The Sabbath Day

Sabbath observance is a subject vaguely known by many, but truly reckoned with by few. And you ask, "Why should I take it seriously? After all, it's just another ritual." The Sabbath is not a ritual. It is a special day which God has hallowed and blessed at the completion of his creation. He has made the Sabbath for us so that we may rest from a week of hard work on this day and remember our Creator for his unfailing care and providence.

Why Keep the Sabbath?

The Sabbath reminds us of the grandeur of God's creation; it points clearly to the Creator and to His immense providence and grace. As God Himself rested on the seventh day of Creation to set an example for us, He also wants us to be refreshed physically, mentally, and spiritually through worshiping him and keeping this day holy.

Sabbath observance is also a sign between God and His worshipers. It is an identity that every citizen of God's holy nation carries. By keeping this day holy, we acknowledge that God is our Lord, who sanctifies us and strengthens us against the temptations of this world.

All the more, the Sabbath is a day to remember the salvation of God. It is a constant reminder that Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from the bondage of sin and to give true rest to our souls. In the same way, the Sabbath urges us to look forward to the blessing of the eternal rest in the Heavenly Kingdom. It is the constant renewal of this hope that guides God-fearing people on the path to everlasting life.

Which Day Is Sabbath?

The Biblical Sabbath is on the seventh day of the week, or Saturday. This fact was made clear at the time of Creation. God rested on the seventh day of the Creation week; the Israelites kept the seventh-day Sabbath; the Lord Jesus kept the Sabbath, as was his custom; the apostles and members of the church in the New Testament observed the seventh day as the Sabbath day. Today, God wants all believers to honor this day as well.

God specifically set the seventh day apart from all other days of the week and blessed this day. The Scriptures also remind us to keep this day holy unto the Lord. Since the Sabbath day is the Lord's appointed day, not a day of our own choice, we must observe this day to the Lord just as he commanded.

Observing the Sabbath

The Sabbath is a day of rest. We are to rest from worldly tasks and cares and dedicate this day solely to God. The Bible tells us to "call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and honor it by not going [our] own way and not doing as [we] please or speaking idle words, then [we] will find [our] joy in the Lord" (Isaiah 58:13-14).

Worship service, prayer, Bible study, and fellowship are all spiritually edifying activities that help us focus our minds on the things of God. Through praises and offerings, we express our sincere gratitude to God for his salvation and daily provisions.

The New Testament also gives us vivid scenes of Jesus preaching the gospel, caring for the sick and doing good deeds on the Sabbath. We should imitate our Lord and devote this day to performing good deeds.

Origin of Sunday Worship

Ample evidence from history shows that the celebration of Sunday originated from pagan practices of sun worship. In March of 321 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was at first a sun-worshiper and later a Christian convert, issued the first decree declaring Sunday to be a legal day of rest. In 336 A.D., the Roman Catholic church officially changed the observance of Sabbath to Sunday for political and economic expediency. Since then, the original Sabbath gradually gave way to Sunday observance and the practice remains to this day.

The Biblical Sabbath, however, is and has always been on the seventh day of the week, or Saturday. We must look to the Bible as our authority and keep the seventh-day Sabbath ordained by God.

extracted from True Jesus Church: Our Basic Beliefs - an Introductory Brochure