|This study © 2000 by David Humpal
There are probably two main reasons the early church began to meet on the first day of the week. Christ arose on the first day of the week, and so it is possible that the early disciples were commemorating that important day. And since the early Christians were all Jews, it was natural for them to gather at the temple on Saturday as all devout Jews did, and then continue together the following day, Sunday. Now, two thousand years later, the calendar tells us that we meet on the first day of the week, but most of us probably consider Sunday the end of our week, and Monday the beginning of our week. And we do call Saturday and Sunday the “weekend.”
We know that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
Matthew 28:1, “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”
Mark 16:9, “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”
Also, Christ appeared to his disciples on Sunday.
John 20:19, “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ ”
The early church met to worship on Sunday.
Acts 20:7, “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.”
1 Corinthians 16:2, On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
Paul says we observe our day of worship unto the Lord. Notice that he places observing the special day in the same category as eating unclean food. We know the ritual regulations of eating unclean food were abolished with the death of Christ, and so was the ritual requirement of meeting on Saturday.
Romans 14:4-6, Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”
Paul says we are freed from the law.
Galatians 3:23-26, “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
This study on Why the Church Meets on the First Day of the Week © 2000 by David Humpal, all rights reserved.