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Giving on the First Day of the Week

Giving and the importance of the First Day of the WeekWhat is the significance of the First Day of the Week? Why does the New Testament say the church should take a collection each first day?

1 Corinthians 16:1,2 says the church receives income by taking a collection each first day of the week. Under the Old Testament, the seventh-day Sabbath was the special day of the week. So why would the New Testament give special significance to the first day of the week?

Mark 16:9 – Jesus arose on the first day of the week.

Important as the crucifixion was, the Bible nowhere directly states the day of the week when Jesus died. But all four gospel accounts specifically tell us Jesus arose on the first day of the week.

(Luke 24:1,4,21; Mark 16:2; Matthew 26:1-7; Luke 24:1-9; John 20:1-10)

John 20:19 – Jesus first appeared to His disciples on the first day of the week.

On that first day of the week after He had arisen, Jesus appeared several times (Mark 16:2,9; Matthew 26:1,8-10; Luke 24:1,19-21; John 20:1,11-19). Jesus’ appearances are also crucial to our faith, because they prove that He really rose from the dead (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

John 20:26 – Jesus also appeared to the disciples on the next first day of the week.

This was the eighth day after the resurrection. The way days were counted would make this the next first day of the week (compare Leviticus 23:39).

Acts 2:1 – The day of Pentecost was a first day of the week (Leviticus 23:15,16).

Note the great events that occurred on this day:

(1) The Holy Spirit came to give the apostles power.

(2) For the first time the gospel was preached as being in effect.

(3) The first converts obeyed the gospel and became Christians.

(4) In fulfillment of many prophecies, Christ was first preached as reigning on the throne of David in His kingdom.

(5) People first began to enter the church, which is the kingdom (verse 47).

The events of this Pentecost were a focal point of Bible history and can hardly be over-emphasized. Yet all this happened on a first day of the week.

Acts 20:7 – The disciples met on the first day of the week to break bread.

This confirms the significance of the first day of the week by showing that this is the day when disciples should meet to have the Lord's Supper.

1 Corinthians 16:1,2 – Local churches were instructed to take up collections on the first day of the week.

This collection occurred, not just on one first day of the week, but repeatedly. The language so strongly implies this that many translations actually say on the first day of “every week.” (see NASB, ESV, NRSV, MLV, NIV).

The only day ever singled out for special mention regarding the worship of Christians is the first day of the week. Neither the seventh day or any other weekday is ever mentioned as having any significance in the worship or work of the early church. If the first day of the week is not significant, why mention this day repeatedly, and never mention any other day?

Just as Israel was expected to remember every seventh day to keep it holy, so Christians should meet every first day to break bread and take up the collection.


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019;

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