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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.

David Cloud Sword Of The Lord Article


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Another thing is, the SOTL claims to be an IFB publication, but they don't have an IFB as their editor.


When Shelton Smith took over as Editor, I researched him, because I didn't know him. I thought that he was (and is) a "converted" IFB from the Southern Baptist Convention. In the little bit of research I did, I learned that he had taken the church that he pastored (in Maryland if I recall) out of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Am I wrong about this?
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I know Shelton Smith and though I disagree with him on the doctrine of repentance, he is most definitely IFB. He leans more towards the Hyles crowd, but he is a good man.

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When Shelton Smith took over as Editor, I researched him, because I didn't know him. I thought that he was (and is) a "converted" IFB from the Southern Baptist Convention. In the little bit of research I did, I learned that he had taken the church that he pastored (in Maryland if I recall) out of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Am I wrong about this?


Your 100% correct on he came out from among the SBC, he may have brought the church he was pastor out to. And he is conservative.

Early on in his Sword of the Lord days he wrote a booklet laying out the problem with the SBC. Having been there he should know.
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I don't know what Smith teaches about repentance - though he disagreed with Curtis Hutson's denial of repentance not being necessary for salvation. I think Shelton Smith re-edited their hymnal to fix Hutson's edits.

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He wrote a series of articles on the topic of Repentance earlier this year. He came to the conclusion that repentance is simply changing your mind and therefore confession of sin is not necessary for Salvation.

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1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Mr 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Strange one would leave out confessing their sins.

Edited by Jerry80871852
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Zacheus confessed ONE sin...the sin of cheating. I'm sure Zacheus had alot more sins than that but it doesn't say he confessed them all. I don't remember the Philippian Jailer confessing a list oif sins either, nor anyone else for that matter. I'm sure, a person could confess whatever comes to mind and that is good but, as in my case, that would take awhile. Repentance is to turn away from your sin and self. Zacheus turned away from his sin and the Phillipian Jailer did his as well because Instead of treating Paul and Silas cruely, in the next scene we see he is doctoring their wounds. The point is, if you were a pickpocket or drug dealer before salvation, you might not have specifically CONFESSED those sins by name, unless they came to mind at that time, but as a NEW CREATURE who has truly repented of your sin, your pickpocket and drug dealer days are over.

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Repentance IS a change of mind that leads to a change of action. Repentance means you see your sin like God sees it.

We do need to "confess" but there is no specific about what all to "confess". My guess is to confess the main sin of previously rejecting Christ.

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It seems everyone here is using the word confess in an unbiblical manner. It means simply "to agree with, be of one mind about." We can be of one mind about all our sins being against the Lord and making us guilty of judgement in Hell without naming them specifically (aside from whatever sins the Holy Spirit might bring to mind at that point in time or prior to that point).

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No since in guessing, speculating, or making something up on your own, the Bible tells us to confess our sins.

1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins

Mr 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Ac 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

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"Unbiblical"?
John 1:20 KJV And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

John 1:20 And he (was)of one mind about. , and denied not; but (was)of one mind about." , I am not the Christ.

John 1:20 And he agreed with, and denied not; but agreed with, I am not the Christ. (this one is close......I will confess)


Confess

Word Origin:
1300–50; Middle English confessen < Anglo-French, Old French confesser < Medieval Latin confessāre, verbal derivative of Latin confessus, past participle of confitērī to admit, confess, equivalent to con- con- + -fitērī, combining form of fatērī to admit


Let's see if that one works.......

John 1:20 And he admitted, and denied not; but admitted, I am not the Christ.

What is the opposite of DENY?

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In 1 John 1:9 and Romans 10 that is the definition of the word used. I do not know if it is the same word used in the other passages. Look it up in Strong's.

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1 John 1:
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. DENY

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ADMIT

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.DENY



Romans 10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Same definition as in John 1:20 . Confessing is admitting, the opposite of denying

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Admitting to God in both cases - more than just reciting a list of sins, but admitting to God and agreeing with Him about your sin and the Saviour.

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Zacheus confessed ONE sin...the sin of cheating. I'm sure Zacheus had alot more sins than that but it doesn't say he confessed them all. I don't remember the Philippian Jailer confessing a list oif sins either, nor anyone else for that matter. I'm sure, a person could confess whatever comes to mind and that is good but, as in my case, that would take awhile. Repentance is to turn away from your sin and self. Zacheus turned away from his sin and the Phillipian Jailer did his as well because Instead of treating Paul and Silas cruely, in the next scene we see he is doctoring their wounds. The point is, if you were a pickpocket or drug dealer before salvation, you might not have specifically CONFESSED those sins by name, unless they came to mind at that time, but as a NEW CREATURE who has truly repented of your sin, your pickpocket and drug dealer days are over.


