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#3.3 THE NEW TESTAMENT WORKS FOR THE SABBATH DAY

This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and is printable.

Greek Word Study on 4521 σάββατον sabbaton Sabbath.
Hebrew Word Study on 7676 שַׁבָּת shabbat Sabbath.
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Introduction 3.3

This bible study explains the new Testament works for Sabbath day. The best way to see what we should do is to examine what Jesus and the early church did on that day. These works, therefore, although spiritual, are literal things that we should do on that day.

#3.31 Teach in the church or synagogue

MARK 6:2
2 And when the Sabbath day came, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From where has this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given to him, that even such mighty works are done by his hands?

LUKE 4:31
31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.

LUKE 6:6
6 And it came to pass on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

LUKE 13:10
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

ACTS 17:2
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Note: From these scriptures, it seems obvious that Jesus had a habit of going into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and teaching the people. If he was alive today in the physical flesh, then because he is "the same yesterday, and today, and for the age." (Hebrews 13:8), he would still be going to the synagogue on the Sabbath to teach, wouldn't he? But he is alive, and he lives in every born again believer (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:6; John 5:11-12), so why are all born again believers not going to the synagogue (or church) on the Sabbath day? The answer is that they are not yielded to the Spirit of Christ in them, because of the deception of their heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Never, while he was alive on earth, did Jesus ever reverence Sunday as a special day of worship, or attending the synagogue, and so it should be now. The calling of all Christians is to be as Jesus was (Matthew 10:25), to be conformed to his image (Romans 8:29), to walk as he walked (1 John 2:6), to follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21), and to be as he is in this world (1 John 4:17). There is no way that we can fulfil this calling while we are failing to keep the Sabbath day.

#3.32 Read the law

LUKE 4:16
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

ACTS 15:21
21 For Moses of old time has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

Note: The argument here is the same as the previous section (See #3.31). Jesus had a habit of going into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and reading the law (Luke 4:16), and for Gentiles, this is equivalent to going to church on the Sabbath day and reading the word of God. The calling of all Christians is to be as Jesus was (Matthew 10:25), to be conformed to his image (Romans 8:29), to walk as he walked (1 John 2:6), to follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21), and to be as he is in this world (1 John 4:17). There is no way that we can fulfil this calling while we are failing to keep the Sabbath day, and reading God's word on it.

#3.33 Pray

ACTS 16:13 - English Translation
13 And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was accustomed to be made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who resorted there

Note: This event occurred at Philippi, by a riverside where it was a custom to pray. The scripture declares, "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so prayer should be a regular habit of all Christians every day, not just on the Sabbath.

#3.34 Do the works of God

JOHN 6:28-29
28 Then they said to him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.

Note: In contrast to the works that we should not do on the Sabbath day (See #3.11 Note), there are some works that we should do on the Sabbath day. All of these are different ways of looking at the works that are done by the spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling in us, when we are yielded to him.

   (1) The work of God

(John 6:29) "This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent."

Believing in Jesus produces his works in us:

(John 14:12) "He who believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;"

   (2) Good works

(Colossians 1:10) "That you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,"
(2 Timothy 2:21) "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared to every good work."

Jesus did good works. He said, "Many good works have I showed you from my Father;" (John 10:32), and he "went about doing good (works), and healing all who were oppressed of the devil." (Acts 10:38).

   (3) Works of faith and love

(Galatians 5:6) "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor un-circumcision; but faith which works by love."
(1 Thessalonians 1:3) "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love,"
(James 2:26) "faith without works is dead".

   (4) Works of righteousness

(1 John 2:29) "every one who does righteousness is born of him."
(1 John 3:7) "he who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."
(1 John 3:10) "whoever does not do righteousness is not of God,"

   (5) Works of spiritual power

(1 Corinthians 2:4) "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:"
(2 Thessalonians 1:11) "the work of faith with power:"
(2 Timothy 1:7) "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

These works include casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead, some of which Jesus himself did on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:10-13; Luke 13:10-13; John 5:1-10). None of them are done by our own effort or our own power, so they are not our own works but his. It is God doing the works through the spirit of Jesus Christ in us. They are spiritual works rather than physical works. Jesus made the point that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:12; Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9), so the Sabbath commandment is not broken by doing them.

(James 4:17) "Therefore to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin."

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