One idea commonly promoted in the mainstream church is that the Sabbath should be observed by Jews but Gentile believers don’t have to. What saddens me is that there are many messianic synagogues that also promote this belief. It is like God created two sets of rules. Track A for the Jew and Track B for the Gentile.
I know a Messianic Rabbi married to a Gentile (Japanese) woman who holds to this belief. They have two daughters. What I find interesting is that when they go out to eat, the Rabbi and his two daughters will refrain from eating pork and shellfish but it’s okay for his gentile wife to eat all manner of unclean food. Talk about schizophrenia!
I believe teaching that the Sabbath is ONLY for the Jewish believer is perverse, sinister and and creates a theological wall between the Jewish and Gentile believer. This is an issue that the Apostle Paul spent a lifetime trying to break down.
How can it be sinful for a Jewish believer to desecrate the Sabbath but not for a Gentile believer?
This is nothing less than the creation of two totally different flocks!
I’m sorry, but theologically, this is absurd and practically speaking, ridiculous. It goes against the unity that Jesus and the Apostles sought for all believers.
“Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen;
I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice;
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.“
This teaching also seems to overlook another fundamental Scriptural truth.
The Gentile believer is grafted into the commonwealth of Israel.
So even if it is true that only Israel is obligated to keep the Sabbath, this doesn’t give the Gentile church an out because the Scriptures make it crystal clear that through their faith in Jesus, the church has been grafted into Israel and are now also in a spiritual sense (not ethnic) Sons of Abraham and are subject to all the principles of Israel’s covenants.
“For in union with the Messiah, you are all children of God through this trusting faithfulness; because as many of you as were immersed into the Messiah have clothed yourselves with the Messiah, in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one. Also, if you belong to the Messiah, YOU are seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise”.-Galatians 3:26-29
“Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth…called the uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised….at that time you HAD no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Israel. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. You were in this world without hope and without God. But now, you who were once far off have been brought near through the shedding of the Messiah’s blood”.-Ephesians 2:11-13
Are you a Gentile believer?
Then understand that there is no escaping the fact that you have been made seed of Abraham by joining Israel’s covenants through your faith in Jesus.
Let me say that again.
You have been brought into the covenants that God made with Israel.
Does that make you a physical Jew?
Of course not!
I’m not preaching some retarded and evil replacement theology.
All I’m saying is that through your faith in Christ you are grafted into the covenants of Israel.
So the Sabbath applies to the Gentile believer as well because he or she is now a part of what Paul calls “Spiritual Israel”.