Is keeping the seventh day Sabbath necessary for salvation?


By BibleAsk Team

Salvation By Grace Alone

Some ask the question: is keeping the seventh day Sabbath necessary for salvation? The Bible teaches that People are saved by grace alone. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). It is through trust in Jesus that we are saved. Faith is not the means of our salvation, but simply the channel (Romans 4:3). Salvation is not obtained by human effort. Salvation is a free gift, without money or price (Isaiah 55:1; John 4:14; 2 Corinthians 9:15; 1 John 5:11). Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation.

The Moral Law Is Not Abolished

Then, should we neglect keeping the commandments? Paul wrote, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law“ (Romans 3:31). When Christ transforms the heart, obeying the Law becomes the natural result of love. Man by himself cannot produce good works. Christ creates the good works in man. He changes the will then, the good works become possible (Matthew 5:14–16).

Love to God makes keeping the first four commandments (Exodus 20:2-11) which concern God a pleasure, and love toward our neighbor makes keeping the last six which concern our neighbor a joy (Exodus 20:12-17). Love fulfills the law by taking away the burden and by making law keeping a delight (Psalms 40:8).

The Sabbath commandment is like any other commandment and breaking any commandment is breaking God’s Law (James 2:10). Grace is a pardon to the prisoner of sin. It forgives him, but it does not give him freedom to break the law. John stressed, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” ( 1 John 5:3).

The Fourth Commandment

The Lord commanded, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

When a young rich ruler came to Jesus asking, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:17), Jesus pointed to obedience to the Ten Commandments: “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother’ ” (verse 19). True faith leads to obedience (Romans 1:5; John 15:14). People don’t keep the Law to be saved but because they are saved.

When people knowingly choose to disobey God’s commands, they fall from grace (1 John 3:4). Obedience is the test of discipleship and the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Love should be the motive for obedience. Obedience that is motivated by fear is not the ideal kind of obedience (1 John 4:18).

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

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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