The seventh-day Sabbath is a blessed legacy from God given at the beginning of time, a rich heritage for all people. God established the seventh day alone as the weekly day of physical rest, worship, and spiritual renewal.
No other day has been given by Divine example or command to serve these purposes. God has neither designated any other day of the week to take the place of the Sabbath nor annulled the command to observe the Sabbath. The lion’s share of biblical evidence supports the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath by Christians today.
Our aim is to share what the Bible says about the Sabbath’s origin and meaning and how we are instructed to observe the seventh day. Here also are the results of a careful study of the New Testament’s presentation of weekly Sabbath observance and how the early Christian church regarded it.
Origin of the Sabbath
The seventh-day Sabbath is a part of God’s creative genius. His original acts are reported in Genesis 1, from the creation of light on day one through His ultimate fashioning of humanity on day six. Genesis 2:1-3 describes how God established the seventh-day Sabbath and set it apart at the end of His six-day work week, creating the universe:
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This brief text tells us two important facts. First, our seven-day week, still observed around the world, came into existence at Creation. The seven-day weekly cycle has continued throughout the centuries and is the standard of time for the civilized world.
Second, God treated the seventh day differently than the first six days of the week. On days one through six, God engaged in the work of creating the “vast array” (v. 1) of everything He made. In contrast to this, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (v. 2). This day of the seven is special, set apart and blessed as sacred time.
This is the origin of the Sabbath day. By His own example of rest from creating, God instituted the Sabbath on the seventh day of Creation Week.The Sabbath was not just a remedy for weariness. The first full day in the life of Adam and Eve (the first man and woman) was the first Sabbath. They had opportunity to enjoy the day with God before they became weary from work and the pursuit of other interests.
This agrees with the concept expressed in Leviticus 23:3 that the Sabbath was not only for rest but alsofor sacred assembly. According to Isaiah 58:13, the Sabbath is a time of delight focusing our attention on the joy of knowing the Lord.
The words of Jesus verify this thinking: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). In other words, the seventh-day Sabbath is a blessed gift from God to humanity, not just for rest but also for fellowship with God and among His people.
Meaning of the Sabbath
The seventh day of the week differs significantly from the other six days. First, it alone is specifically named and identified as the Sabbath. Without biblical sanction, one may voluntarily treat another day of the week like a Sabbath, but only the seventh day is the weekly Sabbath inaugurated by God. This point is repeated in the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:10).
Second, and related to the first, the commandment does not say that “one day in seven” must be a Sabbath to God. The seventh day is the only day the Bible calls the Sabbath. This specific identification does not allow us to arbitrarily choose “one day in seven” as the Sabbath.
God did three things on the seventh day of the week that made it, and it alone, the Sabbath:
1 God rested from His work of creating (Genesis 2:2). The word sabbathmeans “to break off” or “desist,” indicating that its original intent was a time of cessation from work. God did not make the Sabbath for the purpose of athletics, house and yard work, or shopping. He rested to exemplify the Sabbath as a day of physical rest from our daily labors and pursuits.
This meaning is clearly expressed in the origin and continuation of the weekly Sabbath:
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work (v. 2).
The seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work . . . (Exodus 20:10).
2 God blessed the seventh day. By blessing it, He made it an object of His special favor. Throughout the Creation account of Genesis 1, God viewed the objects of His creative acts as “very good” (v. 31). But at the end of each of the six days of Creation, no blessing of any sort was pronounced on the day itself.
In verse 22, however, God blessed living creatures, and in verse 28 He blessed humanity, created in His own image. Each blessing denotes how they were to be blessed: “Be fruitful and increase in number. . . .” Thus, God’s blessing on all living things was for their ongoing reproduction, prosperity, and well-being. These blessings were essential to their nature, purpose, and perpetuity. Likewise, God’s blessing of the seventh day was essential to the nature, purpose, and perpetuity of the Sabbath. These two blessings link man and day together, indicating that the latter was made for the benefit of the former, as Jesus explained in Mark 2:27.
3 God made the seventh day holy. He sanctified it, or set it apart, from all other days. This act must be viewed as having two important implications.
First, it makes the seventh day unlike any other day of the week. The seventh day alone is holy! “The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11). Some claim that every day is holy unto the Lord, but that concept would be self-contradictory. The basic idea of something being holy or sanctified is that it is set apart from others of its kind. If all days of the week were set apart, then we must ask, “Set apart from what?” The net effect is to make no day special, no day holy or set apart.
