Sabbath or Sunday?
"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them..." (ACTS 20:7)
Some religious groups, such as the Seventh-Day Adventists, say that Christians have to keep the Sabbath, as this is an integral part of the Ten Commandments given by God to the Israelites on the Mount of Horeb:
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (EXODUS 20:8-11). Jesus said that
"till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law" (MATTHEW 5:18) - so shouldn't we still keep the fourth commandment?We shall see that the Bible gives clear guidance on this subject. The following explanations have been taken from Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:
7 Commands - The Sabbath
"Speak to Israel(not the church)
, saying: You shall keep my sabbaths as a sign between Me and you throughout your generations"(v 13, 16)
"You shall keep the sabbath, for it is holy to you"(v 14)
"Everyone that defiles the sabbath shall be put to death"
"Whoever does any work on the sabbath shall be cut off"(v 14, 15)
"On 6 days you shall work, but on the 7th day you shall rest"(v 15)
"The children of lsrael shall keep the sabbath for a perpetual covenant"(v 16)
"The sabbath shall be a sign between Me and Israel forever"(v 17)
11 times Israel is referred to here:
- Speak to children of Israel (v 13)
- My sabbaths You shall keep
- It is a sign between Me and you
- Throughout your generations
- That you may know
- That the Lord doth sanctify You (set you apart from all other people)
- You shall keep My sabbath (v 14)
- It is holy to you
- The children of Israel shall keep the sabbaths (v 16)
- Throughout their generations
- It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever (v 17)
Note that the above is directed strictly to Israel and not to Gentiles or the N. T. church.
Sabbath - Sign of Old Covenant
The weekly sabbath of Israel was not only a sign of the covenant between God and their nation, but also a witness to all other nations that Israel was a special people set apart from others to receive the revelation of God, and to bring the Messiah into the world (v 13). The word sanctify in this verse, meaning set apart, indicates that Israel was set apart from all other peoples to remain separate from them and perform the will of God in a particular calling.
Sabbath Not For Gentiles, Church
Not once in Scripture are the Gentiles and the N. T. church commanded to keep any particular day as a sabbath, or respect one day as being holy any more than another (ROMANS 14:5-6; GALATIANS 4:9-11). The program of the N. T. for all men (Jews and Gentiles) is to consider every day holy and realize that whatever is sin must not be committed on any day, Saturday, Sunday, or any other. It is not the day that makes an act sinful; it is the act itself, regardless of the day it is committed on. Transgression of the law is sin and regardless of the day the transgression takes place (1 JOHN 3:4).
10 Reasons 4th Commandment Left Out
- Neither God nor Christ made it a part of the new covenant. If they had it would be somewhere in the N. T. as the other 9 are.
- Of all the words of Jesus on earth only 4 references are made of the sabbath (MATTHEW 12:8; MATTHEW 24:20; MARK 2:27-28; LUKE 6:5). He merely taught that it was lawful to do good on this day and that no day is lord of man. He did not once command any particular observance of any definite day.
- The old Jewish sabbath was part of the contract between God and Israel and a token and sign of that covenant (EXODUS 20:8-11; EXODUS 31:13-18; EZEKIEL 20:12-20). The contract was not made with men before Moses (DEUTERONOMY 5:2-3), or with Gentiles and the church (ROMANS 2:14; DEUTERONOMY 4:7-10). The sabbath was not for them.
- The 4th commandment was the only one of the ten that was a ceremonial, not a moral law. Its sole purpose was to commemorate the deliverance from Egyptian bondage when Israel had no rest (DEUTERONOMY 5:15). It was only a type of future and eternal rest (COLOSSIANS 2:14-17; HEBREWS 4:1-11; HEBREWS 10:1). It was natural for it to be left out of the new contract when the reality of rest came of which it was a shadow (MATTHEW 11:28-29; COLOSSIANS 2:14-17). The physical and spiritual benefits of a rest day can be realized on any other day as well as on Saturday.
- The 4th commandment was the only one that could degenerate into a mere form without affecting the morals of men. All others concern moral obligations of men. It is the only one of the ten that could be done away with and still leave a moral law for men.
- God foretold and promised He would do away with the old Jewish sabbath (HOSEA 2:11; ISAIAH 1:10-15).
