Recently, I read a few articles on the 10 commandments including the sabbath. I was surprised to read that a few Christian groups still hang on to the notion that the commandments were written for our salvation.
However, Christianity Today published an article which I thought is interesting. It says that for Christians, the Sabbath is treated differently in the New Testament. Gone is the requirement to physically rest from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset to be saved. For believers, Christ Himself is the Sabbath.
That is the point. Sunday is not the new Sabbath where we must worship. The point is that Christ is Himself the Sabbath, and if we are resting and rejoicing in His resurrection, we have fulfilled this commandment.
For believers, the Sabbath is not that 7th day of the week, nor any day, where we refrain from work. For us the sabbath means we rest in and remember the gospel, who is Jesus Christ.
The CT article asks the question: But is there something else we can learn from the Sabbath law? Good question.
Even though we are freed from the technicalities of Sabbath law, let us understand we are God’s people, and we are still made out of the same stuff that Israel was made out of. While we have our rest in the Lord Jesus Christ 360/24/7, yet isn’t it still a wise and practical thing to take one day a week to observe a rest from the cares of the world and focus on the gospel? That is why for centuries, God’s people come to church. It is a time of worship and a time to be with fellow brothers and sisters in faith. The Bible tells us that we are members of one Body, which is the Church, the body of Christ. This tells us that there is no such thing as a Christian apart from the church. Our very definition as Christian is linked with being a part of the body that Jesus Christ built. Of course, we understand that the church is the people. Ecclesia (in Greek) means “called out” ones. The church is not the building. Instead, it is God’s people.
The gospel is the most life-defining reality for us. The gospel is our identity. In Christ, we are fully loved and fully accepted by the only One whose opinion really matters. We don’t have to base our self-worth on how successful we are at work or what others think about us. And we know that God has created us for a purpose. He’s gifted each Christian specifically to be useful for His kingdom, and He has a specific plan for each one. The gospel is our salvation. It is our life. It is our security. I know that God saved me through Jesus Christ. If he saved me, then, He’ll take care of me, and He’ll take care of you too.
The gospel also tells us of our purpose. When I see the world through the gospel, everything starts to appear special. I see that God loves the world intensely, but not all people know God. I sense God himself inviting all humans to have a relationship with Him. God desires that all of us will open the door for Jesus to come in our lives and have an intimate relationship with Him as our Lord and friend. I sense that if we turn our back on God, then we suffer and miss out on all the joys that salvation brings. This helps me see what is really important in my life and refocus myself on the mission. Yes, the gospel brings such clarity to my life and to yours, too. It is a privilege that every week, we can come and be a part of the gathering of our family church members.