What does Paul mean when he says to not let anyone judge us in regard to keeping the Sabbath?

Ezekiel 45:17  

Colossians 2:16

ESV - 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 02 2015 Open uri20131210 31869 1ujcffl John Smith

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Galen 2 Galen Smith Retired from Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary
Colossians 2:16 — “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” Nearly all scholars agree that Paul here refers to yearly feasts, monthly rituals and weekly Sabbath worship. These are representative of all the Jewish religious rituals.

The passage you cite from Ezekiel 45:17 — “It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths--at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.” This is from the lengthy section (chapters 40–48) dealing with the vision Ezekiel was given of a new temple in Jerusalem. Much detail is given about this temple, and this verse explains who is responsible to provide the offerings for “the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths.” These are the yearly feasts, the monthly rituals and the weekly Sabbath worship. These briefly summarize the Jewish religious celebrations.

The Laws of Moses, including the Sabbath, were never commanded to anyone except the Jewish nation of Israel. We see this in passages like Exodus 16:23-30; Exodus 20:2-11; Deuteronomy 5:1-21; Exodus 31:12-17; Leviticus 19:1,30; etc. 

Jesus, being a Jew, kept the Sabbath, but not the way the Jewish leaders wanted. They had added multitudes of details on how one might break the Sabbath. Jesus confronted them in places like Luke 6:5, 6:6-11, 13:10-17, 14:1-6; John 5:1-18, 9:1-41; etc. He taught that the Sabbath was not meant to be a burden for man, but to benefit him. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

Acts 15:28-29 gives the conclusion of the Jerusalem council regarding whether Gentiles needed to obey Jewish customs. It lists four items to follow, none of which is Sabbath keeping. In Galatians 4:9-11 Paul calls the Jewish rituals “weak and miserable principles” for New Testament believers. In Romans 14:4-5 he says some esteem certain days while others do not, and both are okay.

Now let’s consider Colossians 2:16 and its immediate context.

Colossians 2:13-17 — “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

“The written code…that was against us” was the Mosaic Law. It showed man’s sinfulness and need for salvation. Christ “cancelled the written code,” and “took it away, nailing it to the cross.” So Paul pleads, “do let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” Not that we can keep them from having their opinions, but we are not to allow them to put us under bondage to laws that were never given to Gentiles in the first place. Don’t let them pressure, shame or intimidate you to become slaves to these rules that were never intended to save anyone anyway. “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Col. 2:17). If you are trusting in Christ and his work for you—his perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his triumphant resurrection—then you have the reality, and you don’t need the shadow any longer.

April 04 2015 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jeff Moon
The Sabbath festival and mosaic laws were nailed to the cross, not the ten commandments of which the 7th day Sabbath is one of them. The Saturday Sabbath and the rest of the commandments are for all of us, not just the jews. Adam and eve kept the Sabbath, were they Jews? Revelation also says that we will keep the 7th day Sabbath in heaven also..does that mean only jews are going to heaven? All Christians are now "spiritual" Jews. You cant say we must not kill or commit adultery, but then ignore the 4th commandment that God specifically commands us to REMEMBER. Obviously many have forgotten about the fourth commandment, as God knew we would. God bless!

April 10 2015 12 responses Vote Up Share Report

Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
I want to offer an explanation that I don't hear too often in churches. Let me quote the verse in question:

“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Col. 2:16, 17)

Why do we have to translate the verse as if Paul were telling these Messianic Gentiles, “Don't let anyone (presumably Messianic Jews) judge you for NOT keeping kosher, feasts and Sabbaths just like they do. Those things are just shadows. You have the substance which is Christ…”? This interpretation does not fit with historic accounts of who was judging whom, and why.

If we back up into the chapter, we can gain a better context in which to work from. We know from Col. 2:6-15 that Paul is admonishing his readers about the wonderful forensic realities that they now possess in Messiah. They have truly been grafted into Isra'el (Rom. 11), they have been brought near to God and to the Commonwealth of Isra'el as fellow heirs and fellow citizens (Eph. 2), and they have received the more important circumcision—that of the heart (Col. 2:11).

It is in this context that Paul comforts his readers with the famous passage in Col. 2:16, 17. He tells them not to let anyone (outsiders, pagans, Jews and Gentiles outside of Messiah, etc.) judge you for who you really are and what you do in Yeshua (Jesus). You are the righteousness of God in Messiah! (read 2 Cor. 5:21) Hallelujah!

