- June 9, 2020
The Correct Day Worship
The correct day of worship 1
TheCorrect Day Worship
Controversiesexist regarding the right day of worship among modern Christians.Consequently, groups of people worship on Sunday, others on Saturday,while others worship every day. Individuals’ preference regardingthe correct day of worship is influenced by the context of therelated teachings. New Christians often face the challenge regardingwhen they should worship. Therefore, this paper seeks to examine theissue in three contexts, including worshipping on Sunday, Saturday,and any day and subsequently draw a conclusion regarding the correctday of worship.
Saturday as the Correct Day of Worship
The argumentssupporting worshipping on Saturday are predominantly based on the OldTestament. Specifically, the justifications for Sabbath worship canbe found within the context of the history of creation as provided inthe book of Genesis Mosaic Laws found in the book of Exodus, and asign of the covenant between God and human beings (Grace to you,2009).
Sabbath Worship was Instituted Even before theMosaic Laws
One of the reasonsfacilitating Sabbath worship can be found in Genesis 2:2-3 where Godrested on the seventh day after completion of creation work (Grace toYou, 2009). The Bible says that God blessed and sanctified this daybecause he rested in it from work. This verse proves that Sabbath wasinstituted before Mosaic Laws. The argument is that God would nothave blessed and sanctified it lacked significant relevance to thelives of Christians. From the onset, God had the intention for humanbeings to worship Him on the day He rested. However, the rest of thebook does not provide accounts regarding the practice of Sabbathworship before Mosaic Laws. Furthermore, it does not provide anycontext where God might have commanded people to worship on theSabbath day.
Sabbath Worship was Ordained in the Mosaic Laws
The Mosaic Lawsrefer to the ancient Hebrew laws contained in a group of Biblicalbooks called the Pentateuch. The view is that God gave Moses theserules to govern the behaviors of Israelites in and out of thewilderness (Skeel & Longman, 2011). Mosaic Laws contained threeelements: The Ten Commandments, ordinance, and the acceptable worshipmethod. These laws formed a greater part of Israelites’constitution, especially in a period predating the arrival of JesusChrist. According to Exodus 20:8-11, God ordained Sabbath worship aspart of the laws given to the Israelites in transit from Egypt toCanaan. Specifically, God commanded them to have a day dedicated toworship as well as rest. No one was allowed to work on the Sabbathday. The commandment was consistent with the accounts in the book ofGenesis where God rested on the seventh day.
The Sabbath Commemorates the Covenant between Godand Human Beings
In the book ofEzekiel 20:12 God said: "I gave them My Sabbaths to be a signbetween them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord whosanctifies them.” This verse concludes that the Sabbath was acovenant between God and the nation of Israel for setting them apartfrom other nations. According to Deuteronomy 5:12-15, God alsocommanded Israelites to maintain Sabbath worship as a remembrance ofHis mercy upon their lives. God liberated the people of Israel fromEgyptian bondage and set them as the greatest and holy nation in theworld. Violation of the Sabbath day resulted from excommunicationfrom the community. In extreme cases, it led to punishment bySabbath. One of the illegal things was working on the Sabbath daybecause God rested on the seventh day (Numbers 15:32-35).
Sunday as the Correct Day of Worship
The justificationfor Sunday as the proper day of worship is found in the New Testamentof the Bible. The New Testament is regarded as the new covenantbetween God and Human Beings in which the focus extended fromIsraelites to other people across the world (Grace to You, 2009). TheOld Testaments signified an exclusive covenant between God and thepeople of Israelites. The New Testament meant the end of the MosaicLaws, including worshipping on the Sabbath Day.
The Fulfillment of the Old Testament Ended MosaicLaws
According toMatthew 5:17-18, Jesus said that His coming did not aim at abolishingMosaic Laws, but to fulfill the provisions of the Old Testament. Heprovided an assurance that nothing would disappear from the MosaicLaws or the prophecies as long as the Heaven and Earth existed. TheBible asserts through 2 Corinthians 1:20 that all God’s promisesare fulfilled in Jesus Christ who is part of the Trinity. Thefulfillment of God’s promises in the Old Testament meant that thepath to righteousness is through Jesus Christ rather than the law asit was the case in the early Christian life. The Gospel according toMark 2:28 claims that Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath and other things.Therefore, He came to Earth with authority to change the Sabbath to adifferent day. The rationale of this discussion is that thefulfillment of the Old Testament liberated human beings from theMosaic Laws and set them on a path of a personal experience with God.
The Resurrection Day of Jesus Christ Symbolizesthe Official Worship Day
Just like MosaicLaws signified the Old Testament, the teachings, and life of JesusChrist characterized the New Testament. The coming of Jesus wasforetold in the Old Testaments through prophetic books such asIsaiah. The arrival of Jesus meant a new beginning of experienceamong Christians. For instance, Christians would not have mediatorssuch as Prophets but would be filled with the Holy Spirit. The HolySpirit would link people to God within the context of the teachingsof Jesus Christ. Thus, the Holy Trinity signifies a union of all thedimensions of God`s manifestation to human beings. Having fulfilledthe Old Testaments, people were free to worship any day. Therefore,the Disciples of Jesus settled on the first day of the week commonlyknown as Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.Biblical records in the New Testament indicate that people worshipedon the first day of the week after the era of the original disciples.For instance, Paul asked the Church at Corinth to gather theirofferings during the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 15:2).Similarly, he used to meet the believers at Troas during the firstday of the week (Acts 20:7). The decision to worship on Sunday wasconsistent with the fact that Jesus resurrected on the first day ofthe week (Keohane, n/d). The resurrection of Jesus is revered in theNew Testament.
