A Bible Study on God's Sabbath Day

Honoring the Creator God’s Way  

A Question:

In our day many Christians’ decry the inroads of evolution. Many reasons are suggested, but one reason that is rarely put forth is the setting aside of the “Seventh-day Sabbath,” the special day designated to honor God as the creator (Ex. 20:8). Do we honor God as creator when we keep the Sabbath on Sunday instead of Saturday? It seems inexplicable to me that the one commandment that was set in time so that it could not be changed, and had the word remember appended to it, is the one commandment that has been either forgotten, is barely kept, or kept on another day. Remember, the Sabbath was never meant to honor Jesus; it was established to honor the Creator God and forever remind earth’s inhabitants of His role as the Creator!

Notice what Henry Law said regarding the Sabbath predating the Jewish rituals: “Leviticus enacts a train of rites. But their immediate purpose is brief and transient. Their life is short. They find an early grave. And now they teach, as records of a by-gone time as text-books of the Church’s youth. There is, however, a grand exception. In this code the Sabbath holds conspicuous place. But Gospel-beams have not obscured its light. It is no star, which waned before the orb of day. Far otherwise. It arose not a ceremony among ceremonies. Sinai was not its birthplace. The wilderness was not its cradle. Therefore Calvary is not its tomb. Reader, write this among undoubted truths. The Sabbath is as old as man. Adam’s first day was hallowed rest. The thought may here occur, why was Creation a six-days’ work? Omnipotence requires no time. To will to do are one with God. Why was a gradual program used? The reply is, God is wise love. Step succeeds step in forming worlds to sanctify our patient toil. God then announces, that He rests, to sanctify required rest. Thus with high sanction, and benevolent intent, the Sabbath entered Eden by man’s side. In its origin, it stands the firstborn of all ordinances. It is a portion of primeval law. Its date precedes the date of sin. Away with the vain thought, that it is a short-lived flower of ritual field.”

Bible Texts on the Sabbath

The Divine Origin and Blessings of the Sabbath

Gen. 2:3. Instituted by God.

Gen. 2:2, 3; Ex. 20:11. The Sabbath is a memorial of creation.

Ex. 20:9-11. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Bible.

Mark 2:27. It was made for man.

Gen. 2:3. God blessed the Sabbath.

Ex. 31:15. Sanctified the Sabbath.

Ex. 20:11. Hallowed the Sabbath.

Lev. 19:30. Commands us to keep the Sabbath.

Ex. 20:8. Commands us to recognize the sanctity of the Sabbath.

Ex. 16:23, 25, 26. A threefold miracle marked the Sabbath during the wilderness wanderings.

Deut. 5:15. God will have His goodness commemorated in the observance of the Sabbath.

Neh. 9:12-14. The Lord shows favor to His people in appointing a Sabbath.

Ex. 23:12. Considerate kindness was shown in appointing the Sabbath.

Ex. 31:13. The Sabbath is a sign of God’s power to sanctify His people.

Heb. 4:4, 9. The Sabbath is a type of the heavenly rest.

What Jesus said about the Sabbath.

Mark 2:28. Christ is Lord of the Sabbath. D.A. 288.

Luke 4:16. Jesus was accustomed to keep the Sabbath when he was on the earth.

Matt. 24:20. Taught His disciples to pray that they might not break the Sabbath.

Luke 4:31; 6:6. Christ taught on the Sabbath day.

John 5:5-9. Healed on the Sabbath day.

Mark 3:1-5. He taught that it was right to perform acts of mercy on the Sabbath day.

Matt. 12:12; Luke 13:16. The Saviour recognized the Sabbath law.

Keeping the Sabbath in the Bible

Ex. 20:10; Deut. 5:14. Servants and cattle should be allowed to rest upon the Sabbath.

Lev. 23:3; Ex. 20:10. No manner of work is to be done on the Sabbath.

Neh. 10:31; 13:15-17. No purchases are to be made.

