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I Timothy 3:15
D. B. Eastep, Ashley Avenue Baptist Church
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"... Be ready… to give ... every man ... a reason ...of the hope that, is in you ..." — (1 Peter 3:15)
It is out of the Bible I will give five reasons why I am a Baptist and not a Seventh Day Adventist:
1. Because I have not found in the New Testament one single sentence where God ever commanded a Gentile to keep the law — not one. I am a Gentile and the church is a Gentile church. When a Jew is saved the "middle wall of partition is broken down," and he is NOT commanded to keep the law (Eph. 2:14).
2. Because the Word of God teaches me that I am NOT saved by keeping the law — and the keeping of the Sabbath is keeping the law. In Romans 3:20-28 we read:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets ...being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ...therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"; and "For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 2:16); and "Wherefore the law was our school-master to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith ...for we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:14-16).
3. Because I do not believe what they teach that Catholics were the first to observe Sunday as a day of worship. The Catholic Church did not begin until the fifth century after Christ. Anyone who knows history knows that this is so. Baptists are not Protestants — we did not come out of the Catholic Church — the Catholic Church came out of us.
Baptists of today are not all they ought to be. Some of them are so far from the truth that they will never get back; but the Baptist churches were the first churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They have not always been known by the name "Baptist," but the early Christians believed just what we believe, that all men are saved by faith, that no group or organization within or without it has any jurisdiction over it. That was the New Testament Church.
Now, who did start the observance of the first day of the week as the day of worship? "Now upon the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." (Luke 24:1)
It is rather interesting that the Lord Jesus arose on the first day of the week. The devil is shrewd. He would be happy if he could get God's people to abolish the Lord's Day as a day of worship ... it would be a tremendous victory for him. If I worship on Saturday, so far as I am concerned, I might as well worship Christ on the crucifix. The risen Lord appeared to the disciples on the first day of the week. Why did He not appear on the Sabbath?
"The same day at evening, being the first day of the week ... came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you." (John 20:19)
The early disciples of the risen Lord worshiped Him on the first day of the week, and you will search the New Testament in vain for one instance where the New Testament Christians worshiped on the old Jewish Sabbath.
And there is another interesting fact. The early Christians gathered together their offerings on the first day of the week.
"Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." (I Cor. 16:2)
Why not on the seventh day? Adventists say that when we worship on Sunday we are worshiping on a heathen day because Sunday means "the day of the sun." Every one of the days of the week is named after a heathen deity:
Sunday means "The Day of the Sun";
Monday means "Day Sacred to the Moon";
Tuesday means "Day of Mars";
Wednesday means "Woden's Day";
Thursday is named for Thor, the "God of Thunder";
Friday means "day of Sacred Frigg";
Saturday means "Saturn's Day"; this is the Jewish Sabbath.
4. Because of the difficulty of harmonizing some of the practices and teachings of the Seventh Day Adventists, I will give you a few of them:
If Christians are required to keep the seventh day, or the Sabbath:
†Why do Adventists depart from their dwellings on that day? "For the Lord hath given you the sabbath... abide ye every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." (Ex. 16:29) If the Adventists are going to be consistent, the only thing for them to do is stay at home on the Sabbath. That is what the Word of God commands. They do not do that.
†If the Adventists keep the Sabbath, the seventh day, why do they not keep them all — the seventh year, the year of jubilee? (Lev. 25:1-22)
†If Christians were to keep the law, they would have to live in warm climates. "Ye shall kindle no fire through your habitations upon the sabbath day." (Ex. 35:3)
†If Christians are to keep the seventh day, then who is to put to death all who fail to do so? "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day ... and the Lord spake unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death ... and the congregation stoned him with stones, and he died…" (Num.15:32ff) The law doesn't mean a thing if you do away with the penalty.
†If God required the keeping of the law to be saved, then why did He not require the young rich ruler to keep the Sabbath? (Matt. 19:16-20) Jesus did not tell the rich young ruler to keep the law.
†If you are going back and take up the law of the Sabbath, then what about circumcision? Why do the Seventh Day Adventists not observe the law of circumcision? (Read Gen. 17:1-14)
†If the early Christians observed the Sabbath, why did they "break bread on the first day of the week?" (Acts 20:7) They gathered on the first day of the week to worship God in recognition of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
†If Christians are to keep the Sabbath, then why did the New Testament writers not command it? They commanded just the opposite. "Let no man judge you therefore in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come." (Col. 2:14ff) The law of the Lord is the law of the New Testament.
†Why should anyone insist on observing the Sabbath, when God said that Israel's Sabbaths would cease? "And I will cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and her solemn vows." (Hosea 2:11)
5. Because, to me, the first day of the week has a greater significance for this gospel age than the seventh. Not one time does God ever command a believer to observe Saturday.
Sunday is our day of worship, and there is a reason. Keeping the Sabbath won't save you. Baptism won't save you. Good works won't save you. Joining a church won't save you. The Lord Jesus Christ, and He alone, is the Savior of every sinner. There is no other way. Hell is filled with people who have joined the church and tried to keep the law, but have spurned the Lord Jesus and His cleansing blood. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Seventh Day Adventists deny the resurrection by observing the Sabbath. We come to church on Sunday, the Lord's Day, to worship Him who "died for our sins, and rose again for our justification." We worship a living Savior, and with thanksgiving, can sing: "He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!"
If I worship Christ on Saturday I deny that His work is finished, and that He is a resurrected, living Savior.