A friend claims that Christians must keep the Sabbath and that Sunday worship is sinful. Response?
I talked with someone from Asembly church and they say we should worship God on Saturday which is Shabbat day. Here are some scripture he showed me. Gen 2:1-3 Exo 20:8-11 Num 28:9-10 Mat 5:17-18 Jn 1:29 Lk 4:16 Mat 7:21-23 Mat 15:7-9 Mk 16:9 He said, worshiping God on Sunday is the ritual of men and it is wrong. Then those who practice that are not belong to God for they don’t follow the bible. He also said, Sat is the 7th and Sunday is the 1st. Can you help with that? Thx.
The response to this question/claim is not a simple one and could require several pages. I am pretty busy right now and will only give the “Reader’s Digest” condensed version for you. I hope this will be enough to get you started.
First of all, we must ask a simple question. Are disciples of Jesus, under the New Covenant, required to keep the requirements of the Mosaic law? The answer is either yes or no. Of course, in principle, it is possible that Christians are required to keep parts of the Law of Moses and not required to keep others, but we would need specific passages which indicate which of the Mosaic commands we are required to keep. My conclusion is that we are no longer under the Law of Moses and are not required to keep these laws. The entire tenor and message of Galatians and Colossians is that Christians are not under the Law of Moses and those who require disciples to obey these laws in order to be saved are themselves condemned!!!! This is made clear in a number of passages, such as Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 3:1-5 (Did you receive the spirit by observing the Law?), Galatians 3:19-25 (we are no longer under the supervision of the law) Galatians 5:7-12, Colossians 2:13-23 (having canceled the written code… Do not let anyone judge you with regard to a Sabbath… These are destined to perish…)
Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill its requirements and to offer a new covenant–a covenant of freedom in Christ (Matthew 5:17-18, Galatians 5:1-6 which specifically declares that circumcision is not required). Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and provided a new one. The first covenant has now disappeared, as it was a mere shadow (Hebrews 8:13). So, which of the laws are still required for Christians? Is the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath mentioned in the New Testament? Yes it is. In Colossians 2 where we are told we are not to judge people with regard to a Sabbath. Here is the simple answer: Unless a specific requirement is mentioned or implied in the New Testament, then the Christian is not required to keep such a law. We are not required to sacrifice bulls, to see a Rabbi when we have a skin disease, to abstain from pork, to circumcise our male children, to keep the Sabbath, to go to Jerusalem for the Passover of any other of the Mosaic Law requirements.
About Sunday worship, it is true that this was a tradition of the first century church. We know from dozens of sources that from its very inception, the Christian Church met on Sunday to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, to pray, the hear the Word of the Lord and to fellowship. We know this from biblical examples as well (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2 and others). There is no biblical evidence for the churches meeting on the Sabbath–absolutely none, although there is some evidence from Church History that some churches met on both Saturday and Sunday. I will agree with your friend that Sunday worship is a tradition. I would not call it a ritual, as worship in the Christian Church should not be a ritual. It is a tradition, but an apostolic one. To say that it is wrong is itself just plain wrong. How do I know? Because it is an indisputable fact that the church under the apostles had their principle meeting on Sunday. Is this person claiming that Peter and Paul and James were sinning when they had the church meet on Sunday? Is there any historical or biblical evidence that the apostles taught Saturday worship? The answer is simple. No, there is not.
About the passages, I will not take the time to “refute” the false interpretation of each of these passages. Genesis 2:1-3 certainly does not teach that followers of Jesus must observe a Sabbath! I have already shown that Christians are not under the requirements of the Mosaic Law, which will answer Exodus 20:8-11. I do not see how John 1:29 even applies. The fact that Jesus, a Jew, observed the Sabbath (Luke 4:16) is totally irrelevant to the question of whether a Christian ought to do the same thing. Jesus also avoided eating pork and observed the Day of Atonement, which no Christian does.
I hope this will get you started.