In this age Jesus is our Sabbath and our rest. He is all and in all. Christians are free to keep the Sabbath if they desire. But the practice does not earn the acceptance with God that is already ours. In Christ we are already accepted. He is our rest, peace and life. A person whose Sabbath is Jesus is infinitely better off than one whose Sabbath is a day! This illustrates the difference between Jesus and the law.
Sabbath keeping is not binding on followers of Christ. We are in Christ and in Him we are secure, covered and comforted in the family (trinity) of God. Observances, rites and behaviors have no capacity to promote spiritual life. These create a religious illusion of acceptability with God and man. But never spirituality. Spirit and life are found exclusively in Jesus.
Sunday for Christians provides a time for worship, the celebration called ‘The Lord’s Day’ and a memorial of the fact that the new creation began when Jesus rose as the new humanity on Sunday morning. Communion is often participates in on this day. If there is a rite in this age this is it. But even here the reality is Christ. It is a sign of incarnation - the sign of Christ in you.
If there is a Sabbath in this age, firstly it is Jesus and secondly it is you! In Him you become peace and rest - or you do if Jesus is your life and not religion!
Sunday is not a ‘Sabbath.’ Some throughout history have attempted to make it so. But it has not caught on - mainly because so many recognize that Sabbath-keeping is based on a lack of understanding of our new life in Christ. He is our life by the Spirit and not a clever way of doing morality, ethics or religion. And more to the point There is no instruction to this effect in the new testament. Some try to argue that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday by the church of Rome. Not true. Christians, apart from spasmodic attempts to secure a throwback to Judaism have never kept the Sabbath.
Physical rest is entirely dependent on spiritual rest - the rest that is our inheritance as a result of Jesus’ achievement in delivering us from the hectic compulsion to authenticate ourselves and vindicate who we are by our works. The person of Jesus is our life in every respect. In His spirit and life we are fully human and fully alive - alive in our spirit, soul and body because we are the habitation of God. And because we belong. When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain we saw a picture of the spirit of God who is incarnated in each person who trusts in Jesus. Christ in us is the hope and the reality of glory.
While Adventists are free to keep the Sabbath, they are not obliged to do so and neither are any other Believers. While such Sabbath keeping may not appear harmful to Adventists this is only superficially so. ‘The Sabbath’ is not a neutral icon in Adventism. It joins them to the law, then to the old covenant, then to their life in Moses and the law of sin and death. Finally to the curse that covers all who live under the law. This curse is the knowledge of good and evil and the authority of Satan who instituted this realm. This curse dulls the mind, shrinks intelligence and smothers the spirit with an atmosphere of woodenness peculiar to Adventism.
But this is not the only downside of Adventism’s Sabbath. The latter serves as a subtle pseudo grace and a substitute Messiah. Since none can keep the law, Sabbath-keeping serves as a proxy, a let’s pretend and cover all for obedience to all the jots and tittles. Just as Catholicism once sold indulgences, so Sabbath-keeping serves vicariously as the price of an imagined compliance with the law.
Christian teaching explaining why the Sabbath is not binding on Christians can be found here. The author correctly asserts that if we are meant to be living out of the law, then we should be consistent and keep the Sabbath. But we are not living out of Moses. Neither are we living out of Adam and the knowledge of good and evil. We are living out of Jesus who in every way is our life in the Spirit. Because Jesus is in us in the Spirit He manifests in our souls and bodies and we are sons in spirit and in truth. This applies to all Christians including Adventists.
The law is to be avoided because it is death to our life in Christ. Paul called the entire old covenant this body of death. Sabbath-keeping has done Adventists no good whatsoever. It has diminished Christ, smothered the life of Jesus in Believers and positioned the Sabbath as a pseudo Messiah. ‘The Sabbath’ has sucked the life out of people and made Adventism the sick man of Christianity.
‘Since by man came death. By man came also the resurrection of the dead.’ A life in Jesus’ resurrection belongs to all in the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus alive in us. But not if the consequences of our beliefs leave us in Moses, Adam and the tree of death. The law binds us to Adam and the knowledge of good and evil. This exposes us to the devices of Satan and separates us from our union with God.
‘.. which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ’ Gal 1.7 NIV.
‘The Sabbath’ is not a neutral element in Adventism. It ties us to the Investigative Judgment and the deviant ideology of Ellen White and those who follower her. This is a non-gospel and ‘another gospel’ that negates the achievements of God for us. It neutralizes the cross, eliminates life in the Spirit and transforms an entire denomination into Paul’s body of death.
The bottom line in Adventism is that it is an alternative salvation. Adventism interprets the Bible, Adventism is the way into the Kingdom and is imagined to be the expression of God. The last symptom of religious ill-health is the saddest because it can transform what could have been a spirited life in God to a life of trivial pursuit.
But we are made alive in Christ who is our life, our joy and our victory over circumstance and the Enemy. In Jesus we are sons. In the law and its accoutrements we are reduced to something like elves, goblins or even orcs. In Christ we are alive as sons. In lesser things we are not.
‘For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough’ 2 Cor 11.4 NIV.