We may think that we should regard every day alike. Not so! God says:
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. . . . Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Exodus 20:9-11).
God did not call any other day of the week “my holy day.” The seventh day of the week holds a place in the mind of God that no other day can claim, because He made it holy. We cannot nullify God’s act of sanctifying the seventh day of the week.
Second, being made holy or set apart describes the nature of the Sabbath beyond ceasing from our labors and resting. It has a religious purpose as well: The seventh day is God’s day. He gave us the first six days of the week for our own work and pursuits but consecrated the seventh day of the week to Himself. It is holy; it belongs to Him.
The following instruction was given to Israel in regard to the seventh-day Sabbath:
There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. . . . it is a sabbath to the Lord (Leviticus 23:3).
The holy Sabbath is a day for corporate worship of God. The fourth commandment implies this, for it recalls that sanctifying the Sabbath as a day of rest, thus creating sacred time to pursue and honor the God of creation:
Therefore, the Lord, as Creator and Provider of life and all it consists of, is honored by our Sabbath rest and worship.
The Sabbath is a day to rest and reflect upon God, our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior (Isaiah 58:13, 14). We can properly appreciate it only when we make it a delightful day of fellowship, physical rest, and worship of God.
The seventh-day Sabbath clearly has its beginning in the creation of the universe. Its origin and sanctity are found in the act of God himself resting from His work on the seventh day, then blessing it and declaring it holy.
Universal Nature of the Sabbath
Some refer to the Sabbath as “a Jewish Sabbath” and rob the day of its universality. This limited application to specific people in ancient times calls into question the Sabbath’s relevance for Christians today. The Scriptures, however, present the Sabbath not merely as a Jewish institution but in a universal context in both the Old and New Testaments. Circumstantial and direct evidence support its universal nature.
We cite the following examples of circumstantial evidence that the people of God knew and observed the weekly Sabbath before it was given to Moses and to Israel in the context of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai:
1. The book of Genesis, as its name implies, gives the beginnings of things and presents passages of primary reference. It identifies the origin of the universe, the earth, the Sabbath, and marriage. These last two were not given as commands but as paradigms. Unlike Genesis, Exodus contains the law of God as a written code. Therefore, Exodus includes numerous references to the Sabbath as God revealed His moral law. The lack of any reference to the Sabbath between Genesis 2 and Exodus 16 is not proof that the Sabbath was not observed during that time, and is explained by the overarching purpose of each book.
2. Each command of the Decalogue, though not formally stated by God until Mount Sinai, was known to fall within the will of God before that time. In Genesis 4, Cain was judged by God for the murder of his brother Abel. Genesis 39:6-9 tells that Joseph refused to be enticed to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife. He said, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” In Genesis 26:5, God commended Abraham for his obedience to His laws: “Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
3. Genesis refers to seven-day intervals in the context of several events. This implies the recognition of the seven-day week, which would include a Sabbath. The Flood account refers to an interval of seven days on four occasions (7:4, 10; 8:10, 12). Jacob’s marriage festivities lasted a week (29:27). In Genesis 50:10, Joseph mourned the death of his father, Jacob, for seven days. The friends of Job (a likely contemporary of Abraham) sat with him in silent mourning over his troubles for “seven days and seven nights” (Job 2:13). If these periods refer to the weekly cycle, they obviously included a seventh day: the Sabbath.
4. Exodus 16 identifies the seven-day week, ending with the Sabbath. God’s instruction for gathering manna identifies the first six days of the week as workdays but the seventh day as the Sabbath. It is noteworthy that these instructions regarding the gathering of manna and Sabbath observance predate God’s giving the Decalogue at Sinai. Israel was just coming out of an extended period of slavery in Egypt when this incident occurred. Therefore, it may be viewed from two perspectives.
First, God may have given the instruction regarding manna as the means of reestablishing Sabbath observance among people who were denied that privilege for a long time.
Second, and more likely, God gave this instruction to reinforce Sabbath observance among a people who knew about it but had become careless in its observance. God said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?” (Exodus 16:28). “How long will you refuse . . . ?” does not seem warranted from a single occurrence of Sabbath-breaking.
