ten commandments.
      We love also to read from Exodus 20:3, when it begins with verse 2. But remember the first six words, makes a big difference.
      If you begin with "Thou", you will end in "gods" (false gods).
      But if if you begin with the "I Am", you will end up in "God."
      Try it, and you would love it.
      He is the Lord "your" God, so better believe and live it.
      You will not become His by obeying, you are! Just believe it.

  7. This is a very crucial subject that I am afraid people will brush through and accept what we have been made to believe at church. The 1919 bible conference of the GC this was one of the issues discussed. The one good thing about our church is the quest for bible truth and here many many people fail on the issue of the Sabbath and I need someone to answer on the what their understanding of the following verses: Ephesians 2:14,15; 2 Cor 3:7 to the end, the whole book of Galatians. Brethren the distinction of moral law and ceremonial law is not biblical.

    Secondly the ten commandments are part of the old covenant they were given to the children of israel.

    Killing did not become a sin after the giving of the ten commandments it was a sin already. So the law of God is not the ten commandments in totality. The ten commandments embrace the law of God and that's why Jesus told them the new commandment I give to you that you love your God and that you love one another this new commandment was not a summary as we teach and say, no it was a new commandment plain and simple.

    That is why Paul said as Christian we are free but we should not use our liberty as a license to Sin.

  8. Here is a study that may help with the ceremonial laws and ten commandments.

    The Two Laws

    Exodus 31:18 ------------------ How were the commandments written?
    Exodus 25:16 ----------------------------------- Where were they placed?
    2 Chronicles 5:10 -------------------------- What else was placed there?
    Psalm 111:7, 8 ----------- How long are these commandments to last?
    Deuteronomy 31:24-26 ------- Where was the ceremonial law placed?
    Hebrews 9:10 ---------------------------------- How long was it to stand?
    Ephesians 2:15 -------- What did the law that was abolished contain?
    Colossians 2:14 ------------------------------------- What was blotted out?
    Deuteronomy 31:24-26 ------------------------------ Who wrote this law?
    Hebrews 7:26, 27; 9:11, 12 ----- To what did these ordinances point?
    Daniel 9:27 ------------------------- What was to cease when Jesus died?
    Matthew 27:50, 51 ------------------ What happened when Jesus died?
    John 15:9, 10 ---------------------- How are we to continue in His love?
    1 John 2:3, 4 ------------ What if we do not keep His commandments?
    Revelation 21:8 -------------------------------- What happens to all liars?
    Revelation 22:14 ---------- Where will the commandment keepers be?

  9. Fidelis, 2 Corinthians 3: 7 is just saying that the law brought death, but Christ brought life. The next verse 8, just tells us how much more glorious the Spirit of the Lord is. For were the Spirit of the lord is there is freedom, verse 17 of the same chapter. Ephesians 3:15 just tells us that He, Jesus met all the demands of the law by suffering and dying ! Thus, His confirming work brings us into this “new man”. See also, 2 Corin. 5:17. Jesus is the only man that could do this because of His sinless blood. He was a lamb of God. Spotless ,with no blemishes ! I like Mattew Henry “The law is still of use to convince us of what is past, and to direct us for the future; though we cannot be saved by it as a covenant, yet we own it, and submit to it, as a rule in the hand of the Mediator, subordinate to the law of grace; “ ‘We own it’, as he says , but its through Him (Jesus) our mediator. His grace is sufficient, and how do we own up to it? (by living in the Spirit). Romans 8:3,4 sums it up, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Must be careful not to end up like the foolish Galatians ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit !


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