Think in your mind of someone you love very deeply.
This someone is extra special to you. You love to spend time with this
and would do anything for him/her. Isn’t that right? Now
let’s say that there
was going to be a gathering to honor this special someone of yours.
be there? Certainly, you would! Morning, noon or night you would make
to do whatever was needed to arrive at this honorary gathering of your
loved one. Now let’s say this someone you love very deeply is
Jesus, and the
gathering to honor Him is when the saints assemble. Are you there?
Erroneously, some believe one can be a faithful Christian
without the church. The Hebrews writer stated Christians are not to
assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some (Hebrews
inspiration, the message clearly states Christians are not to skip the
Bible classes and gathering of other Christians like some people were
doing. Acts 2:42
states of the first century Christians, “And
they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and
fellowship, in the
breaking of bread, and in prayers.” These Christians were
faithful in hearing
the preaching and teaching of the apostles, in fellowshipping with one
taking the Lord’s Supper and praying. This idea of
steadfastly here means “to
give constant attention to a thing” (Thayer 547). Inspiration
records the frequency
of that constant attention: “On the first day of the week
when the disciples came
together to break bread…” (Acts 20:7a).
The Christians came together on the first day of the
week. One man didn’t worship at home alone in his corner and
another man worship
in his corner. They worshiped together as a group. That group of
the church. “For the purpose of being taught by the apostles,
they [the church,
JRN] must have assembled together, and this as the occasion for
their fellowship, which term expresses their common participation in
privileges” (McGarvey 47).
What else did these followers of Christ Jesus do
together as a group on the first day of the week? They partook of the
Supper. In Matthew 26:26-30,
Jesus instituted the Lord’s
Supper. He instituted it with the whole group of apostles present.
not institute this memorial to Peter and then show Andrew later. No,
this was a
group memorial. In Acts 20:7
read, “…when the disciples came
together to break
bread…” (emp. added). After
Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples were still meeting together as
the church, to partake of the Lord’s Supper, in the same
manner that Jesus had
taught them to do.
We read in 1 Corinthians
16:1-2 that on the first day of the week
to, again, come together to “lay something aside, storing up
as he may prosper,
that there be no collections when I come.” This passage deals
collection of the saints and substantiates the fact that each Christian
set aside a certain amount of money that he is able to give to the
each first day of the week. “All church history testifies
that the early church
took up weekly collections on the first day of the week”
Some people are able to give more money than others due
to their having more money. One knows if he/she is truly giving what
could, and more importantly God knows if one is being stingy or
generous in his/her
giving. God knows not only what man does,
but also what he thinks (cf. Luke 16:15). Notice that
this giving is to be done
on the first day of the week.
The first day of the week is recorded in the Holy Bible
as a special day for Christians. It was the day that the church
in that assembly, they worshipped God by: teaching and preaching (cf. Acts 2:42), giving as
they prospered (cf. 1
Corinthians 16:1-2), partaking of the
Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-30), singing and making melody in their
(Ephesians 5:19), and praying (1 Timothy 2:8). They assembled to do
things together, as a group called the church, as Christ Jesus taught.
Christ’s church, not a denomination, but a possession! This
was and is the
church belonging to Christ (i.e. the church of Christ, cf. Matthew 16:18-19; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18,
et al). This same body of believers still assembles on the first day of
week to worship God. If one neglectfully skips the assembly, how can he
say he loves Jesus (cf. John
If one is not at this assembly, how can a person properly give as
prospered, take the Lord’s Supper or obey Hebrews 10:25?
I once heard an old song that had these lyrics: “Love
and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and
can’t have one without the other.” The same is true
with a Christian and the
church; you just can’t have one without the other!
B.W. The People’s
New Testament, Vol. II. Nashville
Gospel Advocate, 1992.
McGarvey, J.W. Original
Commentary on Acts. Nashville:
Gospel Advocate, n.d.
Thayer, Joseph H. Thayer’s
Greek-English Lexicon. Peabody: