Message – The Sabbath under the New Covenant
Series: Thru the Bible
The Sabbath under the New Covenant
Let me start off with a few quick statements, which I will demonstrate and show is consistent with scripture as we go through this topic this evening, but it is a PIVOTAL issue.
- The Sabbath was MADE for man, but it BELONGS to the Lord.
- The Sabbath day was sanctified and hallowed BY GOD FROM CREATION – it has NOTHING to do with the fall of man or the Law. The Law simply INFORMED us of something which has always been true since creation – even holding on Adam and Eve IN the garden while in a perfect state!
- Man was NOT made for the Sabbath.
- Like everything, man OWNS nothing, so even the Sabbath which was made FOR us – it is still a stewardship for which we are answerable to God Who gave it!
Sabbath 7676 – seventh 7673
These were the questions –
- What does the Bible say about it?
- What does it mean by, “don’t work”?
- What should we do on the Sabbath?
- What does “rest” mean?
Gen 2:1-3, “So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. (2) By the seventh day, God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. (3) God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.”
Exod. 20:8-11, “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 the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. (11) For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
What did God mean?
Rest meant rest. To not labor. Clearly picking some grain or feeding your animals, or pulling an animal out of a ditch or helping your neighbor (or any kind of good) is not braking sabbath.
Labor or work:
Exod. 31:15 “Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”
Any person who does any WORK in the sabbath day. A feminine singular noun meaning work, occupation, business, something made, property, workmanship.
Six days you have to do WORK – on the 7th you are to rest. A verb meaning to work or serve. In reference to things it means to till the ground, work a garden, dress a vineyard, any artisan work.
Exod. 23:12, “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.”
Exod. 23:12 – Man rest = to rest – no labor
For the land – do not plow or plant in.
New Testament examples of what work or rest was or was not
Mark 2:23-28 NKJV “(23) Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. (24) And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” (25) But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: (26) how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” (27) And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (28) Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Matt. 12:1-14, “(1) At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. (2) And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” (3) But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: (4) how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? (5) Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? (6) Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. (7) But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. (8) For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. (9) Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. (10) And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”–that they might accuse Him. (11) Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? (12) Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.“ (13) Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. (14) Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
Luke 13:10-17, “(10) Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. (11) And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. (12) But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” (13) And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (14) But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” (15) The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? (16) So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (17) And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.”
Luke 14:1-6, “(1) Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. (2) And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. (3) And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (4) But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. (5) Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” (6) And they could not answer Him regarding these things.”
So did Jesus encourage breaking the Sabbath. Just because He was Lord of the Sabbath, did that mean He could unilaterally remove the command?
No, Jesus WAS the one Who gave the Law. Now that He was incarnate did not make Him disagree with Himself!
I think one problem we have had is mixing two separate things in scriptures – combining them as if they were one.
In Exodus 16 God gave Israel mana. The rules were simple – on the 1st-5th day only gather enough for ONE day. On the 6th day gather enough for TWO days and prepare for both days. NO ONE go and gather on the Sabbath for,
Exod. 16:22-29, “(22) And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. (23) Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ” (24) So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. (25) Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. (26) Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” (27) Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. (28) And the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? (29) See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
This was NOT saying do not BAKE or BOIL on the Sabbath, but do not GATHER on the Sabbath.
So we see that there is a difference between the lesson of the manna and the purpose of the sabbath.
Now some might remember that at one time God commanded Israel not to kindle a fire on the sabbath so as to do work in it – Exodus 35:3, But if this is read with scrutiny and in context it was during the time of making preparations for the Tabernacle. This command SEEMS to be a temporary statue intended NOT for cooking but for forging metals or doing any WORK of the tabernacle. In MOST places rules concerning the Sabbath are said to be “throughout your generations” but NOT in this place. So taking these two things together paints a picture of a temporary statued to impede the enthusiasm of the Jewish people from doing – even the work for the tabernacle on the Sabbath – but to keep it holy!
Now under the new covenant, the question often is – “is this law to be kept under grace?”
This however is NOT the real questions to be asked.
1st – How does this fit into the Gospel of the Kingdom?
Luke 16:16-17, “(16) The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. (17) And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.”
2nd – Is it still a statute?
The word judge here meaning to separate, distinguish or discriminate between good and evil – having formed an OPINION. THESE are DOUBTFUL things – things we are not certain about.
“(1) Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about doubtful issues.
Gill says, “but not to doubtful disputations; to vain jangling and perverse disputings, such as will rather perplex than inform them; and will leave their minds doubtful and in suspense, and do them more harm than good.”
(2) One person believes he may eat anything, but one who is weak eats only vegetables. (3) One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat; and one who does not eat must not criticize one who does, because God has accepted him. (4) Who are you to criticize another’s household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And stand he will! For the Lord is able to make him stand. (5) One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. (6) Whoever observes the day, observes it to the Lord. Whoever eats, eats to the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is to the Lord that he does not eat, yet he thanks God. (7) For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. (8) If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (9) Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. (10) But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (11) For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. (12) So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Now by “doubtful things” Paul does NOT mean – things for which we have no answers, but things concerning which some have doubts or misgivings. We know this because concerning the very same issue of food Paul writes to the Corinthian church, 1Cor. 8:1-13, HCSB “About food offered to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. (2) If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. (3) But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. (4) About eating food offered to idols, then, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world,” and that “there is no God but one.” (5) For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth–as there are many “gods” and many “lords”– (6) yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him. (7) However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now, that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. (8) Food will not make us acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don’t eat, and we are not better if we do eat. (9) But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. (10) For if somebody sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, won’t his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? (11) Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge. (12) Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. (13) Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother to fall.”
