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The Sabbath Verses The Gospel
The Sabbath Verses The Gospel
A Challenge to the Seventh-day Adventists
A Challenge to the Seventh-day Adventists
JESUS BROKE THE SABBATH
‘Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath” (John 9:16).
The religious leaders of Israel claimed that Jesus was not from God because He did not keep the Sabbath day. What they failed to understand is that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and in Him the Sabbath was fulfilled (Matthew 12:8).
‘For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God’ (John 5:18).
Notice that the Scriptures specifically say that Jesus was breaking the Sabbath. If Jesus was breaking the Sabbath that means the Sabbath is broken. There is no one higher to break the Sabbath.
Why did Jesus break the Sabbath? It was in order to establish the Gospel. The Gospel is not based on the Sabbath day. The Gospel is based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
THE NEW COVENANT
‘In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).
We have to understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Under the New Covenant we see that:
1) Ceremonial washing has been done away with;
2) Unclean foods have been declared by Christ to be clean and edible (Mark 7:18-19);
3) People are no longer stoned to death for their sins;
4) Eye for eye or tooth for tooth does not apply;
5) Circumcision is no longer necessary;
6) All the Jewish sacrifices and festivals have their fulfilment in Christ;
7) The priesthood of Aaron and the Levites has been replaced by the priesthood of all believers;
8) The Lord’s Supper has replaced the Passover, and;
9) The seventh day Sabbath is not a requirement for Christians.
If you just pick out Old Testament Scriptures you can try and show that all of these nine things should be followed today, yet that is ridiculous in the light of the New Covenant. The apostle Paul dealt with this constantly in his Epistles so that we would understand the Gospel.
‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ (Colossians 2:16-17).
The shadow of the Sabbath has been replaced by the reality of Christ. We know we can meet to worship God any day, but when SDA’s claim that those who worship God on Sunday have taken the mark of the beast, I take up issue with them and ask them to examine the following Scriptures:
‘On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight’ (Acts 20:7).
‘Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made’ (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
Which are the churches that meet to break bread in remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection on the first day of the week, who have Bible teaching on that day and take up their offerings on the first day of the week? Not the SDA’s.
The first day of the week is Sunday. This is the New Covenant pattern, showing that the Sabbath has been replaced by the Lord’s Day—the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus deliberately broke the Old Covenant Sabbath in order to bring in the New Covenant (Matthew 12:1-14), yet SDA’s refuse to accept the New Covenant pattern.
PREACHING THE SABBATH IS NOT PREACHING THE GOSPEL
When the apostle Paul went on his missions trips to the Gentile nations he never went to convert them to Sabbath worship. There is no letter among his Epistles teaching the Gentiles how to observe the Sabbath. The way SDA’s preach is wrong because they have distorted the Gospel. Each week the SDA’s are preaching the Sabbath instead of the Gospel.
Let’s remember that after the resurrection of Christ from the dead, there is not one Bible verse saying that Christians are to observe the Sabbath; not even one verse!
In the apostles’ preaching against sin all nine of the Ten Commandments are constantly implied, except the fourth commandment (Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8; 22:15).
The Sabbath day is not the seal of God as SDA’s have claimed. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God (Ephesians 1:13), and the Holy Spirit is received by faith, not by observing the law (Galatians 3:2,14).
The Bible says, ‘You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace’ (Galatians 5:4). Those who seek to be justified before God through circumcision, dietary laws or by observing the Sabbath day have missed what it means to receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. They have fallen from grace.
CONFRONTING FALSE TEACHING
God raised up the apostle Paul to confront the false teachers of Judaism. Jesus Christ has fulfilled the law and therefore the Gospel is greater than the law. The law and the prophets lead us to Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44-45), not the other way around.
Jesus has sent His disciples out to preach the Gospel and to preach the New Covenant, which is referred to as a “better covenant” (Hebrews 7:22).
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ (2 Corinthians 3:6).
‘By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear’ (Hebrews 8:13).
Through the coming of Christ the Old Covenant had become obsolete, aging and would soon disappear. Jesus is called “the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 12:24), and it is therefore Jesus who has caused the Old Covenant to be replaced.
The arguments that SDA’s use for keeping the Jewish Sabbath and the dietary laws are the same kinds of arguments that the Jewish apostates attacked Paul with to say that we have to be circumcised. Yet Paul so demolished those arguments that any reader of his Epistles knows that Christians do not need to be circumcised as the Jewish people did under the Old Covenant (Galatians 5:1-6).
The way of salvation is through the Gospel and not through the Sabbath. SDA’s need to realize that we are not called to preach the Sabbath; we are called to preach the Gospel. Are you a minister of the Old or the New Covenant? Make sure you are following the right one.
Did Jesus say that Christians are to go into all the world and preach the Sabbath or go into all the world and preach the Gospel? The answer is obvious. Therefore, believers need to realize the danger of returning to the Old Covenant instead of persisting in the New Covenant of the Gospel of God’s grace.
To be a true Christian you do not need to follow dietary laws, Levitical priests, Jewish festivals, nor the Jewish Sabbath. You need to follow the New Covenant, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
PREACH THE GOSPEL!