How does this argument prove that Christians need not observe the Sabbath, but still avoid committing adultery, theft, and murder? However, just because obeying a law does not justify us does not mean we do not still have to obey it. Although the law cannot save us, it still has a valuable role to play: It tells us what to do and not do. It guides our Christian conduct. It defines "love" so that we are not making up our own rules to guide our conduct towards God and our fellow man. God does not leave it up to our own discretion to figure out what "love" is. James explained that the law was a spiritual mirror that tells us how to improve our behavior:
"But the one who has looked into the perfect law of freedom, and has continued in it, this one himself has not become a forgetful hearer, but is a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his actions." (James 1:25, HBFV)
The law defines sin, thus telling us what it off-limits in our Christian walk. As Paul knew,
"What then shall we say? Is the law sin? MAY IT NEVER BE! But I had not known sin, except through the law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the law said, 'You shall not covet.'" (Romans 7:7, HBFV)
If there was no law, there would be no sin, for:
"sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Romans 5:12)
Hence, if Jesus' death cancelled the whole law, not just its penalty assessed for violating it when one accepts His sacrifice by faith, no one would have sinned since His crucifixion in A.D. 31. Complaining that the law has no value because it does not save us is like arguing that because a curling iron cannot cook dinner, it is useless. The law has a proper function, that of guiding conduct and assessing sin, but it cannot give humans eternal life. True, obeying the Sabbath does not earn salvation. Neither does avoiding adultery or murder. However, God still wants us to obey all Ten Commandments nevertheless.
Salvation theology should not be reduced to bumper sticker slogans like, "Christ replaces the law!" or "Being Christ-centered frees us from obeying the law," which ignore both Scripture and sound theological conceptual interrelationships.
Under grace alone
Christians are under grace, but how does this principle release us from obeying the Sabbath, but not from avoiding adultery? Paul made a point of anticipating abuse of this principle, that it does not authorize us to sin (i.e., to break the law):
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!" (Romans 6:15, HBFV)
Importantly, Paul does use the term "under the law" in places to refer to a state in which someone hasn't been forgiven for their sins and is still not reconciled to God by accepting Jesus' sacrifice by faith. After all, any conservative Evangelical Protestant would say Christians have to avoid theft, murder, coveting, lying, idolatry, etc. By using the "jurisdictional" meaning of "under the law," rather than a dispensationalist (time during which God works with humanity in a certain way) one, even Evangelicals would believe they are still "under these laws"! Notice how Paul uses the term "under the law" to mean "a state of being guilty of sin" in Romans 3.
"What then? Are we of ourselves better? Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles - ALL- with being under sin, . . . Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:9, 19, HBFV)
The comparison between the two terms, "under sin" and "under the Law," shows that the law makes everyone guilty because they violated it, since it makes "all the world . . . accountable to God." The "tutor" analogy of Galatians 3 is susceptible to the same interpretation, since the "tutor," the law, leads us to Christ because the law itself cannot forgive sin or give us eternal life. Notice that a key phrase in verse 22 helps explain another analogous phrase in verse 23 since they effectively have the same meaning:
"But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law."
Before we had faith in Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, we were in a state guilty of sin. After accepting Jesus' sacrifice by faith, however, "we are no longer under a tutor" (verse 25). This obviously does not mean we can sin with impunity, and violate God's laws against (say) having sex outside of marriage. After all, as explained above, the law defines what is and isn't sin, since
"Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4).
It is absurd to think that our Creator abolished the law, which then would allow us to do anything we wanted without sin charged against us. Christians are to live a transformed life, and to stop sinning since
"the requirement of the Law [would] be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).
Instead, what was removed was the penalty inflicted by the law when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, since
"the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Although the "dispensationalist" definition of "under the law" does appear in Galatians 4:4, 21, the overwhelming point of Galatians was to prove that gentiles didn't need to receive circumcision (note the "bottom-line" conclusion in Galatians 5:2, 11-12), not that (say) they were free to disobey the laws against murder, theft, adultery, etc. Clearly, being under grace no more releases Christians from observing the Sabbath or paying tithes than from obeying the law against adultery or avoiding theft, since it is too general a principle just to abolish the former without wiping out the latter.
