9-2-3 Colossians 2 Explained
There are some who argue that Paul repudiates the Sabbath day in Colossians when he states in verse 2:16 “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day.” On the surface it would seem that Paul clearly is advocating no longer following the fourth commandment here. But is this really the case? If we look at the context we find Paul is discussing the moon days of the ceremonial law. It is in this context that we find his use of Sabbath day. This is a clear reference to the special ceremonial Sabbaths of Leviticus 23 and elsewhere. This is by no means a reference to the moral Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, which we have already demonstrated the apostles were actively observing on the first day of the week, and which Christ upheld throughout His earthly ministry. Leviticus 23 speaks of these special Sabbaths. They are special memorials and holidays where trumpets were blown. Paul clearly tells us these holy days and ceremonial feast days have been fulfilled and abrogated in numerous places throughout his epistles. NOWHERE does he state that the moral Sabbath has been done away. Leviticus 23 states in part (KJV): “23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.”
What this document has clearly demonstrated is the continuation of the moral law of God, and its applicability in every area of life today. While it is beyond this scope of this paper, the Bible has things to say about every area of life, from politics, to economics, to education, to slavery, to science, and to innumerable other things. The law of God and the Word of God are pervasive and are to be applied to every aspect of civilization as a guide to all of life. When Christians observe the Sabbath again, God will bless His people once more. Therefore, like Nehemiah did, I appeal to you to put down your worldly activities this coming Sunday, and observe this Sunday and every Sunday as sanctified and holy to the Lord. We worship on the Lord’s Day, not the Lord’s hour.