The Lord’s Supper – R.L. Whiteside

R.L. Whiteside

Every institution, whether human or Divine, must have stated times for meetings, or assemblies. In human governments the whole citizenship does not assemble, but they meet at stated times through their chosen representatives. The church could not exist long without regular meetings. A little thinking will enable any one to see this. Can you imagine a church growing and prospering, or even existing, without a regular Lord’s Day meeting? That the early church had a regular meeting may be seen by a thoughtful reading of Hebrews 10:25: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is.” If they had no assembling together, they could not forsake it; and if they had no regular assembling together, some could not establish a custom of staying away from assembling together. A person could not establish a custom of staying away from a meeting that did not exist.

When was the time for that assembling together? “And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them” (Acts 20:7). The matter-of-fact way in which Luke makes this statement shows that they were in the habit of assembling on the first day of the week to break bread. Does one reply that Luke does not say that they met every first day of the week? Let him remember that a week has but one first day. God said to the Jews, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exo. 20:8). He did not say for them to keep every sabbath holy, for there was but one sabbath each week, and when that day came around the command was also present. Suppose some Jew had said, “But the Lord did not say for us to remember every sabbath,” and had gone out to work on a sabbath, what would have happened to him? And as the week has only one first day, when the first day comes around our duty to assemble together also comes.

That the churches assembled regularly on the first day of the week is also shown by Paul’s command to the church at Corinth: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come” (1 Cor. 16:1-2). These collections at Corinth were made on the first day of the week. They were also made into a common treasury, and not laid up at home. They were to be so collected that Paul would not have to gather them up when he came. The churches of the province of Galatia were to do likewise. The language, therefore, shows conclusively that they met on the first day of the week and that they made their contributions into a common treasury. As these churches met on the first day of the week, we conclude that other churches did likewise (and so must the Lord’s church do in every age, including ours).

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