the law

Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for us. The New Testament makes it clear that keeping the sabbath is a matter of spiritual freedom through the following verses.

Colossians 2:16-17 – 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. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Romans 14:5 – One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

This is a pretty cut and clear case. Galatians, Romans, Hebrews and Ephesians makes it very clear that we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works of the law. 

Romans 3:31 does state, however, that we uphold the law. While we can’t be saved by keeping the law, we should live in accordance with it. The law shows us our need for Christ. Also, remember, part of the sabbath law was a death penalty for those who failed to keep it ( Exodus 35:2-3 ). Jesus said the sabbath was made for man, not man for sabbath, and that Jesus Christ is Lord over the sabbath.

Are Christians Supposed to keep the law?

the law

I’ll let the verses from Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Hebrews speak for themselves with minor commentary.


Romans 3:20 – For by works of the law no human being[a] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.


This means we are not saved by keeping the law, but it is there to show us our sin.

Romans 3:23-25: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

^ we are saved by grace through faith. 

Romans 3:28: For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

^ again, not by the law but by faith

Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes

^ Christ is the END of the law. 

Romans 10:9: because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

^saved, not by keeping the law, but by confessing Jesus and believing in him

Romans 11:6: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

^ talking about works of the law

Galatians 1:8: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

^ another gospel would be saying that Christians are bound to the law

Galatians 2:15: We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[a] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

^ we are saved not by works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ! No one is justified by works of the law because no one can keep the law perfectly except Christ, because even if you ever broke 1 law, you broke the whole thing

James 2:10: 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.

Galatians 2:21: 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[a] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

^ Christ died for no purpose if righteousness (salvation) were through the law

Galatians 3:10-14:   For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”[a] 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit[b] through faith.

If you try to be saved by keeping the law, you are under a curse. No one is justified by the law, but only through faith in Christ Jesus through God’s mercy and grace.

Galatians 3:19-27: Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

^ just read it

Galatians 4:1-7: I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[a] though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles[b] of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

God sent Jesus Christ to redeem us who were under the law

Those who are under the law are compared to as slaves

I recommend you just read the whole book of Galatians at this point.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Saved by grace and not the works of the law, as a gift of God not something we could do or earn ourselves, otherwise Christ died in vain.

Hebrews 7:22: This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

The Old Testament = Old Covenant, the New Testament = New Covenant

The Old Covenant was the Law given to the Jewish people, the New Covenant is open for the gentiles to take part in and partaken in by grace through faith in Christ.

The New Covenant makes the old covenant obsolete.

Now, how are we to relate to the law? We do our best to uphold the law, but also realize that it doesn’t save us (and is impossible for us to keep), rather it points out our sin and a need for a savior, Jesus Christ!

Romans 3:31: Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Because Christ died for our sins, we can be forgiven and be clothed in his righteousness so that we are seen as righteous before God, by our faith!

Also, we do our best not to sin, especially willfully, but we know deep down that we are all sinners, and need a savior. 

I hope this explains everything!