Sabbath - Required or Optional?

Question: “What is the Sabbath and are we still required to honor the Sabbath?”

Bible Answers

The word Sabbath can be found over 100 times in the OT and over 50 times in the NT.  The Sabbath (sabbatō) is the seventh day of the week, on which we are to “rest,” in remembrance that God created the universe in six days and “rested” on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).  The word “rest” (katapausis) refers to resting both the body and the spirit. We renew our  body by resting it and not working, and we renew the spirit by spending time with God’s Word, with God, and by worshipping God.


In Genesis, God numbers the days 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., through the month. Nowhere in the Bible are the days ever given names. Naming days was an early pagan practice.  The Bible only says that Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord (Exodus 31:15). The Sabbath can be any seventh day.

Scriptures such as Romans 14:5-6 and Colossians 2:16 give Christians freedom to observe a special day. God requires that we have a Sabbath day of rest.  He also desires that we worship and serve Him continually, every day, not just on the Sabbath.

Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

We are commanded to Honor the Sabbath

For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:4, 9-11).

We are commanded to honor God and the Sabbath, but the Sabbath can be any day of the week we pick to meet together.  But the Sabbath is not the only day to worship the Lord.  We should be worshipping the Lord daily.

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