On the first Sunday of each month we have a Question and Answer Session at 5 pm led by Pastor Austin Gardner. We desire to be people who are real students of the Word of God. As we study we often have questions that would benefit the entire congregation to have answered. Also on those nights questions about ministries of the church and missions are asked as well.
If you have a question please feel free to contact us. Pastor Gardner will answer, to the best of his ability, either online (here) or during that evening sessions.
Today’s Question: In Exodus 31:16 God speaks about a perpetual covenant. Does that mean saved Jews are suppose to keep the sabbath forever? Even until today?
The verse says:
“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.1 “
That is a good question. The sabbath day was definitely given to Israel. It was certainly for a perpetual covenant. That means that the covenant was to last as long Israel was to last on this earth. It was a sign to mark them as the people of God and they were to observe it. Those who worship as Jews still do that.
John Butler says in his commentary; “The observing of the Sabbath Day was to be done forever. It was not a temporary order from God but a permanent order for the Israelites.2” The key to remember is that those who are born again today form part of the church. The Jews and the Gentiles that are born again become the church. They are under a new covenant that supersedes that of Israel. So born again Jews, today, are in the church, the body of Christ and have no need to keep the Sabbath.
One day soon Jesus will return and take His church from this earth. He will reestablish Israel and they will serve Him with the right heart and Biblical principles. They will once again honor the Sabbath day! Of course, they will not do so under threat of death but because they will love and serve God.
Remember that Israel was also under grace. The law was there just to show them that they needed their Savior and grace just like us. The tablets of the law were under the mercy seat. So when Israel failed to carry out God’s plan for them then God raised up the church. He is not through with Israel but will raise them up one more time and have them do His work better than the church has done!
1 The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Ex 31:16.
2 John G. Butler, Analytical Bible Expositor: Exodus (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2008), 256.