The First Day

1Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. 

‘Concerning the collection for the saints.’ This was the last of 12 subjects inquired about Paul. Christians in Judea were suffering want due to the spoiling of their goods.

‘Churches of Galatia, even so do you’ – He used the Galatians as an example of giving to the Corinthians, the Corinthians to the Macedonians (2Cor. 9:2), and these last two to the Romans (Rom. 15:26).

‘Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.’ Collections were to be taken up on the first day of the week (Sunday), the day all early Christians observed as their day of rest and worship (John 20:1, 19, 26; Acts 20:7). Christians are not bound by keeping any special day; the sabbath’s rest was a preservation law of health for when one labour, to not do so continuously, but only for six days and then rest the seventh (Gen. 2:2-3). This law was given by God to all men 3513 years before the institution of the sabbath day that was given only to the nation of Israel as a reminder of being set free from slavery (Deut. 5:15). Paul from the first days of Gentile Christianity, laid it down definitely that the Jewish sabbath was not binding on Christians. Sunday was refered to as “The Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10) because the resurrection took place on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). No observance of a special day of rest is contained among the necessary things of Acts 15:28, 29. A given day as a matter of divine obligation is denounced by Paul as forsaking Christ (Gal. 4:10), and sabbath-keeping is condemned explicitly in Colossians 2:16. As a matter of individual devotion to be sure, a man might do as he pleased (Rom. 14:5, 6), but no general rule as necessary for salvation could be compatible with liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (Gal. 2:1-21; 3:1-14; 5:1-4, 13).

‘Lay by him in store’ – They were to lay up week by week a certain amount for the poor and have the whole ready to send to Jerusalem when he came (1Cor. 16:2-3).

‘As God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.’ The basis of giving was as God prospered each week. No gatherings were necessary for the collections or tithings. ‘Approve by your letters’ – this proves that saints recommended by congregations were approved by letters to other congregations.

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