Which I already said.
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Something reminded me of a comment made earlier in this thread about someone disliking it when David Cloud referred to several of his books - the person thought he was dismissing them and pushing his material. (I am not defending the perceived manner that he may have come across in, but what was said when he replied.)

Did you ever stop to think maybe he has already dealt with your questions and concerns and mentioned those books because they would be most helpful? I sometimes post a link to a study I wrote or posted if I think it was related to the topic being discussed - don't have the time or inclination to write a new long post when something I've already written would be more beneficial. I think Cloud is the same way here.

For the person who made the comment about Cloud just trying to sell more books: he is not in it for the money, otherwise he would not send out free articles by email, have a free database on articles on his sight, and have an extensive section of free ebooks to download. That's a lot of sound Bible-based material he has made available. Obviously, money is not his motive.

Edited by Jerry
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Sending out free email articles is free advertising for your product. And that is a common business practice on the net for people that want to sell you stuff.

And telling people to buy my book entitled, ............................, whatever, to get an answer, is a selling point for one that wants to make money.

Many people today that in the business of selling, has a free data base of information that anyone can freely use, take a look at someone that sells trees, bushes, & seeds, they usually have a large data base with much information.

So in reality, he is using common business practices to sell his product, that many others use commonly use because they work quite good. So your reasoning does not prove he is not in it for the money, & I'm not saying he is. I'm just saying you have not proved he is not in it for the money.

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Sending out free email articles is free advertising for your product. And that is a common business practice on the net for people that want to sell you stuff.

And telling people to buy my book entitled, ............................, whatever, to get an answer, is a selling point for one that wants to make money.

Many people today that in the business of selling, has a free data base of information that anyone can freely use, take a look at someone that sells trees, bushes, & seeds, they usually have a large data base with much information.

So in reality, he is using common business practices to sell his product, that many others use commonly use because they work quite good. So your reasoning does not prove he is not in it for the money, & I'm not saying he is. I'm just saying you have not proved he is not in it for the money.

That's true Jerry. There are many TV preachers who respond to peoples questions by telling them which one of their books to buy.

If an article is put forth free, and someone has a question pertaining to the article, it would seem reasonable to provide an answer to the question rather than telling them to buy a certain book they have written.
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I've read enough of his material to see his purpose is to teach the Bible and get the material out. And you make a big assumption, he referred to some of his books - he didn't say "go buy my books." Perhaps those books are some of the material he makes available for free. I was surprised recently to see how many books (some of which I already have in hardcopy) are available for free on his site.

Regardless, he has every right to sell his books - they do that everywhere else in the secular world and in Christendom. He produces this material himself (ie. his Way of Life ministry does); therefore, there is nothing wrong with wanting to recover the costs in some way - if he wanted to do that. I can guarantee a die-hard ministry like his is not raking in the cash - there is not enough market for him produce his material and make a profit. Apostate and compromising Christendom don't want to hear what the Bible has to say. It is the little independent churches and solid preachers (plus, devoted men and women of God) that are going to be on the lookout for more solid Bible-based material than they can find in their regular ecumenical bookstore.

Also, the vast majority of the material in his books is sent out for free first in his articles (from what I have seen, it is various series out sent out articles that make up the contnts of the book on that subject). If he was in it to just sell books, he wouldn't do that!

Edited by Jerry
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On 6/30/2012 at 5:04 PM, Jerry said:

I've read enough of his material to see his purpose is to teach the Bible and get the material out. And you make a big assumption, he referred to some of his books - he didn't say "go buy my books." Perhaps those books are some of the material he makes available for free. I was surprised recently to see how many books (some of which I already have in hardcopy) are available for free on his site.

Regardless, he has every right to sell his books - they do that everywhere else in the secular world and in Christendom. He produces this material himself (ie. his Way of Life ministry does); therefore, there is nothing wrong with wanting to recover the costs in some way - if he wanted to do that. I can guarantee a die-hard ministry like his is not raking in the cash - there is not enough market for him produce his material and make a profit. Apostate and compromising Christendom don't want to hear what the Bible has to say. It is the little independent churches and solid preachers (plus, devoted men and women of God) that are going to be on the lookout for more solid Bible-based material than they can find in their regular ecumenical bookstore.

Also, the vast majority of the material in his books is sent out for free first in his articles (from what I have seen, it is various series out sent out articles that make up the contnts of the book on that subject). If he was in it to just sell books, he wouldn't do that!

 


I've read much of it, but I still do not have the ability to judge his heart. And even if I knew him personally, I could only guess.

 

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