Sabbath vs. Salvation by Grace

Sabbath vs Salvation by grace: Does it conflict?

[I think SDAs put too much emphasis on both Sabbath keeping and Soul Sleeping. As a New Testament Christian, I do not see any relevance in both of those, even if you can prove those doctrines using scripture verses.]

Whether the Adventist put too much emphasis on these doctrines or not is not the question. The question is what does the Bible teach? I want to believe what the Bible teaches. For Isaiah 8:20 says "If they speak not according to this word (of God), it is because there is no light in them." We better believe in doctrines that have AMPLE support from the bible. 2 Timothy 3:16 All (old & New) scripture is given by inspiration of God …for doctrine…..reproof…instruction. Many Christians haven’t understood the implication of this verse & so they come up with doctrines alien to scripture.

To touch on the Old and the New Covenant before I proceed any further:

a. On God’s side there is only one covenant called the Everlasting Covenant. That covenant includes faith on man’s part and Grace on God’s part.

i. The covenant with our first Family (Gen 3:15) - says by faith Able (Heb 11:4)

ii. The covenant with Noah (Gen 9) - says by faith Noah (Heb 11:7) - (Noah found grace... (Gen 6:8). Notice in Gen 9 where 3 times God calls this covenant “MY” covenant and 1 time He calls it the “everlasting covenant”.

iii. The covenant with Abraham (Gen 17) - Again says by faith Abraham (Heb 11:8).

In Gen 17, nine times God says it is “My” covenant and 3 times He calls it the “Everlasting” covenant. IT SOUNDS LIKE GOD’S COVENANT (MY COVENANT) IS EQUATED WITH THE EVERLASTING COVENANT!!!!

iv. The covenant with Israel at Mt Sinai (Exodus 19). This was the Everlasting Covenant that God offered to Israel. Also see Psalm 105:8-10 and 1 Chiron 16:15-17. The New Testament church is saved under the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20).

vi. God never records in the Scriptures where anybody was saved under the Old Covenant. In fact he says that by the deeds of the law shall NO FLESH be justified (Rom 3:20).

How could God have saved folks in the OT under works? Everyone that was saved in the Old Testament was saved by grace on God’s part, faith on man’s part. Hebrews 11:13 says “THEY ALL died in faith…”

vii. The Gospel is the same in both testaments. See Romans 4:1-8 where Paul quotes from Psalms 32 to prove righteousness by faith. In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul says that even if an angel preached another gospel to you… let him be accursed. Abraham had the Gospel preached to him Gal 3:8. That gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus 1 Cor 15:1-4. Adam and Eve understood that the lamb was Christ Gen 3:15 …that taketh away the sin of the WORLD (1 Cor 5:7; John 1:29).

viii. God offered Israel righteousness by faith but they turned it into righteousness by works. The fault was Israel’s, not God (Heb 8:8). God never changes his covenant Ps 89:34.

ix. The Old covenant was righteousness by faith and the New covenant also called the Everlasting covenant was righteousness by faith and both had the laws of God in them Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:10; 10:16.

Can you point to one text that says that anybody was ever saved by his law keeping? I have not found it. SDA’s believe that our law keeping will never save us but we keep the law as a result of being saved. We preach & believe that only the blood of Jesus will save us.

[To me, Sabbath keeping involves 2 main aspects namely, worship and abstaining from all kinds of physical work on the Sabbath day.]

The idea that Sabbath keeping involves attendance at a worship service is not apparent in the Old Testament. There is no evidence that people in the Old Testament attended any kind of worship service. There is lots of evidence for attendance at Sabbath worship services in the New Testament. Jesus attended synagogue worship services. Paul attended synagogue worship services. The New Testament Christians met in house churches to worship on Sabbath. So attendance at Sabbath worship services is definitely something that the New Testament added to the Sabbath commandment. The Sabbath commandment requires two things: That God's people keep the day holy and that they refrain from work. The reason given for these two requirements is that God created the world in six days and rested the seventh.

[As you know the worship of God, under the new covenant, is not limited to any one day of the week such as the Sabbath day. It is very clear from the scripture that the true worshipers worship the Father in spirit and in truth every day and every minute, immaterial of whether it is on a Sunday or a Saturday or any other day of the week. (John 4:23).]

You are certainly correct that we should worship God every day. However, the commandment does not say "Remember the Sabbath day to worship God," as though worship was the primary purpose of the commandment. As I pointed out a moment ago, there is no evidence in the Old Testament that worship was the primary or even an important part of the reason for the fourth commandment. What the commandment does require is that God's people "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Worshiping God is one good way to keep the day holy, but the basic requirement is that God's people keep the day holy, and God made the day itself holy so that we would be sure to honor it in that way.

We are to worship God in the NT the same was we worship Him in the Old Testament.

1) Daily Num 4:16; 28:24
2) Weekly (Sabbath day) Lev 23:32
3) Monthly (New Moon) Isaiah 66:23; Psalm 81:1-4
4) Yearly Lev 16:29, 30

God says that we are to work on 6 days – Ezekiel 46:1; Exo 20:8-11. I have never read that we have to rest all day to worship and pray to God!!!

[Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; Holy Spirit lives in our body. We carry the temple everywhere we go. Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ (i.e. Holy Spirit), he is none of His (i.e. do not belong to Jesus Christ).]

This certainly is true, but it has nothing to do with whether or not we should keep the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath--or the first day for that matter.

[I am sure you know why the New Testament church, for collective worship, chose Sunday. On a Sunday the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, arose from the dead. I am sure they were inspired to show the big difference between the old covenant of the law and the age of grace in the new covenant that they were in.]

YOU SAY that the New Testament church chose Sunday as the day for collective worship. But where in the New Testament that choice is recorded? Where does it say that the New Testament church chose the first day as a day of worship and rejected the seventh day?The resurrection was symbolized by baptism not Sunday keeping – Rom 6:3-8.

ONCE AGAIN Where does it say that the Christian church choose Sunday in honor of the resurrection? In the book of Acts there is a record of 84 Sabbaths kept but only one Saturday night meeting Acts 20. Also they met a little later in that same chapter on Wednesday. Is that day holy?

[So if SDAs think abstaining from all physical work, one day per week, is a command for the church, then I have no problem understanding why the emphasis is for Sabbath keeping. In Matt:12 1,2 Jesus and the disciples broke the Sabbath rules.]

Jesus and the disciples broke the Sabbath rules of the Pharisees, which God did not command. They did not break the Sabbath rules of God's law.

[All the 10 commandments have been summarized into 2, as follows:][Mat 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.]

Jesus was simply saying that the principle underlying all of God's commandments is love. But the commandments themselves spell out in greater detail what that means. Stating the underlying principle does not abrogate the details. Because there are only two commandments now as you say, can I kill? Steal???

[Gal 5:14 For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."]

See above.

[Eph 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them;]

The thrust of the entire passage, especially all of chapter 2, is that Jesus abolished the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. By the first century Jews had created a huge barrier between themselves and Gentiles, to a great extent through some of their laws about circumcision, food laws, and rites of purification. They thought that they defiled themselves by coming in contact with Gentiles. A good Jew would not even eat at the same table with a Gentile. That is the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile that Jesus broke down, and that's what Paul was talking about in Ephesians 2.

[Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.]
What does this have to do with the Sabbath/Sunday question?

[We live by grace under the new Covenant. We should not even think about keeping commandments and rituals in order to gain favour with God the Father or to offer worship, any longer.]

You are ABSOLUTELY correct that we should not even think about keeping commandments and rituals in order to gain favor with God. However, that does not mean that all rules of morality have been done away with. The New Testament itself is filled with moral advice and commands. It's just as possible to try to gain God's favor by keeping these New Testament commands as it is to try to gain His favor by keeping the Ten Commandments. No one ever gained God's favor by keeping any biblical commandment, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament. It's possible to keep Sunday as a way to gain favor with God just as much as it's possible to keep Sabbath as a way to gain favor with God.

[Everything we do such as living a moral life as sons and daughters, we do it in love and gratitude in return for what God has done for us through his Son Jesus Christ. We should not do anything as a required commandment to do so.]

Sure. But what does that have to do with the question of Sabbath or Sunday?

[Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, coming into being out of a woman, having come under Law,Gal 4:5 that He might redeem those under Law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons. Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.]

Sure. But what does that have to do with the question of Sabbath or Sunday?

[For me, it makes more sense to use Sunday as the day of worship and rest from weekly activities. Also, to invest time for the kingdom of God, to go and visit someone in the hospital, etc.]

It may make more sense to you. On what New Testament evidence about the day of worship do you base your "sense" of which day to keep? Tradition or scripture?

[I think if we observe Sabbath because it is the 4th commandment to do so; then we fall from grace into the law again.]

I assume you have not committed adultery. I assume that you do not shoplift at Wal-Mart. I assume you have never murdered anyone, and that you try to always tell the truth. All of these are part of the Ten Commandments. I hate to inform you, however, that because you are keeping these commandments you have fallen from grace and is under law again! Of course, that is not true, but this is the logical end that your argument leads to.

[Rom 11:6 But if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work.]

Who says that people who observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week are doing it out of works? Sunday keeping can also be a works trip.

[Gal 5:4 you who are justified by Law are deprived of all effect from Christ; you fell from grace.]

Sabbath keepers who truly understand God's plan of salvation know that they are not saved by their Sabbath observance. This is a tired old argument that simply does not make sense when you think it through carefully.

SO how do we know that the Sabbath law still is in force today?

1. Rev 1:10- God has a day that is His. It doesn’t say what day that is (could have been Wednesday???)

2. The only day God has ever claimed as His is the Sabbath. (EX 20:8-11; Isa 58:13).

3. That day comes right before the first day of the week- Mark 16:1,2; Luke 23:56- 24:1. Apparently the Sabbath was past when the first day of the week comes!!!!!

Jesus said if you LOVE me keep my commandments John 14:15.