The Sabbath, the Law, and the New Covenant

The Sabbath, the Law, and the New Covenant

by Kevin L. Cunningham

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ISBN-13: 9781481703918
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 03/25/2013
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

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The Sabbath, The Law, and The New Covenant


By Kevin L. Cunningham

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2013Kevin L. Cunningham
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4817-0391-8


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Introduction


I was raised in a Sabbath-keeping family. Therefore, I grew up going to church on Saturdays. I was raised this way because of the Ten Commandments, particularly because of the fourth commandment, which states:

Exodus 20:8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: {10} But 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: {11} For 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.


Because the Bible defines a day beginning in the evening as opposed to midnight as we practice today, our Sabbath actually began at sundown on Friday.

Gen 1:5: And the evening and the morning were the first day.


Therefore, when the sun set on Friday, the Sabbath began. It lasted until sunset on Saturday. Growing up, during those twenty four hours between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday, I didn't play, watch TV, listen to the radio, go to the stores, cut the grass, or even cook. I did nothing that was considered entertainment or work. The day was holy to me. It was the Sabbath, and it was the day on which I "went to church" or attended worship services. This was according to Leviticus 23:3, which directs the day to be for a holy convocation, or a holy assembly.

Lev 23:3: Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.


Not only did I learn about the Sabbath in the church in which I was raised, I also learned that the Bible is the inspired word of God that provides us with the direction for our lives. Consequently, I developed a love for the Lord and a desire to learn and obey the will of God. This same love and desire is what challenged me to study diligently when I was confronted with scriptures that appeared to contradict what I had previously learned in my Sabbath-keeping church. This book is my attempt to convey what the Bible teaches concerning the Sabbath and God's will for Christians today.

I must inject at this point that I have the utmost respect for the faith of Sabbath keepers. I once heard a preacher say that faith is what makes a person do what does not seem right or popular to most people. Many times a person of faith must go against the grain to please God. Sabbath keepers living in our society today do just that for 24 hours every week beginning at sundown Friday. Whether it is turning off the TV, not cooking, or not going to work or to the malls, Sabbath keepers show their faith differently than the rest of us. In fact, Sabbath keepers not only make those sacrifices, but in general, they also make the same sacrifices other Christians make. I therefore applaud Sabbath keepers for their faith in God and their willingness to demonstrate this faith. It is also this same faith to which I appeal now. When the word of God is presented, I pray that faith in God and His word will prevail over anything else one may believe and hold dear.

In addition to being raised in a Sabbath-keeping church, I have had studies with others through the years who keep the Sabbath, and I have heard a number of reasons why there is a belief that Christians are required to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Those reasons are as follows:

1. God rested on the seventh day, blessed it, and sanctified it. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath has been kept holy since creation, by early men of God like Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham.

2. The Ten Commandments came from God, but the other laws and ordinances were Moses' laws.

3. The Ten Commandments are separate from all of the other laws and ordinances that Moses gave to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai.

4. The Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment which dictates Sabbath rest, are for all mankind, not just the children of Israel.

5. The Ten Commandments were permanent and are still in force today for Christians.

6. If Christians today are not bound by the Ten Commandments and worship on the Sabbath, then that constitutes a change, and God changes not.

7. Since Jesus kept the Sabbath, then Christians today should also keep the Sabbath.

8. If the Ten Commandments are not for Christians today, then we can kill, steal, and do anything we want because we have no laws.

9. According to Hebrews 4:8, if we are to worship on a day other than the Sabbath, wouldn't Jesus have mentioned it?

10. After Christ ascended into heaven, the apostles continued to worship on the Sabbath, which is proof that the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments are still to be observed.

11. Constantine, a Roman emperor during the 4th century, changed the Sabbath to Sunday.


This study will address each of these premises in light of the scriptures and will show what God's plan for all of mankind is. Let us begin to study God's word at the beginning and build as we go along. It is often difficult to come to an agreement when discussing religious topics because we discuss our differences in the midst of confusion instead of starting at the beginning to see where the differences begin. That being said, we will start from the beginning.

CHAPTER 2

II God's eternal Plan


The bible is the story of God's plan of redemption for mankind. This plan was formulated before creation:

Eph 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: {4} According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: {5} Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, {6}To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. {7} In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

I Peter 1:18: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.


Ephesians 1:3-7 states that before creation, before the foundation of the world, it was decided that the way to stand before God, holy and blameless as his adopted children, would be in Christ Jesus. In him we have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins through his blood. I Peter 1:20 says that it was foreordained before the foundation of the world that the blood of Christ would redeem us. This was God's plan for mankind. This plan was not devised as an afterthought because the course of events on earth didn't unfold the way God originally planned. This plan was not devised as a response to the sinfulness of mankind after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. This was the original plan, formulated well in advance of man's presence on the earth. This is important to un
(Continues...)


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Table of Contents

Contents

Section 1-A Study of the Covenants....................     1     

I. Introduction....................     3     

II. God's Eternal Plan....................     6     

III. Creation and Man's Fall....................     10     

IV. God's Promise to Abraham....................     13     

V. The Sabbath is Given....................     15     

VI. The Old Covenant....................     20     

VII. The New Covenant....................     68     

VIII. Grace and the Law?....................     78     

IX. Free Reign of Sin Without the Law?....................     83     

X. Conclusion....................     86     

Section 2-Addressing Counter Arguments....................     89     

I. Hebrews 4:8....................     92     

II. The Sabbath of the New Testament....................     107     

III. The Apostles and the Sabbath....................     109     

IV. Constantine and Worship on Sunday....................     118     

Section 3-Worship on Sunday....................     123     

I. The Apostles and the First Day of the Week....................     126     

II. The Day of Pentecost....................     129     

III. Significance of the First Day of the Week....................     138     

Section 4-Conclusion....................     145     

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