Romans 14:5 & the Sabbath

My last post on Sunday worship elicited the expected response from the HRM crowd. Unfortunately many of them still use the strawman “The Sabbath didn’t change,” Of course I do not think it changed but rather that it became irrelevant when the covenant changed. A “go to” passage is traditionally:

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you with reference to eating or drinking or participation in a feast or a new moon or a Sabbath,”(Col 2:16)

Judaizers intentionally obfuscate and twist that passage as explained here. Although that verse is devastating to their arguments that New Covenant Christians must keep the Sabbath, another passage is lesser known but clearly teaches that it is a personal preference.

“One person prefers one day over another day, and another person regards every day alike. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.”(Ro 14:5)

At first glance this seems vague but the Sabbath is certainly in focus. Here is the ESV Study Bible note which is very illuminating:

“14:5 The weak thought some days were more important than others. Given the Jewish background here (see v. 14), the day that is supremely in view is certainly the Sabbath. The strong think every day is the same. Both views are permissible. Each person must follow his own conscience. What is remarkable is that the Sabbath is no longer a binding commitment for Paul but a matter of one’s personal conviction. Unlike the other nine commandments in Ex. 20:1–17, the Sabbath commandment seems to have been part of the “ceremonial laws” of the Mosaic covenant, like the dietary laws and the laws about sacrifices, all of which are no longer binding on new covenant believers (see also Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16–17). However, it is still wise to take regular times of rest from work, and regular times of worship are commanded for Christians (Heb. 10:24–25; cf. Acts 20:7).”

Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2181.

The HRMer would be the “weak” in this case and it is perfectly acceptable for them to observe special days. What is not acceptable is to judge others who choose not to, which is, unfortunately what most of them do.