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Hi Friends!

In the past month or two many people have asked me questions about the teaching of the Sabbath, and I felt led to put the results of my study together in one document. However I will post this study in installments. As always, if you wish to forward this on to someone else, feel free to do so.

If these things are new to you, I ask your prayerful consideration. I ask first that you don't take my word for anything, but that you consult the Word of God. Don't take the word of any human, whether he or she be a pastor or teacher or beloved friend or relative. In the end, when stand before our Maker, no other human will be there to answer for us. God has given us a Book which reveals His truth.

If these things are not new to you, please take the time anyway to read through the document. I hope you will be blessed. We're getting close to the end. Jesus is coming soon. Everything He's told us has come true, and His promise to return in the clouds will also be fulfilled.

"Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."


Should Christians Keep The Sabbath?

Part 1:A Great Question


This is a matter of greatest importance. It really revolves around the question, “How should a believer relate to his God?” or “How should a creature relate to his Maker?” It would seem that the simple and reasonable response to such an inquiry would be “with unquestioning obedience.” Does not our Creator God deserve to be obeyed? Who would suggest that it would be acceptable for the one made to dishonor and disobey the One Who has given life?

As strange as it may seem, there is one who has suggested and promoted that very idea! Long ago, the Scriptures tell us, Lucifer, a most talented, beautiful and wise angel, one who was a “covering cherub,” which means his lofty position was close to the very throne of God, somehow came to the way of thinking that he was deserving of the worship and adoration belonging only to God. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” Isaiah 14:12-14.

How he formed that conclusion is a mystery that cannot be explained. In the Bible it’s called the “mystery of iniquity.” II Thessalonians 2:7, KJV. But he did, and began a war in heaven (Revelation 12:7-9) through which he garnered the support of about one third of the angels. He was particularly jealous of Jesus, the second Member of the Godhead, through Whom everything had been created. Eventually Lucifer was evicted from heaven and the location of the battle was transferred to this earth.

The issues this fallen angel raised were fundamental. In his jealousy, he charged God with being restrictive, unjust and unloving; of requiring too much of His creatures. He claimed that the foundation of God’s government, the great law of love that had been written on the hearts of all His creatures resulted in virtual slavery. This despite the fact that until then only peace, harmony and happiness had been known! His would be a better way; one without law. Everyone would be free to pursue his own direction and follow his own wishes.

Upon planet Earth, this became the substance of his argument to Eve. Addressing her through one of God’s most beautiful creatures, the serpent, Satan suggested that it was alright to disobey God’s explicit command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He went on to say that she actually would experience life on a higher level if she violated God’s command; that she would become like God Himself. (See Genesis 3:1-5.) He told her that God didn’t really mean what He had said, that she wouldn’t really die.

Unfortunately, we know that Eve and her husband Adam disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit, with chaos and catastrophe following. Sin and its lethal effects were admitted to the human family and to this day every sorrow and heartache can be traced back to that fateful act of disobedience.

Next: A Great Plan
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Your brother in Christ,
Doc

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I will look forward to the development of your topic. As far as I am concerned the test of obeying God by worshipping on His holy day, the Sabbath , is the same test for us as was the test of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden. That test has nothing to do with a tree.. This one has nothing to do with a "day".. They both dealt with whether we are willing to obey God in what he has asked us to do or not to do.
You got that right, 'nuff. That is exactly what the Sabbath amounts to. Lot of people see reason in having a rest, but if they don't respect God's will, they will not see much reason in resting on the seventh day of the week. If they don't want to obey God, they will say, "Yes, I agree we need a rest. That makes good sense. But I am not going to do it on Saturday, because it doesn't make sense to me."

By saying that, they are saying they put their human reasoning before God's command.

That is exactly what Eve did. God told Adam and Eve, "There are many trees in this Garden. You can eat from all of them-- except for one tree in the middle of the Garden. Don't eat of it or you will die."

Eve chose to trust her own reasoning rather than obey God's command. We've been paying the price of her and Adam's choice ever since.

