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Sabbath defined by Scripture and early church

by Jean McNamara
(Bartlett, IL)

There are only two places that are valid in which to determine how God wants us to celebrate the Sabbath-Scripture and the early church. To determine the definition of the early church for this quick discussion, please ask yourselves how much the world view has changed in this country in 50 years-remember in the 60's how TV showed married couples sleeping in twin beds? Even ten years ago, we had no homosexual marriage or acceptance of transgender.
My definition of the early church would be A.D. 100 back to the year Jesus began his ministry. What I see is that Jesus,as the Living Word-"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.." The Word was Jesus coming to earth to show us the proper interpretation of the law. The scribes and Pharisees did not complain that Jesus did carpentry work or Paul worked on tents on the Sabbath. Jesus did good,healing on the Sabbath, and the disciples plucked grain and rolled it in their hands to eat as they walked through the fields-surely no more work than pulling a pre-made dish out of the cupboard or pulling out the manna saved from the day before. Had Jesus wanted us to know the Sabbath was fulfilled in Himself, I believe the Bible would have shown us that.
The early church history you give is too far from Scripture time to accurately betray what Jesus did on earth. No other of the 10 commandments have changed,why just one? If we are to separate out a quote or two from Scripture that makes us think the Sabbath is over, as we know we must not do(rather we take Scripture as a whole), then place alongside the verse as stated by Jesus, "I have not come to do away with the law, no not one stroke of it, but rather to fulfill the law."

Comments for Sabbath defined by Scripture and early church

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Nov 11, 2011
Scripture and Early Church
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

Your definition of early church is convenient. It eliminates everything but Scripture and the letter from Rome to Corinth from A.D. 96.

However, that doesn't clear up anything. My exposition of Matthew 5:17, where Christ said he came to fulfill the Law and not abolish it is very solid, leaves no difficult verses. It is much more sound than the idea that Christians need to rest on the seventh day, which leaves us dancing around Colossians 2:16 and Romans 14, giving embarrassing explanations for clear verses. The rest on the 7th day theory also leaves us explaining away almost everything Paul said about the Law, so that those who physically rest tend to also find themselves obligated to food laws as well, something even the Lord Jesus directly overrides.

So if we're limited to Scripture, my explanation is far better, leaving no difficult verses at all, neither in the Gospels, nor in Paul's writings.

However, your 50-year limitation is unreasonable. We are living in the most rapidly changing society in history. Nonetheless, you can go to the Baptists, the Churches of Christ, the Pentecostals, the Seventh Day Adventists, or almost any denomination you want, and find almost no change at all in their doctrinal beliefs. Changes in Hollywood do not equate to changes in doctrinal beliefs of churches.

It only makes sense that what the apostles taught on important issues, like the Law of Moses, would continue in the churches without much change, especially when there was no one leader who could change all the churches. If error set in, we would find various churches holding various positions, but we do not. All the early churches knew that they were to use the Law the way Paul used it in 1 Cor. 9, and the way Jesus illustrated throughout the rest of Matthew 5, which Sabbatizers seem conveniently to ignore. Jesus explained himself.

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