Summary: To establish that on the first day of the week; the church congregated; observed the communion and contributed of their means, to the Lord. This is a day of fellowship, preaching, breaking of bread, songs, and, prayers. This lesson establishes the day of assembling, in worship.
1. This is the first lesson in this sermon-series: “The First Day of the Week.” In it, we will consider that the church assembled on the first day of the week, as a means of worship and fellowship. Luke wrote: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized...about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and the breaking of bread and prayers," Acts 2:41-42. Luke continued: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” Acts 2:46.
2. The church convened both in the temple; and, from house to house in fellowship, to break the bread, and worship daily, in its infancy. Worship, fellowship, and the breaking of bread were not limited to a single location; but, wherever the church has assembled. This gathering was the practice of the early church for worship on: "the first day of the week." We like the apostle John, who is in the “Spirit” on the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:9-10. With this introduction, let's consider lesson 1, "The Day of their Congregation,” in this sermon-series.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE DAY OF THEIR CONGREGATION
A. I know that someone will ask about church assembling. To most saints, this lesson is elementary. I should not have to remind my brethren; that Jesus settles the place of worship while talking with “the woman at the well.” She spoke proudly of her place of worship to God, in the holy mountain. Jesus said: "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father...But the hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth,” John 4:20-24. Observe--
1. It is in “spirit and truth” we worship; that magnifies the name of the Lord: not the mountain, the temple, the riverside or, even in the sanctuary.
2. It is “who” and “when” we worship, that is important. It is not the place; but, our worshipping the Father in “spirit and in truth,” John 4:24.
3. This kind of worship is what our Father seeketh of the: true worshippers to worship Him, and to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him, Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15-16.
4. In these, God is well pleased.
B. The day of worship. The early church assembled for worship on the “first day of they (the disciples) continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and prayers," Acts 2:41-42.
1. Luke wrote, further: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” Acts 2:46: Acts 4:31-36.
2. The church was gathering both in the temple; and, from house to house in fellowship, in breaking bread, and worship daily. Worship, fellowship, and the breaking of bread cannot be limited to a single location; but, wherever the church decides to assemble.
3. These things which are being done on this day; are more important than where they are happening. The church building is not holy unto the Lord. The church is!
C. All teaching and preaching must originate from the basis of “sound doctrine.” Sound doctrine means: “healthy or good teaching,” Titus 2:1. Notice--
1. Efforts of the early church were to strengthen and grow the body of Christ. These were founded upon two primary principles. They were the saints are to continue in:
a. One, “The apostles’ doctrine,” or the teachings of the word of God.
b. Two, “And in fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers,” Acts 2:42
c. We know the meaning of "doctrine," so let's consider the word: "fellowship."
d. It has a different meaning; and purpose than what many saints perceive.
2. Fellowship of Philippi, in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. The word fellowship is communicating, communion, contribution, and distribution. It involves giving and receiving from each other's bounty, Philippians 1:3-7; Philippians 4:15-17.
a. The word “fellowship” in the Gr., is koinonia or koi-no-ne'-ä, which means to be in partnership, i.e., participation, or (in social) affairs, or share:—to communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-) distribution, to contribute.
b. To contribute. Paul wrote: "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution (in fellowship) for the poor saints, which are at Jerusalem,” Romans 16:25-26; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
c. Fellowship meant to participate in contributing to the work of Christ, in support of the apostles, the church, and to all the saints. We will return to this later in the lesson. But for now, consider--