Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding

Sabbath law binding on followers of Christ or not

There are several Christians who say Christians should keep the 7th day holy and as such should be not working on Sunday and holding a service on Sunday. They forget that Sunday is the 8th day of the week or the 1st day of a new week for God. Those who say Christians should keep the Saturday off work to keep their Sabbath should remember that the Sabbath starts really the Friday at sundown and ends by sunset on the Saturday.

Observing the Sabbath-closing havdalah ritual ...
Observing the Sabbath-closing havdalah ritual in 14th-century Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Concerning the duty for taking rest and having the day only for worshipping God we do not find any sign in the New testament that it would be necessary to take the Sabbath, Saturday or the Sunday as the Lord’s Day or a Day for God.

In the early days of Christianity it was spoken about the many burdens which could come over the converts and it was decided that, “no greater burden” should be imposed on non-Jewish Christians, than

“to abstain from thing polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood”.

There were troubles between the traditional or old Jews and the ‘new Jews’. The chosen disciples of Christ with the first followers of Christ and the Jew Saul (Paul) thought and discussed the matter to

“keep the peace between Jew and Gentile Christians.”

In Acts 15 we are told that Christian leaders concluded that the Sabbath was not included as something which Gentile Christians must keep.

Sunday being the first day of the week, it would be incorrect to observe this day as “the Sabbath.”  The Sabbath was specifically

a sign between me (God) and them (Israel), that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezekiel 20:12).

As such, it was never intended to be binding on Gentiles (non-Jews).

Exodus 31:13-17 The Scriptures 1998+  (13)  “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying,
‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign1 between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה {Jehovah}, am setting you apart.
Footnote: 1The only sign of יהוה {Jehovah} setting us apart, the only sign of the everlasting covenant, is His Sabbaths, one of them being the seventh day Sabbath. This is repeated in Ezek. 20:12 & 20.
(14)  ‘And you shall guard the Sabbath, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall certainly be put to death, for anyone who does work on it, that being shall be cut off from among his people.
(15)  ‘Six days work is done, and on the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, set-apart to יהוה {Jehovah}. Everyone doing work on the Sabbath day shall certainly be put to death.
(16)  ‘And the children of Yisra’ĕl shall guard the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant.  (17)  ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה {Jehovah} made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

The 7th day for God was a day for rest and only later He demanded His chosen people to keep it as well in remembrance of what happened in the desert and how He gave them food with the bread from heaven (the manna).
No mention is made that it was ever made a sign between God and Christians.

Still today there are Christians who think Christians are under the Law of Moses or Mosaic Law. In the old times Paul therefore looked at the “foolish Galatians” for doing so (Galatians 3:1). The Jew Paul who was been called by Christ Jesus himself, makes it very clear in Galatians 3:24,25 that the law was the tutor to bring us to Christ. By Jesus we can be justified by faith and as such do not need a regulation to bind us to the chains of any law. When faith has come those people believing in Christ as their Messiah would not find it a burden to serve God on any particular day or to keep all days to that what God expects from us, to love each other and to worship only One True God.

Before Christ people had to wait until the Messiah to be liberated, but Jesus is the Kristos. He is the Messiah who has cut the chains and made us free from the curse of death and from the curse of the law. In Jesus it is that we get our freedom and Paul was upset when some Christians were going back to the law. He reminded the foolish Galatians that God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural “descendants,” meaning many people, but the singular “descendant,” meaning one person only, namely, Christ. We may not overlook that if God’s gift depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on his promise. However, it was because of His promise that God gave that gift to Abraham.

We must understand that the Law was in charge of us until Christ came, in order that we might then be put right with God through faith. Today we are under the salvation of Christ, being put right some two thousand years ago. Every Christian should have the faith and accept that the Law is no longer in charge of us.

