For many people, the most persuasive argument in support of the Sabbath is the fact that Jesus kept the Sabbath. Christians want to follow Jesus, to live like he did (1 John 2:6). Does this include the day that he kept?
References to: sabbath
After I sent the first letter to Will Eva, he responded with a letter of his own. I respond to it here.
You asked for a concise explanation of why we do not believe that the Sabbath is required for Christians.
Does Hebrews 4:9 command Christians to keep the Sabbath?
The epistle to the Hebrews may have been written to Jewish believers who were still participating in the customs of Judaism. The epistle explains that the old covenant is obsolete and its regulations have been set aside. When the word sabbatismos is used in 4:9, it is not trying to affirm an old covenant law.
Jesus kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). Was he teaching us how to observe the Sabbath properly so we could follow his example (1 John 2:6)?
Jesus lived sinlessly under the old covenant requirements (Hebrews 4:15). He was born under the law, while the old covenant was still in force (Galatians 4:4). He observed old covenant customs such as participating in the sacrifice of Passover lambs, tithing to the Levites, telling cleansed people to make offerings as prescribed by Moses, and he observed cultural customs such as Hanukkah.
The Israelites were punished for breaking the Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:17-18; Jeremiah 17:27). They were promised blessings for keeping the Sabbath (verses 21-26). Doesn't this show the importance of the Sabbath?
It shows the importance of the Sabbath in the old covenant system. As a sign, and as part of the tablets of the covenant, it showed covenant allegiance. The Israelites broke all aspects of the covenant, and they were punished with the curses that were attached to the covenant (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).
Part 1: The Books of Moses
Some Christians observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week – Friday sunset to Saturday sunset – as it was commanded in the old covenant. But the New Testament treats the Sabbath in a significantly different way than the Old Testament does, and it is not required for Christians today. This does not mean that Sabbath-keepers must cease keeping the Sabbath. Christians who choose to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, and Christians who do not choose to do so, should be tolerant of each other's convictions.
Can the fourth commandment be obsolete?
The Bible says, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8). God’s people were told to rest on the seventh day of every week. Nevertheless, most Christians today do not observe the seventh-day Sabbath—they say it is obsolete. This article explains why.
We will examine the major questions, and give brief answers. We have longer explanations available for each question, but this article will give a concise overview.
Genesis 2:2-3 is sometimes used in an attempt to prove that Christians must keep the seventh-day Sabbath. It is important that we understand what this verse does and doesn’t say about the Sabbath rest. Further, we must ask what this verse tells us about the Sabbath when viewed against the essential message of Scripture about our salvation in Christ.
In the previous chapter we saw that worship is our response to the gracious acts of God on our behalf. For ancient Israel, worship was centered in the Exodus experience—what God had done for them. For Christians, worship is centered in the gospel, what God has done for all believers. Christian worship celebrates and participates in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation and redemption of all people.