Sabbath Day Worship

Sabbath or Sunday Worship Part 5 Series

Religion- Sabbath or Sunday: Part 5 – Paul –

Did  Paul mean that we decide the day to keep holy in his letter to the Romans at Romans 14:5-6?  If we look at verses 5 and 6 of Romans 14, we can easily interpret the verses that God doesn’t seem to care as long as it pleases us. But, do we think that it doesn’t make any difference to Him which days we keep holy.  If it is our choice, we can freely apply and assume that God will not interfere with our free will. If we base our understanding on these two verses alone, we should already be ashamed of ourselves for twisting the truth of the word of God. We can do anything we want but we have to bear in mind that disobedience has consequences. Does God care how we worship him? Since the days of Cain and Abel, the right worship had pleased God, while careless worship can have serious damage to our relationship with Him, consequences that can lead to separation from Him. The answer is God cares.

Sunday worship as we witnessed becomes a competition. Other churches claim that a congregation is non-denominational. It means the church accepts anyone’s belief, transferee or new converts are welcome. Many churchgoers enjoy the entertainment style preaching of Pastors, the modern music played by the choir, the modern and expensive musical instruments, the food catered (pot luck) after the service (fellowship). Smaller groups of the faithful do this to develop close relationships, compared to other bigger congregations who are focused on the attendance of the members, except if it will have any special announcement which sometimes involves financial and obtain the commitment of the members about any planned fundraising.

We cannot apply one or two or more verses in a given chapter and then make a point. Verse 5 and 6 of Romans chapter 14 do not tell us that any day must be kept holy. It needs to be proven by the context of the whole chapter. There are meetings of the faithful that practice worship four days a week, two to three times a day including Saturdays and Sundays.

We cannot pick and choose the verse and then preach it. Our accountability is to God and not to any mentors where we learned the interpretations. Going back to verse 1  “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” Paul warns the faithful of Rome to receive the “weak in the faith” and not to judge them the way they practice their newfound faith.  For example those recent converts, some are still young and whose faith is not strong enough and can fall anytime if lacking guidance. Some are rooted in their old faith and still adjusting, like the belief of not eating meat on Fridays, especially good Fridays.

Some groups of the faithful are fully or partially refusing to eat meat and mainly subsisted on vegetables. They may have the belief that meat is being offered to idols or meats are reserved for the idols. Some believe that idols have something to do for their well-being and they ate meat to possess that power. Paul’s issue with Corinth is their idolatrous behavior, they avoid eating food they know to have been offered to idols. Gods and idols of Corinthian culture did not exist but just imagination and Paul believed that many Corinthian Christians knew there is only one God. (1 Corinthians 8:4–5). The problem is that not every Corinthian convert possessed this knowledge, even though it is the truth.

Paul was not referring to God’s Sabbath day when he wrote Romans 14, but do not be deceived, because Paul did not change Sabbath worship to Sundays. God cares that we do worship with the proper attitude and for the right reasons.

“One person considers one day more sacred than another, another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their mind.  Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”— Romans 14:5-6. What have you heard from your Pastors or Bible Study about their teachings of this passage,  and what is your take?

God is all and all!

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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