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Our Christian Perspective

Are You A Habitual Sabbath Breaker?

By Brother James

As Christians we are under Grace and not subject to (Under) the Mosaic Laws. However, there are aspects of the Law that we might want to consider under the realm of proper Christian conduct.  For instance, one portion of the Law that is worthy of consideration is that of Sabbath Breaking. All Christian Religions have a Sabbath.

But what is a Sabbath in the Judeo-Christian tradition? The term Sabbath is derived from the ancient Hebrew verb, “sabat,” which means to cease all human activity, to cease all labor, to rest. The Mosaic book of Exodus, chapter 20, informs us that the ancient Israelites were to “rest” on the seventh day of the week. Exodus 20:8-11 of the New International Version (NIV) states, 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

So, is God’s Old Testament plan to “keep the Sabbath Day Holy” worthy of being recognized in this modern era? Should we refrain from all human activity on the Sabbath such as cooking, washing our automobiles, cutting our grass, etc.? Let us look at a Biblical example of Sabbath Breaking and its consequences.

The Mosaic book of Numbers, chapter 15 informs us that there was the equivalent of a “death penalty statute” proscribed for Sabbath Breaking, working on the Sabbath Day. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) under the heading, “Sabbath-Breaking Punished” states in Numbers 15:32-36, 32 Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation;34 and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Certainly, I am not advocating that professed Christians be put to death for breaking the Sabbath, but, please consider the following situations. In this modern era there is some work that must go on around the clock, 24/7 – 365. Such essential work as the work performed by hospital and nursing home staffs; emergency personal (fire, and police departments and ambulance technicians); etc. But, what about those who work overtime on the Sabbath? If it is mandatory overtime then one should obey their managers and report to work. The Word of God says in 1 Peter 2:13-15, Revised Standard Version (RSV),

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Therefore, if you are confronted with a situation of mandatory overtime on a Sabbath, then you should go to work with God’s blessing and perform your job as if you were working for the Lord. We are informed on this issue in the Amplified Bible (AMP) at Colossians 3:23-25, “ 23 Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve. 25 For he who does wrong will be punished for his wrongdoing, and [with God] there is no partiality [no special treatment based on a person’s position in life].”

Now, what if the overtime is not mandatory? What should a Christian do? My answer is simple. Do you need the extra money or want the extra money afforded by overtime work? If you need the money to support yourself and / or family then I believe God will not judge you for working overtime. However, if you want the money to buy clothes when you have an overstuffed closet full of brand new clothes then you should find yourself in a house of worship as opposed to working overtime. If your working overtime is oriented to accumulate more material possessions as opposed to acquiring more knowledge of the truth within God’s word then money acquired in this vein is all for naught!

We should always consider what Jesus would do in terms of working on the Sabbath. Jesus was a Sabbath breaker according to the Pharisees misinterpretation and improper application of the Mosaic Law on this issue. Scripture informs us that given the Pharisees incorrect religious posture, Jesus was a Sabbath breaker on multiple occasions. The party of the Pharisees were intent to permanently remove Jesus from their midst due to his popularity and power amongst the people. However, we must clearly understand that as the Son of God, Jesus could never be a Sabbath Breaker whenever He performed miraculous acts on the Sabbath that were part of God’s divine will. The Pharisees accused Him of blasphemy and of being a Sabbath breaker when He restored vision to the blind man mentioned in the gospel of John, chapter 9. Jesus, after encountering the man blind from birth, spit on some dirt in his hand and made an ointment which he spread on the blind man’s eyes. Jesus then instructed the blind man to go to the village and wash his face in the pool. When the man obeyed, his sight was restored. The Pharisees, who vehemently opposed Jesus, accused Him of blasphemy because Jesus insisted He was the Son of God and therefore He could not be a Sabbath breaker by performing miracles on the Sabbath.  In their scheme to bring charges upon Jesus as a Sabbath breaker so He might be put to death, the Pharisees tried to discredit Jesus’ claims that he was the Son of God. The Pharisees questioned the parents of the blind man hoping they would say their son was not blind from birth but the blind man’s parents said their son had been blind from birth and Jesus had performed a miracle. The Pharisees then approached the former blind man a second time in an attempt to discredit Jesus and the following dialogue ensued. “24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man [Jesus] is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he [Jesus] is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see (John 9:24-25)!”

So my friends, are you a Sabbath breaker? Do you work on the Sabbath just to achieve some materialistic goals? Are the things you are working to gain more important and beneficial than your salvation? Do you think God does not care if you are performing tasks around your house or working overtime or even engaging in some other nonreligious activity on your Sabbath when you should be in your house of worship?

Yes, according to the Pharisees, Jesus was a Sabbath Breaker, but, He performed miracles to uplift the poor, sick, and despised classes of His day. What will your excuse be when you meet Jesus in heaven, if you make it to heaven, for being a Sabbath Breaker instead of worshipping God on the Sabbath? Romans 6:23 brings us great clarity on this issue where the NIV translation states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Unpublished Materials
© ECO 2016 Brother James

Resurrection Mission Baptist Church
Meeting at Restoration Ministries
1728 Stanford Road, Berkley, MI 48072-3060
Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship 11:00 AM
Cell: (248) 225-3876
Residence: (248) 356-2537

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