A member of our Facebook forum, In Defense Of The Faith posed a question/statement regarding the Sabbath/Sunday/Every day worship. In response I decided to make a quick post out of the answer that I delivered and add a little more detail to it here. I hope that this is a blessing and strengthens someone’s faith practice and belief.
There are 3 primary arguments that I will outline that defends corporate worship on the first day of the week as opposed to the last day of the week or what has traditionally been known as the Sabbath. In summary they are:
I- The fulfillment of the type and shadow of the Law
II- The practice of the biblical and historical church in worshiping on the 1st day of the week
III- The biblical prohibition against judging in manner of holy days and Sabbaths
Here are the arguments as I outlined them in the post:
I- As you already know, Jesus fulfilled the law concerning any ceremony that would solidify a closer relationship with God and atone for our sins. The Sabbath, being under the Law, was representative or a “type” of the “rest” that we would find and ultimately receive in Jesus.
Heb. 10:1 ~ For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect
The Law wasn’t “perfect” but we know Jesus is. Jesus said, “come unto me all ye that labor and I will give you rest”. (Mt. 11:28) Only Jesus gives us reset and rest is representative of union, fellowship, and peace with God. This scripture indicates that Jesus WAS that Sabbath in it’s perfect fulfillment. So a day is not necessary for veneration as every day is the Lords when one is in him.
A common objection to what I have rendered is that since Sabbath was outlined in the Decalogue (Exodus 20:3-17 ~ The 4th of the 10 Commandments) that it should continue to be in existence today, because the Commandments were not overturned, deleted or done away with.
First, this is a straw-man argument. The contention is NOT that the Sabbath has been done away with as in discarded. The emphasis is that the Sabbath and it’s meanings, symbols and ritualism, have been fulfilled or complete in the person of Jesus Christ himself and no longer, in and of itself, provides a measure of righteousness, union or oneness with God. In fact ALL of the Decalogue can be viewed in the exact same way. In Jesus we will have no other Gods, honor our parents in the Lord, will not covet, steal, kill etc. In Jesus we have fellowship and access to God and can cease from all our labors.
Now, EVERY DAY, as opposed to one day of the week, is the Lords, and because of the atoning work of Jesus we have peace and rest with him at all times and commemorate this daily. The continuation of observing a literal day is a privilege and freedom of the NT believer, but is no longer an extant command. The completion or fulfillment of this 4th Commandment is found within the person of Jesus himself.
Those that have this objection don’t fully understand the scope of what “fulfilled” and the terms “fulfilled for righteousness” or the relationship that Jesus has with the Law and how elements of the Law were only representative of him, or delivered to bring us to him.
II- The early church worship and gathered on the first day of the week in order to venerate and honor Christ because of the resurrection. The tomb was discovered opened and the good news given on the first day of the week.(Mk. 16:9, Mt. 28:1, Jn. 20:1, Lk. 24:1) This may reference the act, movement, and possession of God as prophesied in Ps. 24:1 ~ The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” which was said to have been given on the “First day of the week”
The saints continued this tradition of meeting early on Sunday to commemorate this event (resurrection) and history, both sympathetic and hostile suggests that this was what the Christian church did and continued to do. In light of argument 1, we can understand why God did not rebuke the church for this. Nonetheless, first day worship, was a biblical product and NOT a product of the Catholic church even though later a Pope would chime in on the day itself (this is after the fact)
III- Paul’s argument :
Col. 2:16-17 ~ 16-Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17-Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ
Paul explicitly argued that we were not to be “judged” meaning condemned or condemning of one another in respect of a “holy day” “new moon” or of a “Sabbath” and traces the argument back to my first argument that these things are a “shadow” of what, as he puts it, “is to come”. This seems to be a clear edict that no matter what day is honored or venerated, they all belong to the Lord and as Christians we treat every day as such.
In short, I believe that these three arguments make a strong case for Sunday worship, delivers factual, pertinent biblical and historical information regarding the subject and is harmonious with what we know of Jesus and his actions and relationship with the Law as revealed through scripture.
Truth Or Fables ~ Catholic Church Changed The Day Of Worship Myth Debunked