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You Do Not Need Holy Sabbath Days

By Justin Johnson

The sabbath days were holy days, and apparently Paul says I do not need holy days in this dispensation.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” – Colossians 2:16

When I didn’t understand this I observed them anyway. After all, one of the Ten Commandments that is still given pulpit time is the Sabbath commandment:

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” – Exodus 20:8

It was not vain tradition and frivolity that made some days holy; God made the sabbath holy. As seventh day Adventists will tell you, the sabbath day was hallowed during the creation week (Exo 20:11).

The Sabbath Shadow

The seventh day sabbath was a prophetic picture from the foundation of the world about the future of God’s dominion on the Earth through Israel.

When God was creating man on the Earth to have dominion, he hallowed the last day as a day of “rest” just as would later happen after another man, the Messiah, came to have dominion on the Earth.

It pictured the time when Israel would cease from their works and their covenant promises would be complete. Peter and the covenant people of God are still waiting for this time of “rest”.

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” – Heb 4:9-10

They are encouraged to labour to gain an entrance into it, for it was possible that they could come short of it (Heb 4:1, 11).

Paul says that the Sabbath days were a shadow of things yet future; but the body [of the current dispensation] is of Christ (Col 2:17).

You Do Not Need Rest

We are strangers from the covenants to Israel, and their promised dominion on the Earth. The mystery of Christ teaches us that our dominion is in heavenly places (Phil 3:20).

More importantly we are not waiting for a time of rest for our works to cease. Those that believe the gospel of grace have already ceased from their works as they put their trust in the Lord who did all that was necessary for our salvation (Rom 4:5. Titus 3:5).

Our salvation comes with a complete position in Christ where we are equipped with all things (Col 2:10). We are not waiting for our sins to be blotted out as Peter taught in Acts 3:19.

Our sins are atoned for now, we do not wait for a weekly, monthly, yearly, or millennial sabbath to atone for our sins (Rom 5:11).

Putting Off Weak Holy Days

The mystery of Christ also explains how in this dispensation our righteousness and holiness comes from Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. It does not come from observance of holy Sabbath days.

It is our position in Christ that makes us holy, without Christ we are nothing (Eph 2:21). Only in Christ are we accepted by God (Col 3:12, Eph 1:6).

Observance of those days is a step downwards to a position where the rest only comes at the end of the week, month, or year. By turning unto those elements we are diminishing our complete holy position of rest already in Christ every day of the year!

Paul is correct when he says that those holy day laws were weak and beggarly:

“How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? … I am afraid of you…” – Galatians 4:9-11

He was afraid because their orientation was towards something other than the one thing that gave them salvation: the preaching of the cross. Esteeming the seventh day as holier than other days in the week has the same affect of limiting the effect of the cross to one day.

As we magnify the holy accomplishments of Christ on the cross we should putt off those weaker elements and let no man judge us regarding not observing those once holy days (Col 2:16).

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Published: December 25, 2010
Last Modified: September 26, 2016
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