Saturday Worship vs. Sunday Worship

The purpose of this exposé is not to determine whether the practice of Saturday worship or Sunday worship is correct. Rather, it is intended to share the revelation I personally received due to my study of the scriptures. [Scriptures are taken from the New International Version (NIV)]

The first reference to worship on Saturday can be found in Exodus within the framework of the Ten Commandments [Ex. 20:8-10] and this was the custom of the Jewish people, which continues to this day.

This custom also continued with Jesus and his disciples. [See Matthew 12:9 and John 18:20]. The Book of Acts also gives indications that the early Christian church met together on the Sabbath [Saturday] to pray and study the Scriptures. Following are two of the passages that I believe reference ‘Saturday’ worship: Acts 13:13-14
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. “On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down”. Acts 17:2 “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath [Saturdays] days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”

Continuing my study I began to see why Saturday Worship changed and moved to Sunday. [Again, I repeat this is not to suggest that Saturday worship is incorrect, simply recognising why most of us worship now on Sunday.]

When we look at the Old Testament system of Law we note that keeping the Sabbath was a part of the overall moral, legal, and sacrificial practice by which the Jewish people satisfied God’s requirements for behaviour, government, and forgiveness of sins. In other words, keeping the Sabbath was part of the Law.

However, with Jesus’ atonement, we are no longer subject to the Law, but under grace – Romans 6:14-15 [For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.] The Sabbath is fulfilled in Jesus. HE is our rest. We are no longer under obligation, by Law, to keep it and this goes for the Sabbath as well.

The reasoning for the move to worship on Sundays is that some believe the early church began meeting on Sundays soon after Christ rose from the dead, in honour of the Lord's resurrection, which took place on a Sunday, or the first day of the week. 1ast Corinthians 16:1-2 has Paul expressing to the churches to meet together on the first day of the week (Sunday) to give offerings: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 - Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 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.

And to cement this, we find in Acts 20:7 Paul meeting with believers in Troas to worship and celebrate communion and, they gathered on the first day of the week [Sunday].

While some schools of thought believe the transition from Saturday to Sunday worship began right after the resurrection, others see the change as a gradual progression over the course of history.

Today, many Christian customs believe Sunday is the Christian Sabbath day. I believe that they base this concept on the following passages of scripture: Mark 2:27-28 and Luke 6:5 where Jesus says he is "Lord even of the Sabbath," implying that he has the power to change the Sabbath to a different day

Other traditions, such as Seventh-day Adventist, still observe a Saturday Sabbath. Since honouring the Sabbath was part of the original Ten Commandments given by God, they believe it is a permanent, binding command that should not be changed.

In keeping however with my own personal belief [which has developed over years of spiritual growth] I believe everyday is a day for worship. Evidence I found for this train of thought is in Acts 2:46 where we see that the church in Jerusalem met every day in the temple courts and gathered to break bread together in private homes.

Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this: Are we as Christians under obligation to observe a designated Sabbath day? Let's look at what the Bible says:

Romans 14 suggest that there is personal freedom regarding the observance of holy days: Romans 14:5-6 – “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.”

Further, in Colossians 2 Christians are instructed not to judge or allow anyone to be their judge regarding Sabbath days: Colossians 2:16-17 - Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

My conclusion is this: I worship GOD everyday and I join in worshiping HIM whenever an assembly of Christian believers gather, whether it be a Saturday or a Sunday for all of my days belong to the LORD OF MY LIFE, JESUS CHRIST. I stand firm on Romans 14 which advises, we should be "fully convinced" that whichever day we choose is the right day for us to set aside as a day of worship, and as Colossians 2 warns, we should not judge or allow anyone to judge us regarding our choice.

Shalom

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