Galatians 3:16-29 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.  (17)  Now this I say, Torah, that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise.  (18)  For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Aḇraham through a promise.  (19)  Why, then, the Torah? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through messengers in the hand of a mediator.  (20)  The Mediator, however, is not of one, but Elohim is one.  (21)  Is the Torah then against the promises of Elohim? Let it not be! For if a law had been given that was able to make alive, truly righteousness would have been by Torah.  (22)  But the Scripture has shut up all mankind under sin, that the promise by belief in יהושע  {Jeshua} Messiah might be given to those who believe.  (23)  But before belief came, we were being guarded under Torah, having been shut up for the belief being about to be revealed.  (24)  Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.  (25)  And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.  (26)  For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע  {Jeshua}.  (27)  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.  (28)  There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע  {Jeshua}.  (29)  And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

As Christians we should know that we are liberated by Christ and should not be bound to any organisation or worldly group deciding over our spiritual matters. Everybody should leave any person to be free to choose how he wants to keep his day right in the eyes of God. We are responsible to God and not to man. Therefore we should not let any person judge us  in matters of what we eat or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Shabbatot, which are a shadow of things to come, because the substance is of Christ Jesus himself. It are his words and actions which must transform our lives and which will make us to live righteous according tot he Will of God and not according to the will of man.

Colossians 2:16-17 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths –  (17)  which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.

To argue about whether or not we should keep the Sabbath as a special day, is to argue about a shadow. It is missing the point. Understanding the life of Jesus Christ is much more important. We should not esteems one day above another and should allow them to choose themselves which day they want to take to bring worship to God. (Romans 14:5)

Romans 14:1-13 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And receive him who is weak in the belief, not criticising his thoughts.  (2)  One indeed believes to eat all food, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.  (3)  He that eats, let him not despise him who does not eat, and he that does not eat, let him not judge him who eats, for Elohim received him.  (4)  Who are you that judges another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. But he shall be made to stand, for Elohim is able to make him stand.  (5)  One indeed judges one day above another, another judges every day alike. Let each one be completely persuaded in his own mind.  (6)  He who minds the day, minds it to יהוה {Jehovah}. And he who does not mind the day, to יהוה {Jehovah} he does not mind it. He who eats, eats to יהוה {Jehovah}, for he gives Elohim thanks. And he who does not eat, to יהוה {Jehovah} he does not eat, and gives Elohim thanks.  (7)  For not one of us lives to himself, and not one dies to himself.  (8)  For both, if we live, we live unto the Master, and if we die, we die unto the Master. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Master’s.  (9)  For unto this Messiah died and rose and lived again, to rule over both the dead and the living.  (10)  But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah.  (11)  For it has been written, “As I live, says יהוה {Jehovah}, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to Elohim.”  (12)  Each one of us, therefore, shall give account of himself to Elohim.  (13)  Therefore let us not judge one another any longer, but rather judge this, not to put an obstacle or a stumbling-block in our brother’s way.

This means that no Christian, or Christian group, has the right to tell others how they should regard the Sabbath. The Jews had to keep the Sabbath because God commanded them to do so. Christians may choose to, but they don’t have to keep the Sabbath. God has not given Christians a commandment to do so.

Our whole focus must be on Jesus Christ, his teaching, his perfect life and his sacrifice. This can lead to salvation and everlasting life. Christians need to realise that every day belongs to God. Because all our time belongs to God, Christians must live every day in a Godly way.

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Preceding articles:

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #1 Before rain of food from heaven

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #2 Testimony

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #4 Jesus and the Sabbath day

Next we look at the Sunday or what many call the Lord’s Day

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Additional reading:

  1. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  2. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  3. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  4. Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh
  5. Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday
  6. Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead
  7. Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday
  8. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  9. Holy Sabbath
  10. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  11. Are Christians required to keep the seventh day Sabbath?
  12. The Sabbath: Is it a special day for Christians?
  13. Sunday and the Sabbath (Pdf doc)
  14. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  15. We’re allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  16. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  17. Communion and day of worship
  18. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  19. Observance of a day to Remember
  20. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  21. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  22. Bread and Wine
  23. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  24. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  25. Dark Times and Dry Places
  26. Mind Bondage is Worst Slavery!
  27. Who Would You Rather Listen To?
  28. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ

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Further possible reading:

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5 thoughts on “Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding

  1. Regarding giving of the Instructions/Torah/Teachings/Laws, the audience was not just Israel. A “mixed multitude” went up from Egypt. Also, Yehovah said that the covenant is not for just those standing there on that day, but for those in future generations. A great wealth of wisdom lies in the Torah.

