Think You Observe The Sabbath?

This post by Tim Challies concerning the Law verses Grace is very interesting.  We’ve had lots of discussion at our church recently concerning the Law, the Ten Commandments and believers today.  The sermon on Wednesday night was a very good understanding of how believers today should relate to the Sabbath.  This sums up my best understanding of how the Sabbath relates to believers today.  I always get tickled when someone says they observe a Biblical Sabbath and yet it looks nothing like a Biblical Sabbath.  Church, nap and Church does not a Sabbath make.  Although it does make for a nice day.  😉

What the Law-Keeper Cries to the Gospel-Lover by Tim Challies

Jewish law forbids work on the Sabbath, but the question that has always plagued law-keepers is this: what actually constitutes work? Many modern interpretations of the law state that using an electrical button on the Sabbath constitutes work. Pressing a button closes an electrical switch and the closing of the switch is interpreted as “building” a circuit. Any kind of building on the Sabbath is strictly forbidden by the law. For that reason, many of the apartment buildings in this area use a feature in their elevators known as “Shabbat [Sabbath] service.” Sabbath service removes the need to press buttons. When the service is engaged, the elevator will either stop at every floor on both the way up and the way down, or it will rise to the top and then stop at every floor on the way down. In either case, the sanctity of the Sabbath is maintained. (Wikipedia’s article on Shabbat service is fascinating in its explanation of the variations of interpretation)

Be sure to read the whole article, very much worth it.

Some might say that well these Jews have taken the OT Sabbath and become legalistic about it.  But if you study what was said in the OT concerning the Law you would see that nope, they aren’t being legalistic.  Remember the passage in Numbers 15:32-36?  That was taking the Sabbath pretty seriously!

But then if you were to read everything in the NT concerning the law you might be surprised at what the Bible actually says about our relationship with it today.

The Law of Christ by Charles Leiter is one of the best explanations about the Law and believers.  I highly recommend reading the book. 🙂

Oh, be thankful for Grace!



Justification and Regeneration – Charles Leiter

The book Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter is also available as a pdf download.

What does the Bible mean when it says that Christians have died to sin? How is it possible for a just God to justify the ungodly without becoming unjust Himself? What is regeneration? What is justification? Why do all men desperately need to be justified? If I have died to sin, why am I still affected by it? As a Christian, am I the new man or he old man or both? What does the Bible mean when it says that Christians have died to the Law? Are Christians still slaves to sin?

The answers to these and many other questions become clear once we gain a Biblical understanding of justification and regeneration. These two great miracles lie at the very heart of the gospel, yet even among genuine Christians they are surrounded by confusion and ignorance. This book attempts to set forth in clear Biblical light the nature and characteristics of justification and regeneration that God may be glorified and His children brought to know more fully the liberty that is theirs in Christ.

The nice thing about pdf’s is that they can be emailed to a kindle for reading.  So no having to sit at the computer to read a hundred page book.

Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter pdf


The Law of Christ, Part 1 by Charles Leiter

This sermon is well worth listening to.  It explains the Law of Moses in relation to the Law of Christ.

Audio of the sermon – Law of Christ pt 1  

Below is my transcribed notes from the sermon which will give you the gist of it.

The Law of Christ, Part 1 by Charles Leiter 

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (KJV)
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Three sets of people here in this passage.

The Jews – under the Law, the Law of Moses

The Gentiles – without the Law, the Law written on the heart

Romans 2:14-15 (KJV)
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Acts 28:3-4 (KJV)
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

How did the heathen Gentiles know this verse?  Who is Vengeance or Justice?

Numbers 32:23 (KJV) But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

The Gentile without any Bible still has some of the Law written on his heart.  But essentially he is still without the Law.  The did not have the Law of Moses or the 10 Commandments.

The Christians – Paul himself

Notice what Paul says to the Jews “I became a Jew in order to win the Jews.”  Something tremendous happened to change Saul, the Pharisee, the Jew of all Jews, into Paul the Christian.  He says he became as those who are under the Law.  See he’s not under the Law any longer. 

