“Remember the Sabbath”
“Remember the Sabbath”
by Jeff Curtis
The observance of the Sabbath day was part of the Old Testament law that was abolished (Ephesians 2:13-16; Colossians 2:14). Christians are not obligated to keep any part of the Old Testament Law, including the Sabbath regulations. The fourth commandment was the only one of the Ten Commandments which was not incorporated into the law of Christ (Exodus 20:8). Some people speak of Sunday as “the Christian Sabbath,” but there is no such thing. The Sabbath day was the seventh day of the week, that is, Saturday (Exodus 20:8-11). The day of worship for Christians is Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1Corinthians 16:2), which came to be called the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10). The fact that early Christians had a special day and time as well as specific activities for worship is attested to by historical writings.
The first day of the week became the day of worship for Christians because this was the day that Jesus arose from the grave (Matthew 28:1-6; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-9). As far as we know, every recorded post-resurrection appearance of Jesus that is associated with a specific day occurred on the first day of the week. Sunday is the day when Christians gather together to pray, sing praises to God, listen to a message from God’s Word, give of their money, and observe the Lord’s Supper.
The New Testament teaches Christians to assemble on the Lord’s Day, both by apostolic example and by direct commandment. If we are to partake of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week, as was customary in the early church (Acts 20:7; 1Corinthians 11:20-34; 16:2), then it is mandatory that we be present. The writer of Hebrews wrote to encourage Jewish Christians not to “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV). Since early Christians met on the first day of the week – a fact verified by the New Testament and other historical accounts – the assembly mentioned in Hebrews obviously was this one. The inspired writer didn’t want his readers to forsake the practice of meeting with the church on the Lord’s Day.
When He Writes “Forgiven”
In a small town in the South during the Great Depression, there was a Christian physician widely known for his medical skill and for his kindness.
After his death, when his books were examined by his wife and other heirs, there were many accounts which had written across them in red ink the words, “Forgiven – too poor to pay.” The wife and heirs were not as kindly disposed as the old doctor, and they determined to collect these accounts since they added up to quite a large sum of money.
They sued for the money. The judge asked the wife, “Is this your husband’s handwriting in red?” She answered that it was. The judge shook his head and said, “In this case, there is not a tribunal in the land that can collect this money, for he has plainly written, ‘Forgiven’ on these accounts.”
We can be sure that when the Great Physician has written “Forgiven” on our spiritual debts, we have been forever released from them.