- The prophets predicted that God would abolish the old and make a new covenant (ISAIAH 42:6; ISAIAH 49:8; ISAIAH 59:21; JEREMIAH 31:31-40; JEREMIAH 32:37-44; EZEKIEL 36:24-38). That this referred to the N. T. is clear in ROMANS 11:25-29; HEBREWS 8:8-12; HEBREWS 10:16-18; MATTHEW 26:28.
- In no passage is it stated that men should keep the Jewish sabbath to commemorate the old creation rest. It was to commemorate deliverance from Egypt (DEUTERONOMY 5:15). This was what they were to "remember" (EXODUS 20:8).
- It is the only commandment that could be and has been broken without breaking the moral law. Israel marched on that day (NUMBERS 33:3; LEVITICUS 23:5-11; JOSHUA 6:12-16); set up the tabernacle (EXODUS 40:1,17 with LEVITICUS 23:5-11); searched Canaan (NUMBERS 13:25); and made war (1 KINGS 20:29; 2 KINGS 3:9; JOSHUA 6:12-16). David and others broke it and were blameless (MATTHEW 12:2-5).
- The New Testament permits Christians to keep any day as the Sabbath, it being one of the doubtful things not covered by commandment in the new covenant (ROMANS 14:1-13; GALATIANS 4:9-11; COLOSSIANS 2:14-17). The day early Christians observed, not by commandment but by choice, was the first day, Sunday (JOHN 20:1,19; ACTS 20:7; 1 CORINTHIANS 16:2).
No Sabbath Commanded in N.T.
Even if there was a special sabbath commanded in the N. T., any 7th day after 6 days of work would be the 7th day from a previous 7th day, whether Sunday, Wednesday, or another day of the week. There is no proof that our Saturday is the exact day of the week on which god rested as recorded in GENESIS 2:3-4. We simply know that He rested on the 7th day from the time He began the work of creation, and no more. Calendars have changed from time to time so that no man can guarantee what was the original 7th day. It is not the purpose of this work to do away with a day of rest and worship but to warn against unbiblical claims and show that the observance of days, times, and seasons in religion do not merit special consideration from God. As a matter of practice, Sunday has been observed as the day of rest and worship by Christians from the very beginning; but as a matter of biblical law there is no definite obligation laid down for Christians on this point.
Eternal Sabbath Not For Church
Some argue that this is sufficient proof that the Mosaic sabbath was to be eternal and therefore observed by Christians under the N. T. program, but it must be kept in mind that similar eternal terms are used of sacrifices and many other things in the law of Moses. If we can prove that the sabbaths of Israel, by being eternal, are for us today we can likewise prove the offerings, sacrifices and various rituals are for us today also, for all are referred to with eternal terms in the law of Moses.
Purpose of God's Rest
God rested on the 7th day because His work for the time being was finished (GENESIS 1:31; GENESIS 2:1-4). If it had not been finished He would have continued working on the 7th day as He has been doing ever since the fall of man. If some good act had been needful He would have performed it, for this is what He taught through His Son (MATTHEW 12:1-8; MARK 2:23-GENESIS 3:5; LUKE 13:10-17; JOHN 5:1-16; JOHN 9:1-41).
Sunday, the Christian Sabbath
(1 CORINTHIANS 16:2)
The disciples of Moses teach that the sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday by Constantine, 321 A. D., and by the Catholic Church, 364 A. D. The following facts from history prove that they are historically wrong:
- The Encyclopedia Britannica under "Sabbath" and "Sunday" says, "In the early Christian Church JEWISH CHRISTIANS continued to keep the sabbath, like other points of the law ... On the other hand, Paul from the first days of GENTILE CHRISTIANITY, laid it down definitely that the Jewish sabbath was binding on Christians. Controversy with Judaizers led in process of time to condemnation of those who still kept the Jewish day ... In 321 A. D. Constantine made the Christian sabbath, Sunday, the rest day for the Roman Empire, but it was observed by Christians for nearly 300 years before it became a law by Constantine."
- The New International Encyclopedia on "Sunday" says, "For some time after the foundation of the Christian Church the converts FROM JUDAISM still observed the Jewish sabbath to a greater or lesser extent, at first, it would seem, concurrently with the celebration of the first day, but before the end of the apostolic period, Sunday, known as the Lord's day, had thoroughly established itself as the special day to be sanctified (set apart) by rest from secular labor and by public worship. The hallowing of Sunday appears incontestably as a definite law in the Church by the beginning of the fourth century; and the Emperor Constantine confirmed the custom by a law of the state.
