Reformed Baptist Fellowship

The Lord’s Day

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on May 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Consider carefully the following evidence that the redemption accomplished through Christ’s resurrection determined the day for Christian worship:

  1. Jesus Christ arose on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1). He entered into his rest from labor, not on Saturday (the seventh day), but on Sunday (the first day of the week). As Jesus entered into his rest on the first day, so he encourages us to begin the week by resting in the confidence that He will provide for all our needs for seven days with only six days of labor.
  2. Jesus Christ appeared to His assembled disciples on the first day of the week, as well as to Mary and to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (John 20:10; Luke 24:13). By these appearances on the first day of the week, the resurrected Lord set a pattern for meeting with His disciples. They began expecting to meet with Him on the day of his resurrection, which is the first day of the week.
  3. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples one week later on the first day of the week, with doubting Thomas present this time (John 20:26). Already a new pattern of assembly for worship was emerging. God’s new covenant people were making it a habit to assemble together on the first day of the week, the day of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus honored these assemblies by appearing to the disciples at this time, and encouraged their faith in Him as the resurrected Lord.
  4. The resurrected Christ poured out his Spirit on the assembled disciples exactly fifty days after the Sabbath of the Jewish Passover, which was the first day of the week (Acts 2:1; cf. Lev. 23:15–16). The word Pentecost means “fifty,” referring to the fifty days after the Sabbath of the Passover. Forty-nine days would span seven Jewish Sabbaths or Saturdays, and the fiftieth day would then fall on a Sunday, the first day of the week. So it would appear that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on the first day of the week, when God’s new covenant people were assembled for worship. So the pattern would be established more firmly. Both the resurrection of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit occurred on the first day of the week.
  5. As Paul spread the gospel of Christ among Jews and Gentiles throughout the world, the first day of the week was used as the time for Christians to assemble for worship. In Greece, Paul and Luke assembled with the people of God to break bread and to hear the preaching of God’s word on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). This was the day that the people of the new covenant assembled to hear God’s word.
  6. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth to establish the pattern for their presenting of offerings for the service of the Lord. He ordered the Christians in Corinth to follow the pattern that had already been set with the churches in Galatia (1 Cor. 16:1). On the first day of every week they were to consecrate their offerings to the Lord (1 Cor. 16:2). This schedule for honoring the Lord had become the pattern for God’s people throughout the churches. The churches were not to present their offerings any time they wished. Rather, on the first day of each week, all the Corinthian Christians were to follow the pattern that had already been set among the Galatian churches. The first day of the week was the designated time for the presentation of offerings to the Lord.

O. Palmer Robertson

Why on Sunday? New Horizons, March 2003.

  1. We could add that the canon of Scripture ended on the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10 w/ Rev 22:18) This makes seven pieces of evidence 😉

  2. These are all true, compelling, Biblical examples for establishing “Sunday” as Sabbath, a day of rest (Although Christ’s resurrection could arguably have taken place before the first day of the week since the tomb was already empty and therfore His labor complete). But you might consider that meeting on the first day of the week and gathering offerings on the first day of the week would have been conducted because the previous day – the Sabbath Day was a day of rest as ordained by Christ in Exodus. Jesus and His disciples observed Saturday as Sabbath, a day of rest that is to be kept holy. Sabbath, a day of rest, is not the same as Sunday, a day of gathering. Substituting Sunday for Sabbath is much like substituting the church for Israel. It just isn’t so – Biblically speaking of course.

  3. Bob, based on your argumentation then, I must assume that you gather with the Church on Sunday, but still keep the Sabbath on Saturday – a Sabbath of rest kept holy to the Lord?

    The Sabbath was not actually ordained in Exodus. The words in Exodus 20 say “REMEMBER the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The Sabbath was a Creation ordinance, and God’s command in Exodus was merely a reminder of a command that had existed since man’s first full day in the earth. How beautiful is that – man’s first full day in the earth was a holy Sabbath – a day full of communion with his Maker.

    Christ claimed the sixth day at Creation. It was His day; a holy day. When Christ rose from the dead, thus establishing a NEW Creation, He once again laid claim to His holy day, now being the first day of the week. Sunday, the Lord’s Day Sabbath, lays claim to the hearts of ALL men by reason of the fact that Christ is their Creator. How much more does this day lay claim to the heart of those who have been made partakers of the NEW Creation.

    Bob, Christ said that man was not made for the Sabbath; but the Sabbath was made for man. It is a good gift from God. We need it. Our bodies need it. Our minds need it. Our souls need it. Don’t rob yourself of the blessings of this day. But even more importantly, don’t rob God of His claim to your heart and your worship on that day – a claim, a day, that has not been abrogated. A claim, a day, that has shifted from Saturday to Sunday.

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