18. Is Sabbath-keeping Necessary for Salvation?

There are many Christians who insist that the keeping of the Sabbath will be a testing truth that will determine whether one is saved or lost. Our works will not determine our salvation. In the final analysis, if one has to observe the Sabbath or any other day in order to be saved, then salvation is no longer by grace, but by works. There is nothing one can do to earn God's grace. It is a gift. All one has to do is believe that Jesus Christ freely provides this gift and accept it. We are saved by grace and kept saved by it, not saved by grace and kept saved by works. The following Scriptural passages tell us what we must do in order to be saved.

John 6:47
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."

John 8:24
"I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

Scripture is clear in relating the way to salvation under the New Covenant. It was Jesus' work to provide the righteousness we need. It was Jesus' work to receive the curse of the broken covenant. We are required to believe in Him, and in doing so we enter by faith, and not by works, into the blessings of the Gospel. Under the New Covenant, salvation is brought about through faith, or belief, in Christ. But what does it mean to believe in Christ?

Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition defines the word believe as taking something as true, real, or good; having confidence in a statement or promise of another person; having religious faith; or supposing or thinking. In this sense, most Christians believe in Christ. They believe that He lived, that He was a perfect Man who sincerely believed that He was the Son of God, and that He died on the cross to save sinners. But the Greek word translated by most Bible versions as "believe" has a much deeper meaning than can be adequately conveyed by this closest English equivalent. The Greek word referred to is piste˙o. This word means to have faith, in a special sense, in someone or something; to have implicit trust that what is revealed or disclosed by someone or something is true. Other Greek scholars of the New Testament have defined this word to mean to adhere to; to cleave to; to trust; to have faith in; or to rely on.

Our belief in Christ, if we are to have a life-transforming experience and relationship with Him, must mean a total faith in Him as our Redeemer. The kind of trusting faith that an infant has in its mother while being cradled in her arms. And if we have this kind of relationship with Christ, we are made complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). And if we are complete in Christ, no works of the law, including obligatory Sabbath-keeping can save us.

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