Observance of Days
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 4 Lesson 13 Wednesday
The lesson asks us to read Romans 14:4~10, so here it is from the Remedy paraphrase version;
4 Don’t you realize it is not your place to make judgments about the condition or quality of another person’s servant? The master of the servant determines whether the servant is in good standing or not. And the one who is no longer bound by fear and superstition, and therefore eats everything that is healthy, is in good standing with God, because God has healed that person’s mind and renewed their heart.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another person considers all days the same. A person’s opinion doesn’t make a day sacred or not sacred, but each person can only benefit by what they have come to understand and believe for themself, so each person must study the evidence and be fully convinced in their own mind.
6 The person who regards one day as special is choosing to honor the Lord in accordance with their understanding of the truth. The person who eats meat is choosing to honor the Lord by demonstrating that idols are powerless, and instead gives thanks to God for the food; and the person who abstains from eating meat is also honoring God by recognizing that all they have comes from God.
7 For none of God’s children live selfishly any longer, and none of us die alone and abandoned.
8 If we live, we live for the Lord–a cause greater than ourselves–and if we die, our death will also serve God’s cause. So, whether we live or die, we have surrendered all to the Lord.
9 This is the very reason Christ died and rose to life again–his was a cause that encompassed more than himself. He died and rose from the dead to heal the universe from distrust of God, selfishness, and death; he is therefore the Lord of both the living and the dead.
10 Who are you then to judge your brother or sister? Do you think you are somehow better? Why do you belittle and look at others with disdain? Don’t you realize that we are all infected with the same sickness and one day all of us will stand before God to see if we have been healed?
Today’s lesson speaks strongly that the weekly Sabbath cannot be included in Romans 14:5, read the last paragraph,
“To bring the weekly Sabbath into Romans 14:5, as some argue, is unwarranted. Can one imagine Paul taking such a laid-back attitude toward the fourth commandment? As we have seen all quarter, Paul placed a heavy emphasis on obedience to the law, so he certainly wasn’t going to place the Sabbath commandment in the same category as people who were uptight about eating foods that might have been offered to idols. However commonly these texts are used as an example to show that the seventh-day Sabbath is no longer binding, they say no such thing. Their use in that manner is a prime example of what Peter warned that people were doing with Paul’s writings: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16).”
Can you imagine Paul bringing the weekly Sabbath into this? Yes! Absolutely, why? Because Paul is speaking about the real issue in salvation—the healing of the heart and mind, the restoration of Christlikeness in the inner man. Can a person be transformed in the inner workings of their hearts against their will?
So, must a person be fully persuaded in their own mind in order to be saved?
Would this mean that a person who accepts Jesus as their Savior, only genuinely does this when they are fully persuaded in their own mind? Yes! If we include in this passage that a person to accept Jesus must be fully persuaded in their own mind, are we minimizing the importance of accepting Jesus?
So, if we say that every person must be fully persuaded in their own mind about the Sabbath, are we minimizing the importance of the Sabbath? No! Why, then, does the lesson argue it does? Because of accepting the false imposed law view of God’s law, in that view the Sabbath is just an imposed rule that must be enforced, and if you break God’s imposed rules your are legally guilty and God will be required to do the just thing which would be to punish law-breakers.
They have taken this beautiful chapter, in which Paul elevates the principles of God, truth, love, freedom which must be utilized in order to transform hearts, and pushed them aside and suggest that these principles don’t apply to the Sabbath, that the Sabbath is still legally binding, that one cannot include the fourth commandment in Paul’s discourse. And thus, instead of transforming hearts with God’s healing methods, this approach inflames fear and damages hearts.
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