Holidays and the Bible

holidaysSUBJECT: Holidays

TITLE: Holidays and the Bible

PROPOSITION: To look at some basic questions regarding observed holidays.

OBJECTIVE: That each Christian would know the biblical principles governing holidays.

AIM: To teach the biblical principles concerning holidays and discuss how we respect holidays today without offending God.


1. Read: Romans 14:5, 6

2. About the Text:

1) The Bible speaks regarding how a Christian ought to regard holidays.

2) This passage, along with Galatians 4:9-11 give us some principles to consider when talking about the subject.

3) What can we learn from these principles regarding our observation of holidays today?

3. Some holidays that our nation observes.

1) New Years

2) Birthday Holidays

3) Good Friday/Easter

4) Memorial Day

5) 4th of July

6) Labor Day

7) Thanksgiving

8) Christmas

4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   Why does our society have holidays?

1. Historically, holidays were religious days.

1) Holiday = holy day

2) Under the Old Testament holy days were mandatory.

a. Passover (yearly) – Exodus 12:16

b. Sabbath Day (weekly) – Exodus 20:8

c. Pentecost (yearly) – Leviticus 23:15-22

d. Day of Atonement (yearly) – Leviticus 23:27

e. Feast of Booths/Tabernacles (yearly) – Leviticus 23:34

f. Year of Jubilee (50 years) – Leviticus 25:10ff

3) Today our society recognizes certain religious holidays

a. Christmas

b. Easter

c. Hanukkah

d. Ramadan, etc.

e. Societies’ recognition of a holiday doesn’t necessarily constitute that we must observe such a day religiously.

2. Non-Religious Holidays

1) Days that honor men and their achievements.

a. Birthdays – President’s birthdays, MLK birthday, and personal birthdays.

b. Columbus Day.

c. Labor Day.

2) Days that honor military sacrifice.

a. Memorial Day.

b. Veterans Day.

3) Days that honor special concepts.

a. New Year’s Day – renewal.

b. Valentine’s Day – love.

c. 4th of July – independence.

d. Thanksgiving – thankfulness.

II.  Does the New Testament authorize holidays today?

1. Yes, to some degree.

1) We are authorized to give honor to whom honor is due, custom to whom custom.

a. Romans 13:7 “Honor to whom honor is due.”

b. 1 Peter 2:17 “Honor all men.”

c. Special birthdays, Notable achievement, military sacrifice, etc.

2) We are authorized to respect the government.

a. Romans 13:1 – we must be in subjection to the higher authorities.

b. 1 Peter 2:13 – we must subject ourselves to the ordinances of man.

c. New Year’s day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, some religious days.

d. Inasmuch as the government grants workers time off to observe these days, Christians have the right to participate in the benefits of such days.

e. The governments’ legislation of a religious observance, however, would not necessitate the Christian’s religious observance of such a day.

a) Example of early Christian’s refusal to worship Caesar.

b) Must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

2. There is only one holy day that we have the obligation to observe today.

1) The first day of the week.

2) Acts 20:7

3) 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2

4) Revelation 1:10 – Lord’s day.

5) Recognition of all other religious holidays is up to the individual: Romans 14:5, 6.

6) They are not commanded as Christian practice: Galatians 4:9-11.

7) They could be unauthorized if trying to make something out of it that it is not.

III. What should I do about Christmas and Easter?

1. Out of all of the holidays, these two provoke the most thought from Christians.

1) Many religious folks observe these days as religious holy days of worship.

2) We find no authority in the New Testament to observe…

a. The birthday of Jesus as a holy, religious day in worship to God.

b. A specific day of the year of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

c. We have authority to celebrate the day of the week of Jesus resurrection.

3) Given the constant press of those claiming to be Christians to celebrate such days, what is the Christian to do?

2. First, we must respect Romans 12:1, 2.

1) Just because the world is doing it doesn’t mean that we have to conform to it.

2) Our righteousness does not come from imposed religious days (Romans 10:1-3).

3) To impose self-appointed righteousness is to fail to respect the righteousness of God.

4) It is to worship God vainly (Matthew 15:9).

5) At the same time, to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas isn’t sinful.

6) To remember the resurrection of Jesus at Easter isn’t sinful.

3. Second, this doesn’t mean that we must neglect the secular aspects of these holidays.

1) There is a difference between the secular and the religious, the holy and the common (Acts 10:14, 15).

2) Provided that secular matters do not involve us in sinful activity, we have all things secularly (1 Cor.3:21-23).

3) All good blessings come from God (James 1:17).

4) God gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Tim.6:17).

5) All things are lawful, but not all are expedient (1 Cor.10:23).

6) We must discern between what is right and wrong (Hebrews 5:14).


1. We have only touched upon a few matters regarding religious holidays.

1) My aim has been to give you some principles with which to be able to discern what the right thing is to do.

2) In this regard we have no authority…

a. To legislate such events.

b. To observe such events religiously as worship activities.

c. To cause our brother to stumble.

d. Conform ourselves to the world.

3) We do have authority to…

a. Recognize the first day of the week.

b. Honor all men.

c. Remember the resurrection of Jesus at any time of the year.

d. Remember the birth of Jesus as any time of the year.

e. Render custom to where custom is due.

f. Respect the government.

g. Recognize the difference between the secular and the religious.

h. Enjoy God’s blessings.

2. Invitation