The Lord's Day

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day "
Rev 1:10

Under the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). Under the New Testament, Christians are freed from the Law of the Sabbath , but are taught to esteem the first day of the week as the Lord s day.

The objectives of this lesson are:
1) To show that the law of the Sabbath has ended.
2) To show that the Lord s day is the first day of the week.
3) To show what God wants Christians to do on the first day of the week, or Lord s day.

The Sabbath

The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week.

Exod 20:9-10 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath

The Seventh day is first mentioned in connection with the creation story.

Gen 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Though mentioned, it is not here called the Sabbath, and there is no command for man to keep the Sabbath on this occasion.

The first time the word Sabbath is applied to the seventh day and man was instructed to observe the Sabbath in any way was when Israel was commanded to gather manna. On the sixth day they were to gather twice the normal amount because there would be no manna given on the Sabbath; it was to be a day of rest. (Exodus 16:23,29,30).

The command to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy was given to Israel as a part of the ten commandments a covenant between God and Israel (Ex. 20:8-11). It was not given to Israel before Sinai. Furthermore, this covenant was with no other nation. Therefore, no other nation was commanded to keep the Sabbath by this law.

Deut 5:3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.

Deut 5:12 Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.

Neh 9:13-14 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:.

The Sabbath was a sign between God and Israel reminding Israel that God brought them out of Egypt.

Exod. 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

Deut 5:15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.

When Paul spoke of the sins of the Gentiles, he made no mention of the breaking of the Sabbath (Rm. 1:28-32).

Remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy meant that the Jews could do no work on that day (Ex.35:1-3; Jer.17:21-27).

The law of the Sabbath has ended.
Col 2:14-16 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Eph. 2:14,15

The Lord s Day, The first day of the week

"of or belonging to the Lord .2. Relating to the Lord, the day devoted to the Lord, sacred to the memory of Christ's resurrection, Rev.1:10" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon)

The word rendered Lord s occurs only in this place and in 1 Cor. 11:20, where it is applied to the Lord s supper. It properly means pertaining to the Lord and, so far as this word is concerned, it might mean a day pertaining to the Lord, in any sense, or for any reason; either because he claimed it as his own, and had set it apart for his own service, or because it was designed to commemorate some important event pertaining to him, or because it was observed in honour of him. It is clear, (1) That this refers to some day which was distinguished from all other days of the week, and which would be sufficiently designated by the use of this term. (2) That it was a day which was for some reason regarded as peculiarly a day of the Lord, or peculiarly devoted to him. (3) It would further appear that this was a day particularly devoted to the Lord Jesus; for, (a) that is the natural meaning of the word Lord as used in the New Testament (comp. Notes on Acts 1:24); and (b) if the Jewish Sabbath were intended to be designated, the word Sabbath would have been used. The term was used generally by the early Christians to denote the first day of the week.

"John relates the facts in a clear and simple way. On Sunday during his exile in Patmos he was 'in the spirit." (Interpretation of St. John's Revelation, Lenski)

"The expression occurs here only in the New Testament, and beyond all doubts means 'on Sunday." (Pulpit Commentary on Revelation)

" It is most natural to say that John meant the first day of the week by the expression 'Lord's day." (A Commentary on the Book of Revelation, John T. Hinds, p.25)

"The Lord's day' is not to be confused with 'the day of the Lord,' used in both testaments. This latter expression always refers to a day of judgment and retribution; 'the Lord's day,' indicates the first day of the week." (Revelation, Homer Hailey, p.107)

Events recorded in the New Testament that suggest that the first day of the week is the Lord s day:

1) Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week.
Mk. 16:9
Lk. 24:1,13,20-21

2) The disciples met with Jesus after His resurrection on the first day of the week .
Jn. 20:1,19,26

3) Many important events associated with the Gospel occurred on Pentecost which was on the first day of the week. (Lev. 23:15,16)

a) The coming of the spirit on the apostles (Acts 2:1-4)

b) The preaching of the gospel (Acts 2:14)

c) The beginning of the church (Acts 2:47)

4) Early Christians assembled on the first day of the week.
Acts 20:7
1 Cor. 16:2

3 Things that Christians must do on the Lord s Day:

1) Assemble (Acts 20:7)

God commands Christians not to forsake the assembling of themselves together (Heb. 10:25).
While some may think this passage is not limited to the assembly of saints on the first day of the week, it is generally agreed that it includes that assembly.

Churches may have as many meetings as they desire, but as concerning the Lord s-day meeting they have no choice the Lord commands the church to meet on this day for worship (Sound Doctrine, Nichols)

2) Partake the Lord s Supper (Acts 20:7)

3) Give as we have been prospered (1 Cor. 16:2,3)

Christians may do other things in their assemblies on the first day of the week such as sing, pray and teach, but they cannot leave off partaking of the Lord s Supper and giving. This God commands. Furthermore, we would remind you also that we sing one to another which suggests a gathering of Christians.

Is it serious to forsake the assembly of the saints on the Lord s day?

We fail to continue steadfast (Acts 2:42)

We fail to do the will of God (Matt. 7:21)

We fail to keep the commandments of the Lord (1 Jn. 2:4)

James 2:10

When we fail to assemble with the saints we:

1) Miss an opportunity to be with the Lord .
Matt 18:20 where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

2) We fail to commemorate the death of the Lord by failing to take the Lord s Supper (Acts 20:7).

3) We fail to give as we have prospered (1 Cor. 16:1-3).

4) We fail to exhort others and to be exhorted (Heb. 10:25).

5) We miss an opportunity to be with those of like precious faith.


We should attend regularly and learn to enjoy it, for if we do not enjoy being with the people of God in worship here, we would not enjoy heaven even if we should go there.

They Won't Miss Me!

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house" (1 Peter 2:5)

Try to imagine how unattractive our church building would be if bricks in the wall were missing. Not only would it be unattractive, but it would also be weakening to the rest of the structure. If our building were missing bricks, we would get busy and correct that situation immediately.

Simon Peter tells us that the Lord's spiritual house (the church) is made up of "lively stones." But often we observe numerous stones missing from the worship assembly. This result is a most unattractive and weakened structure.

Even as every brick in our church building is needed, so every living stone in the spiritual house is needed. How unfortunate when some member has the idea, "I'm only one; I won't be missed!" The Bible teaches that every person must bear his own burden. Our daily prayer should be, "Lord, help me always be in my place carrying my share of the load."