Chapter Twenty — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 09/04/2022Foundation Scriptures:
1. The Lord’s Day.
a. It took five days of travel to get to Troas, and they remained there for seven days (Acts 20:6).
b. Acts 20:7a KJV — And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…
c. The Early Church was accustomed to assembling on Sunday, the first day of the week—the Christian “sabbath”—which they called “the Lord’s Day.”
d. There were several reasons why Sunday became their regular day to gather as a Body.
e. Christ was resurrected on the first day of the week.
f. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples on the first day of the week (Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:9; Jn. 20:1,19, 26).
g. The Holy Spirit was poured out in the upper room on the first day of the week (Acts 2:1).
h. The Book of Revelation was given to John on Sunday, the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10).
i. Keeping this first day of the week, was a sign between them and Christ, that they were His disciples.
2. The Church, the Body.
a. Even though one day is as good as another, it is advantageous to have a set day and time for the Church, the local Body of Christ, to gather.
b. We gather to worship God, preach the Word, pray, minister by the Holy Ghost, and fellowship with one another.
c. We are not lone rangers, we are one Body, and we need one another.
d. It is important to commit to regularly meet together, and to not quit or compromise this, no matter what the enemy does to try to prevent us.
e. Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV — And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
3. Old Testament Sabbath.
a. Some Christian denominations adamantly hold to Saturday as their sabbath.
b. However, they fail to recognize that the Old Testament sabbath was only a type and shadow of the New.
c. God gave them the Law on a Sunday (Ex. 19:1, 3, 11).
d. Exodus 19:11 AMPC — And be ready by the third day, for the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai [in the cloud] in the sight of all the people.
e. The Jewish sabbath was a changeable sabbath.
f. It changed at Pentecost every year to one day later.
g. Therefore, each day of the week was observed, in turn, every seven years.
h. Pentecost was observed on the first day after the seventh sabbath (Lev. 23:15-21).
i. The feast of first fruits, which typified the resurrection, was observed on Sunday (Lev. 23:9-14; Mt. 28:1; Jn. 20:1).
j. All this pointed toward Jesus and His death and resurrection!
4. Jesus and the Sabbath.
a. During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ had ignored the sabbath, in that He treated it like any other day, healing people and doing good works, etc.
b. Mark 2:27-28 KJV — And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
c. Mark 3:4 KJV — And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
d. We are commanded to gather, but there is no command given in the New Testament, by Jesus or the apostles, to strictly observe a particular day—but just the opposite (Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-11; Col. 2:14-17).
e. Colossians 2:16-17 AMPC — Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath. 17 Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.
f. Some Christian denominations forbid certain normal, everyday practices on Sundays.
g. But if something is sinful on a Sunday, then it is a sin every other day as well.
h. And if it is not sinful on the other days of the week, then it is not a sin on Sunday either.
5. Breaking Bread.
a. The disciples came together to break bread (Acts 20:7).
b. The bread, broken by us, the believers, is the communion of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16).
c. Communion (Greek koinonia) – fellowship; association; community; communion; joint participation; intimacy.
d. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 KJV — The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 e. For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
Jesus is that one Bread (John 6:32-51).
f. John 6:33 KJV — For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
g. John 6:35 KJV — And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
h. As the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the ages, we come together to preach and hear the Word of God, to sing psalms, pray, and prophesy—to exhort one another, and have godly fellowship one with another.
i. We gather to break the bread of fellowship together.
j. We also gather to partake of communion—the bread and wine—representing His Body and Blood, our healing and salvation.
k. 1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV — For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
l. For the believer, every day is a day to serve and worship God from the heart.