Jesus kept the commandments for us
Christ did fulfill the law, but how does this principle obliterate (say) the clean/unclean meat distinction, but keeps in force the laws against idolatry or lying? After all, no conservative Christian would dream of saying that because Jesus obeyed the laws against adultery and stealing, Christians can be adulterers and thieves after accepting Him as their personal Savior. So why does the fact that Jesus observed the Sabbath (Luke 4:16; Mark 2:27-28) prove that we do not have to obey it today ourselves? On the contrary, the fact that He kept it is evidence that we should also, since
"Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked." (1John 2:6, HBFV)
Exactly how did Jesus "fulfill" the law? Did he "fulfill" it prophetically, by being the one to whom it pointed in type? No doubt, the abolition of the animal sacrifices is explainable in this manner, since they portrayed His sacrifice in advance, such as when the sacrifice of Passover lambs took place in the Temple,
"For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed" (1Corinthians 5:7; cf. Hebrews 9:9-14; 10:1-18).
Did he "fulfill" the law by literally obeying all its commands that applied to Him personally? Did He abolish it by obeying it? He denies this kind of interpretation in Matthew 5:17:
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill."
If the word "fulfill" means "abolish," or some other word that amounts to the same thing, then Christ contradicted himself: "I did not come to abolish, but to [abolish]." True, it is sensible to assume that all laws which have only a prophetic/typological function, such as the animal sacrifices, could be abolished by Jesus becoming the sacrifice Himself for humanity, thus replacing them once for all time (Hebrews 10:14). However, how does Jesus' obedience to (say) the laws against idolatry, stealing, or coveting release us from having to obey the same laws? Furthermore, what text says that because Jesus obeyed the Sabbath, therefore, we do not have to today? Notice that the word "fulfill" can also mean to obey. For example, in Galatians 5:16 (KJV):
"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill [i.e., 'carry out' - NASB] the lust of the flesh."
Likewise, there is James 2:8:
"If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well.'"
Now, was the Sabbath a command that pointed exclusively to Christ, and had no other typological or memorial functions? Is not the Sabbath a commandment that makes a continuous moral requirement of people, much like the laws against stealing, lying, and idolatry? It is not only typological in nature, unlike the animal sacrifices (Hebrews 9:9-10). Since it is, Jesus' acts of obedience to it (re: Luke 4:16) cannot release us from it.
Since the creation of the Sabbath occurred before sin entered into the world on the seventh day of "creation week," it could not mainly have a typological function. This is because there was no need yet then for a Savior to die for humanity's sins. The Fourth Commandment itself makes it clear that it had a memorial function, and was not merely a way to mark off Israel as being different from the gentiles surrounding them:
"For in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it." (Exodus 20:11, HBFV)
Therefore, since the Sabbath is a memorial of creation, any typological functions came after its creation in Genesis 2.
"And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He rested? from all His work which God had created and made." (Genesis 2:2-3, HBFV)
Since the Sabbath isn't typological mainly in meaning or in origin, and since it makes continuous requirements of humanity as individuals, much like the laws against murder or adultery that Christ's sacrifice couldn't fulfill (or do) for us, Christ's obedience to the seventh-day command (i.e., "fulfilling it") cannot be seen as a reason for its abolition.
The New Covenant abolishes the fourth commandment
Is it true that since Christians are under the new covenant and not the old covenant, they don't have to observe the Sabbath? This argument bites off more than it can chew as well. Who believes that Christians do not have to obey the laws against murder or theft because of the new covenant? Why should the Sabbath be treated any differently then? Consider carefully the central text about the new covenant prophetically, which the author of Hebrews quoted to show the old covenant had ended (Jeremiah 31:31-34; cf. Hebrews 8:8-12):
"Behold, the days come,' says the LORD, 'that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, . Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them,' says the LORD;
"'But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,' says the LORD, 'I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD;’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' says the LORD. 'For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.'" (Jeremiah 31:31-34, HBFV)
Now, so far as this text reveals, exactly how does the new covenant change the contents of the Old Testament's law? How does the phrase, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it," abolish any requirements of the law? All the new covenant does, so far as this passage in Jeremiah proves, is that the method of the administration of the law has changed. Christians will have the Holy Spirit to help them to obey the commandments (Romans 8:4; Acts 2:38). But before Christ died, most of Israel didn't have such supernatural help (cf. John 16:7-14). Israel, except for a few inspired prophets and kings, had to try to obey the law by their own physical strength. When agreeing to the old covenant (or the Ten Commandments as a possibly separate covenant) they said:
"All that the Lord has spoken we will do!" (Exodus 19:7; 24:3).
Their promise was shortly broken thereafter, when they worshiped the Golden Calf (Exodus 32). By trying to obey God by their own strength, they failed, which was why the author of Hebrews said, the fault lay with the people, not the laws to which they had agreed (Hebrews 8:7-8):
"For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them . . ."
