For years the Western world and its churches have held the Lord's day on Sunday. I have heard many justifications for this both from scripture and from tradition. The prevailing thought seems to be that it does not matter which day is observed. Some think it is not necessary to even hold a specific day. Let us see what scripture has to offer on this subject.
Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Isaiah 56:2 Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of the man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath, so as not to profane it and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
Isaiah 58:13-14 If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own words, Then will you delight yourself in Yahweh, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father; for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.
Leviticus 19:3 Each of you shall give due respect to his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths holy. I Yahweh am your Elohim (God).
Nehemiah 13:18 Did not your forefathers do thus, and did not our Elohim (God) bring all this evil upon us and upon this city? Yet you bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.
Ezekiel 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they walked not in My statutes and they despised and cast away my judgements, which, if a man keeps, he must even line in and by them; and they grievously profaned My Sabbaths. Then I thought I would pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness and uproot and consume them.
It is very obvious from Scripture that Elohim (God) takes the observation of His Sabbath very seriously and that there are dire consequences for those that profane and do not observe His commandment to keep it holy. So then what is the controversy? We in the western churches have for centuries had the tradition of Sunday worship. In the year 321AD Constantine decreed Sunday as the official Roman-Christian day of rest. Note carefully that the Roman emphasis is primary in this designation. Since that time Christians of all walks have accepted Sunday as the 'Lord's day', but is this scripturally valid? Let us examine further, shall we?
Acts 13:14-15 But they came on from Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue there and sat down. After the reading of the Torah (Law) and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent to them saying, Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation or consolation or encouragement for the people, say it.
Acts 13:42-44 As they went out, the people earnestly begged that these things might be told to them the next Sabbath. And when the congregation of the synagogue dispersed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to continue in the grace of Elohim (God). The next Sabbath almost the entire city gathered together to hear the Word of Elohim (God).
Hebrews 4:4,11 For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day; And Elohim (God) rested on the seventh day from all His works.
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day Elohim (God) ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Acts 16:12-15 And from there to Phillippi, which is the chief city of the district of Macedonia and a colony. We stayed on in this place some days; And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the bank of the river where we supposed there wa a place of prayer, and we sat down and addressed the women who had assembled there. One of those who listened to us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in fabrics dyed in purple. She was a worshiper of Elohim (God) and Yahweh opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And when she was baptized along with her household, she earnestly entreated us, saying, If in your opinion I am one really convinced and that I will be faithful to Yahweh, come to my house and stay. And she induced us.
Acts 18:2-4 There he met a Jew named Aquilla of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were toleave rome. And Paul went to see them. And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. But he discoursed and srgued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over Jews and Greeks.
Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on teh Sabbath day. And He stood up to read.
Here we find through out the Acts that Paul and the other Apostles observed the Israelite Sabbath (that is, the 7th day Sabbath according to the Creation Calendar) in all their teaching and evangelizing. During the other six days of the week, they worked and carried on their business but on the Sabbath they went to synagogue and taught and spread the Gospel. There was no indication that they ever indicated another day to be Yahweh's Sabbath. Also illustrated from the Gospel of Luke is the fact that our Lord and Savior observed the Sabbath as well.
There are those that believe that with the advent of the New Covenant we are not bound by the Law as delineated in the Old Testament. This traditional idea requires more in depth scriptural investigation. Let us explore, shall we?
1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness (Torahlessness); for sin is lawlessness.
Matthew 4:4 But He replied, It has been written, man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of Elohim (God).
1 John 2:4-6 Whoever says, I know Him but fails to diip and obey His commandments is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. But he who keeps His Word truly in him has the love and for Elohim (God) been perfected. By this we may perceive that we are in Him. Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.
1 John 5:2-3 By this we come to know that we love the children of Elohim (God); when we love Elohim (God) and obey His commands. For the love of Elohim (God) is this; that we do His commands. And these orders of His are not irksome.
2 Timothy 3:15 And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus).
Matthew 5:17-18 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Torah (Law) or the Nevi'im (Prophets); I have not come to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook will pass from the Law until all things are accomplished.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Pattern yourselves after me, as I imitate and follow Christ.
Abundantly clear here is the idea that the New Covenant was never intended to replace or abolish the Torah (Law). It is important to be clear on this. There is nowhere that it is sanctioned to do away with the Sabbath or change it. The Savior observed it as did the Apostles and the early messianic community (church). The first (Roman) day worship was a concession to the early Roman pagans who worshipped the sun god to entice them into the messianic community (church). Scripture makes it very clear that those who love Yah'shua (Jesus) will keep His commandments.
John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
Matthew 22:37-40 And He replied to him. You shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Torah (Law) and the Nevi'im (Prophets).
Now let's look at one verse that has been used to justify the idea that the Torah (Law) has been nullified.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. (NKJV)
Many have taken this to mean that the law is void since the advent of the New Covenant but it is important to discern exactly what was translated as "end". The word telos translated as end signifies completion or the reaching of a goal, not cessation which is in keeping with our Master's statement that He did not come to end the Torah (Law) but to complete it. This makes much more sense and is in keeping with the central theme of completion.
With all the scriptural evidence in there can be no case made that the Law regarding the Sabbath (truly any of the Law for that matter) has been abolished or negated in any way. In fact we are instructed repeatedly to keep Elohim's (God's) commandments. It is illustrated clearly that only those who keep His commandments can truly love Him, so let us truly love our Elohim (God) and endeavor to keep His commandments with a joyful and obedient heart.
See the Sabbath Website for a
complete exegesis and historical analysis