(13) Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another, but instead decide not to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way. (14) (I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.) (15) For if your brother is hurt by what you eat, you are no longer walking according to love. By what you eat, do not destroy that one for whom Christ died. (16) Therefore, do not let your good be slandered, (17) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (18) Whoever serves the Messiah in this way is acceptable to God and approved by men. (19) So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. (20) Do not tear down God’s work because of food. Everything is clean, but it is wrong for a man to cause stumbling by what he eats. (21) It is a noble thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother stumble. (22) Do you have faith? Keep it to yourself before God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. (23) But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that is not from faith is sin.”
3rd – Is it ONLY a type and shadow?
Col 2:16-19 NKJV “(16) So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, (17) which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (18) Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, (19) and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”
Which are a shadow of things to come,…. By Christ, and under the Gospel dispensation; that is, they were types, figures, and representations of spiritual and evangelical things: the different “meats and drinks”, clean and unclean, allowed or forbidden by the law, were emblems of the two people, the Jews and Gentiles, the one clean, the other unclean; but since these are become one in Christ, the distinction of meats is ceased, these shadows are gone; ….The “sabbaths” were also shadows of future things; the grand sabbatical year, or the fiftieth year sabbath, or jubilee, in which liberty was proclaimed throughout the land, a general release of debts, and restoration of inheritances, prefigured the liberty we have by Christ from sin, Satan, and the law, the payment of all our debts by Christ, and the right we have through him to the heavenly and incorruptible inheritance. The seventh year sabbath, in which there was no tilling of the land, no ploughing, sowing, nor reaping, was an emblem of salvation through Christ by free grace, and not by the works of men; and the seventh day sabbath was a type of that spiritual rest we have in Christ now, and of that eternal rest we shall have with him in heaven hereafter:
Heb 3:7-19 HCSB “(7) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His voice, (8) do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the desert, (9) where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works (10) for 40 years. Therefore I was provoked with this generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways.” (11) So I swore in My anger, “They will not enter My rest.” (12) Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. (13) But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. (14) For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. (15) As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. (16) For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? (17) And with whom was He “provoked for 40 years”? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? (18) And to whom did He “swear that they would not enter His rest,” if not those who disobeyed? (19) So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”
Heb 4:1-11, “(1) Therefore, while the promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear so that none of you should miss it. (2) For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith (3) (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what He has said: So I swore in My anger, they will not enter My rest. And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, (4) for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way: And on the seventh day God rested from all His works. (5) Again, in that passage He says, They will never enter My rest. (6) Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, (7) again, He specifies a certain day–today–speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated: Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. (8) For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken later about another day. (9) A Sabbath rest remains, therefore, for God’s people. (10) For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. (11) Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.”
Now does the Sabbath and Feasts have New Covenant significance? Yes but again, it is most likely in the form of a remembrance – predominantly.
1Cor. 5:7-8, NKJV “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (8) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
What did Jesus tell His disciples, “This is a New Covenant Law, you will perform once a year commemorating my crucifixion.”? NO! But, “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” ~ Luke 22:19
Paul repeating this to the Corinthians said, “(23) For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; (24) and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (25) In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” – 1Cor. 11:23-26
So I believe it is with the Sabbath.
There is a Labor which is to NEVER cease…
—-My father and I have labored
John 5:8-17, HCSB “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your bedroll and walk!” (9) Instantly the man got well, picked up his bedroll, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, (10) so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “This is the Sabbath! It’s illegal for you to pick up your bedroll.” (11) He replied, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your bedroll and walk.'” (12) “Who is this man who told you, ‘Pick up your bedroll and walk?'” they asked. (13) But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. (14) After this, Jesus found him in the temple complex and said to him, “See, you are well. Do not sin any more, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” (15) The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. (16) Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. (17) But Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.”
Rev 14:12-13, HCSB “Here is the endurance of the saints, who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus.” (13) Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”
Last 2 questions?
- Is church supposed to be on the Sabbath?
- Did the early church replace the Sabbath with the 1st day of the week?
Concerning church on the sabbbath…
“Church” on the sabbath –
The custom of reading the Scriptures in public assemblies and synagogues appears to have been introduced after the exile – and it is “believed” by many that it was at the reading of the Law as mentioned in Nehemiah 8 following the rebuilding of the wall and the return of the Jewish exiles (cf. Neh. 8; Luke 4:16).
Acts 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.
Acts 13:27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath…
Acts 13:42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
Acts 13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
Acts 15:21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
Acts 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
Act 17:1-3 HCSB Then they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. (2) As usual, Paul went to them, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (3) explaining and showing that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, and saying: “This is the Messiah, Jesus, whom I am proclaiming to you.”
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
So, while it became a tradition and one that both Jesus and the Apostles recognized there is little to directly connect this traditional weekly event which PREDATES the church to the services we now observe on the “same day”. HOWEVER, even though it was NOT a requirement of scripture Jesus and the Apostles observed it since it was obviously a good thing for men to come and hear the word! So we are on good grounds to do the same with our modern tradition as well.
Did the early church replace the Sabbath with the 1st day of the week?
Acts 20:7 “On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.”
1Cor. 16:2 “On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save to the extent that he prospers, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.”
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. …Blessings!
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