Keeping the Sabbath

A pedagogue.

The law had served a purpose.

Wherefore the law was our [Jews’] schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” Galatians 3:24,25.

It is a little unfortunate that the Greek word ‘paidagogos’ is translated as ‘schoolmaster’, for it can give a misleading slant to the intended meaning. As William Barclay, an eminent scholar of Greek, comments in his book, “New Testament Words”,

“…it is a word the correct under-standing of which is essential, if Paul’s thought is to be understood. .. It was when (the child) went to school that the paidagogos really took over the management of the boy and retained it till the boy was eighteen. The paidagogos was not in our sense of the word a teacher at all. His duty was to accompany the boy to school each day and to see that he got there safely; to carry the boy’s books and his lyre; to watch his conduct in school; to see to his conduct in the street; to train the boy in morals, in manners and in deportment. He must see that the boy walked modestly with downcast head in the streets; he must see that he gave place to older people and was becomingly silent in their presence; he must teach him to be well-mannered at the table and to wear his clothes with grace. He had to teach him all the Greek meant by eukosmia, good manners, good deportment, pleasantness of life.” pp 206,207

So Paul’s Greek readers would know exactly what Paul was alluding to in his comparison of the Mosaic law covenant with the figure of a paidagogos. Hence the complete aptness of its purpose “to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).

The law was there to keep them on the path, and to ensure that they got to their Teacher (Messiah) safely. And so we see that when the Teacher came, he reinforced those same principles that had been guidelines in their past. The Sermon on the Mount reinforced all those parts of the Mosaic law covenant, and extended the lessons in keeping with the preparation for the new and better covenant that would be established following his sacrificial death. They were merely shadows of that better thing to come. But unless one has light, one can miss recognising shadows. Jesus came as that light, to make the shadows obvious. However if we maintain our walk in darkness, then we will be blind to even the existence of shadows. Jesus fulfilled the things written about him in the Law, in the Prophets and in the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

Fulfilment of the Law.

The Law was fulfilled in Jesus, and he made no attempt to replace its principles, but, as already mentioned, extended nine of them:

  1. Ephesians 4:6; 1 John 5:21; Matthew 4:10
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:14; Romans 1:25
  3. James 5:12; Matthew 5:34,35
  4. abolished: Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 8:13
  5. Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20
  6. 1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21,22; Romans 13:9
  7. Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 5:27,28; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10
  8. Romans 2:21; Ephesians 4:28
  9. Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:25; 2 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 3:8-11
  10. Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5

Jesus said that,
the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29,30

Yet this greatest, and first, of commandments was not one of the Ten Command-ments. Jesus said that it was greater than the Ten Commandments, because it incorporated the essence of all that God and Jesus demand of us. And Jesus added a second commandment (also notably not one of the Ten):
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandments greater than these.

No! Not even any of the Ten. In actual fact these two commandments are part of the so-called ‘ceremonial law’ (Deuteronomy 6:4; Leviticus 19:18), supposedly “done away”! Yet Jesus claimed the two ‘ceremonial laws’ to be greater than the Ten, a situation that must include the fourth commandment relating to the sabbath.

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    BobbyB YoungNoel GoetzKshearesJason Recent comment authors
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    thomas
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    thomas

    How comes all 9 laws(commandments) are still put into practice till now while the 4th law being ended? no place where the bible abolished that commandment.
    why you said that these laws have being replaced by grace through Jesus while others still active? why the one to be abolished while the rest still in use?

    Jason
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    Jason

    Hi Thomas,Thank you for your comment.Let’s not confuse two issues: those that are timeless and that which is not. The law against murder is timeless—it has been since Creation: Cain was guilty of it. The Sabbath observance however was only introduced at the time of the Ten Commandments and was exclusively given to the Israelites.“Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy… Read more »

    Ksheares
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    Ksheares

    I encourage all to let scripture be your guide and not mans opinion… The word of God cannot contradict itself. If there is a contradiction found one must attribute it to mans incorrect interpretation. Exodus 31:16 ESV Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant FOREVER. -God explained the Sabbath was to be observed FOREVER! So weather given before Moses or for the first time in the wilderness, forever means forever… If it was the intent of God to do away with it once the Messiah came, HE (not being… Read more »

    Bobby
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    Bobby

    To answer Noel’s query, there is not one law for the Jews and one law for the gentile believer:
    Lev 24:22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

    Noel Goetz
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    Noel Goetz

    Exodus 31:16 “Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath.”- I take it people of Israel means the Jews. Therefore, if you are a Jew you should thereby keep the commandment. If you are not, then you are under no compulsion.

    B Young
    Editor

    Hi Noel, You are correct in your thinking. It was also re-stated in Ezekiel 20:19–20 as a reminder, “I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.” It was specifically to those in Israel, and of course their descendants who would be the Jews of today. However, it was introduced just days prior to the Law of Moses, which of course was done away with in… Read more »

    Bobby
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    Bobby

    Could you elaborate where in scripture G-d expunged non-observance of Shabbat.

    Robert Janko
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    Robert Janko

    “Im a Christian but i believe the Ten Commandments still abide. Iam writing this with nothing but loved but you forgot to quote the second part of hebrews 8 so u made it seem that the new covanent was going to be something completely different from the ten comandments but if you read hebrews 8:10 “”This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”” so this… Read more »

    Suday Kumar Rout
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    Suday Kumar Rout

    “It seems that Jesus Christ has been replaced with Paul (a self styled apostle). At the outset of His famous Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells “”Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or Prophets ; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfil (Matt.5:17).”” No weekly days has been mentioned in the Bible i.e. Sunday, Monday or Friday etc. Israelites were counting the days by observing the moon. Very simple commandment has been given by our Almighty Father God Through Moses that””Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day… Read more »

    Bobby
    Guest
    Bobby

    Exactly Suday. Sabbath was never a token numbered day, it simply means ‘a complete cessation of ceasing’. There was a Sabbatical year – the shmita, a rest to the land. To add to Mat 5;17, which I am sure you are completely aware many Christians believe that fulfill think that this equates to completion, hardly, the Greek G4137 πληρόω plēroō play-ro’-o From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, Misunderstanding this integral element of the jig-saw puzzle will render most of Paul (shau’ul’s) writing and… Read more »