The Sabbath Day vs The Lord’s Day

By Lee Delbridge


• God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it (made it holy) after creating the world in six days Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11

• Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it holy is one of the Ten Commandments Exodus 20:8-11

• Under the Old Testament Covenant the penalty for breaking the Sabbath was death Exodus 31:12-17

• God said that the Sabbath was a sign between Him and Israel “forever” Exodus 31:1-17

• Jesus worshipped on the Sabbath Day Luke 4:16

• On most of Paul’s missionary trips he visited the synagogues on the Sabbath Acts 13:14; 14:1; etc.

• The word Sabbath is in the Bible over 100 times and about one half of those times are in the New Testament

So why do Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath (which is Saturday)? Let’s look at the Scriptures beginning with the Old Testament about the Sabbath Day.


After Creating the World in Six Days, God Rested on the Sabbath and Made It Holy

Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.

By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Nothing else is mentioned about the Sabbath

Day in the book of Genesis which covers from about 4000 BC until about 1800 BC

The Next Mention of Anything Special About the Seventh Day is With Moses and the Israelites in the Wilderness (Creation was about 4004 BC. Moses lived about 1450 BC)

Exodus 16:4-5

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”

The Law of Moses

The Mosaic Law – 2500 Years After Creation

Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God was serious – The Jews Must Keep the Sabbath – Death Penalty For Failing To Do So

Exodus 31:12-17

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

“But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.

For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’

It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

The Christian Dispensation

Jesus Was Raised From the Dead on the First Day of the Week

Matthew 28:1-6

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “ Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

(Compare Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1-9)

Jesus was Raised from

the Dead on Sunday

The Church Began One The First Day of the Week

Acts 2:1

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

(The Jewish Day of Pentecost is Fifty Days after the Passover Sabbath)

The early Christians Seem To Worship on the First Day of the Week

Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.

The Church Began

on Sunday

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.

On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

John Seem To Worship on the First Day of the Week (The Lord’s Day)

Revelation 1:9-11

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

We Are No Longer Under the Mosaic Law — The Old Covenant

Colossians 2:13-17

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—

things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

The Early Christians Seem To Worship on Sunday

John 1:17

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:23-25

But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

We Should Not Judge or Condemn a Person Who Decides to Worship on a Particular Day

Romans 14:1, 5-6

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions….

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

It’s Not the Day We Worship But the Person We Worship


Let’s Review

God “rested” on the seventh day after creating the world in six days

Over 2000 years later when Moses was leading the Israelites in the Wilderness and God provided manna they collected twice as much on the sixth day so that they would not have to collect any on the seventh day

God gave the Law through Moses which said “remember the Sabbath Day”. God was very serious that the Jews obey this law. Death was the penalty for breaking this commandment

The Mosaic Law ended with the death of Jesus and the beginning of the church

Gradually the church began worshipping on the Lord’s Day (Sunday; The First Day of the Week)

We should not judge or condemn those who decide to worship on a day different day than what we think is the right day.

We are no longer under the Old Covenant but are under the New Covenant

The Old Testament Jews celebrated creation and the Mosaic Covenant by worshipping on the Sabbath (Saturday)

The New Testament Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the New Covenant by worshipping on the First Day of the Week (Sunday)

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