To the Gentiles, he became as one without the Law. But just in case you think that Paul has gone wild, he points out that he still has the Law of God, I’m under the Law of Christ, yet he doesn’t use the term the Law of Moses.

Footnote: Notice that Paul used the term Law of Moses just a few verses earlier.

1 Corinthians 9:9 (KJV) For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?


What is the Law of Christ?  If we are believers we should be able to answer that question.

The Law of Christ isn’t:

The Law of Moses

Romans 6:14 (KJV) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 7:4-6 (KJV)
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Ephesians 2:14-16 (KJV)
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV)
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Galatians 2:19-21 (KJV)
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The Law of Moses was a mighty thing.  God even wrote the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone.  Yet, 900 years later the prophet Jeremiah said:

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (KJV)
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

You could be in the Old Covenant and not know the Lord, in fact most of them didn’t know the Lord.  Just look at what they did!   You could be a good Jew, keep your sacrifices – You’re born a Jew.  Born into that covenant without knowing the Lord.  This is why we do not baptize infants.  People say well look they circumcised infants, why shouldn’t we baptize infants?  They circumcised the infant because he really was in the Old Covenant by physical birth. 

We do baptize infants but they are spiritual infants.  Soon as someone is born spiritually they are in the New Covenant.  See we are talking about a Covenant where every single person knows the Lord. Do you know God personally?  Are you taught of God?

Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.  They are gone. Taken care of.  The Jews knew this Covenant was coming.  600 years later Jesus says this is the Blood of the New Covenant.  This is not the blood of bulls and goats, but the Blood of Christ.  This is the real Covenant, not a shadow or a type.  In Hebrews the writer says:

Hebrews 8:13 (KJV) In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

The Jews didn’t like that they said the believers must still keep the Law.  Once you add just a little bit of works in here, just a tiny bit, that is all it takes to put you in Hell forever!  This is a matter of Heaven or Hell.

How does Paul refute them?

What other Covenants were there?

The covenant with Abraham.

Before the Law of Moses there was a covenant made with Abraham.  It was a Covenant of Promise.

Galatians 3:15-29 (KJV)
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

What were the Promises to Abraham?

A seed – Isaac,

A nation – Israel,

Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV)
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  

A Land – the Land flowing with milk and honey

A Blessing – Abraham was blessed immensely.  Through you all the Nations of the world will be blessed.

Abraham received all of these in abundance.  But the things Abraham received were a type, a shadow, a figure of the real thing that was to come later.

A seed – The real seed was Christ.

A Nation – The real nation is a Spiritual nation the church

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Matthew 21:43 (KJV) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Let’s look at the full context.

Matthew 21:33-43 (KJV)
33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The church produces the fruit of the Kingdom.

The Land – A Heavenly Country, a better country.  Abraham was not just looking for Canaan, but for a heavenly country and city.

Hebrews 11:13-16 (KJV)
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Romans 4:13 (KJV) For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

This is a promise, there is not something I must do to earn it, it a promise given. Not human performance.  By Grace. By Faith.

The Blessing – A spiritual blessing 

Galatians 3:7-14 (KJV)
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Blessed is the man to whom God will not impute sin.

Romans 4:8 (KJV) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Go to the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament!!!

What was the big stumbling block to the Jew?  A crucified Messiah!  He died as a criminal, cursed of God.  The Messiah has come and he has died!?!

Isaiah said He would die under a curse not His curse but my curse.

We learn that all along history has been moving toward Jesus Christ.

Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV)
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Israel is not a permanent nation, but just a step toward Christ.

The Law of Moses is given once the nation is established as a schoolmaster to get us to Christ.  The Law of Moses shows how sinful we are and how we need a Savior.  This is a shadow that gives way to reality eventually.  Israel is the Parenthesis.  God never goes backwards.  He has a true spiritual people now, not just people set apart by rituals and ceremonies.  There is reality and substance.

Now that the work is finished we are no longer under a tutor (The Law of Moses).

Nurse crop – When you planted alfalfa you planted another crop like oats.  The oats protected the baby alfalfa through the winter and then the oats died out in the spring so that the alfalfa could grow unhindered.

When John the Baptist came he said time for the nurse crop to die out.

The church is not physical or political, it is Spiritual.