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7 Reasons Why Our Day of Worship Does Matter

Posted on July 31, 2018
7 Reasons Why Our Day of Worship Does Matter
  • Is the commandant to worship on the seventh day just an outdated Old Testament teaching?
  • Is Jesus’ practice of keeping the Sabbath not important for Christians today?
  • Is the Sabbath a Jewish tradition rather than a part of God’s moral law?

For centuries, Christians around the world have worshiped on Sunday—many saying they do so in honor of Christ’s resurrection. However, a small number of believers maintain that the seventh-day Sabbath remains God’s specified day of worship. According to one Christian, none of this should matter to anyone.

But what does the Bible reveal?

1. Creation. Although the theory of evolution has sought to discredit the biblical view of a seven-day creation, the Bible presents the seventh day, the Sabbath day, as the culminating act in God’s original plan for our world. “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:1–3).

Sabbath was the first full day of human existence, and we see clearly in Genesis that God distinguished it from all the other days of the week. His act of sanctifying the seventh day means He made it holy—He set it apart as a day for us to reflect on the work He had done. This means that the sanctification of the seventh day occurred before the days of Moses—who later would not establish a holy day in the fourth commandment (see below), but rather call back to the creation of the holy Sabbath.

We see the evidence of the universal nature of the Sabbath in nearly every language around the globe, where the names for the seventh day are variations of “Sabbath” and often refer to “rest.”

2. Moral Law. When God declared His moral law with His own voice and finger on Mount Sinai, He referenced Creation as the foundation of the Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. … 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” (Exodus 20:8–11). Yet while the moral code of the Ten Commandments is universally recognized by Christians, most deny the specifics of the Sabbath Commandment, saying it no longer matters. But does that make sense?

3. Jesus’ Example. Christ came to demonstrate for us a life of obedience; the record says, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). We know that Jesus wasn’t a keeper of human conventions or traditions and that He denied the specific Sabbath regulations of the Pharisees—but He was certainly concerned about keeping His Father’s law, attending worship on the seventh day.

He also consistently pointed His disciples to the law: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). (See also Matthew 5:17.) Jesus declared, “I and My Father are one” (John10:30). His life and words upheld the validity of God’s holy law in the believer’s life then, and His example and words uphold them in the Christian life today.

4. New Testament Confirms the Old Testament. Some Christians claim that the New Testament is based on a different law and that now we live by the Spirit. A careful reading of the Old Testament prophets reveals that God’s law and His Spirit have always been interconnected. “Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:12).

In the New Testament, Paul explains the unity of the Spirit and the law in our lives. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. …  that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2, 4). Some claim Paul is speaking of two different laws, but the context shows that the law is the same—it is the Spirit that makes the difference.

5. Matter of Masters. Keeping God’s eternal law, through the power of His Holy Spirit, including the seventh-day Sabbath, demonstrates to the world who we accept as Lord. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). Keeping God’s seventh-day Sabbath demonstrates our loyalty to Him as our Master.

6. An End-Time Issue. Sabbath keeping is about loyalty, and Revelation gives a clear call to God’s people to worship Him on that day, pointing back to Creation as evidence for His authority. “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’ ” (Revelation 14:6, 7). Today, God is calling His people to be a part of “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

7. Eternal Sabbath. Throughout Scripture, the Sabbath is linked with Creation. The prophet Isaiah explains that it will be an eternal part of God’s great plan: “ ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain. … And from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 66:22, 23). Throughout the history of our world, the seventh-day Sabbath has remained a sign of God’s power as Creator and Redeemer.

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