Why do most Christians go to church on Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of the sabbath, the seventh day of the week?
Christians typically go to church on Sunday, rather than Saturday, because Jesus was raised from the dead on a Sunday morning. The resurrection is extremely important for Christians. Indeed, it's so important that, if it didn't occur, Christianity would be false! In 1 Corinthians 15:17 Paul writes, "...if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins."
But why is such great significance attached to Jesus' bodily resurrection? Although many reasons could be given, let me mention just two:
1. In the resurrection, God the Father vindicated the person and work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who had been crucified not for His own sin, but for ours (2 Cor. 5:21). Thus, in Romans 1:4 we read that Jesus "was declared the Son of God with power by (or "as a result of") the resurrection from the dead." But don't Christians believe that Jesus was already the Son of God before His resurrection? Yes; this passage teaches that the resurrection was God's powerful confirmation that Jesus' message about Himself was true. After all, anyone can CLAIM to be the Son of God, but only God can confirm the truth of such a claim by raising the person from the dead!
2. In Romans 4:25 we read that Christ "was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." To "justify" someone means to declare them "righteous," or not-guilty. This passage indicates the sufficiency of Christ's death for all believers. In other words, believers can be confident of their justification by God on the basis of Christ's resurrection. If the Father had not been fully satisfied with Christ's death for our sins, He would not have raised Him from the dead. The resurrection is thus God's confirmation of the complete sufficiency of Christ's death for all who believe!
It is thus because of the tremendous importance of Christ's resurrection for the Christian faith that Christians worship on Sunday, the day that God raised Jesus from the dead.
I hope you find this information helpful. May God bless you as you search the Scriptures!
About the Author
Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is michaelgleghorn.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
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Plano TX 75075