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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Biblical Giving


John81
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

This thread was prompted by much of what I've been hearing others say and by some things I've heard on Christian radio.

What determines your regular church giving (whatever you choose to call it; tithe, offering, giving, etc.)?

Do you determine your giving based upon Scripture or something else?


It seems for awhile now many Christians have been saying they just can't give or can't give as much as they'd like because of the economy. Many of these saying this have not had their jOBs or incomes effected by the economy.

Along these lines I've also heard it said that government taxes are going for causes the church is supposed to tend to so less needs to be given to the church.

As well with regard to taxes, some are saying if taxes go up under OBama they won't be able to give to the church because there won't be anything left over to give.


This thread isn't about how much we give, but about how we determine what we give and how we go about our giving. This thread also isn't about the tithe debate either even though ones view on that could effect how they determine what they give and how they go about their giving.

What say you?

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  • Advanced Member

This thread was prompted by much of what I've been hearing others say and by some things I've heard on Christian radio.

What determines your regular church giving (whatever you choose to call it; tithe, offering, giving, etc.)?

Do you determine your giving based upon Scripture or something else?


It seems for awhile now many Christians have been saying they just can't give or can't give as much as they'd like because of the economy. Many of these saying this have not had their jOBs or incomes effected by the economy.

Along these lines I've also heard it said that government taxes are going for causes the church is supposed to tend to so less needs to be given to the church.

As well with regard to taxes, some are saying if taxes go up under OBama they won't be able to give to the church because there won't be anything left over to give.


This thread isn't about how much we give, but about how we determine what we give and how we go about our giving. This thread also isn't about the tithe debate either even though ones view on that could effect how they determine what they give and how they go about their giving.

What say you?


I give the same as what my health club membership costs.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Biblical standard is still the same, "first fruits" are tithes, offerings, missions and giving are over and above tithes. We Christians need to get this right. Praise God for a church and Pastor who gently teach proper attitude toward that which God allows us to manage.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Biblical standard is still the same, "first fruits" are tithes, offerings, missions and giving are over and above tithes. We Christians need to get this right. Praise God for a church and Pastor who gently teach proper attitude toward that which God allows us to manage.


Is this then how you determine your giving? How do you go about giving in this manner?
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  • Advanced Member



Okay, how did you determine to give that amount and how do you go about giving it?


I figured that I spend that much on health I could at least give that amount to my Church. I use on-line bill pay, which sends a check every two weeks (payday) to the Church's mailing address. I never miss a payment, it's always on time.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



I figured that I spend that much on health I could at least give that amount to my Church. I use on-line bill pay, which sends a check every two weeks (payday) to the Church's mailing address. I never miss a payment, it's always on time.


An interesting approach I've not heard of before.

I have noticed in some areas online and automatic giving are used by several folks.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I've know many through the years that claim they can hardly give any, that after they pay their bills, that they have barely enough left over to buy food. They seem to say I'm going to get caught up one of these days, but it seems something else always comes along that they think they've just got to have, so they charge it creating another bill to pay each month, thus it seem they will never get out of the hole. They just keep digging deeper.

Seems those wants keeps getting in the way of giving to God for many.

Just for the record.

2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

I just don't believe the person who tithes can be a cheerful giver.

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  • Members

This thread was prompted by much of what I've been hearing others say and by some things I've heard on Christian radio.

What determines your regular church giving (whatever you choose to call it; tithe, offering, giving, etc.)?

Do you determine your giving based upon Scripture or something else?


It seems for awhile now many Christians have been saying they just can't give or can't give as much as they'd like because of the economy. Many of these saying this have not had their jOBs or incomes effected by the economy.

Along these lines I've also heard it said that government taxes are going for causes the church is supposed to tend to so less needs to be given to the church.

As well with regard to taxes, some are saying if taxes go up under OBama they won't be able to give to the church because there won't be anything left over to give.


This thread isn't about how much we give, but about how we determine what we give and how we go about our giving. This thread also isn't about the tithe debate either even though ones view on that could effect how they determine what they give and how they go about their giving.

What say you?
I base my giving on this verse

2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

and on what I have available to give.

I do not base it on the tithe for two reasons:

1. God's tithe was never required of those who lived outside the Holy Land.
2. I am neither a agriculturist, nor do I raise livestock.

When I give, I give what I am able to give. Edited by Standing Firm In Christ
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What about everybody else on OB?...Surely more folks here give to their church.


When giving, does your giving come first or do you determine your giving after allocating money for other things?

What place, if any, does prayer hold in regards to your giving?

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A little off subject but I have a friend who has a small church, around 65 members, in Pennsylvania. He never passes an offering plate around the church and seldom mentions about giving unless a missionary or guest preacher is in church. He keeps a small box in the back of the church and if you want give than you drop it in there. His church is still going strong after 15 years and they even support a few missionaries as well as have a little bible institute during the week. That's what you call depending on God.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A little off subject but I have a friend who has a small church, around 65 members, in Pennsylvania. He never passes an offering plate around the church and seldom mentions about giving unless a missionary or guest preacher is in church. He keeps a small box in the back of the church and if you want give than you drop it in there. His church is still going strong after 15 years and they even support a few missionaries as well as have a little bible institute during the week. That's what you call depending on God.