The reason the Sabbath test is important is that it reveals whether an individual is just obeying God because God agrees with them, or whether they obey God even when His command doesn't make any sense. It's one thing to obey when you believe the person is right, but what happens when God tells us to do something our human reasoning doesn't understand? Will we still obey? Adam and Eve didn't. At the end of time, humanity will be tested in the same way Adam and Eve were tested. It's a test of faith, and for that very reason, the Sabbath becomes a sign or seal of the righteousness which is by faith.

Will we choose to accept death rather that disobey God? That is what it will be all about. We are deciding today what we will do when that time of crisis arrives.
All we have is human reasoning. WE are human. They are not purposefully going against God. They are doing what they feel the HS has impressed them to do. Comparing this to Eve is just not compatible. By this you are saying that all Sunday keepers are purposefully going against what God has told them?

I would propose that the HS works at different paces with each person. Some may never have the test of doing what is right by Sabbath keeping. We just can't know.
A Great Plan


Nevertheless, God had mercy on the human family and offered them a way back into His favor so they could be given another opportunity to make a choice. The act of disobedience had called for punishment and there was no way that the consequence of death could be set aside. God’s law is as sacred as His throne and the entire universe would be placed in jeopardy should His law be nullified. But there was a way that the human family could be restored to favor and that would be if God Himself, Author of the law and Originator of the human race, would take the punishment they deserved. The Lord Jesus, Creator of all, would come and be born into the human family and reveal to mankind and indeed the entire universe, that God’s law could be obeyed. Adam in his perfection need not have sinned and obedience was even possible in sinful flesh, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:14. Jesus would demonstrate that God is love by His every action, culminating in His death on the cross by which He would pay for man’s sin.

“What,” you might ask, “does this have to do with the Sabbath?” It has everything to do with it! From that day in Eden to this, Satan has still championed his cause of rebellion in tempting the sons and daughters of Adam to believe that the Father is not a God of love and that His laws are too restrictive; that freedom and happiness are derived from trampling on His law and doing “your own thing.” His pitch hasn’t changed; it’s just put on modern clothing for our generation, but it’s the same line of thinking he gave to Eve in the Garden.

This is the great question that each of us must decide. This is what life is about: will we accept the Lord as our Maker, our God? Will we acknowledge that His ways are best and trust Him even when we can’t see into the future? Will we honor Him as our Creator by obeying and serving Him implicitly and joyfully? Or will we heed the hiss of Eden’s serpent and charge God with being an unfair and unloving Ruler, undeserving of our respect and homage. Our response to that question is filled with eternal significance.

Saved by Grace through Faith which Works by Love

Let it be stated plainly that our law-keeping in no way qualifies us for salvation. We were born in sin and are incapable of doing anything that will earn God’s favor. “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight.” Romans 3:20. Salvation is a free gift of grace, received through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8. Our obedience is the fruit of salvation, our expression of loyalty and appreciation to the God Who has saved us. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” I John 2:3.

By obeying Him, we declare that His law is “holy, just and good,” and that we believe that it is for our benefit, the benefit of society and the honor of His name that we submit to His requirements. In short, we place ourselves on the side of God and His throne when we obey Him. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?” Romans 6:16. What’s wrong with being loyal to Christ?

Let it also be stated clearly that only through Christ can true obedience to any of His requirements ever be rendered. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), but through Him we can do all things! Philippians 4:13. However, since God created His beings with freedom of choice, it is only when we give our consent to allow His Spirit to instruct and empower us that He will live in us. Then He will implant the principles of His character within our hearts and give us the strength to live a life worthy of our calling. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear a
Doc... IMO when The Lord comes He will ask us only two questions; 1. Did you Love Me? 2. Did you Obey me? It is as simple as that . 'nuff sed
Should Christians Keep the Sabbath? Part III

God’s Law Eternal


From the beginning, our human forefathers were not left in ignorance of God’s commands. Because man’s mental powers were strong, fresh from the Creator’s hand, there was no need to commit His law to writing, but we know that man had a clear understanding of God’s expectations. Mankind was clear as to his duty both to God and to his fellow man. Cain knew that murder was wrong. Genesis 4:1-9. Abraham had a distinct understanding of the difference between true worship and idolatry. Joshua 24:2, 3. He also knew that misrepresenting the truth was wrong. Genesis 12:11-20; 20:1-5. Joseph knew that adultery was a sin. Genesis 39:7-9. Before the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, the people of God knew about the Sabbath. Exodus 16.