One of the Galatians' central errors was to try to obey the Almighty by fulfilling physical requirements of the ceremonial law instead of using the Holy Spirit to become righteous.
"This only I desire to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit of God by works of law, or by the hearing of faith? . . . Therefore consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you, and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith? . . . In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:2, 5, 14, HBFV - see also Galatians 5:5)
However, since Christians have the law written onto their hearts by the Holy Spirit under the new dispensation, the law's spiritual requirements actually have been expanded, as Jesus explained in the Sermon on the Mount. For example, the law against adultery became also a prohibition against a man lusting after a woman in his heart, not just a prohibition of the physical act (Matthew 5:27-28). Here Jesus fulfilled His prophesied role to make the law greater, or to magnify it (Isaiah 42:19, 21). Far from abolishing it, under the new administration of the new covenant, its requirements actually have been intensified!
Ten Commandments and equal to the Old Covenant
Is it true that because the Ten Commandments are identical to the old covenant, that when the covenant was abolished so was keeping the Sabbath? This argument harnesses Deuteronomy 4:13; 9:9-11; Hebrews 8:13 in order to argue its point. But does anybody advocating this argument really believe it? Does anybody believe that the day before Jesus died, murder was a sin according to God's law, but the day after it was permissible because the Sixth Commandment ended? Actually, if somebody believes nine of the Ten Commandments are still in force (besides the Sabbath command), and that the old covenant is identical to the Ten Commandments, then they believe that the old covenant is still nine-tenths in force! Likewise, we find Paul and James quoting from this allegedly abolished law as if it were still in force (Romans 7:7; 9:9; Ephesians 6:2-3; James 2:8, 11). They were not giving these laws authority by quoting them; rather, they supported their own arguments by citing a pre-existing authority (the Old Testament's law). After all,
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" (2Timothy 3:16, HBFV)
In addition, if the Ten Commandments are identical to the old covenant, then not all other Old Testament laws outside of the Decalogue ended by the old covenant's end. After all, neither circumcision and the animal sacrifices, nor tithing, the Holy Days, and the clean/unclean meat distinction, are a part of the Ten Commandments. How does this argument prove the abolishment of the whole "Law of Moses" after Jesus' death? Likewise, if this argument is correct, any text mentioning the "law" could have "old covenant" inserted into it as a substitute since the two are identical. This produces many absurd results, especially when examining Paul's "pro-law" texts:
"Do we then nullify the [old covenant] through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the [old covenant]" (Romans 3:31).
"Sin is not imputed when there is no [old covenant]" (Romans 5:13).
"In order that the requirement of the [old covenant] might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).
"So then, the [old covenant] is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good" (Romans 7:12).
"I agree with the [old covenant], confessing that it is good" (Romans 7:16)."For not the hearers of the [old covenant] are just before God, but the doers of the [old covenant] will be justified" (Romans 2:13).
What could be more absurd? The real error in the "Old Covenant = Ten Commandments" equation is that a covenant is really a contract (formal agreement) to keep the law, not the law itself. Even in the Deuteronomy 9:9, the "tablets of the covenant" are not the same thing as the covenant itself. After all, if the philosopher Aristotle had owned a chair, and so it was "the chair of Aristotle," or Aristotle's chair, the chair obviously is not identical to its owner! A genitive pronoun, "of" in English here, indicates possession, or who "owns" what. It hardly proves the two are the same exact same thing! Therefore, the old covenant's end no more abolishes the Sabbath than the law against murder.
Jesus is the end of obedience
Christ is the end of the law as the apostle Paul writes,
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4).
However, does this text abolish the law against murder or theft? Even unbelievers might find that a mental stretch! If this text does away with the Sabbath command, would not it also abolish the laws against coveting or dishonoring our parents? Furthermore, would not Paul be contradicting himself? Why would Paul say the law is "good," "spiritual," and "holy," and the commandment "holy," "righteous," and "good," three chapters earlier, only to abolish it later in the same letter? Two chapters earlier he wrote about Christians fulfilling the "requirements of the Law" by not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:4). At this point, it is necessary to engage in some systematic hermeneutics (methods of discovering the meaning of Scripture). To quote Paul's "anti-law" texts, but ignore his statements that promote obedience, is the sloppiest, most deceptive form of Biblical exegesis imaginable. It can only convince and impress the ignorant. The basic solution to resolving Paul's initially seemingly contradictory views on the law is to note that Paul condemns the use of the law as a means to gain imputed righteousness, justification, or salvation, but approves of it as a guide to conduct and moral actions. Hence, he tells the Romans,
"We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28).
