Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Matthew 12:8-12

“For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath… Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”


Sabbath day Remember by keeping it

The Sabbath is a day of rest from Labor.  The Sabbath, however, is not to be a day of idleness. 

The Hebrew word translated “labor” in Exodus 20:9 is abad.  It means “to do”, “to work”, “to serve.” But who are we allowed to serve? What are we allowed to do on the seventh day of the week? 

The answer is “Six days shalt thou labor (serve) and do thy work.” In other words you may serve your own interests for six days each week; but on the seventh day – the Sabbath – you must stop serving your own interests and devote that day to the service of the Almighty. Why? Because that is His holy day; it has been set apart for His service and His work.

But what is God’s work and how may we become engaged in it?  We find our answer in the Scriptures.

It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:12, Mark 3:4, Matthew 12:10)

  • Matthew 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.
  • Mark 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
  • Matthew 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

It is lawful to rescue someone on the Sabbath day (Matthew 12:11)

  • Matthew 12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

It is lawful to engage in spiritual activities on the Sabbath, such as: attending church meetings, preaching, teaching, Bible study, prayer, visiting the sick and aged, walking in the community, etc.. (Luke 4:31, 6:1-2)

  • Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.
  • Luke 6:1-2  And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath days?


The fact is even the Savior’s performance was not up to the standards of the religious leaders of his day.  Who are we to expect a better assessment of ourselves? Therefore I recommend the text blow, seeing that it offers some very sound advice about how to keep the Sabbath day.

If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13-14)


Seeing that Christ established his Lordship over the Sabbath and revealed, through his own example, the true Spirit of Sabbath observance and remembrance, I contend that one must have the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling in them in order to be empowered to keep the Sabbath. (Romans 8:9)

Furthermore, no one need make remembering and observing the Sabbath a legalistic Pharisaic chore, task or doctrine for salvation. This is a Spiritual relationship issue not a legal issue. (John 14:26)

Jesus taught that keeping the Spirit of the Law is more important than keeping the letter of the Law.

Therefore, let the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us direct us on how we must observe the Sabbath, convicting us of what we must not do on God’s Holy Day as well as teaching us what we ought to do in remembrance of the Sabbath.

Hear What The Spirit Is Saying Unto The Saints.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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