Why would Gentile outsiders be judging Paul’s readers? History shows that pagans and Gentiles outside of Messiah would often judge Gentile Christians for no longer attending the state required emperor celebrations with all their vile lewdness, demon worship, blood rituals, nudity, sexual promiscuity, and all-purpose pagan pageantry. That this judgment would eventually fall upon them is a given and Paul challenges them to hold their ground and not return to the former life of debauchery that they have been graciously rescued from.

However, Scripture likewise attests that Gentiles attracted to Isra'el’s God and Isra'el’s laws would attend the synagogue alongside Jews (read the numerous accounts in the book of Acts). After coming to faith in the Jewish Messiah, it was natural for these Messianic Gentile believers to begin walking out the Torah just like their Messianic Jewish brothers were doing. However, the unbelieving Jewish leaders would always become jealous and outraged that Paul was teaching these Messianic Gentiles about their equality to Jews in Messiah. Remember, the Judaisms of Paul’s day practiced a social class/caste system in which Gentiles were not worthy to be counted as genuine covenant members in Isra'el without going through a ceremony of the proselyte. Thus, in this imbalanced view of covenant membership, the Torah was seen as a Jewish-only document.

In their eyes, the Gentiles had no right to keep the feasts of the Jews—even if they believed in the Jewish Messiah (recall in Acts 15:5 that even some believing Pharisees wanted these Gentile Christians to becomes Jews before they could be received in the community). Paul came to set the record straight: in Yeshua, the Messianic Gentiles have every right to keep kosher and keep the Feasts just like Messianic Jews, since both constitute the Remnant of Isra'el.

So, the verse should be interpreted as Paul telling these Messianic Gentiles, “Don't worry if the unbelieving religious Jews judge you for KEEPING kosher, Feasts, New Moons, and Sabbath observances—without becoming legally recognized Jews first. You are grafted into Isra'el—as Gentiles—via your faith in the King of Isra'el. In the end, you will most likely get kicked out of their synagogues and out of their festive celebrations because you did not change your ethnicity, but don't worry, those things are a shadow nonetheless. You have the SUBSTANCE that those shadows point to—which is Messiah himself.”

September 03 2015 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

84924d6f 9be5 4261 9e07 ab5f6a8c5842 Lena Wms Student @Christ Gospel Church, S.S.Teacher, Observer
What a great question that has caused such division in the Body of Christ. Brothers and Sisters, this was made so very clear by the Apostle Paul. "Do not let anyone judge you on how you observe the Sabbath." 

How can I stand and look to my Blood Washed Brother or Sister that chooses to observe the Sabbath on Saturday as a bad person? They are keeping the Sabbath! Jesus declared He was Lord of the Sabbath, Mark 2:28. 
Therefore, if I wish to be closer to my Lord, I must come to the Sabbath. 

However, what if I can't celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday? Should those same Brothers and Sisters look down on me? Of course not! Why? Because I am still in compliance with the requirements of the Scriptures. I am not forsaking the assembly of myself, and I have reverence for the Sabbath. I am still coming to my Lord, the Lord of the Sabbath! 

I believe Paul was trying to get all believers to understand that it didn't matter what day you celebrated, as long as the respect and honor was attached to your worship. Sabbath is to rest from your labors. Gather with othe r believers and worship the Creator of all. 

Remember the only sign at the Cross was Jesus, King of the Jews. No denominations. No agendas. Just Blood to Cover ALL!

Be Blessed

April 02 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20131210 31869 1ujcffl John Smith
Acts 23:6, Paul was a Pharisees as was his father. Paul was a Pharisees before converting to Christianity. Paul knew how the Pharisees thought, acted and why they did what they did. Paul is stating judge not about how one keeps the Sabbath, Paul does not write, CHANGE the 7th Day Sabbath to another day or say any day or every day is the Sabbath. This is the basis for Paul writing in Colossians 2:16 " Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:" 

Pharisees were self-righteous rule followers engaging in conflicts between themselves and Jesus. Matt. 12:27, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5. Jesus showed the correct observance of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27,28 "And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath". 

Pharisees are described as hypocritical and arrogant people who place the letter of the law above its spirit. Jesus mentioned (Matthew 12:5) has to do with the sacrifices and offerings ordained for the Sabbath day in the temple service, which were twice as many as those offered on any other day (Num. 28:9,10). It is these Ceremonial laws controlled by the Pharisees that were a burdensome part of the Sabbath observance and what Paul writes in Colossians 2:17 "Which are a shadow of things to come:' 

It is these Ceremonial Laws (sacrificial system) with its rites pointing to Christ, that the Death of Jesus did away with. (Leviticus 1:1,2) & (Leviticus 7:37,38)

April 11 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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