At Mt. Sinai, nearly half-way through the story of human history, since the original vitality of man’s thinking and remembering had deteriorated, God’s wisdom saw fit to place in writing His law. In grandeur beyond words His voice thundered the Ten Commandments. With His finger He inscribed them in stone. Although through the centuries He would allow godly men, the prophets, to express His message, the giving of the Ten Commandments was not entrusted to human agency; they were written by Himself. They were stones “cut out without hands” that impacted the entire globe.

These ten precepts were to govern the relations between God and man (the first four commandments), and man with his fellowmen (the last six) in all times and places. They were universal in their application. Who would argue that God’s prohibitions against murder, lying, adultery, coveting or idolatry pertained only to one class of people at only one time?

They were not invented at Sinai; they were fully applicable during the 25 previous centuries. But now, because of man’s weakness, they were inscribed in stone as a perpetual reminder of God’s just requirements. The Ten Commandments were called the “testimony” because they bear witness as to God’s character. Exodus 31:18. The ten statements reveal who He is. They were called the “covenant” because they formed the basis of man’s relation to God, and obedience to these would demonstrate man’s allegiance to God. Deuteronomy 4:13; 5:2-21; 9:9-11, 15.

Beside the Decalogue, there were other guidelines given through Moses while Israel encamped at the foot of Sinai regulating civil, health and ceremonial issues. These were written by Moses in “book” and placed outside the ark of the covenant. Clear and intentional distinction was made by God between the moral law, the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws.

It would seem obvious that these same Ten Commandments would remain the expression of God’s law and that those who acknowledge Him as Creator would gladly honor Him by obedience to them.

Unfortunately, Satan has been hard at work to undermine the principles of His precepts. His war in heaven began by challenging the throne and law of God and his policy has never changed. He has induced men into believing and teaching that obedience is not necessary. He has led men into interpretations that twist the plain meaning of God’s Word to suit his own purpose. He has ingeniously persuaded men to put a false light on certain portions of the Bible, ignoring the obvious intent of the Scriptures. He knows that if he can undermine confidence in and fidelity to God’s law he will have accomplished his goal of rebellion. He will be able to claim those caught in his revolt as his adherents and thus disqualified to receive the gift of salvation so painfully obtained by Jesus.

What do the Scriptures teach us about obedience to the law? We should pause here for a moment and ask, What do we mean by the term “law”? What do we do in the case of a word that can mean more than one thing? To be fair, words must be interpreted by their context. This is not unusual: we do it all the time. Take the word “bench,” for example. Depending on how this word is used, it can mean a simple device for sitting, a place in a baseball dugout where those who are not playing sit or the place where judges sit when they make decisions. If your neighbor were to say to you, “Billy had been playing third base but today he was on the bench,” you would not take that to mean that he had been appointed to a judgeship! You would interpret the word “bench” according to the context in which it was used and understand that he was not actively playing the game that particular day. Fairness in the interpretation of words will insure accurate understanding, and nowhere is that principle needed more than in reading the Scriptures.

Because there are a number of Bible texts which may at first glance seem to indicate that the Ten Commandment law was abolished, we need to look carefully at how the term “law” is used and the context in which it appears. When the term “law” is used in the New Testament, it can have varying meanings. It can mean:

1.) The “Torah,” the entire “revealed will of God,” encompassing the whole body of Scripture, particularly the books of Moses.

2.) The Ten Commandments, which are definitely referred to as God’s law.