He condemned the Galatians for "seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4) when they sought to be circumcised, a rite in Judaism analogous to baptism for Christians, that marks the initial stage of the conversion/salvation process. So when we turn to Romans 10:4, obviously enough it does not say the "law ended" per se, but that it ended "for righteousness," a state of being judged innocent of sin. So even given the "termination" interpretation of Romans 10:4, it cannot prove that a given law ended, but rather it ended a dispensation in which people (the Jews) sought to be righteous by obeying the law. However, did God ever intend that His people, in any time or place, ever to have the ability to justify themselves, to make themselves free from guilt for violating the law, by obeying the law? Even this interpretation goes astray, since the Greek word translated "end," which is "telos," can also mean "goal," as the NASB margin for this verse reminds us. Hence, since the law cannot make us righteous (free from guilt for violating it), it makes us turn to Christ for a solution to our existential dilemma. Only through faith in Jesus' sacrifice can our sins be taken off us (i.e., justified), and only through the Holy Spirit being placed in us can we ultimately be given eternal life.
Jesus is the solution for sin. Notice that "righteousness" can be both:
Actual, a sanctified state in which we have developed the habits of obeying God's law
Imputed, a justified state in which God arbitrarily (by our faith in Jesus) judges us innocent of sin, although we are guilty intrinsically.
On the one hand, Paul wrote about actual righteousness in Romans 6.
"Don’t you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"(Romans 6:16, HBFV)
Hence, Romans 10:4 could not mean that Christ ended a dispensation in which people obeyed the law in order to become actually righteous, or else Paul contradicted himself. Then, Paul plainly believed in imputed righteousness as well:
"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10, HBFV)
Plainly enough, Paul was not contradicting himself about how we gain righteousness, but rather is describing two kinds of righteousness, one imputed, one of which is actual. Hence, Romans 10:4 does not mean that the law ceased to exist, which then would legalize adultery and murder, not just Sabbath-breaking, nor does it mean that Christ's sacrifice ended a dispensation during which people (the Jews) were actually authorized by God to gain righteousness (an innocent, guilt-free, justified state) by their own efforts.
Letter of the law removed
Is it true that since we "rest in Christ" spiritually we keep the Sabbath command every day of the week and do not need to rest on a particular day? One of the main texts trotted out to prop up this kind of argument is in 2Corinthians 3.
"Who also made us competent as ministers of the New Covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in stones, came into being with glory, so that the children of Israel were not able to gaze upon Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, which glory is being set aside; Shall not the ministry of the Spirit be far more glorious?" (2Corinthians 3:6-8, HBFV)
But can those spewing forth this argument swallow all of its consequences? If the law against working from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset no longer is valid in its literal letter so Christians can work on it, is it literally permissible to murder, steal, lie, etc. likewise? Does the new covenant prohibit hating our brother in our heart, which is the spirit of the law that prohibits murder (Matthew 5:22-24; 1John 3:15), but allow the literal murdering of others? Why does abolishing the letter of the law only seem to affect the disputed Old Testament laws listed above, not (say) the Nine Commandments no conservative Christian would dispute? Furthermore, the commandment against coveting always concerned a prohibition of certain thoughts, not outward actions. Therefore, it is wrong to say that the old covenant only concerned the regulation of outward actions.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, spoken while the old covenant was yet in force, noted that the law against adultery also prohibited a man lusting after a woman in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28), and the command against murder also prohibited insulting one's brother, not just physically ending his life (Matthew 5:21-22). Actually, the text cited above from 2Corinthians 3 merely is another way to state the truth of Jeremiah 31:31-34: The law no longer written on tablets of stone merely, but on human hearts. Notice what Paul wrote earlier in verses 2-3:
"You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on tables of human hearts."
So although the administration of the law changed such that the literal writing of the Ten Commandments on stone no longer mattered (i.e., it was only an obsolete "holy relic," cf. Hebrews 8:5; 9:23), the law's principles are now written on Christians' hearts through the Holy Spirit, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:33:
"I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it."
Again, both Jeremiah 31 and 2Corinthians 3 concern a change in the administration of the law, not a change in its specific requirements, so far as these texts reveal. Notice also that Paul, even in 2Corinthians 3:6, still believes that the law is in force, because "the letter kills" (present tense), not that it "did kill" (past tense). "The Spirit gives life" because it is by the Holy Spirit that salvation is given conditionally to converted Christians. The Spirit is a "pledge" (2Corinthians 5:6) of the salvation to come:
"In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14; cf. 4:30).
