The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Pastor Robert J. Sargent
From The Beacon, March 2016
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together...” (Acts 20:7)
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is the day Bible-believing Christians assemble together in one place as one body in Christ — as the Lord’s church.
WHY THE “FIRST DAY?”
There are three reasons why our church meets on the first day of the week:
First: it is “Resurrection Day” — the day we commemorate Christ’s resurrection.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it ... And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for HE IS RISEN, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:1-6)
“Now when Jesus was risen early the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils” (Mark 16:9)
Second: it is the day when the early New Testament churches consistently met.
“Then the same day at evening, being the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:19-21)
“And after eight days AGAIN his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you” (John 20:26)
“And upon the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7)
“Upon the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2)
Third: it honors the principle of putting God FIRST in our lives. For example:
“But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness — Matthew 6:33.
“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the FIRSTfruits of all thine increase” — Proverbs 3:9.
Giving Christ the first day of the week helps keep the right perspective on life!
IS SUNDAY A “HOLY” DAY?
We do not observe the first day of the week in the way Israel kept the Sabbath. Believers are not under the Law.
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an HOLYDAY, or of the new moon, or of the SABBATH DAYS: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17)
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye OBSERVE days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11)
Our Sabbath (the word means “rest”) is found in Jesus Christ.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“For we which have believed do enter into REST, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into MY REST: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3)
“There remaineth therefore a REST to the people of God. For he that is entered into HIS REST, he also hath ceased from his own work...” (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Yet, the Lord’s Day is a holy day in that it is set apart as unto the Lord.
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, REGARDETH IT UNTO THE LORD; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it...” (Romans 14:5-6)
IS IT A SIN TO “SKIP” CHURCH?
Yes, if we deliberately forsake assembling with our church! (Illness, and unavoidable travel, employment, deployment, etc. wouldn’t be considered a “forsaking.”)
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)
Honoring the Lord’s Day after the New Testament pattern and example plays absolutely no part in our salvation — but it does in our sanctification!
“And he gave some...pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:23-24)