3.) Certain laws affecting ceremonies and rites associated with the temple service. For example, the “law” which needed to be “changed” in Hebrews 7:12 is the law which specified that only those of the family of Aaron and the tribe of Levi could serve as priests. See Ezra 2:62, where after the return from the captivity some were disqualified from the priesthood because they couldn’t establish their lineage from Aaron.

4.) There were also various civil, health and dietary laws given in the Old Testament.

Paul at times uses the term “law” in the sense that it represents the (mistaken) theory of Pharisaical Judaism that by ones own obedience to the “law,” salvation could be earned. In some of those passages where he seems to be speaking disparagingly of the law, a careful examination of the context and other passages confirms that he is not proclaiming that the (Ten Commandment) law is nullified, but that salvation is received as a free gift rather than by ones works.

Given these various meanings, it behooves the reader of the New Testament to analyze carefully the context of each passage in which the term “law” appears and ask, “Does this text really say that the Ten Commandments are abolished? or is there another way to understand it, especially since there is clear evidence in other verses that God’s Ten Commandments are still in effect?”

With respect to the Ten Commandments notice what we find in the New Testament. Shortly after beginning His ministry, the Savior enunciated the principles of His kingdom in what is called the “Sermon on the Mount.” Matthew 5-7. This event is the “Mt. Sinai of the New Testament.” What did Jesus declare--that the law was done away with? No. He expanded on the law, and demonstrated that the law went further than outward actions; it reaches to our very thoughts, motives and intents. This was not really a “new” concept; it had been taught in the Old Testament, but had been lost sight of and Christ brought it back into the spotlight.

Within that Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed clearly that it was not His purpose that the law be done away with. He declared, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19. A “jot” and “tittle” were the smallest parts of Hebrew letters. Jesus is saying, “Not a sentence, not a word, not a letter, not even a fragment of a letter will be removed from the law till all is finished.”

What “commandments” is He talking about? He proceeds directly to say, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’….but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Matthew 5:21, 22. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery.” Matthew 5:27, 28.

It goes without saying that the portions Jesus quoted, as illustrations of the law that He came “not to destroy” are from the Ten Commandments. To say that Jesus’ death on the cross put an end to the Ten Commandments flies in the face of Christ’s direct statement given in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus didn’t say, “By the way, you only have to obey the Ten Commandments for another three years or so, because when I die on Calvary they will be nullified.” To maintain that things changed at the cross and now we’re free to disobey the Commandments goes directly against His comment, “Till heaven and earth pass.”

On another occasion Jesus defined the “commandments” as being the ones that included “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother and (the summary of the last six of the Ten Commandments) You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 19:18, 19. The teaching that His death abolished the Ten Commandments would have been strange to Christ’s ears. Jesus, in Whose heart the law was written (Psalm 40:8) came and lived out the principles the law. “The LORD is will pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:21.

Does Paul teach that the law is done away with? What does he mean when he speaks about not being “under the law”? Paul is addressing at least two concerns by using this phrase. First, the heresy had taken root that one could qualify for eternal life on the basis of his or her own obedience. This is the basis of all false religion; that we can earn favor with God through our works. It would seem unusual that this concept could grow and develop, given the fact that their spiritual forefather Abraham was termed the “patriarch of faith”. And yet, especially among Pharisees, a “check-list” religion flourished, as illustrated in the prayer of the Pharisee in the temple, who touted his good works as making him acceptable to God. Luke 18:9-14.

Paul himself, who had been a Pharisee, confessed that his former way of thinking had been that the good works he had accomplished earned him favor with God. Philippians 3:4-9. Later, he preached “By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” Romans 3:20. The term “under the law,” as used by Paul, applies to those who believed like he had; that by one’s obedience to the law he could be saved. Both New and Old Testament reject that concept. The Old Testament teaches salvation by faith as a gift from God. Paul argues successfully in Romans 3-5 that God’s plan of salvation throughout all time, including the time before the cross was by grace through faith, not of our works. The term “under the law” can be understood to be an abbreviated phrase for “under the system that believes my obedience will qualify me for salvation.” That was Jewish Theology 101 in New Testament times. Paul is completely against that!

