Be Ready to Give an Answer: Why Do You Keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath?
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Fundamental Belief: We believe that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. On this day we are commanded to rest from our labors and worship God, following the teachings and example of Jesus, the apostles and the New Testament Church.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 2:2-3 Genesis 2:2-3  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
American King James Version× and Exodus 16:23-30 Exodus 16:23-30  And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath to the LORD: bake that which you will bake to day, and seethe that you will seethe; and that which remains over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.  And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.  And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath to the LORD: to day you shall not find it in the field.  Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.  And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.  And the LORD said to Moses, How long refuse you to keep my commandments and my laws?  See, for that the LORD has given you the sabbath, therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide you every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.  So the people rested on the seventh day.
American King James Version×—the seventh-day Sabbath was instituted at creation and rehearsed before the Old Covenant; Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments spoken by God (20:1) and written with His finger (31:18); Exodus 31:13-17 Exodus 31:13-17  Speak you also to the children of Israel, saying, Truly my sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does sanctify you.  You shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  Why the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath is a sign for God's people; Leviticus 23:3 Leviticus 23:3Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath is God's day (not the Jews' day); Isaiah 58:13 Isaiah 58:13If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:
American King James Version×—the Sabbath is a delight and a blessing; Hebrews 4:4-10 Hebrews 4:4-10  For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.  And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.  Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:  Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath pictures the coming millennial rest and there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (verse 9, NIV, NRSV); Mark 1:21 Mark 1:21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
American King James Version×, 6:2 and Luke 4:31 Luke 4:31And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
American King James Version×—Christ kept the Sabbath; Mark 2:27-28 Mark 2:27-28  And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath was made for mankind (not just Israel) and Christ is Lord of the Sabbath; Acts 13:42-44 Acts 13:42-44  And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.  Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
American King James Version×, 17:2 and 18:4—Paul and gentile Christians kept the Sabbath; Isaiah 66:22-23 Isaiah 66:22-23  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, said the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, said the LORD.
American King James Version×—the Sabbath will be kept in the world to come.
For More Information: Sunset to Sunset—God's Sabbath Rest and Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God, an International Association (on the Web at www.ucg.org/booklets).