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Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!

The first six words of Mark 16 are “And when the sabbath was past.”

That’s when Jesus rose from the dead, when the sabbath was past. The sabbath was a sign between God and the Jews, (Exodus 31:13) “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.” Reading verses 14-17 of that same chapter in Exodus, we find that a violation of the sabbath carried the death penalty, and what was plainly stated about the sabbath being between God and the Jews in verse thirteen is reiterated another two times specifically in verses sixteen & seventeen.

But in the New Testament, there is neither injunction to keep the sabbath nor example of a Christian doing so. In fact, Colossians 2:16 tells us that we are not to be judged regarding the keeping of the sabbath, and certainly if we are not under judgment regarding the sabbath, we shouldn’t be judging others that way. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” Then, Galatians 4:9-11 says, ”But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”

How come? The bottom line is that the church is a new thing, not a brushed-up version of Judaism. Under the law, the Jews worked for six days and then had their day of rest. Under grace (Christians are saved by grace, not by works) we have the new day, the first day of the week, and then we serve Him out of a thankful and worshipful heart for the next six. We are not Jews, we are Christians, and the sabbath was a sign between God and the Jews!

Like the disciples did, we come together on the first day of the week, and that to worship the Son, not the sun! Every day is the LORD’s Day, but we do come together on the first day of the week. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1 Cor16:2.) And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7.) “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” (Mark 16:9.)

It’s a new day in Christ, the eighth dispensation will be the Kingdom Age, and now in the Church Age we are not under the law, nor the law of the sabbath. Is it a good thing for man and beast to have a day of rest? I believe it is, and I believe that principle is set forth in the Bible, but the new day is not the sabbath, and no one is to be stoned for not keeping either the sabbath or the new day in Christ. It’s a matter of the heart, and the heart of the Christian as well as the Scriptures tells him to gather together with other believers, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25.)

When we were in the world, we counted the days of the week so we could “live it up on the weekends.” Now, as Christians, we set the first day of the week aside to gather together with other believers, to be a part of the preaching of the LORD Jesus Christ, and to be refreshed and draw closer to the LORD in the process. It’s a matter of grace. It’s summer, and we are no longer under the schoolmaster of the law! (Gal 3:24-25.) Praise the LORD!

School is out! Now, that’s really living it up!

Love and Prayers to all,

Pastor

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