Find peace in Jesus
The ten commandments say: “Remember the day of the Sabbath that you will sanctify it. You should work six days and do all your works. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. There you shall not do any work, not even your son, your daughter, your servant, your maidservant, your cattle, not even your stranger who lives in your city. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and the sea and everything in it, and rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it » (Genesis 2-20,8). Is it necessary to keep the Sabbath in order to attain salvation? Or: «Is it necessary to hold Sunday? My answer is: «Your salvation does not depend on one day, but on one person, namely on Jesus»!
I recently called a friend in the United States on the phone. He joined The Restored Church of God. This church teaches the restoration of Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings. He asked me: "Are you keeping the Sabbath"? I answered him: "The Sabbath is no longer necessary for salvation in the new covenant"!
I heard this statement for the first time twenty years ago and did not really understand the meaning of the sentence because I was still living under the law. To help you understand what it's like to live under the law, I'll tell you a personal story.
When I was a child, I asked my mother: "What do you want for Mother's Day?" "I am happy if you are a lovely child," I received as an answer! Who or what is a lovely child? "If you do what I tell you." My conclusion was: «If I oppose my mother, I am a bad child.
In the WKG I got to know God's principle. I am a dear child when I do what God says. He says: "You should keep the Sabbath day holy, then you will be blessed"! No problem, I thought, I understand the principle! As a young person I was looking for a stop. Holding on to the Sabbath gave me stability and security. In this way, I was apparently a lovely child. Today I ask myself the question: «Do I need this security? Is it necessary for me to be saved? My salvation depends entirely on Jesus! »
What is necessary for salvation?
After God created the entire universe in six days, He rested on the seventh day. Adam and Eve lived in this peace for a short time. Her fall brought them under a curse, for in the future Adam would eat his bread in the sweat of his brow, and bore Eve children with hardship until they die.
Later, God made a covenant with the people of Israel. This covenant required works. They had to keep the laws in order to be righteous, blessed and not cursed. In the old covenant, the people of Israel had to perform religious works of righteousness. For six days, week after week. Only one day of the week they were allowed to rest, on the Sabbath day. This day was a reflection of grace. A taste of the new federal government.
When Jesus came to earth, he lived under this covenant, as it is written: "But when the time was fulfilled, God sent his son, born of a woman and under the law" (Galatians 4,4).
The six days of the work of creation are a symbol of the law of God. It is perfect and beautiful. It testifies to God's flawlessness and divine justice. It has such a high value that only God, through Jesus Himself, could fulfill.
Jesus fulfilled the law for you by doing everything that was necessary. He kept all the laws in your place. He hung on the cross and was punished for your sins. As soon as the price was paid, Jesus said: "It is done"! Then he bowed his head to rest and died.
Put all your trust in Jesus and you will rest forever because you have been justified before God through Jesus Christ. You don't have to struggle for your salvation because the price of your debt is paid. Completely! "For whoever has entered into his rest also rests from his works like God from his. So now let us strive to enter this calm so that no one falls, as in this example of disobedience (Unbelievable) » (Hebrews 4,10: 11 New Geneva translation).
When you enter into the rest of God's righteousness, you should do your own work righteousness. Now only one work is expected of you: "To go into peace"! I repeat, you can only do this by believing in Jesus. How would you fall and become disobedient? By wanting to work out your justice yourself. That is unbelief.
If you are tormented by feelings of not being good enough or unworthy, this is a sign that you are not yet living in the repose of Jesus. It's not about asking for forgiveness and giving God all sorts of promises. It is about your firm faith in Jesus, who brings you to rest! You were forgiven all guilt by Jesus' sacrifice because you professed it before him. That is why you are washed clean before God, perfect, holy and just. It is up to you to thank Jesus for that.
The new covenant is the sabbath rest!
The Galatians believed that they had received access to God through grace. They thought that it was important to obey God and keep the commandments according to the Scriptures. Clear commandments concerning circumcision, holidays and sabbath days, commandments of the old covenant.
The Galatians represented the heresy that Christians should keep both the old and the new covenant. They said: "Merit through obedience and grace" are necessary. They mistakenly believed this.
We read that Jesus lived under the law. When Jesus died, he stopped living under this law. Christ's death ended the old covenant, the covenant. "For Christ is the end of the law" (Romans 10,4). Let us read what Paul said to the Galatians: «In reality, however, I have nothing more to do with the law; I died by the judgment of the law against the law to live for God from now on; I have been crucified with Christ. I live, but now not me, but Christ lives in me. Because what I now live in the flesh, I live in faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me » (Galatians 2,19: 20 New Geneva translation).
By judgment of the law, you died with Jesus and you no longer live in the old covenant. They were crucified with Jesus and rose to new life. Now you are resting with Jesus in the new covenant. God works with you and he counts you because he does everything through you. This way you live in Jesus' rest. The work is done by Jesus! Your work in the new covenant is to believe this: "It is God's work that you believe in the one he sent" (John 6,29).
The new life in Jesus
What is the peace in the new covenant in Jesus? Do not you have to do anything anymore? Can you do and leave as you want? Yes, you can do as you please! You can choose Sunday and rest. They may or may not keep the Sabbath day holy. Her behavior does not affect his love for you. Jesus loves you with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.
God accepted me with all the dirt from my sins. How should I react to that? Should I wallow in the mud like a pig? Paul asks: "How now? Shall we sin because we are under grace, not under the law? That is far away » (Romans 6,15)! The answer is clearly no, never! In the new life one in Christ I live in the law of love, just as God lives in the law of love.
"Let us love because he loved us first. When someone speaks: I love God and hates his brother who is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he sees cannot love God whom he does not see. And we have this commandment from him that whoever loves God, that also love his brother » (1 John 4,19: 21).
They have experienced God's mercy. They received God's forgiveness of guilt and are reconciled to God through Jesus' atoning sacrifice. You are an adopted child of God and heir of his kingdom. For this Jesus paid with his blood and you can do nothing, because everything is done, which is necessary for your salvation. Fulfill the law of love in Christ by letting Jesus shine through you. Let the love of Christ flow to your fellow human beings as Jesus loves you.
If someone asks me today: "Are you keeping the Sabbath", I answer: "Jesus is my Sabbath"! He is my calm. I have my salvation in Jesus. You too can find your salvation in Jesus!
by Pablo Nauer