Saturday, 8 July 2017

Sunday Worship

Sunday worship didn't replace the Jews' seventh-day sabbath: they were two separate things.

Sabbath-keeping was a mark of Jewishness. The disciples of Jesus had a habit of assembling together - but that wasn't thought of as sabbath-keeping. 

The Apostles didn't seem to set any particular day of the week on which the disciples should come together. In Jerusalem they met daily in the Temple and from house to house. At Troas the disciples came together early in the morning upon the first day of the week to break bread. But it wasn't to keep the Sabbath. 

Early Jewish believers in Jesus, as well as assembling with the disciples, might also have continued observing their seventh-day sabbaths and attending the Temple or their regional synagogues - but the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem decided not to impose such a requirement on Gentile believers in Jesus. But they did tell the disciples not to forsake the assembling of themselves together.

If a Jewish believer felt obligated to continue observing the Jews' sabbaths and to attend his regional synagogue, that wasn't a reason why he couldn't also assemble with the saints the next morning, or on the same day, or any day. 

But very often, believers in Jesus were excommunicated from synagogues. That didn't mean they couldn't meet with the disciples. The synagogues and the churches were not one and the same thing.

Paul told Gentile believers not to set at nought a Jewish believer who still felt obligated in his conscience to observe the sabbaths and dietary laws.

The fourth commandment was part of that which was written and engraven on stones - part of the old testament, the ministration of death - which Paul said has passed away and been replaced by something of greater glory - even though in its time it had a measure of glory of its own. 

So the Ten Commandments - including of course the fourth commandment - have passed away, in one sense. Paul said that. 

And yet in another sense Paul also said that we fulfil the Law. 

To not understand how Paul could say both, is to not really understand Paul fully.

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