    If you would like to discuss the references in Colossians, Ephesians, and Galatians, we can do that. There is a contextual explanation for all of them. If Paul were really advocating the abolishing of any of God’s laws, he would not have taught them as in the historical references below. The following references are only from 1 volume of more than 10 volumes of early church writings from 100-250AD. This is not an exhaustive compilation of information regarding the Torah in early church writings but is just enough to show a clear reverence for it in the lives of early non-Jewish Christians and their interpretation of Paul, who did not write against obedience to the Law of Yehovah in the New Covenant but against the traditions and religions of men.

    Christians distinguished between the Law of Yehovah and Jewish tradition:
    He does not call the law given by Moses commandments of men, but the traditions of the elders themselves which they had invented, and in upholding which they made the law of God of none effect, and were on this account also not subject to His Word. For this is what Paul says concerning these men: “For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” And how is Christ the end of the law, if He be not also the final cause of it? For He who has brought in the end has Himself also wrought the beginning; and it is He who does Himself say to Moses, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have come down to deliver them;” it being customary from the beginning with the Word of God to ascend and descend for the purpose of saving those who were in affliction.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). Against Heresies (Book 4, chapter 12:4). In Philip Schaff, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 785). Retrieved from http://www.ccel.org/node/70/

    Christians taught that the Ten Commandments were permanent:
    Preparing man for this life, the Lord Himself did speak in His own person to all alike the words of the Decalogue; and therefore, in like manner, do they remain permanently with us, receiving by means of His advent in the flesh, extension and increase, but not abrogation.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). Against Heresies (Book 4, chapter 16:4). In Philip Shaff, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 785). Retrieved from http://www.ccel.org/node/70

    Christians kept the Sabbath”
    “And on the Sabbath, when prayer had been made long time on bended knee, he (Polycarp), as was his custom, got up to read; and every eye was fixed upon him. Now the lesson was the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and to Titus, in which he says what manner of man a bishop ought to be.”

    Pionius. (trans. 1889). Life of Polycarp. In J. B. Lightfoot (Ed.), The Apostolic Fathers (Vol. 3.2, pp. 488-506). http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/pionius_life_of_polycarp_01_text.htm

    Christians fervently defended the Sabbath:
    For the law commanded them to abstain from every servile work, that is, from all grasping after wealth which is procured by trading and by other worldly business; but it exhorted them to attend to the exercises of the soul, which consist in reflection, and to addresses of a beneficial kind for their neighbors’ benefit. And therefore the Lord reproved those who unjustly blamed Him for having healed upon the Sabbath-days. For He did not make void, but fulfilled the law, by performing the offices of the high priest, propitiating God for men, and cleansing the lepers, healing the sick, and Himself suffering death, that exiled man might go forth from condemnation, and might return without fear to his own inheritance.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). Against Heresies (Book 4, chapter 8:2). In Philip Shaff, The Antei-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 785). Retrieved from http://www.holybooks.com/ante-nicene-fathers-vol-i-ix/


    Christians kept Passover and unleavened bread week:
    “All these (Philip and his daughters, John, Polycarp, Thraseas, Sagarius, Papirius, Melito, the bishops of Asia, et. al.) observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.”

    Eusibius. (trans. 1890). Church History (Book 5, chapter 24:6). In Arthur Cushman McGiffert, From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1). Philip Schaff & Henry Wace (Eds.). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Company. http://www.ccel.org/node/70

    Paul kept Pentecost:
    But that Paul taught with simplicity what he knew, not only to those who were [employed] with him, but to those that heard him, he does himself make manifest. For when the bishops and presbyters who came from Ephesus and the other cities adjoining had assembled in Miletus, since he was himself hastening to Jerusalem to observe Pentecost…

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). Against Heresies (Book 3, chapter 14:2). In Philip Shaff, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 727). Retrieved from http://www.ccel.org/node/70


    Paul taught Christians to keep Passover and Pentecost:
    “Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, speaks to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost, reminding them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup; how that they ought most assuredly to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, but to hold fast the new mystery of the Passion and Resurrection. For here the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought neither to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians, nor yet on the other hand of necessity on the fourteenth day: for he said nothing about the fourteenth day, but named the days of unleavened bread, the Passover, and the Pentecost, thus ratifying the Gospel.”

