Summary: Part 14 of our sermon series on the Baptist Faith and Message
Saturday or Sunday? That is the Question (BFM #14)
By: Ken McKinley
We recently got a little booklet delivered to us in the church mail. The booklet was 32 pages long and was titled What is Patriotism in the United States? Well I love to read, especially patriotic things, so I began to read this little booklet, but soon enough alarms started going off in my head. Something wasn’t quite right about it. So I stopped reading it and looked at who published it, and sure enough it was published by the General Counsel of 7th Day Adventists. Now don’t ask me why a Baptist Church is getting things from a 7th Day Adventist organization. We get things from all sorts of non-Baptist religious organizations in the mail, usually it’s from Charismatic or Pentecostal churches, and they usually end up in the same place this little booklet ended up. In the trash can in my office. Again I don’t know why we get these things, who ordered them, or corresponded with these groups, or what, but we do. And that’s exactly why we are going over the BFM. We are Christians first and foremost, but we are also Baptists, and there is a reason for this. Now the reason that I even brought that book we got in the mail up, is because today we are looking at article 8 of the BFM – the Lords Day. The 7th Day Adventists claim that in order to be faithful to the Lord we must keep the Sabbath; which was originally Saturday, while every other Christian denomination says that we should worship on Sunday. So if you have your BFM with you, look at article 8 with me and follow along as I read what it says (Read).
So what is the Lord’s Day? And are we; as New Testament Christians, bound to the Sabbath as the Israelites were under the Old Covenant?
In our texts, both from Romans and Colossians, the context is dealing with Christian liberty. They are both dealing with how we are free in Christ. Now it’s important that we understand what was happening when Paul wrote these letters. We need to look at the historical context. All of the first converts to Christianity were Jewish, and then later on Gentiles began to be born again and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. But as Paul went about preaching the Gospel and planting these Gentile filled churches, there were groups of people that followed him around as well. They were called Judaizers; and what they did was – they would follow Paul, and after he started a new church and got things going, they would come into the church and tell the new believers that it was all well and good, but in order to be “real” followers of God, they had to obey the Old Testament practices – specifically the ritual of circumcision, but sometimes other things, like the dietary laws of the Torah, or observing the Sabbath Day.
So Paul responds to this false teaching in our texts, but also in the book of Galatians. Turn with me to Galatians 2:1-16 (Read). Look at that last verse again, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by faith n Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; for by the works of the Law, no flesh shall be justified.”
So again the point is we are free in Christ. Turn with me to Romans 7:2-4 (Read), and now look at Romans 8:1-3 (Read). So the purpose of the Law was to point us to Christ, so that those who believe will be saved, turn with me to Romans 10:4 (Read). The end of the law. We can take that 2 ways. We can say that because Jesus fulfilled the Law, we need not worry about fulfilling it, and we can also say that the end of the Law is justification, and since Christ fulfilled it, we who are in Him are also justified. The Bible tells us that we could never fulfill the Law because of the weakness of our flesh. We are born into sin, we all like sheep have gone astray. There is none righteous, no not one. We were all dead in trespasses and sin. God knew this already. He was there in the Garden when Adam sinned. He knew it when He gave the Law to Moses. So the purpose of the Law was never to be a means of salvation for man. Its purpose was to point us to the One who brought salvation to man. Jesus Christ our Lord!