The term “under the law” can also mean “under the guilt or condemnation of not realizing that my sins are forgiven through Jesus.” That also is something Paul preaches against. Christians should believe that their sins are pardoned through the blood of the Savior, and once they are acknowledged, confessed and forsaken, they are forgiven and forgotten and the burden of guilt is removed.

In Galatians he uses the term “law” to represent the Old Testament system’s ceremonial laws which helped them understand God’s ways until the Messiah, the true Lamb of God came and taught us about God. When Jesus died on the cross, these “types” or illustrations met their fulfillment and they are no longer required of God’s people.

Of one thing we can be certain. When Paul states, “we are not under law but grace” he most assuredly does not mean that God’s Ten Commandment law is abolished and has no place in our lives. We know that because of his emphatic statement, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31. When he spoke of how God “abolished (in Greek this is the same word as “make void” in Romans 3:31) in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15), it is clear that he was speaking of the “ordinances” pertaining to the sacrificial system. The book of Hebrews speaks of these “copies” and “shadows” of Christ’s death, representing gifts and sacrifices, food and drinks, various washings and “fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.” Hebrews 9:9, 10. These were completely separate from the Ten Commandments. When Paul says He “abolished” the law of commandments contained in ordinances, and yet says that through faith we certainly do not “abolish” the law, unless we conclude that he is contradicting himself, it is more than clear that he is speaking of two different “laws”! Right?

Let’s test the theory that Paul taught the abolition of the Ten Commandments. Let’s see if it stands the test of Scripture. Paul declared, “Where no law is there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. This makes perfect sense; in our legal system a crime can only be established if there is legislation prohibiting a certain act. A prosecutor knows that the first step in a criminal proceeding is to identify the specific statute that has been broken.

In God’s legal system, violation of His law is called sin. Give this careful thought: therefore, this means that if the Ten Commandments were abolished at the cross, then sin no longer exists, for “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. This law is clearly the Ten Commandments: “I would not have known sin except through the law, for I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’” Romans 7:7. The law against coveting is part of the Ten Commandments. Follow this to its shocking conclusion: if there is no law, there is no sin; and if there is no sin, then there is no need of a Savior. But this cannot be true! Therefore the existence of sin compels the conclusion that the Ten Commandment law must also still exist! Paul declared the law to be “holy, just and good.” Romans 7:12.

Think about this: Jesus is King. That must mean He has a kingdom. What kingdom is there that is not governed by law? Not only that, but we observe the faithful application of law throughout God’s great universe, from the orderly movements of the stars in their courses to the laws that affect our lives on this planet, including the laws of gravity, physics, physiology and chemistry. His law governing relationships between mankind and God likewise exists.

Next: The Purpose Of God’s Law

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
We should keep the Sabbath if we are convicted to keep the Sabbath. Period.
The Purpose Of God’s Law

The truth is that the law cannot provide for us salvation; that is, we cannot earn favor with God through our own obedience to it. But that doesn’t mean that the law has no purpose. Paul said to Timothy, “We know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully.” I Timothy 1:8.

The purpose of the law is to point out sin. It is the moral “mirror” that reveals the defects of the heart. “If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:23-25.


What law is James talking about? The Ten Commandments! This is evident from his quoting several commandments as he later speaks again of the “law of liberty.” “For He Who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:10-12. When, by looking at the law, we become conscious of sin in our lives, then we are driven to Christ our Redeemer for cleansing and forgiveness.

