why do we worship on sunday and not saturday
The Christian community as a whole does not keep the Sabbath because it was a part of the legal requirements of the Law, and according to the New Testament the Christian today is not under such legal requirements like circumcision, Sabbath keeping, even tithing. Instead, we are to produce the righteousness of the Law, the character of Christ, through the Spirit (see Rom. 6:14; 7:1-8:13; 2 Cor. 3:4-18; Gal. 3-5). Further, there are no commandments or exhortations in the New Testament for us to keep the Sabbath. Rather, the early church gathered on the first day of the week in celebration and remembrance of the resurrection. This is evident throughout the book of Acts (cf. also 1 Cor. 16:2 and Acts 20:7). Acts 20:7 is the clearest verse in the New Testament which indicates that Sunday was the normal meeting day of the apostolic church.
Paul stayed in Troas for seven days (v. 6) and the church met
on the first day of the week. Note also in the 1 Cor. 16:1f passage that, though Paul is dealing with giving, there is no mention of tithing just as there is no call to assemble on the Sabbath (Saturday) as in the Old Testament. Paul never used the word tithe when he discussed giving, even though he gave more attention to giving than any other New Testament writer. Giving should be a systematic, weekly practice on Sunday, the first day of the week, when the church meets together. Giving was also to be proportionate in keeping with one s income (cf. Acts 11:29) and like meeting together for worship, Bible study, etc. , it was to be the product of the work of the Spirit and not a legal requirement of the Law.
Although some Christian traditions denounce Sunday worship as the end time Бmark of the beast,Б there are good reasons why millions of Christians gather on the first day of the week for worship. First, in remembrance of the resurrection the early Christian church changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. Within weeks, thousands of Jews willingly gave up a theological tradition that had given them their national identity. God himself had provided the early church with a new pattern of worship through ChristБs resurrection on the first day of the week as well as the Holy SpiritБs descent on Pentecost Sunday. Furthermore, Scripture provides us with the reasons behind the symbol of the Sabbath.
In Genesis, the Sabbath was a celebration of GodБs work in creation (Genesis 2:2Б3; Exodus 20:11). After the Exodus, the Sabbath expanded to a celebration of GodБs deliverance from oppression in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). As a result of the resurrection, the SabbathБs emphasis shifted once again. It became a celebration of the БrestБ we have through Christ who delivers us from sin and the grave (Hebrews 4:1Б11). For the emerging Christian church, the most dangerous snare was a failure to recognize that Jesus was the substance that fulfilled the symbol of the Sabbath. In the end, religious rites must inevitably bow to redemptive realities. Finally, if you insist on being slavishly bound to Old Testament laws you should also be forewarned that failing to keep the letter of the law might be hazardous to your health.
According to the Mosaic Law, anyone who does any work on the Sabbath Бmust be put to deathБ (Exodus 35:2). As the apostle Paul explains, however, БChrist redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: БCursed is everyone who is hung on a treeББ(Galatians 3:13). The Sabbath was Бa shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in ChristБ (Colossians 2:17). In the end, religious rites must inevitably bow to redemptive realities. For further study, see D. A. Carson, ed. , From Sabbath to LordБs Day: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Investigation (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999, originally published by Zondervan, 1982)
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