The Sabbath and the Gospel

Speaker: Categories: Apr 08, 1995


[56min, 39sec / 30min, 50sec]


This month's speaker and topic, as happens quite often, were suggested by a member of the San Diego Forum who felt that it would be beneficial to hear Dr. Ford's conclusions regarding the Sabbath question based on his ongoing biblical research. So, the invitation was extended and, as always, most graciously accepted.

As with all aspects of ones spiritual understanding, the concept of the Sabbath, its meaning and importance, undergoes change. Undoubtedly, many readers of this newsletter will be caused to recall how their thinking about the Sabbath has changed over the years. Dr. Ford notes, "To some Adventists the Sabbath has been a means of spiritual grace and a special family day .... To others it has, at least on occasions, been a legalistic burden and a separating wall from other Christians." Would you agree?

"Modern New Testament exegetes," Dr. Des continues, "are agreed that Christ never violated or rescinded the seventh-day Sabbath, although he vehemently opposed the Pharisaic perversions. Insights from form criticism testify that the day was alive and well in the early Christian church although not all were agreed on the manner of the observance."

But what of the many arguments offered by Sunday-keeping churches that the seventh-day Sabbath was replaced in the New Testament by an observance of Sunday, the day on which Christ was resurrected? Is there no biblical evidence to support this view?

Not according to Dr. Ford. He comments, "Out of the one-hundred fifty [New Testament] passages that actually name the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, only one is negative (Colossians 2:16). To that text we will give special attention [on April 8]."


Or. Desmond Ford is not a newcomer to the San Diego Adventist Forum Chapter, having spoken here on four previous occasions on Perils of a Christian Bureaucracy, 10/81; The Book of Revelation Revisited, 1/87; Des Ford Speaks on Good News Unlimited, 8/89; and The New Age Octopus, 1/91. He, a native of Australia, became a Seventh-day Adventist at age sixteen and, training at Avondale College, spent seven years as an evangelist and colporteur. Since those early years he has earned two PhDs, one in Rhetoric from Michigan State and the other in New Testament from Manchester University, England, where he was a student and personal friend of the late Dr. F. F. Bruce.

Dr. Ford has taught in Seventh-day Adventist Colleges for twenty years and has chaired the Bible Department at Avondale. He has written over sixteen books, among which the titles of Daniel, and Crisis!, and Worth More Than a Million are best known.

He is respected as an in-depth Bible scholar and as an evangelical preacher. His current ministry at Good News Unlimited, Auburn, California (thirty miles northeast of Sacramento) includes a fifteen-minute daily and a thirty-minute weekly radio broadcast as well as a weekly telecast, Worth More Than a Million.

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