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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      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.

FREE EBOOK TODAY - 15 Simple Steps to Losing Your Salvation


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi everyone, I thought I'd let everyone know that the paperback is now available at www.truthandsong.com/store . It should be available on Amazon later this week. It is published by Daystar Publishing (Sam Gipp's company) and should be up on their site in a couple of weeks.

Most Christians think you can lose your salvation, and many Baptists still struggle with assurance. This book is written in a very pratical, loving, simple, and educational way to help just about any Christian. The truth of eternal security dovetails with so many other New Testament doctrines that I believe this is a book that can help any Christian. After all, without assurance of salvation how can you really do anything for the Lord? I've already had 122 books ordered so far, praise the Lord.

If you'd like more info on the book check out the promo page at http://15simplesteps.blogspot.com/

Edited by Rick Schworer
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Not familiar with the book, but here's something I posted recently on another message board that may help a little:

Think about the consequences of rejecting the Biblical doctrine of eternal security for a moment. If we could really lose our salvation, then Hebrews 6:4-6 says that if we ever sin after being saved, we'll be lost forever with no way back, because the Lord would have to be crucified all over again to retrieve us. BTW, it only takes one sin to fall away, right? I mean, one sin before we're saved was enough to condemn us, so one sin after we're saved is enough to condemn us, right? Doesn't this make the New Covenant worse than the Old? Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites were condemned for their actions, but we'd be condemned for our thoughts.

Under the Old Covenant, under the law, the Israelites couldn't murder. We couldn't even be angry. They couldn't commit adultery. We couldn't even have a lustful thought. If you're right, then we lose our salvation by doing less in following the law than the Israelites did!

Is this really the Good News of Jesus Christ? Are these the riches of His Grace, that we have to live in fear of sinning? Are we saved by grace only to be placed under the constraints of an even more severely administered law?

And what of Romans 8:29-30, which says that God predestined those whom He foreknew to be conformed to the image of Christ. If we can lose our salvation and, thus, our conformity to the image of Christ, then does this mean that God's foreknowledge is wrong? That's open theism, which has historically been condemned as heresy by the Church.

How about Jude 24, which says that Christ is able to keep us from falling? If we can lose our salvation, does this mean that Christ is able to keep us from falling, but is merely unwilling? How is that consistent with the Biblical description of Christ?

What do you make of Colosians 3:1-4, which promises that if we have been save, we will appear with Christ in glory? It doesn't say "you might appear with Christ in glory, if you don't lose your salvation". It says "you will appear with Christ in glory". Done deal.

Philipians 1:6 promises us that if Christ has begun a good work in us, that He will finish it. How does He keep that promise if you believe you can lose your salvation?

How do you explain 1 Peter 1:23, which tells us that when we are born again, we are born of incorruptable seed? If we can lose our salvation, then this seed is corruptable and that promise is not true.

Like Colosians 3:1-4, 1 John 3:2 says that we are sons of God now and that when Christ appears, we will be like Him. There is no qualifier. There is no "...if we don't lose our salvation".

Titus 1:2 says that God has promised us eternal life and that He never breaks a promise.

In John 10:27-29, Jesus promises us that He has given us eternal life, that we will never perish, and that we are not only in His hands, but in the Father's hands. How is Jesus' promise in John 10:27-28 consistent with the idea that we can lose our salvation? Is Jesus really incompetent to keep those whom the Father has given Him?

John 5:24 says that if we are saved, we will not come into condemnation but will have eternal life? How can Jesus promise that we will not come into condemnation if He knows we can lose our salvation?

Romans 11:6 tells us that salvation is not by works. If we cannot be saved by works, then how can we lose our salvation by works?

John 14:16-17 tells us that when we are saved, the Holy Spirit indwells us forever. How can the Holy Spirit indwell in us forever if we lose our salvation? Since when does the Holy Spirit dwell in the unsaved?

Ephesians 1:13, 4:30 tells us that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. If we lose our salvation, then how can we still claim to be sealed?

1 Peter 1:4 says that our salvation is "imperishable, undefiled, and unfading". If our salvation is imperishable, how can we lose it? If our salvation is promised by God to be undefiled, how can we defile it?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



Were did you get that saying? its one use ot hear quite often down here in the south.


I'm not sure, maybe when I lived down south! I lived in Georgia for three years as a teenager. I learned at that time that all carbonated beverages are to be referred to as a "coke." I also discovered grits and bisquits and gravy.

Happy birthday by the way! :) Edited by Rick Schworer
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



I'm not sure, maybe when I lived down south! I lived in Georgia for three years as a teenager. I learned at that time that all carbonated beverages are to be referred to as a "coke." I also discovered grits and bisquits and gravy.

Happy birthday by the way! :)


Thanks, living 3 years down south gave you a good education. :)
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's a possibility eventually, and there's actually a cost efficient way of doing it if there's a demand for it in that format. More and more people are going towards eBooks and abandoning all other formats.

Thanks for asking!

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It's a possibility eventually, and there's actually a cost efficient way of doing it if there's a demand for it in that format. More and more people are going towards eBooks and abandoning all other formats.

Thanks for asking!

I'm sticking with actual book in hand. Many older folks and those with visual problems and those who drive a lot love audio books.
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I'm sticking with actual book in hand. Many older folks and those with visual problems and those who drive a lot love audio books.



Me too. I don't actually own a Kindle, yet. I prefer paper. If I was a huge fiction reader I'd probably have a Kindle, but I'm not. Most things I just get from the library, I'm cheap!

Paper is mostly popular with non-fiction and reference books. If it's fiction, unless it's really special to the person, most of the time people go eBook on it. With non-fiction, people like to have it on their real bookshelf, highlight it or mark it up, be able to reference it quickly. Although from what I know about Kindle you can do all that with it too. Edited by Rick Schworer
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My son has always like audio books. He loves the paper form as well, but now especially, he's on the road all the time, so audio is the only thing that makes real sense. We got him the Bible on cd for Christmas this year, as well as some good music, but I want to get him some books, too. eBooks won't work for him because he can't read while he's driving...

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What about Nook from Barnes and Nobles? I like my e- reader because I have 4 book shelves full of books and no room to add another book shelf. I like my e-reader because I can make print bigger eliminating me from having to wear my glasses. I take my e-reader to church to help a woman in her 90's to see the scriptures and she claims she can see it cause of the light in back of what she is reading. I like my e-reader cause I can have a library of books in my bag and i can still carry them with ease. I also like audio. Don't think I'll ever out grow being read to. That lady in church. I need to visit her at her house this week and read to her cause she asked for me to.

Edited by CauliflowerClown
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
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      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
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