:amen: A Christian should not need to be badgered into giving and pastors should not spend valuable time trying to get people to give or give more.

What a wonderful testimony George Mueller (and others) have left for us, in how they never put out a call for money but rather took all their needs to God in prayer and God provided.

Our church passes the plate during services and we pray before and after but there is no prodding of folks to give. When our church holds special events there is no call for offerings and no plate is passed around lest visitors and those who may only attend church once or twice a year get the idea such events are about "making money" for the church.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


The tithe is 10% of my household gross income, prayerful consideration to faith promise (missions) and special offerings)


This is the same way I give.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I've know many through the years that claim they can hardly give any, that after they pay their bills, that they have barely enough left over to buy food. They seem to say I'm going to get caught up one of these days, but it seems something else always comes along that they think they've just got to have, so they charge it creating another bill to pay each month, thus it seem they will never get out of the hole. They just keep digging deeper.

Seems those wants keeps getting in the way of giving to God for many.

Just for the record.

2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

I just don't believe the person who tithes can be a cheerful giver.


That's an interesting approach and I can definitely see the thinking. I can say without thinking twice I'm very happy and cheerful to give my 10% and faith promise and any other love offerings I feel God lays on my heart.

The reason I feel this way is because God has put me through many financial trials and recently I had my most grueling of trials yet. I was not getting paid from Feb to May...no income at all and with a family of 5 it's no small task to keep them fed. But, this is prOBably the first time where I knew God would take care of us and I put my complete faith in Him...we were taken care of. I cheerfully gave my 10% of normal pay during that period anyway. Sure, it came out of savings but I figured it was only right to do that and have faith then try to hoard my money.

Anyway, like I said, came out of it unscathed and strengthened. In mid-May my pay started back up and the security deposit from my previous apartment came in. We were truly blessed with a trial that strengthened us and we got our money back in the end.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



That's an interesting approach and I can definitely see the thinking. I can say without thinking twice I'm very happy and cheerful to give my 10% and faith promise and any other love offerings I feel God lays on my heart.

The reason I feel this way is because God has put me through many financial trials and recently I had my most grueling of trials yet. I was not getting paid from Feb to May...no income at all and with a family of 5 it's no small task to keep them fed. But, this is prOBably the first time where I knew God would take care of us and I put my complete faith in Him...we were taken care of. I cheerfully gave my 10% of normal pay during that period anyway. Sure, it came out of savings but I figured it was only right to do that and have faith then try to hoard my money.

Anyway, like I said, came out of it unscathed and strengthened. In mid-May my pay started back up and the security deposit from my previous apartment came in. We were truly blessed with a trial that strengthened us and we got our money back in the end.

Praise God! :thumb:
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I try to give 10% of what I make. So, in the summer when I did not make any money I did not give a regular tythe, but did give offerings at various times.
At a church I went to in college they had a credit card machine in the lOBby for giving. You could go to it and swipe you card, type in how much to give and it would go on your card. It made sense, with a lot of people using direct deposit and debit/credit cards for most things.

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  • Lady Administrators

Interesting timing for this thread, John. August is our church's stewardship month. We enjoy a good number of messages on giving, and then it culminates in a banquet at which we turn in our giving plans for the year. But...

The messages that are preached are not messages that prod or browbeat. They are simply messages from the Bible on giving. It's amazing how much scripture actually talks about giving! Through it all, our pastor constantly reminds us that we need to pray about what God would have us give - not for pride's sake.

Our baseline is 10%. That is an automatic. I know that some people don't believe tithing is scriptural. But we do. And so that is where we begin our giving. Each year, as we consider what God would have us give over and above our tithe, we pray. We want to give what God places on our hearts. Nothing more, nothing less. Why not more? Because God will lay on the heart that which He wants us to give, and giving above it tends to pride. There are times when we take an other's offering and the Lord prompts me what He wants me to give(interestingly, it's usually on payday... :icon_mrgreen: ). Why not less? Because God wants OBedience.

I have to disagree with the idea that someone who tithes is not a cheerful giver. My hubby is. And the greater majority of the members of our church are. I do think there are people who tithe and grit their teeth, resenting "having" to tithe. But those same people wouldn't be cheerful about giving anything!!

As to when we give: it is the first consideration. All bills come secondary to our giving. After all, God is the one who has provided the income, placed on our hearts what we are to give ~ and we can trust Him to take care of things (as long as we are doing right!).
~~~~~
Each year we have a preaching conference. Many people come from all over. Before it starts, our preacher always asks us to give early so he doesn't have to mention it. And when offerings are taken during the conference, he always tells visitors that they aren't expected to give - and he usually comments on how they've spent money to get there...

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