    Pionius. (trans. 1889). Life of Polycarp. In J. B. Lightfoot (Ed.), The Apostolic Fathers (Vol. 3.2, pp. 488-506). http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/pionius_life_of_polycarp_01_text.htm

    Christians did not interpret Colossians 2:16 to mean the holy days were abolished, but that they should be kept in love and unity:
    The apostles ordained, that “we should not judge any one in respect to meat or drink, or in regard to a feast day, or the new moons, or the Sabbaths.” Whence then these contentions? Whence these schisms? We keep the feast, but in the leaven of malice and wickedness, cutting in pieces the Church of God; and we preserve what belongs to its exterior, that we may cast away these better things, faith and love. We have heard from the prophetic words that these feasts and fasts are displeasing to the Lord.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). The lost fragments of Irenaeus (Chapter 38). In Philip Shaff, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Vol. 1, p. 971). Retrieved from http://www.ccel.org/node/70

    Christians knew the laws regarding clean meat:
    Now the law has figuratively predicted all these, delineating man by the [various] animals: whatsoever of these, says [the Scripture], have a double hoof and ruminate, it proclaims as clean; but whatsoever of them do not possess one or other of these [properties], it sets aside by themselves as unclean. Who then are the clean? Those who make their way by faith steadily towards the Father and the Son; for this is denoted by the steadiness of those which divide the hoof; and they meditate day and night upon the words of God, that they may be adorned with good works: for this is the meaning of the ruminants. The unclean, however, are those which do neither divide the hoof nor ruminate; that is, those persons who have neither faith in God, nor do meditate on His words: and such is the abomination of the Gentiles. But as to those animals which do indeed chew the cud, but have not the double hoof, and are themselves unclean, we have in them a figurative description of the Jews, who certainly have the words of God in their mouth, but who do not fix their rooted steadfastness in the Father and in the Son; wherefore they are an unstable generation. For those animals which have the hoof all in one piece easily slip; but those which have it divided are more sure-footed, their cleft hoofs succeeding each other as they advance, and the one hoof supporting the other. In like manner, too, those are unclean which have the double hoof but do not ruminate: this is plainly an indication of all heretics, and of those who do not meditate on the words of God, neither are adorned with works of righteousness; to whom also the Lord says, Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say to you? For men of this stamp do indeed say that they believe in the Father and the Son, but they never meditate as they should upon the things of God, neither are they adorned with works of righteousness; but, as I have already observed, they have adopted the lives of swine and of dogs, giving themselves over to filthiness, to gluttony, and recklessness of all sorts. Justly, therefore, did the apostle call all such carnal and animal, — [all those, namely], who through their own unbelief and luxury do not receive the Divine Spirit, and in their various phases cast out from themselves the life-giving Word, and walk stupidly after their own lusts: the prophets, too, spoke of them as beasts of burden and wild beasts; custom likewise has viewed them in the light of cattle and irrational creatures; and the law has pronounced them unclean.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1885). Against Heresies. In Roberts, Alexander & Donaldson, James (Eds.), Ante-Nicene Fathers (Book 5, chapter 8:4). http://www.ccel.org/node/70


    Christians were obedient to the Law of Yehovah even in the New Covenant:
    These things, therefore, which were given for bondage, and for a sign to them, He cancelled by the new covenant of liberty. But He has increased and widened those laws which are natural, and noble, and common to all, granting to men largely and without grudging, by means of adoption, to know God the Father, and to love Him with the whole heart, and to follow His word unswervingly, while they abstain not only from evil deeds, but even from the desire after them. But He has also increased the feeling of reverence; for sons should have more veneration than slaves, and greater love for their father.

    Irenaeus. (trans. 1867). Against Heresies (Book 4, chapter 16:5). In Philip Shaff, The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (Vol. 1, p. 785). Retrieved from http://www.holybooks.com/ante-nicene-fathers-vol-i-ix/

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    1. Thank you very much for your good reply. We totally agree that certain celebrations still have to be kept, and in case you would have read the previous parts you would have seen that we spoke about those holy days we still have to keep.

      But we are convinced we do not need any circumcision any more and as notated in this article and some others on the subject of keeping Sabbath and keeping to the Mosaic Law, nobody forbids to have yourself circumcised as a Christian, but it is not a must (we do believe). Though we do think a person who says nothing of the Mosaic Law is finished can not escape the circumcision or teething. When, as a Christian, one believes nothing of the Mosaic Law is passed, than one must be circumcised and one must give 10% of the income to the community. when a person then does not such a thing he or she breaks the law and commits sin, because he or she him/herself finds no Law of Moses can be made redundant.

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