Is it a sin to work on a Sunday?

Exodus 20:8-10 says:
8“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  9You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God.  On that day no one in your household may do any work.  (NLT)

As one of the Ten Commandments, the command to observe the Sabbath was a fundamental law for the nation of Israel.  In addition to one day a week, every seventh year was to be a “Sabbath year” in which no crops were to be planted and the land was to rest.  Then every seventh Sabbath year was to be followed by a year of Jubilee.  In the year of Jubilee, debts were forgiven, slaves were set free and property was returned to its original owner with exceptions being allowed for debts, slaves and property depending on circumstances.

This practice of Sabbath and its strict enforcement allowed for a healthy people, land and economy.

However, we are dead to the Law.  Romans 7:4 says, “4So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ.”  (NLT)  Therefore, we are free to keep the Sabbath or not. 

This being said, two qualifications need to be kept in mind.

First, whatever is not of faith is sin.  Using the example of our freedom to eat what we please, Romans 14:23 says:
But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it.  For you are not following your convictions.  If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.  (NLT)

Second, although we are free to do as our conscience directs us, not everything is good for us.  1 Corinthians 10:23 says:
You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is good for you.  You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is beneficial.  (NLT)

Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”  (Mark 2:27, NLT)  Our minds and bodies need rest.  To deprive yourself of rest is to invite fatigue, accidents and illness.  Although it is not a sin to work on Sunday, God established a day of rest for our benefit.


The Ten Commandments are part of the Law, and as such, we are free from the Law.  However, the Ten Commandments are based on God’s perfect moral law.  Thus, they are based on how the universe works.  The principles behind the Ten Commandments are inviolable and unchanging.  Whether a person is a believer or an atheist, any person who observes the principles laid out in the Ten Commandments will be better off for it.  

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