Weren’t the gentiles not commanded to keep the seventh day Sabbath in Acts 15?

In Acts 15,  the Jerusalem Council agreed mainly to forbid the gentile converts from all the practices that were especially associated with pagan worship such as fornication, blood and foods offered to idols. The council did not forbid the gentiles from keeping the seventh day Sabbath.

There was also a very real, clear change about “circumcision” of the Mosaic law. Through Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Romans and all the writings of Paul, we read how the apostle was trying to free the Gentiles from the burdens that the Jews were trying to put on the gentiles by observing the ceremonies of Moses.

There are two kinds of sabbath’s. The weekly Sabbath of the Ten Commandment (Genesis 2:2,3; Exodus 2): 8-11) that was instituted before sin. And the yearly sabbath feasts of the Mosaic law (Leviticus chapter 23) that came after sin which were in addition to, or “beside the sabbaths of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:38). The yearly sabbath feasts foreshadowed, or pointed to, the cross and ended at the cross (Col. 2:11-20; Heb. 9:1-12). But God’s weekly seventh-day Sabbath could foreshadow nothing about deliverance from sin.

The church did not yet see clearly that the ceremonial laws pointing to Christ were fulfilled in Him, and that the ethnic symbols characterizing the Jews as Jews were, likewise, no longer meaningful. For decades Jewish Christians, in general, continued to identify themselves with the Temple rituals, and even Paul joined in them when he was at Jerusalem (Acts 20:16; 21:18-26; Ch. 18:19).  But later it was revealed, especially to Paul, that there was a theological reason for not requiring the observance of the Mosaic rituals.

Please note that there are two separate laws:

Called “the law of Moses” (Luke 2:22).
Called “law … contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15).
Written by Moses in a book (2 Chronicles 35:12).
Placed outside the ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).
Ended at the cross (Ephesians 2:15).
Added because of sin (Galatians 3:19).
Contrary to us, against us (Colossians 2:14).
Judges no one (Colossians 2:14-16).
Carnal (Hebrews 7:16).
Made nothing perfect (Hebrews 7:19).


Called “the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 5:24).
Called Ten Commandments-“the royal law” (James 2:8).
Written by God on stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:16).
Placed inside the ark (Exodus 40:20).
Will stand forever (Luke 16:17).
Points out sin (Romans 7:7; 3:20).
Not grievous (1 John 5:3).
Judges all people (James 2:10-12).
Spiritual (Romans 7:14).
Perfect (Psalms 19:7).

The Mosaic Law came to an end at the Cross. However, God’s Law stands forever.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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