Direct evidence of the universal nature of the Sabbath is found in the Decalogue itself. The Ten Commandments were spoken by God to the people of Israel, whom He had just delivered from Egyptian slavery. He addressed the commandments primarily to Israel. However, God’s unusual treatment of them casts them in a class apart from all other pronouncements God has given to humanity. God’s special treatment of the Decalogue gives its moral precepts timeless and universal application.
The giving of the Decalogue provides evidence that the Sabbath is universal in its nature and purpose.
1. God himself spoke the text of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai to as many as a million people. Exodus 20:1 says, “God spoke all these words.” Deuteronomy 5:22 reports, “ These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more.” God never spoke to His people in this manner before, nor has He since. The Decalogue is the only instruction God ever gave audibly with His own voice to a large multitude, which the wider context describes as a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38, NKJV).
Additionally, unlike any other instruction given to humanity by God, “He wrote them [the Ten Commandments] on two stone tablets and gave them to me [Moses]” (Deuteronomy 5:22). Exodus 31:18 relates how the Ten Commandments were inscribed on tablets of stone: “When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.” No other instruction from God was ever written in stone by His own finger.
That God first spoke His universal moral code, the Ten Commandments, and then personally inscribed them on tablets of stone, sets them apart from all other revelations God has made of Himself and of His will for humanity’s behavior.
2. The contents of the Decalogue are universal in nature, revealing God’s everlasting righteousness and His enduring standard for humanity.
What exactly do the Ten Commandments instruct us to do? In brief:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol.
iii. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
vii. You shall not commit adultery.
viii. You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet (Exodus 20:3-17).
Most Christians affirm and teach the moral precepts of the Ten Commandments, but many ignore the Sabbath command or give it a different application, such as spiritualizing it or observing one day in seven. Or they transfer the principles of Sabbath observance to the first day of the week.
All ten of these moral precepts are the means of raising our consciousness to sin: “through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Romans 3:20b). Some deny that observing the fourth commandment is a matter of morality, but it is immoral to desecrate what God has made holy. The fact that the command is anchored in respect for others — members of our household, those who work with us, even aliens and animals from whom we are responsible — further links Sabbath with morality.
3 The very purpose cited in the fourth commandment speaks of the universal nature of Sabbath observance (Exodus 20:8-11). The Sabbath day as a memorial to the creation of all things is a universal truth, not a “Jewish” truth.
This commandment specifies the time for humanity to follow God’s example of rest on the seventh day of the week. We are to rest on this day from our labor and our personal pursuits to honor God. When we remember the Sabbath, we recognize God as our Creator. This precious truth has been all but lost to a world that believes the universe just “happened” and that humanity evolved from some lower life form.
If the Sabbath had been observed faithfully through the centuries, most people would have heard that God was Creator. As it is, God is no longer regarded as Creator in much of the world, partly because the memorial to Creation — God’s holy Sabbath — has been disregarded.
Jesus and the Sabbath
Jesus’ observance of the Sabbath set an example for all His followers. Luke writes, “On the Sabbath day he [Jesus] went into the synagogue, as was his custom” (Luke 4:16). Luke 13:10 says, “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues. . . .” It is significant that Luke reports Jesus beginning His ministry — after His baptism, desert fast, and temptation — on the Sabbath in Nazareth:
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” . . . He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (4:16-19, 21).
What a declaration! The life and ministry of Jesus Christ find their fulfillment in the freedom and release we experience from guilt, sin, and its consequence, through faith in Him. Hence, Jesus’ invitation is “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This great invitation supports the enduring principle of Sabbath rest, both physical and spiritual, which we find in the teachings, the example, and the person of Christ.
Jesus’ observance of the Sabbath reinforces the practice of Sabbath observance for the New Testament church. The Christian church at large attaches great importance to the New Testament ordinances that Jesus’ example and instruction established. For instance, when Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized, it was to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).
Most Christians agree that Jesus’ example of baptism and His instruction to go into all the world to make disciples, baptizing them in His name for the forgiveness of sins, clearly established the doctrine and practice of water baptism in the Christian church.
In a similar manner, the Christian church considers the communion service one of the most sacred of all Christian ordinances. Jesus introduced this blessed memorial service before the Cross. Communion has been perpetuated by the church through the ages as a memorial to His death. His instructions before the Cross regarding divorce, love of enemies, and returning good for evil are considered valid for our times.
