THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 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.” I Corinthians 16:1, 2
God demands and deserves first place in our lives, our hearts, and our schedules. This includes our commitment to the assembly of the saints and public worship. In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to keep the Sabbath day holy as a day of rest and worship. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the churches met daily for teaching and fellowship; but the first day of the week was recognized as the primary day for public worship. Our text provides specific instruction for the “collection for the saints” on “the first day of the week.” This pattern is clearly seen in the New Testament. Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” Sunday is referred to in Revelation 1:10 as “the Lord’s day.”
The first day of the week should be observed as a day devoted to God for worship, ministry, and rest from secular activities. Salvation is not found in the church. But the New Testament makes it clear that assembling with the church, as well as serving and fellowshipping with the body of Christ, should be a priority in the lives of believers. We are to be faithful members of the church body to which the Lord has added us. We need the other members of the body, and the members of the body need us. God has chosen to feed, lead, and protect His sheep in the context of the church. The pastor, under Christ, is the shepherd of the flock. We are admonished to be faithful to the assembling of the saints together. “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).
In our day, church attendance is increasingly neglected. When we fail to assemble with the other members of the body, we miss the fellowship, the joy of worshipping with the family of faith, and the preaching of God’s Word. But, we also miss the opportunity to meet with Jesus as He meets with His church. Jesus promised to be in the midst of His churches. As sincere Christians, seeking to live by biblical priorities, church attendance is of the utmost importance.