Some people place too much emphasis on the seventh day of the week, stating that God blessed it and made it holy and commanded us observe it as a memorial to creation. Is the significance of creation more valuable than redemption that we should observe and keep the sabbath in memory of it? The resurrection day fell on the first day of the week, not on the seventh day. Which is more important in the life of a born- again Christian: creation (memorialized by observing the seventh day), or the resurrection of Christ (memorialized by the fellowshipping of God’s people on the first day of the week)?
Yes, creation is the most important ability of God for us to realize and remember, not only in the creation of the world, but in the regeneration of an individual. Paul wrote,“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24) God’s creative ability, displayed in nature, is our assurance that He is able to create in us a clean heart and complete the work He began in us. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Paul wrote, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) God’s eternal power is understood by the things which He has made. The Sabbath was made for man as a time when he could behold the mighty works of God and reflect upon His creative ability. As you look in awe at the vast expanse of a star-filled sky, it instills in your mind the great power that was required to create and maintain this universe. This reminds you that the same power that created these things is working inside you to renew your mind and transform your life. The Sabbath is designed to be a blessing to man, that he can come away to face a new week with renewed strength and vigor to fight the battles ahead. Whether it is the blooming of a flower, the strength of an ocean wave, the rising of the sun, or the forward step in Christian sanctification, it is the same power manifested throughout. It is through faith in this power that we become changed, and therefore it is altogether imperative that we understand God’s power displayed in creation. Notice the reason God gave for giving us the Sabbath in the first place. God said, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Ezekiel 20:12) The Sabbath is specifically designed to keep before our minds God’s creative power; to remind us who it is that is working on our behalf to sanctify us.
Even with all this, we do not keep the seventh-day Sabbath only because it reminds us of God’s creation, but because God blessed that day, made it holy, and commanded us to keep it holy by ceasing from work on that day. This is biblical.
The idea that “the fellowshipping of the saints on the first day of each week” memorializes the resurrection of Christ is not biblical in any sense of the word. By what authority can any Christian make this claim? It certainly cannot be based upon the Bible. Tradition could be the only answer; and late-blooming tradition at that, being borrowed from the pagan sun worshippers many years after the death of Christ.
We were given two institutions to remind us of the death and resurrection of Christ, baptism and the Lord’s supper. Jesus said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25) This communion service can be done on any day of the week. Paul wrote, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3, 4) There is no record anywhere in the Bible that we were instructed to fellowship “on the first day of each week” to remember Christ’s death or His resurrection.