Are there any ordinances or holydays that we should be keeping today in this age of grace?
Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) Are there any ordinances or holydays that we should be keeping today in this age of grace?
(A) We need to answer this question according to 2 Timothy 2: 15 which states: 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. You cannot understand the Bible properly until you know that it needs to be rightly divided as it says in the verse above. In other words you need to understand the Bible from a Dispensational prospective to rightly divide the scriptures. This is the key to Bible study. If you are not familiar with Dispensationalism please read my article in the FAQ section about the word Dispensation and the different Dispensations found in the Bible.
When you begin to understand the Bible Dispensationally you will find that the whole Bible is about either the Jewish nation of Israel or the Gentiles. All of the Bible that is talking about the nation of Israel can also be referred to as Prophecy or the law, (this is around two-thirds of the Bible). The rest of the Bible talking about the Gentiles can also be referred to as the Mystery or day of grace, (this is the other one-third of the Bible). Prophecy and Mystery, Jews and Gentiles are two separate programs that cannot be mixed together for proper understanding of God’s Word. Prophecy in the Bible runs from Genesis through Micah; Matthew through Acts; Hebrews through Revelation. Mystery runs from Romans through Philemon.
I will be getting back to our original question in a little while, but first you need to understand that all of our doctrine today comes through the writings of the Apostle Paul which include Romans through Philemon. These books were given by God to Paul, to give to us today who are Gentiles. Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles. Romans 11: 13: 13For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: also let’s look at Acts 9: 15-16: 15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Looking at these verses in your Bible you will find that they are referring to Paul.
The rest of the Bible is for our learning, but not for our doctrine. Romans 15: 4: 4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. As Gentiles all the Bible is for us, but it is not all written to us or about us. So when you study a particular book in the Bible you need to find out who that book was written to or about. Was it written to the Jewish nation of Israel or was it written to the Gentile? Remember, only the books written by Paul to and about the Gentiles are for our obedience or our doctrine, (again only the books of Romans through Philemon were written to and about the Gentiles)
In 1 Corinthians 14: 37-38 Paul makes it clear that the things he writes about came from God and are for our doctrine: 37If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. If you don’t believe what Paul writes in his epistles you will remain ignorant of God’s plan for His church today, called THE BODY OF CHRIST!
So now back to our question “are there any ordinances or holydays that we should be keeping today in this age of grace”?
Colossians 2: 8-23: 8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16Let 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: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
IT should be very clear from the above verses from Colossians that NO, there are no ordinances or holydays that we need to keep today in this age of grace to please God. However almost all of our churches today have days which they believe should be kept and believe you are sinning if you don’t keep them. Paul through inspiration of the Holy Spirit say’s, NO, none, zip, zero. Look at Galatians 4: 8-11 8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Today, there is much confusion and disagreement over the subject of water baptism. Again most churches today teach that water baptism is an ordinance that should be kept. Some believe it is needed for security of salvation and others feel it is the outward sign of your salvation. I am a Christian, a true believer in what Christ did at Calvary; HE paid for all my sins with no works of any kind required. It’s faith plus nothing today! Christ did it all, I did nothing but believe.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1: 17: 17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 1 Corinthians 12: 13 says 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. When we first believed the gospel of our salvation we were baptized by the Holy Spirit into THE BODY OF CHRIST. This was not water baptism, but Holy Spirit baptism. If we were to be water baptized that would make two baptisms, once by the Holy Spirit, once with water. The next two verses from Ephesians 4: 4-5 tells us that there is only one baptism for the believer today: 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One more scripture I want you to look at before we move on is Ephesians 1: 13-14: 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. No water baptism here, just belief.
THE LORD’S SUPPER A NEW TESTAMENT CELEBRATION
With all the above said we need to look at the Lord’s supper talked about in 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26: Paul is talking here, 23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Here are a few facts about the Lord’s Supper for us today in this age of grace:
The Lords Supper is a New Testament Celebration, a memorial or something that keeps remembrance alive. See verses 24, 25, and 26 above from 1 Corinthians 11. It is not an ordinance!
The Lord’s Supper was never imposed upon us.
The Lord’s Supper was never for salvation.
The Lord’s Supper (in its present form) is associated with our Lord’s rejection and absence.
The Lord’s Supper speaks of the finished work of Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated again and again.
The Lord’s Supper was included in Paul’s special commission.
We have liberty today in Christ to celebrate the Lord’s Supper any time of our choosing. It should however be a least once a year. I celebrate it about every other month. We want to keep it as a special memorial and not make a ritual out of it by thinking that we have to celebrate it a certain number of times or on a particular day. Galatians 5: 1 talks of our liberty: 1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Now don’t get me wrong from what I have said here. God wants us to worship Him in the right way. We can attend church services with other believers and give God the praise that He deserves, but it should be more of a Bible study learning the Word of God rightly divided according to the Mystery given to Paul by God to give to us. It should be a true grace church where they teach the grace message and understand dispensationalism knowing how to rightly divide the scriptures according to prophecy and the Mystery as I talked about in the beginning of this article. God does not set down rules and regulations for us today because we are under grace, and again we have been given liberty, not to sin, but to serve God and serve others to God’s glory. We should want to do what is pleasing to God of our own free will. We can still sin, but our sins cannot condemn us because we have Christ Righteousness dwelling in us and we know that Christ paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future. When I know that I have sinned, I say “thank you Father for your throne of grace.”
In conclusion, there are no ordinances or holydays today that God requires for us to keep, including the Sabbath day. Believers can gather anywhere, anytime to worship or praise God and study His Word the Holy Bible, even at home. In my case we do not have any true grace churches in our area so 6 or 7 of us meet at the home of the man who brought us this “mystery” message given to Paul, call the dispensation of the grace of God. This grace message brings true peace in our lives as we live for our Lord helping others to come to the full knowledge of His will in this age of grace. Colossians 1: 9-14 9For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
May God’s free gift of grace be exemplified in your life.
Maranatha ( Lord come)