Our Sabbath Rest in Jesus

Today a news item reminds me that some forty years ago I worked on Sabbath. As a secretary with World Vision International, then located in California, I helped at an event known as the Vietnamese Babylift Operation of 1975. My desk overlooked a large gymnasium filled with mattresses, each holding a toddler or infant. I could see hundreds of them, and the sound of their cries must have reached heaven. Of course, no Seventh-day Adventist would refuse to do good on the Sabbath, and these cherubic babies needed to find their adoptive parents. They had escaped to freedom.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2019/our-sabbath-rest-jesus

Timely article in light of the recent agitation for a Sunday day of rest yoked with climate change and family values.

And did your president Ted Wilson really say there is no push for Sunday legislation “in the pipeline?”

Yes, he did.

Interesting statement, given the realities of Adventist eschatology.

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Sometimes I wonder, as a Seventh Day Adventist whether we place too much emphasis on Sabbath keeping , as an act to show our allegiance to God, as opposed to worshipping Jesus Christ, the actual Lord of the Sabbath Himself. I am of the view that with many SDAs the way in which Sabbath is articulated leads to a behaviourist attitude- I must observe this day so as to be right with God rather than allowing Jesus- the true Lord of the Sabbath to live in me by His Spirit. We focus on outward behaviour too much, rather than the inward regeneration of the Holy Spirit.If my heart is right with Jesus,the Holy Spirit will live in me and I will uplift Jesus. My actions will point to Jesus and I will not have to strain and expend great efforts to tell others about the Sabbath Day. When they see Christ in me, they too will embrace Jesus as Lord and Saviour. This is Spirit filled liviing , something which I dont think we as SDAs truly understand!

I believe it is very possible to make the actual Sabbath day an idol in itself albeit unwittingly. It is very possible for SDAs to be so emphatic on the identification of the Sabbath day and become very ‘caught up’ with outward observance activities and forms without truly submitting to or worshipping Jesus as the True Sabbath. Why is this?
Anytime we as a church fail to uplift Jesus in any presentation, we unwittingly will uplift an object, an individual or a creed or even a doctrine and make that prominent to the listeners. This is a mistake. Were we to look at the relationship of Jesus to the Sabbath in the Scripture, we would be more careful to uplift Him- His power,or to be more preciose the power of the Holy Spirit to point men and women not only to the day of worship, but the manner in which it is to be regarded even within the context of salvation by grace through faith.

I believe God in His wisdom did not dwell so much on the Sabbath in the new testament , rather, through the power of the Holy Spirit He moved men to write the Scriptures to uplift Jesus , as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It is the merits of Jesus that are efficacious, it is Jesus Himself, the Lord of the Sabbath to whom we should offer praise. I think this is one of the key reasons why Sabbath is not mentioned so much in the New Testament- rather it is Jesus as Lord, and especially as Saviour. Perhaps this is one lesson we as Seventh Day Adventist need to learn and learn quickly.

Our Sabbath rest as well as any other thing which pertains to us, salvation, redemption, resurrection glorification,christian conduct - every phase of our lives must point to Jesus,Our Lord.


The monkery that some would impose on the Sabbath is a mockery of what God intended., Adventism has made it a bondage and a puffery much as the Jews of Christ’s time. The manna was a good lesson that working for bread or profit is not Sabbath keeping. There are six days in which to do one’s gathering. There must be time to remember one’s Creator and Redeemer and rejoice.

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The irony is that the Sabbath REST in Christ is defined as the “rest from trying to work ourselves into “heaven” (salvation)” and we use it as an addendum to "saved by grace = “salvation by faith” + Sabbath. The mere fact of making the Sabbath a test of fellowship, we undo “saved by faith”.

OK, so we can “keep” the Sabbath as an emblem pointing to Salvation through Christ; but as soon as we make it a requirement for membership; or an identifying sign of “the saved”, we have negated the meaning of “saved by faith”.

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I always cherish the mostly Adventist family holiday get-togethers and being woken up Saturday morning by the pastor’s wife banging away in the kitchen for sabbath lunch while her son shows me how he watches the football games on his phone. Happy sabbath!

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It can get amusing the way we have created a purely Adventist style of Sabbath keeping, not outlined anywhere in the Bible. Back several decades, I thought fruit salad and popcorn was required for a Saturday night supper. In the college dorm, Sabbath morning breakfast was not served in the cafeteria, so we were given a sweet roll and orange juice to take back to our room - nothing but sugar all the way, as we’re being admonished about our diets in the “little red books”. Of course, the OT has a whole list of Sabbath rules but they include animal slaughter.



This is hilarious! :grinning:

Truly, Adventists have some success in preserving their subculture! :sunglasses:

My household would be delighted for cinnamon rolls and orange juice for Saturday morning breakfasts. :grinning: But now they would need coffee, too! :smiley:


There is that! :wink:

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Not a problem for me during SLA days as I had a roommate at Thayer Hall who worked in the cafeteria and brought back extra goodies Friday afternoon which turned into Sabbath morning delights! Didn’t have same arrangements during AUC days so I had to “borrow” mother’s electric skillet to provide Sabbath morning omelets for a few faithful at Thayer Hall! (If I remember correctly, I had to feed the Floor Monitor who was able to keep the Dean away for a short while). Memories!

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Thanks Ella,
Good article. But, If we have “rest in Christ” why must we mere gentiles be saved by “law”, 4th commandment sabbath/7th day keeping, at the end time? I hear you but believe Rom. 14.

I believe in JBF “alone” and I believe both 1st day keepers and 7th day keepers will be saved at the “end of days” by grace alone in Christ alone, through faith alone. The issue is about Christ…not days. BUT pick yours.
PS. Remember getting cinnamon rolls at SMC cafeteria in 1962 on Friday evening (yum) and taking back to Talge Hall not available on Sat. morning. Can’t offer those fresh good things on Sat…and I also believe in a literal creation week… tho the world likely created much earlier.
Houston, we have a problem!

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Nothing wrong with traditions; they can make beautiful memories.

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What is the Gospel that saves Today?

Paul Had a Gospel given to him from the risen Christ.

1Co 9:17

Paul had a revelation from the risen Christ not man or the disciples.

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is com Gal 1:11

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.mitted unto me.

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