Likewise, the church needs to seriously consider that Jesus, by His own practice and instruction prior to His crucifixion, exemplified what He continues to expect of His followers. Jesus’ example and teachings regarding proper Sabbath observance should carry the same weight as His instruction on baptism, communion, prayer, worship, and obedience to the Word of God. Jesus gave us a clear example of worship, in a place of worship, on the Sabbath day. It was His custom to do so!
Additionally, Jesus gave us some clear instruction on how Christians are to regard the Sabbath. This instruction would have been of little value or consequence if Jesus had intended the Sabbath to be discontinued immediately after His crucifixion.
The Sabbath is God’s gift to humanity: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This points back to that first Sabbath and means that God has bestowed His blessing on humanity by providing a blessed, regular, sanctified time to rest and experience spiritual renewal through worship.
Jesus affirmed that “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12). He taught this principle in response to those who accused Him of unlawful activity because He healed on the Sabbath. They frequently accused Jesus of showing disregard for the Sabbath by breaking it (John 5:18).
Did Jesus ever violate the spirit and intent of the Sabbath? The answer to that is emphatically no! “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). The Scriptures testify Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
The Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath because He healed on it. What law did Jesus break by healing on the Sabbath? It was the oral law, the tradition of the Jews, that forbade Sabbath healings. This tradition identified healing as work that would break the Sabbath.
This Pharisaic attitude may be observed in Luke 13:14:
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
Jesus did not break the Sabbath, but by His example of doing good, He freed it from the restrictive abuses of Jewish tradition and restored it to its original intent and rightful purpose. Isaiah says the Sabbath is to be a delight and honorable, not a burden (Isaiah 58:13). The Sabbath was made for man!
If the Sabbath had not been important to Jesus, He would not have aroused so much animosity toward Himself by correcting the traditional practices of the Jews’ Sabbath observance. His actions were not intended to revoke the Sabbath but to give proper perspective to its observance.
Finally, Jesus claimed ownership of the Sabbath: “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28). This is an important statement for at least two reasons. First, Jesus knew from Creation how the Sabbath was intended to be observed; He made it! “In him all things were created” (Colossians 1:16). When Jesus performed humanitarian service, when He attended the synagogue, when He preached and taught on Sabbath, His action reflected the intent of Sabbath observance.
Second, Jesus’ lordship of the Sabbath, His example of its observance, and His pronouncements regarding its purpose support the Sabbath’s ongoing sanctity for the Christian era. In exercising His lordship over the Sabbath, Jesus denounced the hypocrisy with which the Jews of His time observed it (Luke 13:14-16). He never devalued the Sabbath as a blessing to humanity. In His lordship, Jesus claimed the Sabbath as His own and promoted its blessedness.
Apostolic Church and the Sabbath
The New Testament church left us a powerful precedent for Sabbath observance. The book of Acts reports that early Christians were still meeting on the Sabbath for worship and Bible teaching many years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Without instructions to do otherwise, Jewish converts might have been expected to keep the Sabbath tradition alive, but the church’s Sabbath assemblies included Gentile converts as well.
Sabbath worship in a synagogue is mentioned four times in Acts 13. Three of these state that Jews and Gentile converts were present. In verse 14 Paul and his companions went to a synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, where Paul preached the gospel of Christ to “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God” (v. 16). These Gentiles commonly joined in synagogue worship where the words of the prophets were read every Sabbath (v. 27). Those who became Christians continued to join in synagogue activities until rejected by the synagogue rulers.
Verses 42 and 44 report, “As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. . . . On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.”
Some suggest that Paul and Barnabas attended synagogue on Sabbath in this text only as an opportunity to evangelize among the Jews, not because they considered the day as sacred time and for worship. This unproven thought ignores the details of the story and severs Paul from his own worship customs. Yes, the opportunity for mission was central, but Paul’s desire to gather on Sabbath where Scripture was read and prayers to God were made must not be denied. It’s not one or the other, but both. The natural union of worship, fellowship, and mission for Paul each Sabbath, both in and out of the synagogue, is confirmed in further Sabbath references in Acts.
In addressing the elders in Jerusalem concerning the matter of how Gentile converts should be received into the fellowship of the church (Acts 15:21), James refers to Sabbath.
Acts 16:13-15 gives the account of a Sabbath gathering when Lydia, a God-fearing Gentile woman, was converted to Christ.