The Moral Law and Other Laws

What part does the issue of circumcision play in this discussion? This was a provocative issue in Paul’s day. Old Testament believers were obliged to conform to this rite. In fact, Moses was prohibited from beginning his mission to deliver Israel from Egypt’s bondage until his younger son was circumcised. Exodus 4:24-26. Whether this law would carry over and be required of Gentiles was the subject of the Jerusalem council of A.D. 49 and it was concluded that circumcision and the observance of laws having to do with sacrificial rites were not mandatory. See Acts 15. But to suggest that the result of that council was to abolish the Ten Commandments is outrageous! Would it be fair to say that their decision gave license for murder and lying? No! The moral law was distinctly different from the ceremonial law. Paul said, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God is what matters.” I Corinthians 7:19.

Clear separation existed between the ceremonial (sacrificial) and moral (Ten Commandment) laws. The ceremonial laws were written by Moses; the Ten Commandments by God. The ceremonial laws were written in a book; the Ten Commandments in stone. The ceremonial laws were stored in a compartment beside the ark; the Ten Commandments placed within the ark. See Deuteronomy 31:24-26. With its sacrifices and offerings, the ceremonial law pointed forward as a “shadow” to “good things to come,” that is, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and met their end when He died. God demonstrated this when He tore the curtain in the temple from top to bottom when Jesus expired. Matthew 27:51. On the other hand, as noted, the Ten Commandments apply to all peoples at all times.

God’s Law and the New Covenant

Someone might ask, “But aren’t we under the New Covenant now?” Yes, we are. But notice carefully that the New Covenant does not annul God’s law. “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,’ says the LORD, ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” Hebrews 8:10.

The difference between the Old and New Covenants is not that the Old contained law and the New doesn’t. The New Covenant is not “law-less.” The difference is that the Old Covenant relied on man’s promise to obey the law (“All that the Lord has spoken we will do” Exodus 19:8), while the New Covenant relies on God’s promise to save us and implant His principles in our lives. The “fault” was with the people, not the law. “Because finding fault with them, He says: ‘Behold the days are coming,‘ says the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” Hebrews 8:8.

The law is still very much a part of the New Covenant; He promises to “write it on our hearts.” But the basis for our salvation rests on Christ’s obedience to the law which is imputed to us by grace. God then promises to help us obey Him as the fruit of salvation. As we noted before, so closely identified with His agreement were the Ten Commandments that on occasion they were simply called “the covenant.” “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them in stone.” Deuteronomy 4:13.

Someone might say, “Love is the only law we’re obliged to obey.” Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.” John 13:34. When Jesus was asked about the great commandment He responded, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39. In this sense “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. But it would be foolish to argue that by so saying, Jesus did away with the Ten Commandments! He was merely summarizing them under the canopy of love, which is the only proper and acceptable motivation for obedience. The “new commandment” that we love, is only telling us the “why” and the “how” of obedience to the Ten Commandments. If I love my neighbor, I won’t steal from him or covet what he has. Jesus said, “on these two (the principles of loving God and loving man) hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:40.

The principle of agape love summarizes the precepts of the Ten Commandments. Notice this: a summary does not nullify the specific! Would someone really propose that because he’s under the law of “love” he is free to murder or lie? Certainly not! The “basic speed law” says that you should never drive faster than conditions warrant. That statement might be considered a summarization of safe driving. But the “basic speed law,” does not nullify that sign beside the highway that posts the defined speed limit on the road when you’re traveling.

Would we really want to argue that since we’re saved we’re free to break the Commandments? Because Jesus paid for our sins (our transgressions of the law), does that give us freedom to disobey the law? What did Paul say to this notion? “What then? Shall we sin (break the law) because we are not under the law but under grace? Certainly not!” Romans 6:15. As Christians, as people who have accepted God’s gracious gift of salvation, we are under even greater obligation to obey Him!

Next: Appreciating God’s Law

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
Should Christians Keep the Sabbath? Part V

Appreciating God’s Law



Think also of this. We’ve seen that the Bible says that “love is the fulfilling of the law,” and that “love” is the summary of the law. We also know that “God is love.” I John 4:8. We can see then that His law of love is a perfect reflection of His character of love. One who understands this sees His law as being a mirror image of God. No, the law doesn’t save us, but because it reflects His likeness so clearly, we have great appreciation for it.