The Symbolism of the Significant Events WhichTook Place on Sunday
In the OldTestament, people worshiped on the Sabbath day because God blessedand sanctified it as a resting day. Israelites interpreted it as asymbol of a sacred day designated for rest and worship. Those whoviolated this law were punished because they disobeyed God`s Laws.Correspondingly, the major events that took place in the NewTestaments on the first day of some weeks symbolized that the day wasspecial (Keohane, n/d). For instance, Jesus resurrected and appearedto his disciples on the first day (Matthew 28:9 and John 20:19respectively). Additionally, the disciples were filled with the HolySpirit on the first day of the week (Acts 2). Moreover, Peter’sfirst preaching was on the first day (Acts 2:14-36). Lastly, threethousand individuals accepted the new church and received baptism(Acts 2:41). Throughout the Bible, it is evident that God tends touse patterns. In the Old Testaments, He used to do things on theSabbath. However, a lot of significant things happened on the firstday of the week in the New Testament. A shift in the way things weredone was imminent following the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Itimplies that the Mosaic Laws are relevant but not binding becauseJesus acted as the greatest sacrificial lamb.
Worship in any Day
The New Testamentalso provides a realistic context for asserting that God can beworshiped in any day (Canale & Seminary, 2002). The fulfillmentof the Mosaic Law meant that people were not bound by Mosaic laws andcould worship God in any day. The essence of the New Testament was toimprovement people’s relationship with God without mediators andrestrictions.
Every Day is the Same
Worshipping on theSabbath ended when Jesus fulfilled the Old Testaments. Mosaic Lawsare not binding anymore because people are under the new covenantwith God. Part of enhancing individual experiences with God entailsallowing people to choose their preferred day of worship. Likewise,worshiping on Sundays cannot be defended from the Biblicalscriptures. In fact, worshipping on Sunday became a tradition afterDisciples chose to facilitate their duties on the first day followingthe departure of the Jesus Christ. A similar issue arose in the earlyChurch. Paul responded by saying “let no one judge you in food orin drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths”(Colossians 2:16). The coming of Jesus Christ made every day thesame. Therefore, one group can gather on Sunday while another onThursday. They would still meet the objective of worshipping God.
Worship is a Way of Life among Christians
A commonperception among modern Christians, and rightly so, is that Godshould be worshiped every day. The first book of Thessalonians 5:18says that people should give thanks to God in everything and allcircumstances. These events can inspire happiness or sadness.Christians are still expected to show gratitude to God and find Hiswill in everything irrespective of their nature. Showing gratitude toGod is part of worshiping because an individual acknowledges theimportance of God`s intervention in his or her life. Therefore,limiting the day of Worship to Saturday or Sunday would compromisethis law. People would wait until those days to worship God. On theother hand, setting people free may encourage people to worship everyday as directed in the Bible (Hebrews 9:14).
Christians are Free
Romans 14:1-12provides a Biblical context of freedom under the new laws establishedin the New Testament. Specifically, it directs Christians to acceptthose whose faith is weak. However, such weaknesses should not formthe basis of discriminating against one another. The Book clarifiesthat an individual may be comfortable in eating everything. However,the uncomfortable people can eat vegetables only. Therefore, thosewho choose particular food over others should not judge otherpreferences in contempt. Therefore, people can worship on the Sabbathor Sunday, but should not use it to judge others. The real test ofChristianity does not lie on the day of worship, but the extent ofone`s connection with God. Similarly, Sunday worshippers that thereis no scriptural evidence where God directed people to worship onSunday. However, worshipping on Sunday is acceptable as long asChristians do not use it to discriminate other worshippers.
Preferred Day of Worship
The New Testamentprovides the context that can be used as a guideline for deciding theday of worship. Worship day should not be used to discriminatebetween people or determine whether an individual is a trueChristian. Any day would have been an ideal response to thecontroversy that has surrounded the correct day of worship. However,a particular day of worship is needed to encourage the gathering ofmany people as possible. Worshipping also entails a lot of thingssuch as sacrifices, tithe payment, and contribution to the lessfortunate members of the society. Thus, designating one day forworship provides the Church with the opportunity to plan for weeklyactivities which include visitation. It also helps the Church todocument all the contributions, sacrifices, and tithes. Furthermore,it helps people to receive ministerial messages from priests. Thecorrect day of worship should be on Sunday because the idea isconsistent with modern Christianity instituted in the New Testament.Jesus fulfilled the promises and laws made in the Old Testaments.Therefore, people should shift to Sunday worship because itrepresented most of the significant activities which took place inthe New Testaments.
Canale, F., & Seminary, S. D. A. T.(2002). Principles of Worship and Liturgy. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 2009, 89-111.
Grace to You (2009). The Sabbath, andwhy Worship on Sunday. Retrieved November 22, 2016, fromhttp://www.gty.org/resources/Sermon-Series/309/The-Sabbath-and-Why-We- Worship-on-Sunday
Keohane, S. (n.d.). History of theChange from Saturday to Sunday Worship. Retrieved November 22, 2016,from http://www.bibleprobe.com/sundayworship.htm
Pack, D. C. (2009). Saturday OrSunday: Which Is the Sabbath?. iUniverse
Skeel, D. A., & Longman, T. (2011). The Mosaic Law in ChristianPerspective. U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper,(11-25).
The Holy Bible