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  • Writer's pictureJeff Chavez

Reasons for the Lord’s day

This season marks the celebration of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Whatever your thoughts about celebrating Christmas, there is nothing more worth celebrating by the people of God than that which is explicitly revealed in the Scriptures. This does not mean that it is wrong to celebrate the incarnation of the long-awaited Messiah. But the Lord’s day alone is “…to be kept holy unto Him… and to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian sabbath…” (1689 LBCF Cp. 22 para. 7).

Last week, I attended a midweek service in our church’s outreach at Bella Vista, General Trias. Our pastor preached on the five reasons why we keep the Lord’s day as the Christian Sabbath. It is soul-refreshing to be reminded why we gather on Sunday while almost the whole world is busy preparing for the holiday season.

I have written about the Christian Sabbath, but here is what I have learned from our Pastor’s sermon on why we believe that the seventh day sabbath was changed to the first day of the week, the Lord’s day.

1. The Resurrection of Christ

It is undeniable that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. In the gospel of Mark, it is explicitly stated that Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week followed by His appearance to Mary Magdalene. You cannot read anything special about the 2nd, 3rd or 4th day of the week. The first day of the week is distinct for this is the day that our Lord rested from His atoning work.

Sam Waldron, in his Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of faith says, “The first day of the week is the day upon which Christ’s labours to atone for the sins of His people came to an end and He entered His rest in resurrection glory.” The Lord of glory rested after His atoning work of saving His people from darkness and sin to light and holiness. Isn’t this worth celebrating?

Jesus secures the new creation through His life, death and resurrection. This is the true sabbath of all Christians. This is the day of His rest and this should also be a day of rest for His people.

2. The Coronation of Christ

We know from the Scriptures that Christ obtained a title that which He did not possess before His resurrection. Peter, after declaring Christ’s victory over His enemies by His resurrection from the dead to the men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem on the day of the Pentecost, proclaims, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). And Paul in his letter to the Romans speaks of the application of Christ’s death and resurrection with these words, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:9).

He assumed a position as the glorified God-man. He “…was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). This title “is in the New Testament given by way of eminence to the Lord Jesus Christ” alone. (A. Barnes, Commentary on Romans)

The Lord’s day, the first day of the week is His public coronation as the Son of God.

3. The Outpouring of the Spirit

The coming of the Spirit to the believers as Christ and His Father promised (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8) happened on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2:1). This undoubtedly occurred on the first day of the week. The “…Pentecost is fulfilled in the inauguration of the New Testament church with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the world-wide harvest” (Joseph A. Pipa Jr., The Lord’s Day).

Our Savior’s fulfillment of His comforting and empowering promise to His disciples took place on the first day of the week. Certainly, there’s no other day more worth celebrating than this!

To know that the believers are formally equipped and empowered by the Spirit on the first day of the week as Christ fulfilled His promise gives us good reason to celebrate on this very special day.

4. The Appearance to the Disciples

After Christ’s resurrection, we have clear evidences that Christ appeared only on every first day of the week. This is contrary to the common idea that Christ was with His disciples after the resurrection daily.

Two verses from the gospel of John shed light to this truth:

John 20:19 'On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”'

John 20:26 'Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”'

Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the disciples on the evening of the first day of the week and then eight days later, which refers to the next Sunday after the resurrection day. Recognizing that Jewish counting of days includes the first day, we are certain that Christ appeared to them not on Monday or on any other day but on Sunday. That’s why when the Scriptures say that Christ rose on the third day, when your counting starts on Friday, His crucifixion, what you get is Sunday, His resurrection (see here for more details).

He appeared to His disciples on that very day. He stood and proclaimed peace and only appeared on the first day of the week. it was again the first day of the week.

Let us not be distracted from what the world offers or demands during this holiday season, and may our mind be fixed upon Christ as we look forward to His special day.

5. The Gathering of the Early Church

When we put all the above reasons together, we have no other desire but to witness in history the particular day that the New Testament Church gathered together. And in fact, it was the day of worship for the early church. They gathered on the first day of the week.

Act 20:7 "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight."

1 Corinthians 16:2 "On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come."

The verses above exhibit a pattern of public worship during the first day of the week in Galatian and Corinthian churches. Paul wrote, “On the first day of every week.” Again, Joseph A. Pipa observes, “It was the custom of the early church to meet for worship on the first day of the week.” We also see some of the elements of public worship: the Lord’s supper and preaching of the word, and the collections. All of these are part of the New Testament gathering for public worship.

The New Testament church gathering was never done on any other day than the first day of the week.


Every Sunday, don’t hesitate to proclaim, “This is the LORD’s day!” It is more precious than all the holidays combined that the world could ever celebrate.

Psalms 118:22-24  "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." 

Let us not be distracted from what the world offers or demands during this holiday season, and may our mind be fixed upon Christ as we look forward to His special day.

Let us also not forget that the Lord’s day sabbath points to a greater rest, at the coming of our Lord, where our sins, pains, and heartaches are no more and we will be resting forever with our dear Lord and Savior in the presence of His heavenly hosts; when all the saints from every tribe, tongue and nation will celebrate the grand coronation of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords; and when we will behold the beauty of the Lamb that was slain to the glory of the Father.

On the coming Sunday, the Lord’s day, let us take delight in it and may we wholeheartedly pray:

"Lord of the Sabbath, we thank Thee for another of the days of the Son of Man. Oh, let it be like the sun which brings it, a messenger of light and joy to the world. We thank Thee for its abundant blessings to us in times past, and we supplicate Thee that its return to-day may bring us new and increasing benefits. But we have come to Thee this morning in the Name of Jesus to plead specially for Thy blessing on Thy word as it shall be preached to those to whom the Sabbath has never yet come with sanctifying and saving power." (Home Worship: A Series of Topical Prayers for Use in The Family Circle by the late James W. Weir, as quoted by Joseph A. Pipa Jr.)

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

In what way do you dress your soul for the celebration of the Lord’s day?



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