The Early Christians Observed Sabbath

As the early Christian church grew, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians debated about the continuing relevance of certain institutions and commands dating from Old Testament times, such as circumcision and the distinction between clean and unclean foods. The apostle Paul, a Jew, was frequently accused by his fellow Jews of disregarding the laws given by God in the Old Testament, and of not requiring Gentiles to observe all of the Jewish rituals and customs before becoming Christians. However, the Sabbath as a day of worship never once appears in these debates. Instead, the book of Acts records numerous worship services held by the early Church, all of which occurred on the Sabbath. For example, when Paul arrived in the city of Antioch, he preached in the synagogue on the Sabbath. “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath” (Acts 13:42). Here both Jews and Greeks worshiped on the Sabbath. “And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:44). Again, in Corinth, Paul “reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4). If Paul, or any other of the apostles or early Christian leaders, had pushed for a transition to Sunday worship services, this debate would certainly have appeared in the Scriptural record. Instead, the absolute silence of Scripture on this issue provides a strong indication that the Sabbath as a continuing day of worship was never an issue of discussion.

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