The Sabbath; A Sign of Grace and Holiness
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“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”  Genesis 2:1-3

The Sabbath is an illustration on how the Lord makes us holy. After all, Christianity and even more specifically, Seventh-day Adventism, is not so much about a day being holy as much as it is about a people being holy. The Sabbath did not make itself holy. This seventh day was totally powerless and helpless. Yet God made the day holy. Likewise we can do nothing to make ourselves holy, yet God can make us holy just as He made the seventh day holy. Thus, the Sabbath is all about grace. It is a sign that all of God’s work is complete and we can rest without trying to add anything to His work. No wonder Satan wants us to forget the Sabbath. The Sabbath points us to grace, the cross and the creating and re-creating power of God. If the Sabbath was about the law and works, Satan would care less if we kept it or not, as he is smart enough to know we are not saved by the law or works. Satan is at war with the Sabbath, because he knows it points to grace and the cross where we find salvation.

I can imagine what the first Sabbath may have been like. Adam and Eve did not need a physical rest that first Sabbath. It’s not like they had a long week that week. But I can imagine God taking them through the garden, showing them all the wonderful things He had made, and the works He had done. On that first Sabbath, Adam and Eve realized, “It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves.” Four thousand years later, Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished” as He completed all the work for our salvation. He rested in the grave on Sabbath. There was nothing mankind could add or needed to add to the works of Jesus. After the cross, the Sabbath has double meaning. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves, and it is He who redeemed us and not we ourselves.

The works of Cain in his field could not add to the salvation God Himself worked out, by providing a Lamb. The builders at the Tower of Babel could not add to God’s salvation no matter how hard they worked. Thinking to change times and laws, and thinking to turning a work day into a Sabbath day will never add to salvation either. We cannot make ourselves holy, so how can we think we can make Sunday or any other day holy? Only God can make a day holy and only God can make a people holy. I find it odd that some have accused me of trying to be saved by my works by resting on the Sabbath. How can resting be considered work?

Every Sabbath I stand in awe of God’s works just like I imagine Adam and Eve did on that first Sabbath. I understand God made a day holy that was totally powerless to make itself holy. I understand that it is He who made me and not my own works or effort. I rest my faith in His amazing grace as He also redeemed me by His work on the cross and not by my works. If God can make a day holy, He can make me holy too.

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The Sabbath; A Sign of Grace and Holiness — 13 Comments

  1. William,
    What a beautiful picture of Grace and the Sabbath. I especially love this line: "I find it odd that some have accused me of trying to be saved by my works by resting on the Sabbath. How can resting be considered work?"
    So very true!

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  2. Thank you Wiliam. I had to stop for a while when i saw the sky in the picture. I imagined my self in the clouds and oh dear, it is too glorious. Am discovering the truth and so getting free. God bless you sir.

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  3. Jesus said come unto me ,all ye that labour and are heavy laden,and I will give you rest he said learn of Him and you would find rest unto your souls. For the son of man is LORD even of the sabbath day. So I think its not so much as keeping the sabbath as its knowing who made the sabbath .Its alright to woship on a certian day just make sure you know its is the Creator you are woshiping I call Him Jesus Christ. Happy Sabbath

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    • Right on John! As I said, Christianity is not so much about a day being holy as it is about a people being holy. The Sabbath reminds Who it is that makes us holy. The Sabbath reminds us we have a Creator who wants us to know Him, and that we didn't just come from monkies. Cain could have told himself that it didn't matter when or how he worshiped just as long as he had a relationship, but the relationship only came through the Lamb on the cross and not the works of his field or some form of religion that he had worked out and made. Adam and Eve could have told themselves it didn't matter which tree they did not eat from and just picked their own tree as a test of love and obedience, but as Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Revelation 14:12 tells us faith and commandment keeping go hand in hand. Thank you for reminding us John that it's all about the relationship!

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    • John, Is it real correct to say "Its alright to worship on a certain day just make sure you know its is the Creator you are worshiping I call Him Jesus Christ"? If it is God's sabbath there would be no difficult, but if its not, there are reservations. The whole theme of worship and etc is test of obedience to God's command. Cain disobeyed, God rejected his sacrifice. King Soul disobeyed and offered sacrifice in place of the priest, God disapproved. Man's duty = keep the commandments (Eccl 12:13). The saints will keep the commandments (Rev 14:12). Unless the "any day" is the Sabbath, this will be backtracking and back to the controversy in Rev 13. Creating another opposition. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath because He created it and in no way can man compare his authority to God.

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  4. I would like to make a simple comment that it is exciting and invigorating to know that so many people and ethnicities have a appreciation for the "Living God". I can truly say that zeal can take us a long way. However where is the destination? What is all this zeal for? Does our zeal give us the tools to make it to heaven? Does it absolve us of our transgressions? Does zeal put us closer to GOD? Very fortunately the answer is no. No. I hope the zeal we show, the zeal we promote, the zeal in which we have so naturally is the driving force to READ the Bible. Peace.

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  5. Dear William,

    Thank you for an inspiring article. I do have a question about something you said.

    "Four thousand years later, Jesus cried out on the cross, 'It is finished' as He completed all the work for our salvation."

    If that cry meant that all the work for our salvation was then completed, what has Jesus been doing ever since? My understanding is that the work of providing an atoning sacrifice was then completed, but that this atonement still needs to be applied to our individual cases. In other words, you and I are still in the process of being made holy and of being saved. Is this correct?

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  6. R.G. you are exactly right. If the atonement ended at the cross then the only part of the sanctuary you would need would be the courtyard. The fact that the sanctuary extends beyond the courtyard shows that there is more to the atonement than just the cross.

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  7. Thanks William for explaining the Sabbath so pure. I just have begun to learn about God's true Sabbath and want to do his will not just keep a law as so many say when you are truly wanting to do the Father's will. As Jesus said not everyone that says lord lord shall enter the kingdom heaven, but they that do the will of my father. It's showing our love for him as we walk in the path he has given us as his children to follow or go our own way in darkness and be lost but Father God through Jesus has made the way known for if we love him we will do what He says and keep his commandments, but many choose the broad way and not the narrow.

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