The First Day of the Week


There have been debates, arguments and splits of Christian bodies of believers over what day is The First Day of the Week. Proving whether it is Saturday or Sunday is not the intention of this post today. The purpose of the post is to explain what the day is for and what should be done on that day which ever it is. I wanted to offer that disclaimer, so no one would get distracted about that nuance that is important but not the focus. It’s sort of like not being able to see the forest for the trees.

We go back to Acts 20 as our text today.

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

 

Ligonier Ministries states that “since they were gathered together for worship on The First Day of the Week, the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), this celebration included communion (Acts 2:42) and was not just a fellowship meal (Acts 2:46). We can conclude that The First Day of the Week is the Lord’s Day; therefore, it is a day that belongs to the Lord. Well, all days belong to Him, but there was something special about this day. What was it? Verse 7 tells us. It was a day to break bread and for someone to speak the Word of God. We know that Paul talked until midnight because he was leaving the next day, so speaking to midnight what not the norm. It is clear though that speaking should occur on the Lord’s Day. It also appears that this happen in the evening. Paul could have spoken from the morning to midnight, but it is unlike. It appears that this was a Sunday night service.

1 Corinthians 16:2, we see an expectation of what should transpire on the Lord’s day. Noted commentator Matthew Henry wrote that “The first day of the weekkata mian sabbaton (Luke 24:1), the Lord’s day, the Christian holiday, when public assemblies were held and public worship was celebrated, and the Christian institutions and mysteries (as the ancients called them) were attended upon; then let every one lay by him. It is a day of holy rest; and the more vacation the mind has from worldly cares and toils the more disposition has it to show mercy: and the other duties of the day should stir us up to the performance of this; works of charity should always accompany works of piety.” The accompanying cross-reference is Revelation 1:10 which says, “10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,”

Once more, Matthew Henry wrote “the Christian sabbath, celebrated to the honour of Christ and the Holy Spirit, in remembrance of the resurrection of Christ, and the pouring out of the Spirit, both on The First Day of the Week. This is here said to be the day when the disciples came together, that is, when it was their practice to come together in all the churches. Note, The first day of the week is to be religiously observed by all the disciples of Christ; and it is a sign between Christ and them, for by this it is known that they are his disciples; and it is to be observed in solemn assemblies, which are, as it were, the courts held in the name of our Lord Jesus, and to his honour, by his ministers, the stewards of his courts, to which all that hold from and under him owe suit and service, and at which they are to make their appearance, as tenants at their Lord’s courts, and The First Day of the Week is appointed to be the court-day.”

The First Day of the Week, contrary to our preferences, is not our day to do as we please. The day, as all do, belongs to God. It is a day that He instituted as a day of worship where our triune God is worshiped for the redemption of man won through Christ’s birth, death and resurrection where the Spirit comes to dwell in the one who surrenders his/her life to Christ as Lord and Savior. As disciples or followers of Christ, we worship and break bread, that is to have communion, on the Lord’s Day. It is that special day set aside to remember, rejoice and renew our affections for our God.

While I am one for convenience and maximizing time, it is not my time to maximize. It is a day to honor God. For those who think you do not have to go to church to worship God, you are right. You don’t. We should worship God all day everyday by surrendering our lives to Christ; however, we should also join together with a body of believers as we see in the Word to follow the example God left for us. We cannot deny the example throughout the new testament especially after the gospels where the Lord’s Supper is observed on the The First Day of the Week. 

What are you using The First Day of the Week for? Is it for you or for the Lord? It belongs to Him. Give it to Him.

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