The Apostle Paul: The Church Worships on Sunday.

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12)

We continue Luke’s narrative when Paul, Luke and the other companions (Acts 20:4-5) ministered in the city of Troas while they journeyed back to Jerusalem. Noticing the personal pronouns Luke used, it is clear that he was with the apostle on this return journey.  

It was the Lord’s Day, Sunday, or the first day of the week. The believers in Christ gathered together for worship and the observance of Communion. Along with the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrificial death as a central element of worship, Paul preached and taught from God’s Word. Paul intended to depart from Troas on the following day, but he continued his preaching and teaching until midnight.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “It should be noted that Sunday was when the church gathered for worship, because it was the day of Christ’s resurrection. Cf. Matt. 28:1Mark 16:2, 9Luke 24:1John 20:1, 191 Cor. 16:2. The writings of the early church Fathers confirm that the church continued to meet on Sunday after the close of the NT period. Scripture does not require Christians to observe the Saturday Sabbath: 1) the Sabbath was the sign of the Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 31:16–17Neh. 9:14Ezek. 20:12), whereas Christians are under the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3Heb. 8); 2) there is no NT command to keep the Sabbath; 3) the first command to keep the Sabbath was not until the time of Moses (Ex. 20:8); 4) the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) did not order Gentile believers to keep the Sabbath; 5) Paul never cautioned Christians about breaking the Sabbath; and 6) the NT explicitly teaches that Sabbath keeping was not a requirement (Rom. 14:5Gal. 4:10–11Col. 2:16–17).”

What occurred during this worship service was unique. It did not happen every time the church met but it did occur at this occasion. We will examine what exactly happened when next we meet.

The responsibilities of the church have not changed in 2,000 years. When believers gather for corporate worship, two of the most crucial elements of the worship service is to be the observance of the Lord’s Supper and the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

Soli deo Gloria!

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