I have a photograph of my wife on my office desk. No, it’s not “her.” It’s a likeness, an image of her. But because it is so much like her, and because I love her, I appreciate it. Does that make sense? I like to look at it because it reminds me of her. I can’t help but appreciate the photograph of her. How odd it would seem to say, “I love my wife, but I hate the photo likeness of her. Get rid of it; put it away!” And yet that’s what many teach regarding the Ten Commandments!

So for the one who truly appreciates the character of love of our wonderful God and the fact that His law perfectly reflects that character of love, His law will be a delight. This is the confession of David in that beautiful 119th psalm, dedicated to the high regard he had for God’s law. Here is a brief synopsis of his testimony:

“I will delight myself in Your statues” Psalm 119:16.

“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” Psalm 119:18.

“Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” Psalm 119:24.

“Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in them.” Psalm 119:35.

“I delight in Your law.” Psalm 119:70.

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97.

“Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold! Yes, than fine gold.” Psalm 119:127.

“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” Psalm 119:165.

Violations of His Law Condemned

Paul’s list of the “works of the flesh” can be seen as the “breaking of the Ten Commandments.” He speaks of “adultery, idolatry, envy, murder,” and says that “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. To the Corinthians he wrote, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9, 10. He might just as easily have said, “Those who are insubordinate to God and practice the breaking of the Ten Commandments won’t be saved.” Likewise, the list of misdeeds mentioned in Revelation as characterizing those left outside the City could be viewed as “transgressions of the Ten Commandments.” Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:15. God could not have been clearer regarding the necessity of obedience (through His strength, of course!) to His Ten Commandment law.

The Testimony of Protestant Creeds

It is interesting to note that nearly all the confessions or creeds of the churches of the Protestant Reformation included statements upholding the Ten Commandments and differentiating between God’s great moral law, which is eternal, and the ceremonial law, which came to an end at the cross. A few quotations will suffice to demonstrate this.

“We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good, and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is the one great end of the gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.” The New Hampshire Baptist Confession, A. D. 1833.

“The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man; being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth, yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.” The Methodist Articles of Religion, A. D. 1784.

“God gave Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mt. Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; the first four commandments containing our duty toward God, and other six our duty to man. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordnances, partly of worship, pre-figuring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits, and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All of which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.” The Westminster Confession of Faith, A. D. 1647.

So also agree the testimonies of Luther, Zwingli, the Irish Articles of Religion of 1615, the Anglican Catechism of 1549, the Articles of Religion of the Church of England of 1571, the Articles by the Protestant Episcopal Church of 1801, and many more. The suggestion that God’s Ten Commandments were abolished would have been heresy to the proponents of the Reformation.

Next: Total Obedience Required

Your brother in Christ,
Doc
IMO the keeping of the Sabbath for us is the same test that Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden. The test was not about the fruit nor the tree...The test was whether they would obey God.
Our test is not which day we shall worship God. It is "whether" we shall obey God when he has clearly indicated which day is "special" to Him.........furthermore.......it's not which day we will be with Him, it's which day He will be with us.... 'nuff sed..............
You have said 'nuff ... 'nuff.

lol. I think that Sabbath was made more for a blessing rather than some kind of test. It is no more a test that not killing someone .

The HS has not convicted all that the Sabbath is Saturday. SO, the only test is that of the Holy Spirit. The HS needs to do its job. If it doesn't. Then there is no test.
God never contradicts Himself. Revelation 14 tells us that the test will be over worship. We must choose who we worship and how we worship. God has told us clearly in His Word Who and How to worship. It will truly be a test. The Sabbath is God's sign and seal. And these things are soon to take place upon this earth. May we study Gods word and be ready to meet the Lord. If it was of no importance there would be no Great Controversy. GC ch. 25 "Gods Law Immutable".
The Loud Cry will go through out the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Gods people will proclaim the Sabbath truth and everyone will make a decision regarding the Sabbath. May we be ready vessels to take this message to the world.

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