Law of God 

 

 

 

 

 

How much do I love you?

 

Let me count the ways...

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1.   I will have no other gods.

2.   I will not make or bow down to any image.

3.   I will not dishonor you and your name.

4.   I will remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5.   I will honor my father and mother.

6.   I will not murder.

7.   I will not commit adultery.

8.   I will not steal.

9.   I will not lie.

10. I will not covet what belongs to my neighbor.

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Reasons for Sunday are not Biblical #3

by Bill Wong

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church in the Catechism of Trent also uses 1 Corinthians 16:1-5 to try to justify why  it "thought it well" to create a Sunday observance to override God's 7th day Sabbath.

 

 

Reason #3 – 1 Corinthians 16:1-5 (“collections on 1st day”)

 

Let us begin with its reference to collections on the 1st day of the week. This is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 16. The Roman Catholic Church is taking things out of context and distorting the truth and meaning of God’s word.

This is the reference:


1 Corinthians 16:

1     Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:

2     On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper,

     that there be no collections when I come.

3     And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

4     But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

5     Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).

 

15   I urge you, brethren --- you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia,

     and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints ---

16   that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.     (NKJV)

 

 

The reference to collections makes absolutely no mention, explicitly or implicitly, that the first day of the week is a new commandment to worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath. The apostle Paul just simply tells the Corinthians to store up and lay aside a donation for the saints in Jerusalem. He does not speak of worship. We must also note that the Roman Catholic Church refers to its own tradition by “the interpretation of St. Chrysostom” to support worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath. However, this is not legitimate evidence, because it is subjective and biased. It is an example of circular reasoning: the Roman Catholic Church wants to prove that Sunday worship is Biblically valid and points to St. Chrysostom, but this St. Chrysostom himself points to the “Lord’s day” which is not in the Bible. How can point ‘A’ prove point ‘B’ if point ‘B’ needs to prove point ‘A’?

 

The Bible tells us in two other places about contributions:

 

Acts 11:

5     Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.

26   And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.

     So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.

     And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

27   And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.

28   Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a

     great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

29   Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.

30   This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.   (NKJV)

 

Romans 15:

25   But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.

26   For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor

     among the saints who are in Jerusalem.

27   It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things,

     their duty is also to minister to them in material things.

28   Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.

     (NKJV)

 

 

In both these passages, we see that the contributions are for the needy among the saints in Jerusalem/Judea, which indicate that Paul’s reference to a collection for the saints in 1 Corinthians 16 is most likely referring to the saints in Jerusalem again (remember also that Jerusalem is the home of the church of God).

 

In Acts 11, we actually see why the saints in Judea require assistance – there was a great famine that was predicted and happened.

 

There are two issues we must take note of which reveal this collection in 1 Corinthians 16 does not prove it starts a new worship day on Sunday.

 

A)  All three passages indicate that the collections are temporary in nature and not meant to be permanent in any way. We see this in Acts 11, because the famine which initiated the need for relief contribution is not perpetual and will eventually pass. This temporary nature of the collections is also reflected in Romans 15, because Paul is bringing the contributions from Macedonia and Achaia to Jerusalem, which indicates that the collection was done and completed, and therefore ready to be sealed for the Jerusalem saints. And this is exactly the same thing in 1 Corinthians 16. We must take note that the laying in store is done until the apostle Paul arrives and then he will take their gift to Jerusalem (verse 3). So what we see is that these collections are emergency situations and are picked up and delivered to the saints by Paul through his travels in the area, and Paul’s trips cannot be said to be indefinite as well.

 

B)   Paul tells everyone to put aside what they have stored on the first day of the week. In an agrarian culture where working the fields and livestock are the preeminent means of livelihood, laying in store would involve work. Note the end of verse 2: “so that no collections be made when I come”. This statement, combined with the beginning of verse 3: “When I arrive”, indicates that Paul will not be coming on the first day of the week to pick up these gifts, because the first day of the week is specifically for gathering and putting aside. In other words, since Paul said collection is on the first day and there are to be no collections when Paul comes, this means Paul will not be coming on the first day. If Paul is not coming on the first day to be with the body of Christ to worship and the day is being spent gathering and storing (doing work) then this cannot be a “new worship day” or a “Christian Sabbath”.

 

What we are really seeing is Paul instructing the Christians to follow the Sabbath commandment to not work on the 7th day, but instead gather and store on the 1st day of the week and then he will come later to pick it up. These Christians are doing very much the same thing the women did who prepared and brought spices and perfumes to anoint the Lord Jesus’ body in the tomb. They prepared the spices and perfumes before the Sabbath day and then rested on the Sabbath; and only after the Sabbath had passed did they come to finish the work by using the spices and perfumes to anoint:

 

Luke 23:

55  Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.

56   Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

 

Luke 24:

1     But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.   (NASB)

 

 

The Sabbath day is a day of rest. This is why any gathering is not done on the Sabbath day. Modern Christians are accustomed to thinking “taking a collection” in church as a person passing a basket around for people to put in money, but this is not what it really is. Paul’s statement that he will not come to be with the body of Christ while they are doing this work on the 1st day of the week proves that taking a collection is not related to a day of worship at all. Christians today are unaware of this truth about collection and Sunday, and have been misled to believe that they go together where a collection supports Sunday/Lord’s day observance. However, this is a lie.

The Bible truth is that 1 Corinthians 16 teaches us nothing about consecrating Sunday as a new day of worship. Instead, it tells us that the 1st day of the week is spent working by gathering and storing, so that when Paul comes, which is not the 1st day of the week, but after it, he will pick up and bring this gift to its intended recipients, the poor saints in Jerusalem.

 


 

Please read the next article in the series -  'Reasons for Sunday not Biblical - Reason #4'

 

Please click here to go back to Reasons for Sunday not Biblical main page.

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