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What About the Sabbath?


Answer to an emailed question about keeping the Sabbath.


I’m glad you enjoyed the broadcast and I hope you will keep listening.

With respect to the Sabbath: if you in faith desire to observe a day a week as unto the Lord I have no problem with that whatsoever — nor does the Lord. However, such things are not part of the gospel. God either counts us righteous because of what we do or not do or else He counts us righteous through faith as He did Abraham. There is no way to mix law and grace. It might be profitable to read this article. It is an answer to a letter and although the particular aspect of “commandments” was different, the principles still apply.

I can find no way to reconcile the imposition of Sabbath-keeping on Christians and what Paul said in Romans 14, particularly verses 5 and 6. I find it interesting that in Romans 14, those who had a lot scruples about things like eating and drinking and observing days were the ones Paul considered “weak in the faith.” I believe that is because they were still tainted by the idea that their righteous standing before God depended in some measure on these things and not on Christ alone.

I believe that Colossians 2:8-17 is abundantly clear. All of these Old Testament observances served a purpose — mainly to teach about things that were to come through Christ. Gal. 3:24. The main concern of the writer to the Hebrews was that Jews would find it difficult to leave the law behind and come to a full place of rest in what Christ had done on the cross. That is particularly what Heb. 4:1-10 is about. The resting that God did on the seventh day is set forth as a type of the spiritual rest we come to when we “cease from our own works” and enter into his rest — his rest being the result of having provided a full and complete salvation and there being nothing to add to it. In other words, anyone who is truly born again is thereby observing the “Sabbath” in the only way that truly matters.

When someone is truly born again there is an inward grace that begins to teach him to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:12. Read also Rom. 8:4 as to how the “righteousness of the law” is fulfilled. (I am fully aware that there are multitudes today who claim to have experienced the grace of God who are strangers to it.)

“Commandment keeping” and the gospel just don’t go together. God has a better way! As I said at the beginning, if you in faith desire to set aside a special day to seek and worship God because you find it spiritually beneficial — wonderful. But the minute you begin to try to impose such convictions on others you have jumped the fence from gospel to law.

May God bless you!
Phil Enlow

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