- The Catholic Encyclopedia on "Sunday" says, "Sunday was the first day of the week according to the Jewish method of reckoning, but for Christians it began to take the place of the Jewish sabbath in apostolic times as the day set apart for public and solemn worship of God". This volume quotes a number of early Christian writings of the first, second, and third centuries to prove that Sunday was kept by Christians from the earliest times.
- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on "The Lord's Day" says, "The Lord's day in the New Testament occurs ONLY in REVELATION 1:10, but in post-apostolic literature we have the following references: the Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, IX, 1, "No longer keeping the sabbath but living according to the Lord's day, on which also our light arose... ACTS 2:46 represents the special worship as DAILY. But this could not continue long. A choice of a special day must have become necessary, and this day would, of course, have been Sunday.... Uncircumcised Gentiles, however, were free from any obligation of sabbath observance... No observance of a special day of rest is contained among the 'NECESSARY THINGS' of ACTS 15:28-29 ... A given day as a matter of divine obligation is denounced by Paul as forsaking Christ (GALATIANS 4:10), and sabbath-keeping is condemned explicitly in COLOSSIANS 2:16. As a matter of individual devotion to be sure, a man might do as he pleased (ROMANS 14:5-,6), but no general rule as necessary for salvation could be compatible with liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (GALATIANS 2:1-21; GALATIANS 3:1-14; GALATIANS 5:1-4,13)."
- We next quote from the ten volumes called, "The Ante-Nicene Fathers," the writings of the early church fathers down to 325 A. D. and before Constantine and the Catholic Church are supposed to have changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday:
- Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who lived at the time of the apostles 30-107 A. D. He, like Polycarp, was a disciple of St. John and one who should know Christian practice among the early Christians as to the sabbath. He wrote, "And after the observance of the sabbath (that the Jews kept), let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's day as a festival, the resurrection day, the queen and chief of all days of the week ... on which our life sprang up again, and victory over death was obtained in Christ ... It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has come to an end .... If any man preach the Jewish law unto you, listen not to him. For it is better to hearken to Christian doctrine from a man who is circumcised, than to a Judaism from one uncircumcised" (Vol. 1, pages 63-82).
- In the Epistle of Barnabas, ascribed to Paul's companion by Clement, Origen, and others, we read, "He says to them,
'Your new moons and your sabbaths l cannot endure'(ISAIAH 1:13). Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present sabbaths are not acceptable to me ... I will make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day on which Jesus rose again from the dead" (Vol. 1, Page 147).
- Justin Martyr, a Gentile born near Jacob' s well about 110 A. D. writes, 'And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read ... But Sunday is the day on which we hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change In the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead" (Vol. 1, Page 186)
In his dialogue with Trypho, a Jew, Justin Martyr says, "Is there any other matter, my friends, in which we are blamed, than this, that we live not according to the law, and are not circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers were, and-do not observe the sabbaths as you do? ... Christians would observe the law if they did not know why it was instituted ... For we too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the sabbath, and in short all feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined you. ... How is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm us, I speak of fleshly circumcision, and sabbaths, and feasts? ... The Gentiles, who have believed in Him, and who have repented of their sins, receive the inheritance along with the patriarchs ... even although they neither keep the sabbath, nor are circumcised, nor observe the feasts ... Christ is useless to those who observe the law. ... The sabbath and sacrifices and offerings and feasts ... have come to an end in Him who was born of a virgin. ... But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given to Moses ... along with their hope in Christ ... they shall probably be saved "(Vol. 1, Pages 199-218)
- Tertullian, presbyter of the North-African Church, who was born about 145 A. D., writes, "The Holy Spirit upbraids the Jews for their holydays. 'Your sabbaths, and new moons, and ceremonies my soul hateth. ...By us (Christians), to whom sabbaths are strange ... to the heathen each festive day occurs but once annually: you (Christians) have a festive day every eighth day.'...others suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity. ... you who reproach us with the sun and Sunday should consider your own proximity to us. We are not far off from your Saturn and your days of rest ... It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary" (Vol. III, Pages 70, 123. 155, 313)
- In "The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles," written about 80 A. D.; we read, 'But every Lord's day (Sunday) gather yourselves together, and break bread and give thanksgiving" (Vol. VII, Page 381)
- In the constitutions of the Holy Apostles (2nd century) we read, "Break your fast ... the first day of the week, which is the Lord's day. ... After eight days let there be another feast observed with honor, the eighth day itself, (Vol. VII, Page 447)
- In "The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles," written about 105 A. D., we read, "The apostles therefore appointed: ... on the first day of the week let there be a service and reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation (Lord's Supper): because on the first day of the week our Lord arose upon the world, and ascended to heaven" (Vol. VIII, Page 668)
- Irenäeus, 178 A. D., in arguing that the Jewish sabbaths were signs and types and were not to be kept since the reality of which they were shadows had come, says, "The mystery of the Lord's resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord's day and on this alone should we observe the breaking of the Paschal Feast ... Pentecost fell on the first day of the week, and was therefore associated with the Lord's day."
