One mistaken belief some Christians have about Seventh-day Adventists is that because we worship on Saturday, instead of Sunday, we believe in righteousness by works, not by grace through faith.
Quite the contrary. We, as other Protestant Christians, believe that righteousness is only received by grace through faith.
We worship God on Saturday, not in order to earn righteousness or salvation, but because:
1) Jesus Himself made it holy - not on Mt. Sinai, but as the climax to creation - not only more than 2000 years before the Jewish nation of Israel existed, but even before sin existed on earth (Genesis 2:2-3) - to be a ''monument in time'' in which to worship and commune with Him, no matter where one finds himself or herself on planet Earth (or in space for that matter);
2) He blessed it, making it a special blessing for all people; and...
3) He put it at the end of every week, as the 4th commandment itself states, as a weekly memorial of creation, as a constant reminder to us that He's our Creator, and after the fall, our Savior as well.
We believe the 4th commandment about the 7th-day Sabbath, as with the other 9 commandments, was never a ''shadow'' pointing to Jesus, as the ceremonial laws were. Otherwise Jesus would've made the Sabbath holy after sin existed on earth, not before.
That's one of the reasons why we believe that just as the other 9 commandments were not abolished at the cross, along with the ceremonial laws, neither was the 4th commandment, but as with the other 9 commandments, is still valid today (Romans 3:28,31).
Some Protestant Christians mistakenly claim there's no mention in the Bible of people keeping the 7th-day Sabbath before the ten commandments were given on Mt. Sinai. Actually there is, in Exodus 16. At least two weeks before.
''Every week during their long sojourn in the wilderness, the Israelites witnessed a threefold miracle, designed to impress their minds with the sacredness of the [7th-day] Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time it became unfit for use.''
''In the circumstances connected with the giving of the manna, we have conclusive evidence that the [7th-day] Sabbath was not instituted, as many claim, when the law was given at Sinai. Before the Israelites came to Sinai they understood the [7th-day] Sabbath to be obligatory upon them.''
''In being obliged to gather every Friday a double portion of manna in preparation for the [7th-day] Sabbath, when none would fall, the sacred nature of the day of rest was continually impressed upon them. And when some of the people went out on the [7th-day] Sabbath to gather manna, the Lord asked, 'How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?' [Exodus 16:28]'' - Patriarchs & Prophets
As you can see from that verse (and there are several others like it), God's ten commandments indeed existed, and the Israelites were indeed aware of them, before God gave them to Moses on Mt. Sinai. In fact, we believe they have always existed in heaven and were adapted for mankind:
We believe God told Adam and Eve about them, that they told their children about them, and that they were passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth, just as they were by God and Moses well before Mt. Sinai (Exodus 16:27-30, 18:16), until the Israelites, whom, we believe, had forgotten about them in Egypt, were reminded of them at Mt. Sinai.
"But the 4th commandment requiring the weekly 7th-day Sabbath was abolished at Jesus' death. Wasn't it?"
"Pray that you won't have to escape in winter or on the Sabbath." - Matthew 24:20 - Jesus said that to 7th-day Sabbath-keeping Jews about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, an event 39 years after His death.
No, dear reader. The 7th-day Sabbath was not abolished at the cross, because it was not made just for the Jews. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man [all mankind]..." - Mark 2:27 - Even the 4th commandment explains that, when it also requires Gentiles to keep it.
Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:20 (above) whenever you're tempted to think otherwise.
He also said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." - John 14:15
We choose to obey God's 10 commandments not in order to earn salvation, but because the Bible says that our whole duty is to keep, or obey, them (Ecclesiastes 12:13), and that if we love God, and His love is in our hearts and minds, we keep them, by the influence of the Holy Spirit (Jesus' grace, or righteousness) through faith in God's plan of redemption and salvation (John 14:15 NIV | NKJV).
In fact, we believe that ever since Adam and Eve sinned - yes, even while the Israelites' sacrificial system (referred to as the old covenant) was in place - God's plan for our redemption and salvation (referred to as the new covenant) has never been by works (Hebrews 7:19, 9:8,9 & 10:1,4), but instead has always been by Jesus' grace through the faith He gives us to believe in Him and his plan.
''Those who hold that Christ abolished the law teach that He broke the [7th-day] Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same. Thus they are really taking the same ground as did the caviling Jews.''
''In this they contradict the testimony of Christ Himself, who declared, 'I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.' John 15:10. Neither the Saviour nor His followers broke the law of the [7th-day] Sabbath. Christ was a living representative of the law.''
''No violation of its holy precepts was found in His life. Looking upon a nation of witnesses who were seeking occasion to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, 'Which of you convicts Me of sin?' John 8:46''
When the Jewish teachers accused the desciples of breaking the [7th-day] Sabbath after they gathered and ate grain in a field, Jesus ''declared that in their blindness they had mistaken the object of the [7th-day] Sabbath. He said, 'If you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.' MatthewMatthew 12:7.''
''Their many heartless rites could not supply the lack of that truthful integrity and tender love which will ever characterize the true worshiper of God.''
''Again Christ reiterated the truth that the sacrifices were in themselves of no value. They were a means, and not an end. Their object was to direct men to the Saviour, and thus to bring them into harmony with God. It is the service of love that God values.''
''When this is lacking, the mere round of ceremony is an offense to Him. So with the [7th-day] Sabbath. It was designed to bring men [and women] into communion with God; but when the mind was absorbed with wearisome rites, the object of the [7th-day] Sabbath was thwarted. Its mere outward observance was a mockery.''
''In the healing of the withered hand, Jesus condemned the custom of the Jews, and left the fourth commandment standing as God had given it. 'It is lawful to do well on the [7th-day] Sabbath days,' He declared.''
''By sweeping away the senseless restrictions of the Jews, Christ honored the [7th-day] Sabbath, while those who complained of Him were dishonoring God's holy day.''
No matter what Bible texts other Protestant Christians may give as proof of why we shouldn't keep the 7th day as the Sabbath, the fact remains that Jesus said the 7th-day Sabbath was made for all mankind (Mark 2:27), not just the Hebrews.
In fact, the 4th commandment itself makes that abundantly clear, when it commands even foreign servants and strangers staying with the Hebrews to keep it holy.
'' 'Wherefore the Son of man is Lord also of the [7th-day] Sabbath.' These words are full of instruction and comfort. Because the [7th-day] Sabbath was made for man, it is the Lord's day. It belongs to Christ.''
''He said, 'I gave them My [7th-day] Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them,' - make them holy. Ezekiel 20:12. Then the [7th-day] Sabbath is a sign of Christ's power to make us holy. And it is given to all whom Christ makes holy.'' - The Desire of Ages, Ch. 29: ''The Sabbath,'' Pgs. 285-288
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