Saturday, July 23, 2016

The early church

1Co 16:2  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 gatherings when I come. 
1Co 16:3  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 
1Co 16:4  And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. 

The earliest church met on the Lord's day, which is Sunday, the day that Christ arose from the grave. Paul is giving instructions to the Corinthian church that collections for the persecuted church in Jerusalem be taken on the first day of the week. Historians of the time say that the offering was taken after the worship time, which is the custom of our church today. This giving to help the church in Jerusalem was a special offering, for offerings were given for the support of the local church as well. There are guidelines for giving to the needy. If there are widows who are old and with no family they are to be supported. The family is the first source of help. 

1Ti 5:3  Honour widows that are widows indeed. 

If a person can work and there is work  available, then they are to support themselves and give to others in need. Persecution of the church in Jerusalem had made it difficult to make a living. The church meeting together had a better chance of survival, as they had all things in common. Other churches gave support in finances and in prayer.

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 
Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 
Php 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 

Our obedience is required if we are the disciples of Christ. Some obey God by keeping the Saturday Sabbath. Let every person decide in their heart about when to gather, but remember that we are to care for the Church and those in need by our giving.

No comments: