Sunday Sabbath: Does Sunday Observance Violate the Sabbath?

SUNDAY SABBATH- Introduction
Some religious groups fervently believe that worshiping God on Sunday and not Saturday (the Sabbath) is a direct violation of God’s commands. After all, it’s the 4th commandment isn’t it?

SUNDAY SABBATH- Woven Together with Creation
Rest assured there is some basis for the position that Christians are not obliged to keep the Sabbath or worship God on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. For example, in Colossians 2:16 Paul says that we are not to allow anyone to judge us in this matter of keeping the Sabbath. On the other hand, the Sabbath is not merely a Jewish regulation at all. The Sabbath is inextricably woven together with creation: For God Himself rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:1-3). Not only that, but the Sabbath just happens to be one of the Ten Commandments, which most Christians regard as a summary of God’s moral code.

SUNDAY SABBATH- Six Days of Work
The truth is, the observance of Sunday rather than Saturday does not violate God’s Commandments at all! The Sabbath command in the Old Testament never specified a “Saturday” observance; rather, it was simply a command that we should observe a cycle of six days of work and then rest for one day. So obviously, the intent of the Sabbath command is kept when we rest on Saturday or on Sunday, it really doesn’t matter.

SUNDAY SABBATH- the New Testament Church
Not only that, but there is also some evidence that Sunday worship was practiced in the New Testament Church. As an example, in Acts we read about an evening meeting of the church on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). And Paul instructed the Corinthians to take up a collection on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:2). When John says in Revelation that he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10), he appears to be referring to a day of the week set aside for the Lord, and not the traditional, Jewish Sabbath day.

SUNDAY SABBATH- Conclusion
In fact, in none of these passages is Sunday worship commanded. Christians are no more required to make Sunday their day of rest than they are to make Saturday their day of rest. However, of course, they are perfectly free to do so. In fact, to criticize Sunday observance and then to separate from the rest of the church over something like this, is both legalistic and divisive.Remember, let’s not focus on the letter of the Law and forget the substance of it. On Sunday and the Sabbath, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.