What You Must Do For The Sabbath

The Sabbath is a day we stop “doing.” The question becomes, “How we do that?” God has done everything for us on the Sabbath, so all we have to do is keep it. To keep the Sabbath holy is to use it for the purpose for which it was appointed. It was designed to be a day for worship as well as private devotion. So necessary was it to free the Sabbath from the wicked traditions surrounding it, which went so far as to prevent the doing of anything on that day toward the healing of the sick, that Christ braved the malice of the Pharisees and risked His life in order to free the Sabbath from the perverted restrictions. He healed the man with the withered hand in the synagogue upon the Sabbath, and in connection therewith, gave much needed instruction. As to the proper observance of the day the Pharisees, in anger, “held council against him, how they might destroy him.” (Matt 12:9-14)

            Preparation for proper Sabbath keeping includes the cooking of food and the preparation of all other things that may be needful in order to be ready to cease from secular, earthly employment when the Sabbath is beginning, and devote ourselves to sacred, heavenly things. (Exodus 16:22,23; Luke 23:54)

            Just how are we to keep the Sabbath? What does God tell us? In the fourth commandment itself, God says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” (Ex 20:9) Many would be surprised to know that this is actually part of the commandment, God ordained the first six days as the week for our business and work. Our Creator intended that we work and be productive—earning our daily bread.

            That brings us to the next injunction in the great law. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor you stranger who is within your gates.” So, you are not to do any kind of real work on the Sabbath—be it your occupation, personal business, housework or any strenuous activity. And neither are those in the environment over which you have control. Of course, preparing—or cleaning up after a light meal would not be wrong. For we find a number of occasions when Jesus engaged a Sabbath meal with others, and He never condemned the practice of hospitality on the Sabbath. (Luke 14:1-6)

            What about hobbies or leisure activities? Is that part of what we can do on the Sabbath?


Read chapter 1 of A Sabbath Warning, and receive 5 free sabbath lessons.
  • The Sabbath Truth
  • The Purpose of  the Sabbath
  • Why Do Christians Celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday? (3 part series)