Skeptics argue that these verses contradict Paul’s later statements that the Sabbath commandment was temporary and believers could decide for themselves regarding its observance (Rom. 14:5; Col. 2:14–16).
Scripture makes it clear that no one can be justified (made right with God) by keeping the Sabbath holy, or by keeping any other Commandment. All the Law does is bring the knowledge of sin to show us that we need a Savior. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Law, which means we can be made right with God through faith in Him alone (see Eph. 2:8,9). Believers now serve in the spirit, not the letter of the law, and the principle behind the Sabbath is this: Just as God created for six days then rested on the seventh, man is to work for six days and rest on the seventh—to cease working. Those who trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross have ceased trying to be justified through their own efforts and instead find their rest in Him. (See Heb. 4:3,10.) That is why keeping the Sabbath is a non-issue for Christians when it comes to eternal salvation. It is simply a matter of conscience. Christians have incredible liberty—no one can tell us what we must eat or drink, or what days we must observe.
“The spiritual rest which God especially intends in this commandment is that we not only cease from our labor and trade but much more—that we let God alone work in us, and that in all our powers we do nothing of our own.” Martin Luther
Exodus 35:1 Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, “These are the words which the Lord has commanded you to do:2 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.