Should we not keep the Sabbath (Galatians 4:10)?


Galatians 4:10

“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years.  I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11). Some wrongly claim that Paul here was teaching that the believers should not keep the seventh day Sabbath Holy. But is that what Paul means?

Two Kinds Of Holy Days

In Galatians 4, Paul is referring to the yearly seven ceremonial sabbaths and the new moons of the Mosaic Law not the weekly seventh day Sabbath. The Jews observed two kinds of Holy Days:

1-The weekly Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, which was given by God before sin (Genesis 2:1–3; Exodus 20:8–11). God’s Law has existed at least as long as sin has existed. This law was given at creation because it pointed to sin in the life; without it man could not know what is sin (Romans 7:7; 4:15). “For sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).

The seventh-day Sabbath of God’s Moral Law was instituted 2,500 years before the Mosaic Law or before the Jews. The seventh day Sabbath was written by God’s finger in stone (Exodus 31:18) and placed inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:20).

2- The yearly sabbath feast days. These feasts were ceremonial holy days established after sin and spoken by Moses (Leviticus 23; Numbers 10:10; 28:11–15). These were in addition to, or “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:38), or the weekly seventh-day Sabbath.

These yearly sabbath feasts along with all the temple ceremonies foreshadowed or pointed to the cross and ended at the cross. That’s why when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn pointing the end of the sacrificial offerings (Matthew 27:51). The Mosaic Law of the yearly sabbath feasts was written by Moses (2 Chronicles 35:12) and placed outside the Ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).

The Yearly Sabbath Feasts Abolished at the Cross

The Jewish converts to Christianity were asking the Galatians to observe the seven Jewish feasts but Paul was saying, these ceremonial feasts of the Mosaic Law foreshadowed, or pointed to, the cross and ended at the cross. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14-16).

The Mosaic Law was added “till the seed should come,” and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16, 19). The ritual and ceremony of the Mosaic Law pointed forward to Christ’s sacrifice. When He died, the Mosaic law came to an end. But the Ten Commandments of God’s Law “stand fast for ever and ever” (Luke 16:17).

For the difference between the Moral Law of God and the Law of Moses, check the following link: Are God’s law and Moses’ law the same?

For more on the Sabbath, please check (Lessons 91-102) of the Bible Lessons.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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