- Clement of Alexandria, 174 A. D., says, "The old seventh day has become nothing more than a working day."
- Theophilus, pastor of Antioch 162 A. D., says, 'Both custom and reason challenge us that we should honor the Lord's day, seeing on that day it was that our Lord completed His resurrection from the dead."
- Origen, about 200 A. D., says, "John the Baptist was born to make ready a people for the Lord. a people for Him at the end of the covenant now grown old, which is the end of the sabbath. ... It is one of the marks of a perfect Christian to keep the Lord's day."(12) Victorianus, 300 A. D., says, "On the Lord's day we go forth to our bread and giving of thanks. Lest we should appear to observe any sabbath with the Jews, which Christ Himself the Lord of the sabbath in His body abolished, (Section 4, "On the Creation").6 Eusebius, the Father of Church History, who made a history of the time between the birth of Christ and Constantine, and who lived 265-340 A. D., says, "From the beginning Christians assembled on the first day of the week, called by them the Lord's Day, for the purpose of religious worship, to read the Scriptures, to preach and to celebrate the Lord's Supper ... the first day of the week on which the Saviour obtained the victory over death. Therefore, it has the pre-eminence, first in rank, and is more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath."
"Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumsized, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment..." ACTS 15:24
10 Reasons Why Christians Keep Sunday
- To commemorate the resurrection and the finished work of Christ in His victory over death, hell, and the grave (MATTHEW 28:1; MARK 16:9; JOHN 20:1)
- The Lord's manifestations to His disciples were on Sunday (MATTHEW 28:1; MARK 16:9; JOHN 20:1,19,26)
- Christ ignored completely the old Jewish sabbath. The first day is the prominent day after the resurrection (MATTHEW 28:1; MARK 16:9; JOHN 20:1,19,26)
- The outpouring of the Holy Ghost came on Sunday. Pentecost was the first day after 7 Jewish sabbaths (ACTS 2:1; LEVITICUS 23:15-21). Thus both Christ and the Holy Spirit manifested themselves to the church on this day, completely ignoring the Jewish sabbath
- Christ or no apostle commanded to keep the old Jewish sabbath, or any other day, but did command all men not to be bound by any particular day (ROMANS 14:5-6; GALATIANS 4:9-11; COLOSSIANS 2:14-17) Sin is sin whenever committed. It is transgression of the law that constitutes sin (1 JOHN 3:4), not the day in which it is done. Everything sinful on Saturday or Sunday is sinful on every other day. If it is not sinful on Monday, Tuesday, etc., it is not sinful on Sunday
- Although no set day is commanded to be the sabbath in the new covenant, as in the old covenant which was abolished, they did keep Sunday as their day of worship (MATTHEW 28:1; MARK 16:9; JOHN 20:1,19,26; ACTS 20:7; 1 CORINTHIANS 16:2; REVELATION 1:10)
- Typology of the old covenant made Sunday a day of worship:
- The Jewish sabbath was a changeable sabbath, changing at Pentecost every year to one day later until each day of the week was observed every 7 years. Pentecost was the first day after the 7th sabbath (LEVITICUS 23:15-21, note and note 4, above)
- The feast of first-fruits came on Sunday, typifying the resurrection (LEVITICUS 23:9-14; MATTHEW 28:1; JOHN 20:1)
- The feasts of unleavened bread and tabernacles also were observed at least one Sunday and perhaps two, being 7 and 8 days long (LEVITICUS 23:6-36)
- God honored Sunday by giving the law on that day (Cp. EXODUS 19:1,3,11 with LEVITICUS 23:3-6; EXODUS 12:2-18)
- God again honored Sunday when giving the book of Revelation (REVELATION 1:10)
- Constantine and the Pope did not change the sabbath, 321 and 364 A. D.
