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!



4 thoughts on “Think You Observe The Sabbath?

  1. The Sabbath actually began in Genesis 2.

    God blessed the seventh day, which is known as the Sabbath.

    What buttons on elevators have to do with the Sabbath is anyones guess, but I also guess it is the ‘genius’ of man’s invention.

    The Lord’s Day is Sunday, or the first day of the week, which is when Jesus arose from the dead.

    Yet again in Romans 14, we read about some esteeming one day above another, and yet another considers each day the same. It tells us to be persuaded in our own minds.

    Thank God for His word.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    Hello! Haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope all is well.

    We’ve all been taught that the Sabbath begins in Genesis 2. However, several years ago, when I was studying the Sabbath, I was surprised to find that the Sabbath is not mentioned until Exodus 16. That was surprising to me from what I had always been taught.

    In Genesis 2, God works six days and He rests on the seventh day and makes that day Holy. However, never is it called the Sabbath nor is man commanded anything about the Sabbath. The Genesis 2 reference is an early picture of what the Lord will do throughout history. With the Jews He institutes a seventh day Sabbath as a sign of the Covenant between Him and Israel (Exodus 31:16-17, Deuteronomy 5:15).

    Then when we get to the NT, the Sabbath is the picture of the Lord Jesus fulfilling the Law and giving us as believers rest from the works of the Law. This is summed up in Hebrews 3 and 4.

    Hebrews 4:8-11 (ESV)
    8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
    9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
    10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
    11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

    Thank goodness the Jewish Sabbath points us toward the real Sabbath rest in Christ Jesus. Otherwise we would still have to be seeking to fulfill the Law and all the Sabbath rules.

    Oh that the Lord would open the eyes of the Jews to see the real Sabbath rest for their souls! They are too lost in their button pushing to see the real Sabbath.

    Berean Wife


  2. Thanks for showing me the meaning of the Sabbath.
    I do fear being in bondage to practices that God has no delight in.

    My absence has been due to ill health,
    which has carried on for about 6 weeks. My husband has been ill too.
    We both have respiratory problems, mine were worse because I’m asthmatic. Thankfully, the worst is over now.
    Plus, I also have times where I just stay away from the computer for a while. A little peace and quite.

    God bless.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    Looking at the real understanding of the Sabbath is such a blessing. Even the Jewish man in the linked article saw that the Jewish Sabbath was a burden, a yoke of slavery (Acts 15:10, Galatians 5:1). But for us Christ is the end of the Law.

    Romans 10:4 (ESV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    Why some want to put us back under the law is astounding to me.

    I’m sorry that you and your husband have been sick. We have had lots of sickness going around in our church, but thankfully my family has stayed well so far. I hope warmer temperature will help you fully recover from the respiratory issues.

    Times of quiet are much needed at times. 🙂

    Berean Wife


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