The Sabbath Day
Worship to God
As Christians, we worship and praise God to honor Him and show Him love. Therefore, we must ensure our worship is acceptable to Him. To that end, we must understand what is pleasing to God from God’s point of view.
Throughout Jesus’ life on earth, He did many things to set an example for His followers to learn the correct path of a Christian. He demonstrated not only what was pleasing to God, but He even showed practices of people that were unacceptable in God’s sight. In one instance, Jesus Christ rebuked the teachers of religious law for putting aside God’s commands to keep their own tradition.
“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”
Though the teachers of religious law worshiped God, God did not accept it. In God’s eyes, they followed human teachings and traditions rather than the word of God.
Then, we must ask ourselves, “How can we worship God correctly according to the Scriptures?” Through the Ten Commandments, God provides clear instructions about worship.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”
God commands His people to keep the Sabbath day holy; this is the day set aside to worship and dedicate to God.
What Day of the Week Is the Sabbath?
As stated in the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week. And calendars and dictionaries show us that the seventh day of the week is Saturday. The Bible further confirms that Saturday is the seventh day of the week—the Sabbath day that we should keep as holy to God.
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.
Mark 16:1-2 (NLT)
Therefore, Saturday is the Sabbath day, which God asks us to set aside as the day to worship and praise God.
Jesus and the Early Church Kept Sabbath Worship
Christ Himself set the example of observing the biblical Sabbath day. As Christians, we, too, should observe the same day as Jesus did.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.
The Early Church also kept Saturday Sabbath after Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension to heaven.
As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue…
Even after Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, the Early Church observed the Sabbath day. This is understood through the example of Apostle Paul who became a Christian after Jesus’ death.
Ultimately, however, Roman Emperor Constantine, who was also the high priest of Rome’s pagan religion, made Sunday the official day of worship. Regardless of personal belief, everyone was required to observe Sunday as the day of rest and worship. And the observance of Saturday Sabbath was abolished.
“When in 321 Constantine made the first day of the week a holiday, he called it ‘the venerable day of the Sun’ (Sunday).”
The History of Christianity, Tim Dowley – Lion Pub. – 1990
Despite Sunday observance’s evident pagan and nonbiblical origin, Sunday worship became standard practice in Christianity that remains even to this day.
Though people’s customs change over time, the promise of God through the Sabbath will never change. God promises to bless and recognize those who keep the Sabbath day as His people—forever.
“‘The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever…’”
The World Mission Society Church of God keeps the Sabbath day on Saturday, just as Jesus Christ kept it 2,000 years ago. Visit your local Church of God, experience the Sabbath day, and learn many other teachings of Christ through the Bible.