The first day of the week (Sunday)

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The weekly memorial of the new creation and our deliverance from sin.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)

A. Tradition of Jews vs. the tradition of Christians: Christians worship on a new day with new meaning!

  1. The Sabbath was only for Jews! Only Jews were given the Sabbath, not Gentiles who have never been slaves in Egypt or delivered out of physical slavery by the power of God. Who was commanded to keep the Sabbath? Jews who had been slaves in Egypt! Why were they to remember the Sabbath? So they would remember that God brought them out of Egypt with a "mighty hand and an outstretched arm!"
  2. Why the Sabbath was abolished and replaced by the first day: If we understand the two reasons the Jews were to remember the Sabbath, (deliverance from bondage and the creation), we can better understand a passage in the New Testament that instructs Christians concerning their relationship to the Sabbath.
  3. Christians observe a new day in remembrance of their new creation and new redemption. Our new redemption is a greater redemption than freedom from physical slavery. The new redemption of the Christian is the redemption found in the blood of Christ. Those under the Law had been redeemed from Egypt, but they needed a greater redemption.
  4. Significance of Sabbath to Jews


    Significance of First Day to Christians

    Memorial of Genesis creation:
    "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." (Ex 20:8-11)


    Memorial of New Creation:

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:14-15)

    Deliverance from bondage of Egypt:

    "And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day." (Deut 5:15)


    Deliverance from bondage of sin:

    "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

    "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7)

  5. Notice that Athanasius, in about 345 AD actually stated that that the Sabbath was a memorial of the first creation and that Sunday was a memorial of the new creation in Christ:
345 AD Athanasius "The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord's day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord's day as being the memorial of the new creation" (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3).

B. In honor of our new creation and new redemption, Christians honor the day that made it all possible - the first day of the week:

  1. The resurrection of Christ was on the first day of the week. This is the foundation of the Christian religion.
  2. The Church began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Pentecost was always on the first day of the week.
  3. The promise of the Spirit was given on the first day of the week.
  4. Remission of sins through the blood of Christ was first offered on the first day of the week.
  5. Paul waited in Troas for a week to break bread with the disciples on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
  6. Paul commanded the church to gather their money on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-3).
  7. This is why the day of the Sun, or Sunday, is the day the early Christians consistently referred to as the "Lord's Day" (Revelation 2:10) in all their writings in the first, second, third, and later centuries.
  8. The seventh day of the week belongs to the "ministration of death, written and engraven in stones" (2 Corinthians 3:7). This is the only full day our Lord was dead. Instead of remembering this day given under the Old Law, let us remember and rejoice on the first day of the week, the day our Lord rose from the dead and made true salvation possible.


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