Rex D. Edwards is a former vice president for religious studies at Griggs University.

FOUR HOME TRUTHS – Part 2 | Obedience and The Sabbath


“We were born subjects, and to obey God is perfect liberty. He that does this shall be free, safe, and happy.”—Seneca

1. Obedience is the test of a genuine Christian (Mt. 12:50).

(1) The danger of pretense without conformity (Luke 6:46).
(2) The characterization of those who do not obey (1 John 2:3, 4; Rom. 8:7).
(3) The test of love for God (John 14:15, 21; 8:47).

2. Obedience to the 10 Commandments is the standard for all (Matt. 19:10).

(1) Obedience required of all the 10 commandments (Matt. 5:19; Eccl. 12:13).
(2) Obedience is not the means of salvation (Rom. 8:34; Phil. 4:13; Gal. 3:10-13).
(3) Obedience does not make grace and faith unnecessary (Rom. 6:14, 15; 3:31).
Church Sign: “Think metric. Observe the Ten Commandments.”

3. Obedience means to act on God’s instruction (John 7:17).

God’s instruction is summarily comprehended in 10 principles (Ex. 20:1-17).
(1) Loyalty: “Thou no gods shalt have but me”
(2) Worship: “Before no idol bend the knee”
(3) Reverence: “Take not the name of God in vain”
(4) Sanctification: “Dare not the Sabbath day profane”
(5) Respect for authority: “Give to thy parents honor due”
(6) Love: “Take heed that thou no murder do”
(7) Purity: “Abstain from words and deeds unclean”
(8) Honesty: “Steal not, for thou by God art seen”
(9) Truthfulness: “Tell not a wilful lie, nor love it”
(10) Contentment: “What is thy neighbor’s do not want”

4. Obedience to the law pre-dated Sinai (Gen. 26:5).

(1) The law pre-dated Sinai (Rom. 4:15; 5:13).
(2) The law given before the existence of the Jews (Ex. 32:15, 16; Ps. 89:34).
a. Ceremonial and judicial statutes were given to Moses for his people. The former ceased to be obligatory at the cross, and the latter ceased to operate when the Jews were scattered as a nation (Eph. 2:15; Heb. 9:1).
b. The term “the testimony” is applied to the Decalogue but never to the ceremonial and civil statutes (Ex. 25:21; 31:18; 32:15).
c. Other terms given to the 10 Commandments (Ex. 34:28, 29; Rev. 11:19; 12:17).
(3) The consequences of disobedience apparent before Sinai (Rom. 5:14; 6:23).
(4) The angels recognized the law as the rule of the universe (Ps. 103:20).

5. Obedience to the law exemplified in Jesus’ life and teachings (John 15:10).

(1) The wise obey (Matt. 7:24, 25); fools don’t (vs. 26, 27, 21; Luke 12:47, 48; Prov. 13:15).
(2) Obedience leads to liberty not bondage (Ps. 119:45; James 2:12).
(3) Tradition should not interfere with keeping the law (Mark 7:7-9).
(4) The beatitude of Scripture (Rev. 22:14; cf. Jer. 31:33; Ps. 37:31).

“All true obedience comes from the heart . . . And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses.” —Ellen G. White (The Desire of Ages, 668)


“. . . ignoring the Sabbath acknowledges a philosophy that the world relies on ‘my’ work instead of God’s provision.”—Walter Brueggemann (AU Jan 12, 2012)

1. The Sabbath pre-dated sin (Gen. 2:1-3).

“The Sabbath is a primeval institution, established for men at the beginning of creation, it and marriage being two blessed things saved from the wreck of Paradise.” —Bishop Warren A. Candler

2. The Sabbath is a Memorial of Creation (Ex. 31:17).

(1) God created all from nothing (Heb. 11:3).
(2) God upholds all things (Heb. 1:3).
(3) God sustains life (Acts 17:28).
“God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise . . . He needed a Sabbath to remind him more vividly of God, and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.”—Ellen G. White (Patriarchs and Prophets, 48)

3. The Sabbath is a Commanded Institution (Ex. 20:8-11).

(1) An eternal blessing (1 Chron. 17:17; Num. 23:19, 20).
(2) It was observed before Sinai (Ex. 16:26, 28; Gen. 26:5).
(3) It was observed by the OT prophets (Is. 58:13, 14; Jer. 17:21, 22).
“It will be surely far safer to observe the seventh day, according to the express commandment of God than on the authority of mere human conjecture to adopt the first.”—John Milton

4. The Sabbath is the Seal of the Ten Commandments (Rom. 4:11).

(1) The Sabbath reveals His name: “For in six days the Lord
(2) The Sabbath reveals His authority: “made”
(3) The Sabbath reveals the dominion over which He rules: “heaven and earth”
“The Sabbath: the birthday of the world.”—H. M. S. Richards
The fourth commandment authenticates the whole law, revealing its great Originator, and without it, the ten has no validation.

5. The Sabbath was observed by Christ and His followers (Luke 4:16; 23:55, 56).

(1) It was expected to be observed after Christ’s death (Matt. 24:20).
(2) The NT Church celebrated the Sabbath (Acts 13:14, 42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 11).
(3) The Sabbath was made for all men, not the Jews (Mark 2:27, 28).
(4) The Sabbath will be observed in the New Earth (Is. 66:22, 23).

6. The Sabbath is a Memorial of Redemption (Ex. 16:28; Luke 23:54; Col. 2:12).

(1) The Sabbath is a sign of physical rest and spiritual renewal. His observance of the Sabbath was an acted-out parable inviting all men to find their rest in Him and were made for fellowship with Him (Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:3, 4).
(2) The Sabbath is a sign of God’s creative, sanctifying, redeeming power (Eze. 20:20).

7. The Sabbath will be restored in the Last Days (Rev. 14:6, 7, 12; 12:17; 7:1-4).

A work of Sabbath reform is to precede the salvation which Peter says will be “revealed in the last time” (Is. 56:1, 2; 1 Pet. 1:5).

“A Sabbath well spent brings a week of content, And health for the toils of the morrow; But a Sabbath profan’d, Whatso’er may be gain’d, Is a certain forerunner of sorrow.”—Sir Matthew Hale

Rex D. Edwards is a former vice president for religious studies, Griggs University