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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.

Music In The Independent Baptist Churches


The Glory Land

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  • Advanced Member

Are contemporary songs and music welcome in your church?

Most of the Independent Baptist Churches sing using hymnals only?

One more question, is it a sin to aloud any type of music into the church?

These questions will help me and others, thank you. 

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  • Advanced Member

Are contemporary songs and music welcome in your church?

Most of the Independent Baptist Churches sing using hymnals only?

One more question, is it a sin to aloud any type of music into the church?

These questions will help me and others, thank you. 

We're an English Independent baptist church, so I can't speak for "most." You will find that this forum actively discourages CCM and links to such songs on youtube. There are, however, plenty of contemporary songs and music that are Biblical, & hymn style, and would be acceptable to our churches. You will also get forum comments that will totally condemn the use of modern songs.

 

I use modern songs with caution - and play them "straight" using piano or organ register. I do not approve the use of a pop group to lead worship. We use mostly a traditional hymn book. Actually many CCM songs are written by a singer/songwriter and are very difficult to sing without hymn. Guitar interludes and repeats mean that the congregation cannot follow without a strong lead.

 

Are you familiar with the Reformed "regulative principle" which insists on worship being as commanded in NT Scripture? The full application of this leads to singing only Psalms, unaccompanied. The quality of the old Scottish Metrical Psalms - forced into metre is not generally appreciated in Reformed churches, and hymns and Psalm & Scripture paraphrases are widely used.

 

We've recently welcomed people from Pentecostal background into our fellowship. They have expressed appreciation of hymns played simply. It is surprising that many in the church do not know the standard hymns we've been singing for centuries.

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My family and I are now attending a Spanish Baptist church again, we were members of a English Baptist church for many years. We have gone back into the Spanish services which are open to all types of Christian music here. We still sing hymnals too. I am still adjusting to the difference in the worship and participating in the music. The youth are also involve in the music ministry, this is where I can see that there is a difference in traditional and contemporary music. We are lousing the youth with hymnals only. They are the future of our true faith and the sharing of the gospel of Christ.

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My family and I are now attending a Spanish Baptist church again, we were members of a English Baptist church for many years. We have gone back into the Spanish services which are open to all types of Christian music here. We still sing hymnals too. I am still adjusting to the difference in the worship and participating in the music. The youth are also involve in the music ministry, this is where I can see that there is a difference in traditional and contemporary music. We are lousing the youth with hymnals only. They are the future of our true faith and the sharing of the gospel of Christ.

That, of course, is the heart of the problem. We do not want the "future" to come prematurely  by the promotion of youth as worship leaders, etc, before they are taught & understand the true faith. Let the children come in and take over the "music" with their pop groups and you risk losing the mature Christians.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

We are lousing the youth with hymnals only. They are the future of our true faith and the sharing of the gospel of Christ.

Your loosing the youth with or without "hymnal only". The only question is what are you loosing them to? My suspicion is that many conservative churches are essentially like the Church at Sardis and loose the youth in part for that reason, however, what they loose them to tends to be either the world outright or Laodicean like churches.  If A Sardis like church is loosing its youth to the world and Laodicean like churches the answer is not become more like the world and Laodicean like Churches, the answer is get right with God, get real, and be something worth having and being rather than being just a empty talking shell. Converting from the church of sardis to the the church of laodicea does no one any good, it just trades one set of problems for another. That is why so often there is a progression in youth that start out in a conservative church, move to a more liberal church, then end up quitting on God and churches all together. They see dead liberalism isn't really any better than dead conservatism and just get to where they don't see anything worth having at all. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If their hearts are backslidden then it doesn't matter what music you have in the church so you might as well stick with the "old, boring hymns". Why? Because with those songs you'll be ministering to those who love the Lord instead of trying to use worldly CCM to placate a bunch of backslidders who's hearts have left the church a long time ago. This backslidders will eventually physically leave no matter what music you play. Don't cast your perils to please the swine.

 

I'm not a pastor and never will be but this is how I see it.

 

Oh, maybe let your church decide on if you should have musical instruments or not. Just make sure you keep it in moderation that's all. At the end of the day you are the one who will give account.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Being independent, each IFB church sets their own musical standards. Within IFB churches one might find CCM, adapted CCM, hymns (both traditional and new), Southern Gospel (both traditional and new), Bluegrass Gospel, Country, bands, orchestras, various styles of choirs and much etc.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If it sounds like the music on your local rock station then it's sinful, worldly music and has no place in a New Testament Church.  That's not being angry, that's bible doctrine.

 

If the words are right and yet it causes your torso to move because of the beat, that's sinful music and has no place in a New Testament Church.

 

If the words are right and the music is right and yet was written by a homosexual Catholic man who believes Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians too, that too is sinful and has no place in a New Testament Church.  Again, that's not being mean or angry, it's just bible doctrine.

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No anger,  just don't care for worldly CCM in church.

 

Remember, the liberal SBC is losing members, losing children to, & many of them are very liberal & use CCM.