It is by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is within us, since "the Lord is the Spirit" (2Corinthians 3:17), and so is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). it is actually Jesus in us who helps us to obey the law, both in its spirit and in its letter. But, notice, having the Holy Spirit as a source of salvation by itself does not change the specific contents of God's commands. Does having the Holy Spirit abolish the requirement to avoid worshiping false gods or making graven images? Hardly! To summarize, the end of the administration of laws without the Spirit as an aid does not end the laws themselves, nor does the end of the death penalty inflicted by them.
Love sets us free from law
Does expressing love towards God and our fellow man allow Christians to avoid obeying particular commandments? For example, it is been argued that because Paul said loving our neighbor "fulfills" the law, therefore, the specific points of the Ten Commandments are gone.
"Do not be indebted to anyone for anything, unless it is to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law Because it says, 'You shall not commit adultery. You shall not commit murder. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not lust.' And if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, even by this standard: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does not do any wrong to its neighbor; therefore, love is the full expression of God’s law." (Romans 13:8-10, HBFV)
However, does any conservative Christian seriously believe that the specific commands against stealing, adultery, or murder have been abolished? Why does the principle of love abolish the Sabbath, but not the laws against coveting or idolatry? Here Paul was merely summarizing in the shortest possible form the overall principle of the law: We are to show love to our neighbor and God. However, just as reading a book review does not eliminate the need to read the book it describes if one wishes to know it in depth, the principle of love does not abolish the specific points in the law. It defines love so that human beings do not go around cooking up their own definitions of "love" to suit their own convenience or desires. It still must have specific points that express God's will for guiding our actions and thoughts, or else we are left on our own to invent definitions of "love." Notice that the law quoted in verse 9, the second of the two Great Commandments,
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself,"
is actually a quote from Leviticus 19:18. How does citing from the law abolish it? When Jesus Himself quoted the two Great Commandments (Matthew 22:37-40), He obviously wasn't abolishing any specific points of the Old Testament law by merely commenting on them. Likewise, Paul's citation of these laws in Romans 13 shows that he believed that they were still in force. After all, would he cite the Tenth Commandment (against coveting) in Romans 7:7 only to abolish it six chapters later? The mere fact anti-Sabbatarians will desperately seize upon a mere summarization as a way to abolish its specific points shows how desperate they are to rush off to work, the store, or the game on the seventh day of the week.
Nailing the Sabbath on the cross
The seemingly most relevant text cited to support this assertion is Colossians 2.
"For you, who were once dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has now made alive with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses. He has blotted out the note of debt against us with the decrees of our sins, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14, HBFV)
The translation here prevents the misleading interpretation read into the KJV's translation, which has "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances," which would seem to be a reference to the Old Testament law in general. The term translated "handwriting" in the KJV and "certificate of debt" in the NASB is "cheirographon," which means
"a (handwritten) document, specif. a certificate of indebtedness, bond," according to the Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon (p. 880).
Hence, it was our sins (i.e., our debts owed to God) committed for violating the law, not the law itself, that were nailed to the "stake." Here it is necessary to keep the soteriological terms in their proper logical relationship with each other, since being forgiven for our sins for breaking the law does not entail abolishing the law itself. (Ending the law itself wouldn't remove from us the guilt assessed from previously committed violations anyway). Does anyone really believe that God abolished the laws against stealing, murder, idolatry, lying, coveting, or adultery when His Son died? It was a sin, a transgression of the law, to murder the day before Jesus died, and it remained a sin the day after He died. Why is the Sabbath command singled out as a law abolished by Jesus' crucifixion and death, but not the others?
What is the conclusion of the matter?
If Evangelical Protestants are going to attack the Sabbath, it is time for them to stop using broad, general, even vacuous, arguments against God's law that trash not just the Sabbath, the Holy Days, tithing, and the clean and unclean meat distinction, but laws they believe in, such as the prohibitions against murder, theft, adultery, coveting, and idolatry. It is time for them to stop proclaiming the name of Christ as a substitute for reasoned Biblical exegesis and careful soteriological analysis.
Those who are against God's Sabbath day should stop using bombastic arguments against it calculated to sound emotionally pleasing, but which blow away many laws that they believe in also. The double-talk about the Old Testament law being in force yet not in force should also be dropped. Those against the seventh day of rest should cease using arguments that use sentimental and erroneous rhetoric.