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Read Introduction to Romans

 

6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

 

And he who does not observe the day,

The strong believer does not believe that any particular day is intrinsically holy. Note what two church fathers said about observing the Sabbath:

“Those who were concerned with old things have come to newness of confidence, no longer keeping Sabbaths, but living according to the Lord’s Day, on whom our life, as risen again, through Him, depends.” (Ignatius, martyred about 115 A.D.)

Justin Martyr, reproached by Trypho with “giving up the Sabbath,” said, “How can we keep the Sabbath, who rest from sin all the days of the week?” (Justin Martyr, martyred about 168 A.D.)

to the Lord he does not observe it.

Both parties—weak and strong—are to equally accept the sovereignty of the Lord and serve Him. The mature believer does not observe holy days, because he knows there is nothing intrinsically holy about them.

PRINCIPLE:

Under grace God does not require us to keep a special day of worship.

APPLICATION:

The idea of a “Christian Sabbath” is a misnomer. The idea is not found in Scripture.

Co 2: 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

Acts uses the word “Sabbath” nine times and it always refers to unbelieving Jews who obviously continued to worship on the Sabbath day. Never does it state that Christians kept the Sabbath. No Christian in all the epistles observed the Sabbath, and the word Sabbath itself is mentioned there only once—but in a negative way (Co 2:16-17).

There is a difference between a “must” and a “privilege.” The church is not Israel and the law is not grace. The weak brother still trapped in legalism thinks he must worship on a particular day of the week. It is true that Christians worshipped on the first day of the week, but it was never made mandatory in the New Testament. The mature or strong believer therefore regards every day alike.

There is a danger in the attitude of approaching God on a one-day-a-week basis. We need to worship Him every day. The principle by which the stronger believer operates is to regard every day as an opportunity to serve the Lord.

Most Christians today do not regard recreational activity or work on Sunday as prohibited. However, they do emphasize the importance of meeting regularly for worship.

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