Does Romans 14 Alter The Seventh Day Sabbath?
THE ANY DAY YOU WISH SABBATH IS NOT PRACTICAL,WORKABLE OR COMMANDED.
Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
What was Paul telling the Romans? Was he telling them that it is all right to choose any day you want as your Sabbath? Certainly not! (Notice that the Sabbath is not even mentioned in Romans 14:4-6). Having had the experience of starting churches that idea is certainly not workable. If you start a new congregation, and tell those who show up they can each choose on which day the Sabbath meeting will be held, there will be nothing but confusion. Some meeting on one day and others meeting on another day will not work. Paul could not have started new churches in this manner.
Further, remember no apostle had yet come to Rome when this letter is written. That is the reason for this basic letter. They would all be Jews or proselytes to Judaism who had learned about Christianity at the various feasts in Jerusalem. Paul wanted to encourage them to be loving and kind to each other and try to get along in spite of differences they might have with each other. He was speaking about fasting, their personal preference for when to fast and perhaps vegetarianism.
They would all be committed Sabbath keepers. Note Paul's procedures in starting churches.
Acts 13:42 And as they went out, they besought that these words might be spoken to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God.
Paul did not say you pick the day we meet because many of us have for years switched to the day of the Sun god or whatever day you like they are all the same if you feel that way.
THE TOPICS WERE TOLERANCE AND VEGETARIANISM AND FASTING
Paul was teaching about tolerance and vegetarianism not about the Sabbath law which is in the heart of the Ten Commandments. HE SAYS be tolerant with regard to food, times of fasting, and eating.
Romans 14:2 One man hath faith to eat all things: but he that is weak eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth set at nought him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own Lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand.
This chapter is about food and tolerance of others. The weak brethren are concerned about meat being contaminated by idols before it reached the butcher shops of Rome.
1Co 8:4 Concerning therefore the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that no idol is anything in the world, and that there is no God but one.
1Co 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question for conscience' sake,
Some were in debate as to which days of the week were best for effective fasting. Note again Romans 14:6 is talking about whether to eat, or not eat, in other words fasting and when. How were the people observing the day by 'he who does not eat'. Paul says decide for yourself privately about when to fast and do not argue over it. See Matt. 6:16.
THE POWERFUL ARGUEMENT FROM SILENCE
IF CONGRESS HAS NOT CHANGED THE LAW then the current law is still in affect. Nothing in the New Testament cancels the Sabbath law. If the New Testament Church had been involved in conflict and held a grand conference to make an exception just for gentiles regarding circumcision, there is no way the the changing of the Sabbath would go unnoticed in scripture. Christ kept the annual and weekly Sabbaths and so did Paul.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read.
John 7:10 But when his brethren were gone up unto the feast, then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.
Acts 15:21 For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.
Paul had all the gentile brethren keeping the Sabbath. They heard the law read on the Sabbath. Jesus also kept these annual Sabbaths at the risk of his life, wow! Christ said in Matt. 5:17-18 that he did not come to do away with the law which includes the Sabbath law.
Matt. 5:17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
If there were no God who has assigned the Sabbath as His sign it would not matter which day we keep holy. But there is a God and it matters to Him and it is good for us to stay close to Him. How can we hope to stay close to Him if we don't obey and do what He plainly says we are to do?
Ex 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily ye shall keep my sabbaths: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Jehovah who sanctifieth you.
When the Sabbath is abandoned, a church organization formally admits that it is apostate and has given up the link to the true God of the Bible, the seventh day Sabbath. People know you by the Sabbath you keep.
WE ALL NEED TO PRACTICE TOLERANCE
Tolerance obviously does not mean lawlessness. However within God's Laws we should learn to tolerate variations of opinions and especially with regard to food. Note in Romans 14:1 it is the WEAK MEMBERS who are most concerned with such issues.
Romans 14:1 But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples.
We should use our energies in getting along with each other. Avoid arguments over such issues. Help others especially the weak with encouraging words. Paul is reminding us they belong to Christ not us. Do not criticize another's servants. God's kingdom is much more than food and drink. Those of us who are strong need to lend a hand to the weak. Our greater knowledge is for service not status. Note Romans 15:1-3. Some issues should be handled in such a way as to allow the weak to grow into truth but never pressured. This would of course not include which day to show up for services.
Romans 15:1 Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, unto edifying.
3 For Christ also pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me. (ASV)
We can have some variation of opinions on some issues within the clean meat laws of God and learn to fellowship and lead with love and tolerance.
PW PT 1.Rom14:4-6
2. Acts 13:42-44
3. Rom 14:2-3
4. I Cor. 8:4 & 10:25
5. Rom 14:6
6. Matt 6:16
7. Luke 4:16
8. John 7:10
9. Acts 15:21
10. Matt 5:17-19
11. Ex 31:13
12. Rom 14:1
13. Rom 15:1-2