Sabbath

“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”

Sabbath FAQ

What does it mean to keep the sabbath?

The word keep (shamar in hebrew) means to guard or protect. So, in the commandment to keep the sabbath day holy, we are being asked to:

1. Remember the day as set forth by God

2. Guard and protect the day

3. Set it apart from the other 6 days 

 

Exodus 20:8-11

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.

What is required on the sabbath day?

1. To set the day apart as holy unto God.

Genesis 2:3 "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."

2. Do no ordinary work (the work you normally do the rest of the week for income or work that is laborious)

Deuteronomy 5:12-15“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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 or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."

3. Not seeking your own pleasure or interests (this is something to pray about for your own household). This could include things such as sports, hobbies, video games, or other things that distract you from the meaning of the day. It is best to do things that keep your mind focused on the Father and His goodness such as being in creation, fellowshipping with believers, time with your family, prayer, reading the word, resting your body, etc.

Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

4. A holy convocation. Joining together with other believers in a time that is set apart to honor the Creator. This can be as simple as at home with your family or in a large assembly. 

5. Not causing others to violate the sabbath. Not engaging in marketplace activities that cause others to violate the commandment. This could include not shopping or spending money on the sabbath unless it is an emergency. Do not cause others (animals included) to labor or work for you on the sabbath.

Nehemiah 13:15-22 

In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. ...

6. Delight in the Sabbath

7. Spend time with the Lord

**NOTE** 

It is lawful to to do good on the sabbath

It is lawful to give money in a charitable way on the sabbath

The preservation of life is lawful on sabbath

It is lawful to heal on the sabbath

It is lawful to do ministry on the sabbath

Picking food to eat that same day is lawful

There are many misconceptions about the sabbath because things get jumbled up with jewish oral laws and interpretations. God's ways are not burdensome and in fact are a delight to the soul. 

Can I keep the sabbath day and also go to church sunday and other days?

Of course you can! Believers since the time of Jesus have been fellowshipping and worshipping God on the first day of the week and all the days in between. It is never a bad day to gather with other believers and honor the Most High.   

ISn't Sunday the new sabbath?

There is no where in the Scriptures where God changed the sabbath day nor where He commanded His people to abstain from the sabbath or to observe the 1st day of the week (Sat sundown to Sunday sundown)

The idea of Sunday being the Sabbath is a tradition of man not an act of God. The 7th day was set apart by God at Creation as a gift to mankind and as a sign between Himself and man. Sabbath observance is an outward sign of which God one serves and whom you obey. (To worship the Lord who made the heavens and the earth)

 

 

 

Quotes from the Catholic Church about the authority they believe they had to change God's Sabbath since Creation to Sunday:

Catholic Record (September 1, 1923): “Now in the matter of Sabbath observance the Protestant rule of Faith is utterly unable to explain the substitution of the Christian Sunday for the Jewish Saturday. It has been changed. The Bible still teaches that the Sabbath or Saturday should be kept holy. There is no authority in the New Testament for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday. Surely it is an important matter. It stands there in the Bible as one of the Ten Commandments of God. There is no authority in the Bible for abrogating this Commandment, or for transferring its observance to another day of the week.” “For Catholics it is not the slightest difficulty.”…“The Church is above the Bible; and this transference of Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday is proof positive of that fact. Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third - Protestant Fourth - Commandment of God.”

Chancellor Albert Smith for Cardinal of Baltimore Archdiocese, letter dated February 10, 1920: "If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath day [which] by God is Saturday. In keeping the Sunday, they are following a law of the Catholic Church."

The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957): 50: "We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."

Our Sunday Visitor (February 5, 1950): "Practically everything Protestants regard as essential or important they have received from the Catholic Church... The Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible and observing the Sunday, in keeping Christmas and Easter, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope."

Louis Gaston Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of To-Day (London: Thomas Richardson and Son, 1874): 213: "Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is a homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church. The Catholic Mirror (September 23, 1893): "The Catholic Church, for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday..."

Catholic Priest T. Enright, CSSR, Kansas City, MO: "It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the 1st day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, AD 364, anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the 7th day under penalty of anathema."

Catholic Priest T. Enright, CSSR, lecture at Hartford, KS, Feb 18, 1884: "I have repeatedly offered $1000 to any one who can furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep...The Bible says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” but the Catholic Church says, “No, keep the first day of the week,” and the whole world bows in obedience."

Letter from C.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons on October 28, 1895: "Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act…And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." American Catholic Quarterly Review (January 1883): "Sunday...is purely a creation of the Catholic Church." Catholic American Sentinel (June 1893): "Sunday...It is a law of the Catholic Church alone..." “The Question Box,”

The Catholic Universe Bulletin (August 14, 1942): 4: "The (Catholic) Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday."

Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

—Rev. Peter Geiermann C.SS.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50

Wasn't the sabbath day done away with?

There is no where in the Scriptures where we see the Lord abolishing the 4th commandment or telling believers they no longer should observe it. Jesus is our eternal rest and He is Lord of the sabbath. By observing the Sabbath day we are proclaiming that we worship the one true God who made the heavens and the earth and through which all things were created, and that we are His children set apart by Him for every good work. The Sabbath is the only commandment that begins with the word remember, and yet it is the one we have forgot. 

John 14:15

“If you love Me, keep My commandments."

Matthew 5:17-19 

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Video on the context of Romans 14

What makes the sabbath such an important commandment?

It is the Lord's sabbath day that sets us apart from all other nations as it is directly tied to the worship of the One True God who made the heavens and the earth. 

Exodus 31:13 

“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.

Ezekiel 20:20 

And keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.