Concerning the Sabbath
By Grady Scott
[The following article appeared in the excellent (free) publication
Power (Vol. 8, No. 9, September 1999, p. 4), sponsored by
the Southaven church of Christ, P.O. Box 128,
Southaven, MS 38671.]
Sabbatarians usually have at least three objections to
the concept of doing away with the Sabbath. I realize that there
are more, but these are often heard during any discussion. Many will
contend, “Didn’t Constantine change the day of worship from Saturday to
Sunday in A.D. 325? This is a misunderstanding of what actually took
place. The facts are:
Finally, many will point to the fact that God said that the
Sabbath would be a perpetual covenant which would last through their generations
(Exodus 31:16). Does this mean that the Sabbath would last forever?
Once again, the facts are different from what many believe.
Christians were already meeting on the Lord’s day (Sunday)
from the first century. See Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
Clement of Rome (ca. A.D. 150) writes concerning a service
of God’s people. What day does he mention? Sunday.
The Ante-Nicean fathers (those prominent in the church before
A.D. 325) uniformly speak of the Lord’s day observance.
Constantine did not change the worship day to Sunday.
Rather, he legally set apart the day that Christians were already using
for worship as a day of rest. Others say that the Roman Catholic
Church changed the day of worship to Sunday from Saturday. They will
quote Cardinal Gibbon’s work as support for this. But would those
who take this for “gospel” also believe that the Catholic Church gave the
world the Bible, as Catholics believe, and which Cardinal Gibbons holds?
The facts are that the church, as described above, always kept the Lord’s
day. The Catholic Church, who misunderstands the division of the
testaments and the Scriptures in general, needed some explanation for the
change of the worship day on the Sabbath in the Old Testament to the Lord’s
day during the New Testament. They mistakenly concluded that they
(the Catholic Church) must have surely changed it somewhere along the way.
However, this simply is not the case.
When properly understood, these objections lose all their
weight. Do not be fooled by false arguments. Search the Scriptures
daily, just as the Bereans of old did (Acts 17:11).
The Sabbath was never intended for the Gentiles. It
was given to the Jews (Exodus 31:17). Nowhere is there a command
for the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath.
Secondly, the key is the phrase “through their generations.”
In other words, it would continue as long as the Jewish system existed.
In fact, the Old Law predicted the coming of a new system
(Jeremiah 31:31ff). Moreover, the New Testament says that it is the
fulfillment of the prophecy (Hebrews 8:8-13).