Anglican Morning Devotion for 1 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:8-14; all scripture quoted is form the King James Version)
There has been no little contention in the days after our Lord’s Ascension concerning the observance of the Sabbath Day. Many works have been written either advocating an adherence to the seventh-day Sabbath or, else, insisting that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. In my opinion, there is little credibility to either view.
There can be no question that the Sabbath of the Old Testament was, indeed, to be celebrated from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday – the seventh day which began at even and continued to day. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:7-11)
God did not annul the Ten Commandments but actually made the obedience of them even more binding (and possible) through the agency of LOVE. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18) The last I checked, Heaven and earth have yet to pass away, so neither have the Commandments of God. Did God change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday? No, such an important change would not have been merely insinuated but explicitly revealed in Scripture. So, are we obliged to observe today the seventh-day Sabbath? No, not in the sense of one day in seven. Does Sunday substitute for the Sabbath. No. Then how do we keep the Sabbath which we are commanded to do continually and forever? This is not a hard question.
The Old Testament provided shadows and types for the fuller reality fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. The worship of the Church on Sunday is not an error. It is fitting to maintain the principle of a day of worship one day in seven. Neither is it wrong to worship on the seventh-day. In fact, it is more suitable to pay homage to the Lord seven-days-in-seven, for Christ, like the Passover, has become our Sabbath. How is this true, you may ask?
The fact that we have our REST in Christ is undisputed. He has given us rest. As Paul proclaims, it is not his own work that he does, but Christ who works in him. Our works cannot save us. We are saved by Grace and not by works, but we are saved unto good works. To whom do our good works belong? To Christ! And what is the meaning of the word, rest? It is sabbat in Hebrew and sabbaton in Greek – or SABBATH. Are we not told that the Lord Jesus Christ has become our Rest (Sabbath) just as He has become our Passover? The committed Christian who acts on the continual Voice of God is resting from his labors and allowing the Lord to work in and through him. In such cases, every day is the day of rest for the Christian – every day a Sabbath as we attribute our works to Christ as well as our rests. In the formularies of the Roman Catholic Church, they claim to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, but why do they not call the Sunday, Sabbath, and who gave them authority to change any part of the Word of God?
If you wish to continue to believe Sunday is the Sabbath of the Lord, that is not an issue of salvation. It is not a sin. Sunday is perfectly fitted for the day of worship – but so is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – in fact, all of them together are the times we should obey the Word and pray ALWAYS, and let us continue to perform our formal acts of worship on Sunday if it pleases our souls.