Paul’s custom was to go to a synagogue on the Sabbath day regardless of where he traveled. Acts 17:1-4 relates that Paul attended the synagogue service in Thessalonica three Sabbath days and that his preaching brought results: “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women” (v. 4).
According to Acts 18:4-8, in Corinth Paul went to the synagogue every Sabbath, trying to persuade Jews and Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ. As opposition arose, Paul and his interested listeners had to leave the synagogue and move to a house next door to hold services. Verse 11 reports that Paul stayed in Corinth “for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.” Notably, verses 3 and 4 imply that Paul, along with fellow missionaries and tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla, observed the work-rest rhythm of life established at Creation.
These accounts illustrate that Paul and the first century church made the Sabbath the principal day to congregate for worship and preaching of the Word of God. While evangelism and Bible teaching occurred other days of the week, the New Testament church honored the seventh-day Sabbath of Creation and the Decalogue as their regular day of assembly.
No record exists of the first century church honoring any other day of the week for assembly and worship as they did the Sabbath. Neither is there biblical instruction to honor any other day in the manner the Sabbath was observed by Christ and His apostles in the New Testament. The biblical record shows continuity of the church’s Sabbath observance and regular assembly on the weekly Sabbath after the resurrection of Jesus.
Few doctrines and practices are as well documented in the Bible as that of the Sabbath, its manner of observance, and its purpose. Jesus’ own example of Sabbath observance and His teaching regarding it serve to strengthen and preserve the Sabbath for the Christian era.
Sabbath and Redemption
Deuteronomy assigns an interesting and most appropriate meaning to the Sabbath. In Deuteronomy 5:12-15, the wording of the fourth commandment differs slightly from the Exodus 20 version:
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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 ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
Unlike the Exodus 20:8-11 version of the commandment, making the Sabbath a perpetual memorial to Creation, here in Deuteronomy the Sabbath reminded Israel of a more recent event in their own generation and experience: liberation. The seventh day called to mind God’s redemptive act of delivering them from Egyptian slavery.
Hebrews 4 makes a similar application, inseparably linking the redemptive work of Jesus Christ to Sabbath rest. In this chapter, rest is mentioned in at least four ways: 1) the rest of God after the days of creation (vv. 4, 10); 2) rest for the Hebrews in the Promised Land after their escape from Egyptian slavery (v. 5; also 3:16-19); 3) the rest now experienced by those who are in Christ by faith (v. 3a, and implied by “Today” in v. 7); and 4) the future rest of God’s coming kingdom (vv. 9, 11). Until Christians arrive at the day of Christ’s return and the great consummation, we may remember the Sabbath also as a type of the final rest still to come.
The statement “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9) contains a wonderful truth. God’s rest is still available to all people for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In light of this truth, every Sabbath should be a celebration not only of our creation but also of our re-creation through conversion in Jesus Christ unto salvation.
When we as Christians rest and gather on the Sabbath in worship, prayer, praise, and Bible study, when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, we are reminded that we are God’s creation. Sabbath today means that, in our own generation, we have rested from the slavery of sin and put aside the labor to be saved by our own works. We’ve had a personal encounter with God’s redemptive work that alone can save.
Every Sabbath provides us the opportunity to rest and reflect on God’s redemptive love in our lives. It is a reminder of our redemption, as it was a reminder to Israel so long ago of their redemption from slavery in Egypt. By Sabbath rest and worship, we celebrate our creation by God and our re-creation (salvation) in Jesus Christ. We have found Sabbath to be a day of grace indeed!
Should Christians observe the seventh-day Sabbath in the Christian era? A strong, consistent body of evidence throughout the Scriptures supports Sabbath observance by Christians.
In this booklet we have reviewed from the Bible the origin of the Sabbath and its special place in the mind of God. We have shown the meaning of Sabbath observance — first as a memorial to Creation and then, in the Christian era, as a reminder of our liberation from sin, or our redemption. We have presented evidence that the Sabbath has been known and observed by the people of God from ancient times through the first century of the Christian era.
Finally, we have demonstrated from the Scriptures that no other day of the week has been made holy by God to be observed as a weekly Sabbath. The Scriptures do not contain instructions or example for regular weekly worship on any other day. Therefore, the seventh-day Sabbath stands alone as the day God has set aside for rest and worship with His gracious, loving invitation: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).