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 regularity of the contribution, in worship.
3. The Day of their Contribution
1. This is the last lesson in this sermon-series entitled: "The First Day of the Week." In it, we will investigate that the church contributed its money on: "the first day of the week” for the work and support of the church. Paul wrote: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order (direction) to the churches of Galatia, even so, do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gathering when I come," 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
2. It was the practice of the early church to come together, to offer spiritual sacrifices unto the Lord, in their financial contributions. The collections were taken up to support the work of the Lord and providing for the saints. Each saint was charged to give, “as they had been prospered.” The early church gave of their substance unto the Lord on: "the first day of the week." This was a weekly contribution to the Lord. With this introduction, let's consider lesson 3, "The Day of their Contribution," in this sermon-series.
BODY OF LESSON
III THE DAY OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION
A. The day of contribution. The “first day of the week,” is also a day of giving back to the Lord, as we have been prospered. Paul wrote: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order (direction) to the churches of Galatia, even so, do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gathering when I come," 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. To better understand this directive, let’s consider Paul’s careful instruction. Observe—
1. The day of our giving. It was to be done upon: “the first day of the week.” We have discussed this phrase in great detail earlier; we will not belabor this point. If, however, the phrase here is the same, as in Acts 20:7. Would anyone argue this does not mean every "first day of the week" in the collection? In both acts of worship, it means "every"-- "first day of the week." The Christians observed the communion; and, contributed to the church as the Lord prospered them. I wish I had some help! Amen, brother Ceilings!
2. Did the apostles teach and observe both these as necessary acts of worship unto God? Consider—
a. The communion: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and prayers," Acts 2:42.
b. The collection: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order...Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him," 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
c. Both the communion and the collection are the apostles' doctrine, one given to us by example, and the other unto us by a directive.
3. Who has the authority to change the commandments of the Lord? It is not up to us; to determine which means each Lord's Day, and which means "as often as we deem necessary." To decide such is to negate the commandments of the Lord; and bring upon ourselves swift destruction, Revelations 22:18-19. Recall we are commanded not to:
a. Diminish nothing from the commandments of the Lord, Deuteronomy 4:2.
d. David wrote: “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven,” Psalms 119:89. If the changes or amendments of men, in any spiritual matter; is going to make a difference, it must be changed in heaven.
e. We have discussed this misuse of the scriptures in our discussion of the communion or the Lord’s Supper. Let’s look now at Paul’s instruction on the contribution for the saints.
B. This contribution was for the saints. The gift Paul has directed to be collected was for the "poor saints in Jerusalem.” Observe--
1. To the Romans, he wrote: “But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem,” Romans 15:25-26; Romans 15:27-33.
2. It was an order to the church. The word “order” in Gr., is diatásso or de-ä-tä's-so, which means to arrange thoroughly, i.e., (especially) institute, prescribe, etc.:—to appoint, command, give, (set in) order, to ordain.
3. This was a directive for the church. There is a New Testament pattern; in giving unto the Lord. Paul directed that the Corinthians’ follow the same example of the collection that: “he had given to the churches of Galatia,” 1 Corinthians 16:1.