Should Christians be offending Jews?

By calling Sunday (or Saturday) a Sabbath Day, Christians are offending Jews. Is that important? Yes, because God calls us Gentiles to show his beloved Jews that entering God’s eternal rest is based purely on faith in Jesus Christ making us holy, not a day (or any other work we do) making us holy.

But what do we Christians do instead? We make Sunday a Sabbath Day and make it seem holy and even necessary for salvation. But that’s no help to the Jews because we’re only reinforcing the idea in Jewish heads that a day of the week is still important – when it’s not. The only “day” of importance to all humanity in all of Scripture is the 7th day of creation, God’s eternal rest, and the only way we enter that rest is by faith in Jesus Christ who made that eternal rest possible in the first place.

That’s the message Jews need to hear because they failed to enter God’s eternal rest due to their LACK of faith (Hebrews 4:1-3). They never believed as a nation that God would totally take care for them, provide for them, and make them holy (Exodus 31:12-13). That’s why he had them keep a Sabbath day in the first place, to prove to them that he would provide for all their physical and spiritual needs, which he always did when they trusted him, but they could never keep on trusting him (Hebrews 3), and that was their problem.

So, Romans 11:11, “salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” God is now using Gentiles to reach his beloved Israel. How? By us Gentiles “pursuing righteousness by faith” (Romans 9:30). We aren’t depending on any works of our own to make ourselves holy and righteous in God’s sight; we trust entirely in the “the righteousness that comes from God” (Romans 10:3). And that’s what the Jews need to see us Gentiles doing, because that’s how they, and we, enter God’s eternal rest. It’s not by making ourselves holy (by keeping one day in the week holy), it’s by trusting Christ to make us holy every day.

Paul’s great desire in his ministry was to “somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them” (Romans 11:13-14). He knew it was God’s desire that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26), because God loves them (verse 27) and he hasn’t rejected them (verses 1, 11). It was never Paul’s desire, therefore, to offend the Jews, and neither should it be our desire either, because God called us Gentiles to be the best help possible to his beloved Jews – not by keeping a day to make us holy, but by trusting Christ to make us holy.


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