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Bible Studies - Sunday Worship


Bible Marking

Review:  Last lesson we saw that God's holy day, the Sabbath, was the seventh day of the week - Saturday.

INTRODUCTION:  Most people, however, don't worship on that day.  Therefore, this week, we shall read every text in the New Testament that has to do with the first day of the week, to see if there is any scriptural basis for Sunday worship.  There are only eight texts which mention the first day.

FDT-1       Let’s read the first such text found in Matthew 28:1
                  1.     When the Sabbath ends, the first day of the week begins.
                  2.     This text emphasizes that the Sabbath precedes the first day of the week.

FDT-2       Let’s look at the second and third references to the first day of the week. 
                  Mark 16:1,2,9
                  1.     The Gospel of Mark here is stating the same facts we found in our previous text.
                  2.     The women came to the tomb early in the morning on the first day after the Sabbath was past.
                  3.     Verse 9 gives the third reference to the first day of the week by merely stating that Jesus arose on that day.

FDT-3       Have you ever wished that God would have put the days side by side so there could be          no question as to which day it is?  Well, He did:  Luke 23:54-56;  24:1
                  1.     The "Preparation day" is the day before the Sabbath.  The same word is used in Greece today for Friday.
                  2.     The day following the Sabbath is the first day of the week.
                  3.     The book of Luke was written about thirty years after Christ's resurrection.  No change in the day of worship is mentioned.

FDT-4       Two more references to the first day of the week are found in
                  John 20:1,19, 24-28
                  1.     Verse 1 merely states that the women came to the tomb on the first day of the week.  No reference is made to any act of worship.
                  2.     Verse 19 mentions the evening of the first day referred to in verse 1
                        a.     The disciples were gathered behind shut doors for fear of the Jews.
                        b.     They were afraid they would receive the same treatment as had Jesus.
                  3.     Verses 24-28 describe the second meeting of Jesus with the disciples.
                        a.     Again, the doors were shut.
                        b.     This is hardly a resurrection rally, for Thomas still didn't believe Christ had risen.

FDT-5       Let’s look at a quote that is often used in support of the change from Sabbath to Sunday worship.  I Corth 16:1,2
                  1.     This was not an order for a public collection in church.
                  2.     The work was to be done at home.
                  3.     This was a plea for the Corinthians to prepare gifts for the needy believers in Jerusalem.
                          Paul, when he returned to Corinth, could merely pick up the gifts and not have to wait for the funds to be collected.

FDT-6       The eighth, and last.  New Testament reference to the first day of the week is: Acts: 20:7
                  1.     Paul is preaching his farewell sermon on the first day of the week.
                  2.     He preached until midnight, that is, during the dark part of the day, corresponding to our Saturday night.  (The New English Bible translates It "Saturday night")
                  3.     Verses 11, 13 and 14 tell us that in the light part of Sunday, Paul journeyed from Troas to Assos, a distance of nineteen miles.  This shows that Paul did not consider this a rest or holy day.
                  4.     No sanction is here given to worship on the first day.
                  5.     In fact, eight different times in the Book of Acts - from thirteen to twenty-three years after Christ's resurrection - it plainly refers to the seventh day, the identical day on which the Jews met to worship, as the Sabbath day.

FDT-7       Many Christians keep Sunday in honor of Christ's resurrection.  Let’s see if Christ gave us a memorial of His Death and Resurrection.  I Corth 11:26
                  1.     The communion service, or the Lord's supper, was instituted for the purpose.

FDT-8       Was the Lord’s Supper the only memorial of Christ's resurrection ? 
                  Colossians 2:12
                  1.     Baptism is a memorial of Christ's resurrection, especially to those who have just had the new birth experience.

SUMMARY:  We have examined every text dealing with the first day of the week in the New Testament.  We have found no sanction for keeping it holy.

We can have confidence that if we keep God's holy day, the seventh day - Saturday - we are doing His will.

PREVIEW:  Next leson, "The Change of the Sabbath."