Neh. 13:19; Jer. 17:21. No burdens are to be carried.

Ex. 16:23. Food prepared the day before.

Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19. 23, 31. Day begins with the evening.

Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:21, 32. Sabbath begins at sunset.

Neh. 13:19. All work set aside when it begins to be dark, before the Sabbath.

Acts 16:13. Divine worship is to be celebrated on the Sabbath.

Acts 13:27; 15:21. The Scriptures are to be read on the Sabbath.

Acts 13:14, 15, 42-44; 17:2; 18:4. The word of God is to be preached on the Sabbath.

Num. 28:9; Matt. 12:5; John 7:23. Work connected with religious services is allowed on the Sabbath.

Matt. 12:1; Luke 13:15, 16; 14:1. Necessary wants may be supplied on the Sabbath day.

The Relation Of God And His People On The Sabbath

Ex. 20:10; Lev. 23:3; Deut. 5:14. It is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.

Ex. 31:15. The Sabbath of rest.

Ex. 16:23. The rest of the holy Sabbath.

Isa. 58:13. It is God’s holy day.

Rev. 1:10. It is the Lord’s day.

Gen. 2:2, 3. It is the rest day of the Lord.

Ex. 34:21. A rush of work is no excuse for breaking the Sabbath.

Amos 8:5. Sabbath-breaking is classed with false balances and short measures.

Neh. 13:22. Saints observe the Sabbath.

Ps. 118:24; 58:13. Saints rejoice in the Sabbath.

Neh. 13:15, 20, 21. Testify against those who desecrate the Sabbath.

Isa. 58:13, 14. There is a blessedness in honoring it.

Isa. 56:2-6. There is a blessing in keeping the Sabbath.

Isa. 66:22, 23. The Sabbath will be kept throughout eternity.

Sabbath-Breaking in the Bible

Lam. 1:7. The wicked mock at the Sabbath.

Isa. 56:2. They pollute it.

Neh. 13:17. They profane it.

Amos 8:5-7. The wicked weary of the Sabbath.

Eze 22:26. They hide their eyes from the Sabbath.

Neh. 13:15. They also bear burdens upon the Sabbath.

Neh. 10:31. The wicked traffic on the Sabbath.

Luke 13:14; John 9:16. Sometimes they pretend to be zealous for it. 

Texts on keeping the first day of the week.

There are nine references in the Bible to the first day of the week, as follows: Gen. 1:5; Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1, 2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2. The first day of the week was named by Jehovah 6,000 years ago. The six inspired writers that mention it, call it by the same name: the first day of the week. None allude to it as the holy rest day, while three of them state it came the day after the Sabbath, showing that they did not regard it as the Sabbath. It is classed among the working days. Eze. 46:1. Paul bore the following testimony 32 years this side of the cross: “I have committed nothing against the people or customs of our fathers.” Acts 28:17. If he had kept any other Sabbath than the Seventh-day Sabbath, he would have departed from the customs of his fathers.

Learn More...

Discover the history of the seventh-day Sabbath narrated by Hal Holbrooke at Seventh-Day TV.

Find more on the subject at this Bible Study link. 


1. What day did God set aside as His memorial of creation?

2. Why did God set aside the seventh-day as His memorial?

3. Was God being arbitrary when he made such a big deal about Sabbath keeping in the OT if it was going to be changed later?

4. According to Ex. 31:13 what is the Sabbath a sign of?

5. What day did Jesus keep when he was on the earth?

6. How was the Sabbath kept in the Bible? 

7. How should the Sabbath be kept in our day? 

8. Note this chapter on Teaching Children to Joyfully Observe the Sabbath

9. What blessings are promised to those who keep the Sabbath?

10. Do any of the nine texts that mention Sunday command Sabbath-keeping? 

Your Decision...

1. How would your life change if you were to start keeping the Sabbath? How would it affect your relationships? How would it affect your work? Do you trust God enough to make those changes?