This series of articles about the Sabbath is written from the perspective of a Sabbatarian-turned-evangelical who continues to enjoy the blessing of rest that the Sabbath offers.
Yet, I have learned that the Sabbath ultimately points toward the spiritual rest we have through faith in the Person of Christ, and his completed work on our behalf – the Sabbath day is not the true rest, but is a shadow of that rest.
1. Is the Sabbath a Blessing or Curse?
2. Jewish Rabbis Affirm that the Sabbath is not for Gentiles
3. The Sabbath is for the Jewish People
4. Is the Sabbath a Moral or Ceremonial Law?
5. The Sabbath and Circumcision
6. An Open Letter to our Adventist Friends and Family
7. Sunday Observance in Early Christianity (Historical Quotes)
8. Sabbath and the Protestant Reformation
9. The Sabbath, the Gentiles, and the Seven Noahide Laws
1. The Sabbath: Touchstone of Spiritual Reality?
2. The Sabbath and the Touchstone of Christianity
3. The Spiritual Touchstone of Adventism
4. The Spiritual Touchstone of Sabbatarianism
5. The Sabbath: Touchstone Fulfilled (to appear January 9, 2015)
The Sabbath can be a beautiful thing. However, when it is wedded to the gospel, it occupies space it was never intended to, and morphs into something contrary to its original design. It is essential to realize that it was given to the ancient Israelites to point forward to the work of salvation completed “once for all” by our Saviour, and the rest that we have in Him by faith (Colossians 2:16, 17, Hebrews 10:10, 14).
But it is not the rest we seek. The author of Hebrews tells us that ancient Israel failed to enter into God’s rest, even though we know they had the Sabbath. Because they did not enter it, we are told that a future “promise remains of entering into His rest” (Hebrews 4:1 NKJV).
We experience this rest through faith in Christ. “For we which have believed do enter into his rest”. Exercising faith in Christ is the labouring to enter into the “Sabbath rest” that remains “for the people of God” and the fulfillment of the promise (Hebrews 4:3, 9 NIV).
This rest can not be found in a ritual. It creates a real mess in our lives when we confuse ceremonial commands with moral laws. When Sabbath observance is viewed as necessary in order to be accepted by God, it becomes a relentless taskmaster that tends to destroy spiritual fruit and can “cheat you of your reward” in Christ (Colossians 2:18).
True spiritual rest is only found by trusting in Jesus. Our service to God should not be cluttered with the “touch not, taste not, handle not” circuit of trying to obtain God’s favour. We need to know that by “His grace” we are “accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of sins”. It is by resting in Christ’s work that our salvation is complete, which can never be realized through the observance of ritual law. (Ephesians 1:6, 7)
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)