 

If you want a church full of people just drop God's truths, & especially take the name Baptist off of your Church, & likely you will get them, even many of the younger generation too.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If it sounds like the music on your local rock station then it's sinful, worldly music and has no place in a New Testament Church.  That's not being angry, that's bible doctrine.

 

If the words are right and yet it causes your torso to move because of the beat, that's sinful music and has no place in a New Testament Church.

 

If the words are right and the music is right and yet was written by a homosexual Catholic man who believes Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians too, that too is sinful and has no place in a New Testament Church.  Again, that's not being mean or angry, it's just bible doctrine.

Could you explain what you mean by "causes your torso to move"?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No anger,  just don't care for worldly CCM in church.

 

Remember, the liberal SBC is losing members, losing children to, & many of them are very liberal & use CCM.

 

If you want a church full of people just drop God's truths, & especially take the name Baptist off of your Church, & likely you will get them, even many of the younger generation too.

One thing I liked about the sermon posted by Pastor Chappell was his continually making the point that in church it's the preaching that is to be of most importance. Nothing, not music or anything else, should be more important than sound biblical preaching.

 

Boldly preach the Word of God, proclaim the whole counsel of God, read aloud the Word of God and trust the Lord for increase in the congregation.

 

A circus can draw a crowd but that certainly doesn't mean we should paint three rings on the platform and employ clowns to draw a crowd.

 

Preach the Word, be in much prayer, rely upon the leading of the Holy Ghost, trust the Lord.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Amazing Grace

Rock of Ages

Trust and Obey

 

 

Off the top of my head these are the most recent songs we have sang in our church.

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My choice for this morning - all from the new Christian Hymns hymnal.

 

54 The LORD is King
577 I am trusting thee, Lord Jesus
433 By Christ redeemed, in Christ restored
(Communion)
533 Heal us, Immanuel, hear our prayer

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I admit to anger, because CCM is one of the primary tools Satan uses today to destroy formerly godly churches. As Glory Land mentioned, the youth are encouraged to take roles in the church, but they are often apparently NOT overseen and given direction as to what is appropriate. We are so excited to get the younger folks into the work, which I am as well, but they need direction. One title for a pastor is 'Bishop", meaning 'Overseer"-we are to oversee all that is done in the church by lower levels of leadership-each leader in a church does not carry the same authority as the pastor-he is the one who has been tasked with overseeing what goes on-when the deacons were voted into place in Acts, they were under the authority of the Apostles, not just sent to do as they thought best. So our youth and even not-so-young leadership-they MUST be led, must be under authority, or the church will fall from where it stood. The pastor must lead.

 

BY the way, a modern hymn is not necessarily the same as a contemporary hymn. One it referring to time of writing, while the other refers to the style of the time. One if faddish, the other is not necessarily so.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I admit to anger, because CCM is one of the primary tools Satan uses today to destroy formerly godly churches. As Glory Land mentioned, the youth are encouraged to take roles in the church, but they are often apparently NOT overseen and given direction as to what is appropriate. We are so excited to get the younger folks into the work, which I am as well, but they need direction. One title for a pastor is 'Bishop", meaning 'Overseer"-we are to oversee all that is done in the church by lower levels of leadership-each leader in a church does not carry the same authority as the pastor-he is the one who has been tasked with overseeing what goes on-when the deacons were voted into place in Acts, they were under the authority of the Apostles, not just sent to do as they thought best. So our youth and even not-so-young leadership-they MUST be led, must be under authority, or the church will fall from where it stood. The pastor must lead.

 

BY the way, a modern hymn is not necessarily the same as a contemporary hymn. One it referring to time of writing, while the other refers to the style of the time. One if faddish, the other is not necessarily so.

Your last paragraph sounds similar to what Pastor Chappell says.

 

There is a local church that many like because of their active children/youth programs. I've visited the church and know several who attend and many more who send their children there. True enough, they have a very active children/youth program, but both are driven by the children/youth, both are greatly lacking in leading them to Christ, both are lacking in discipling, and both are entertainment driven.

 

Many used to constantly ask me why I don't send my children there or outright say I'm wrong for not sending my children there. They don't think our church children/youth program is good enough; mostly because it's smaller but they blame that on our lack of willingness to turn our children/youth programs into entertainment clubs. Now that I'm down to one child still at home and they've grown tired of hearing my biblical reasons for wanting my children in our churches programs rather than the worldly entertainment driven stuff at the other church, it's rare anyone says anything to me about it all anymore.

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It is o.k to get angry for the right reason. My short reply, I am using my phone. I am not sure about those that say it is a sin, the louder music. I say, if you cannot here the words of the songs they are no good.

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Many used to constantly ask me why I don't send my children there or outright say I'm wrong for not sending my children there. They don't think our church children/youth program is good enough; mostly because it's smaller but they blame that on our lack of willingness to turn our children/youth programs into entertainment clubs. Now that I'm down to one child still at home and they've grown tired of hearing my biblical reasons for wanting my children in our churches programs rather than the worldly entertainment driven stuff at the other church, it's rare anyone says anything to me about it all anymore.

Funny, part of my preaching this morning was on exactly this-alomst sounds like a line right out of the sermon!

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