24 Reasons Why Christians Observe 1st Day:
- The typical sabbaths of the law of Moses have been abolished.
- The new covenant does not command any particular day to be observed by Christians (ROMANS 14:5-6; GALATIANS 4:9-11).
- Christians are free to choose their own day of rest (ROMANS 14:5-6).
- They are commanded not to permit any man to judge them regarding a sabbath (COLOSSIANS 2:14-17).
- Rigid observance of days is rebuked by Paul (GALATIANS 4:9-11).
- Sabbaths are not named among the necessary requirements of the gospel (ACTS 15:1-29).
- Real and eternal rest is in Christ, not in a day (MATTHEW 11:28-29; HEB 4:1-16).
- The 4th commandment (EXODUS 20:8-11) concerning the sabbath was left out of the new covenant.
- The 7th-day Jewish sabbath commemorated a deliverance from bondage in Egypt, with which Christians had no part (DEUTERONOMY 5:15).
- Going under the law to observe a sabbath would obligate them to keep the whole law of Moses (GALATIANS 3:10-14; GALATIANS 5:3,9-11; JAMES 2:10).
- Resting and worshipping on Sunday serve the same purpose as on Saturday.
- Early Christians kept the 1st day of the week (JOHN 20:1,19,26-29, ACTS 20:6-12; 1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-2).
- The Lord completed His redemptive work and His victory over death, hell, and the grave on Sunday, the 1st day.
- Christ's special manifestations to His disciples after the resurrection were on the 1st day of the week (MATTHEW 28:1-20; MARK 16:1-20; LUKE 23:1-56; LUKE 24:1-53; JOHN 20:19,26).
- No recognition was given by Christ or any apostle to the old Jewish 7th-day sabbath after the resurrection.
- The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was on the 1st day of the week, the day after 7 Jewish sabbaths (ACTS 2:1).
- After Christ's ascension the first gospel sermon was preached on the 1st day; and the first conversions (about 3,000) took place on the 1st day (ACTS 2:1-42).
- The very lack of any warning by Christ and the apostles regarding it being sinful or 'the mark of the beast' as some teach, to observe the 1st day of the week, shows that it is acceptable as a day of rest and worship.
- Typology of the old covenant makes the 1st day of the week prominent. The feasts of first-fruits and Pentecost were observed on the 1st day, as well as the feasts of unleavened bread and tabernacles (LEVITICUS 23:8-14,34-39).
- God honored the 1st day by giving the law on that day (EXODUS 19:1,3,11; LEVITICUS 23:5-6 with EXODUS 12:2-18).
- God honored many 1st days of the week in Israel (2 CHRONICLES 7:10; 2 CHRONICLES 29:17; EZRA 3:6, NEHEMIAH 8:14-18; etc.). Hence, to say that no religious service was ever honored of God on that day is unscriptural.
- God honored the 1st day again by giving the book of Revelation on that day (REVELATION 1:10, ACTS 20:7).
- The new covenant frees from such bondages of the old covenant as the penalty of death for cooking, making fires, and performing other duties on a sabbath (EXODUS 16:23; EXODUS 20:8-10; EXODUS 31:15; EXODUS 35:2-5; LEVITICUS 23:3; NUMBERS 15:32).
- Not a passage in the N. T. ever records a distinctive gathering of Christians on the Jewish 7th-day sabbath. On the contrary the records show that Christians gathered on Sunday, the 1st day of the week, which was called "the Lord's day" (REVELATION 1:10), for worship (JOHN 20:1,17; ACTS 20:7; 1 CORINTHIANS 16:2).
WHAT THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY ABOUT THE SABBATH
20 modern fallacies not stated in the Old or New Testament:
- That Sunday-keeping is a human institution
- That Christians must keep the old Jewish sabbath
- That Christians are obligated to keep any certain day
- That all who keep Sunday have the mark of the beast
- That all who keep Sunday are lost
- That Sunday-keeping is a Roman Catholic institution
- That Christians never held a religious service on the 1st day of the week (Sunday)
- That the 10 commandments were not done away when the old covenant was "abolished' and "done away" in Christ on the cross
- That the Lord's day is the 7th day or the old Jewish sabbath
- That the 4th commandment is part of the new covenant
- That Christians are not to work on Saturday
- That the 4th commandment sabbath is not included in the "sabbaths" that were abolished on the cross as taught in COLOSSIANS 2:14-17; GALATIANS 4:9-11; ROMANS 14:1-5; EPHESIANS 2:15
- That the law of Moses and the 4th commandment sabbath were for Gentiles as well as Jews
- That the 4th commandment sabbath was a sign between God and Gentiles as is stated of God and Israel in EXODUS 31:13-17; DEUTERONOMY 5:12-15; EZEKIEL 20:12-13
- That Saturday is a holy day, the sabbath, a day of rest, a day of worship, or a day sanctified in the new covenant
- That Saturday was the only day the apostles recognized as a day of rest and worship
- That Jesus instituted the old Jewish sabbath. (The Bible says that God the Father gave the law and spoke in times past to men, HEBREWS 1:1,2; ROMANS 1:1-3; ACTS 3:21-26; etc.)
- That all men observed the sabbath for about 2,500 years from creation to Exodus 16, at which time God first commanded men to keep a certain day
- That Sunday cannot be as holy as any other day sanctified or set apart for the worship of God
- That Christians are obligated to observe a particular day-of the week as men were bound to do under the old covenant. See ROMANS 14:5-6
Of the 60 times the word sabbath is found in the N. T. it is used 50 times before the new covenant was made. Of the remaining 10 times, 6 refer to Paul as preaching to the Jews (at non-Christian gatherings) on Jewish sabbath days (ACTS 13:14,42,44; ACTS 17:1-2; ACTS 18:4); 2 refer to the law of Moses being read by Jews in their synagogues on Jewish sabbaths (ACTS 13:27; ACTS 15:21); 1 refers to Jewish travel as not more than a mile on the sabbath (ACTS 1:12); and 1 plainly says all were abolished (COLOSSIANS 2:14-17). Had there been explicit commands to worship on any day, even the 1st day it would have brought about the same bondage as the law of Moses. The higher ideals and principles of Christianity would have then been regulated to days and seasons which God promised to abolish (ISAIAH 1:13; HOSEA 2:11) and which He did abolish (2 CORINTHIANS 3:6-15; GALATIANS 3:19-25; GALATIANS 4:21-31; GALATIANS 5:1-3; EPHESIANS 2:14-15; COLOSSIANS 2:14-17; HEBREWS 6:20-HEBREWS 10:18). Whereas Israel was obliged to commemorate freedom from bondage with a yoke of bondage which included the sabbath-keeping law, Christians are free to commemorate their freedom on any day they choose (ROMANS 14:5-6).
The sabbath was meant to be a resting day; to keep the sabbath means to keep a day of rest, but not necessarily on Saturdays! The sabbath was also a commemoration day for Israel to think of their exodus from Egypt - it has nothing to do with God resting on the seventh day after creation. Many religious services were held on Sunday as well as on Saturday and other days. It is clear that the sabbaths of Israel were to be done away with as much as her mirth, feasts, new moons, and other rituals. This is what happened when God made the new covenant - not a single commandment was given regarding the keeping of any particular day as the sabbath. It is plainly set forth in the N. T. that under its terms every man may do as he pleases regarding a sabbath day (ROMANS 14:5-6), and that no man is to judge another on this question (COLOSSIANS 2:14-17); for Christianity is not a religion of days, weeks, years, and rituals (GALATIANS 4:9-10). For anyone interested in further study of this subject, the book "Sunday or Sabbath" by John R. Rice is recommended.
"Now, always mind, when you read anything about the law, to examine and find out which law is meant, whether it is the great Moral Law, which never has been, and never can be abrogated; or the Ceremonial Law, which in Christ certainly was done away. Mind which, because your salvation may depend upon that point." Catherine Booth in Aggressive Christianity
Source: Dake's Annotated Reference Bible