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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.

Why Don't Baptist Fast


The Glory Land
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Who said Baptists don't fast? As with many things, teaching and practice regarding fasting differs from one Baptist church to another, and from one Baptists to another.

 

Properly (biblically) done, fasting can be a wonderful tool.

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Who said Baptists don't fast? As with many things, teaching and practice regarding fasting differs from one Baptist church to another, and from one Baptists to another.

 

Properly (biblically) done, fasting can be a wonderful tool.

 

 

I have been to many of them, it is not something we practice or teach our members. Do a poll and you will see.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Some Baptists fast. I've fasted. Just after I was saved I fasted for 10 straight days (it might have been more but I'm sure of 10) only drinking water. I'm not bragging and I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. In fact it was crazy. Not sure why I did it. It wasn't too long after I was saved so some of it was out of ignorance. But I was also going through a terrible time in my life. I dropped out of school, I was kicked out of the house by my parents, I was depressed and suffering from Pure OCD.  The Pure OCD may have played into why I fasted so long. After the third day of fasting it actually got easier and even became hard to eat when I stop fasting. Kind of like how when you are so tired that you can't sleep. I'll tell you one thing, a lot of things happened in my life with God after that. It was bam, bam, bam. Maybe I should start fasting again. I won't be doing no 10 day fast though that's for sure.

 

One thing I noticed is that the early Christians fasted and prayed before they sent out missionaries (Acts 13:2,3). I know from the churches I've attended there was usually a big church supper before someone left for the mission field.

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Some Baptists fast. I've fasted. Just after I was saved I fasted for 10 straight days (it might have been more but I'm sure of 10) only drinking water. I'm not bragging and I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. In fact it was crazy. Not sure why I did it. It wasn't too long after I was saved so some of it was out of ignorance. But I was also going through a terrible time in my life. I dropped out of school, I was kicked out of the house by my parents, I was depressed and suffering from Pure OCD.  The Pure OCD may have played into why I fasted so long. After the third day of fasting it actually got easier and even became hard to eat when I stop fasting. Kind of like how when you are so tired that you can't sleep. I'll tell you one thing, a lot of things happened in my life with God after that. It was bam, bam, bam. Maybe I should start fasting again. I won't be doing no 10 day fast though that's for sure.

 

One thing I noticed is that the early Christians fasted and prayed before they sent out missionaries (Acts 13:2,3). I know from the churches I've attended there was usually a big church supper before someone left for the mission field.

 

 

 

Thank you, were your prayers anwsered?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The longest I have fasted was three days, but I did not do it for the right reasons then.  I believe there is an element of sorrow in fasting; the Biblical accounts (Pharisee's excepted) almost always express a great need and a great sorrow.  Esther is a good example. 

 

Isaiah makes it practical:

 

Isa 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

 

A word search on fasting can be enlightening.
 

Edited by irishman
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Isn't the actual way to get close to God is to seek forgiveness from God for your sins though Jesus & His work on the Cross them trust & obey Him as each day goes by while following Jesus closely taking up your cross while denying your self?

 

Sadly many feel close, or closer to God just because they fast, they feel fasting, doing without, suffering, gets them closer to God, that my friend is a work running on emotions.

 

A lady that my wife works with she will always tell everyone when she is fasting, seems she loves to blow her horn as many do.

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I am a big believer in fasting, though as mentioned above, I don't do it as I should. My old pastor, Doug Fisher of Lighthouse in San Diego, did, that I know of, two 40-day fasts-neither of which he told anyone about, save family and some friends who fasted with him during parts of it as support. He only spoke of them well after the fact, as a training/preaching issue. Both were water-only fasts, and he recommends no one do it, unless they are absolutely certain it is God's will,

 

Fasting is surely a biblical practice, and I never heard of it until I became IFB. And of course we often neglect watching, which is to sleep what fasting is to food-giving up sleep for spiritual purposes. Fasting and prayer is always seen associated with seeking God's will in life and is always associated with prayer-to fast but not pray is to do only half the work.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I am a big believer in fasting, though as mentioned above, I don't do it as I should. My old pastor, Doug Fisher of Lighthouse in San Diego, did, that I know of, two 40-day fasts-neither of which he told anyone about, save family and some friends who fasted with him during parts of it as support. He only spoke of them well after the fact, as a training/preaching issue. Both were water-only fasts, and he recommends no one do it, unless they are absolutely certain it is God's will,

 

Fasting is surely a biblical practice, and I never heard of it until I became IFB. And of course we often neglect watching, which is to sleep what fasting is to food-giving up sleep for spiritual purposes. Fasting and prayer is always seen associated with seeking God's will in life and is always associated with prayer-to fast but not pray is to do only half the work.

40 day fasts?! Wow, I think you end up dying around 50 days without food. 

 

Other than Jesus and Moses, I believe the longest you read of in the bible three days.

 

Interesting tid-bit: God never commanded anyone to fast.

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a

Isn't the actual way to get close to God is to seek forgiveness from God for your sins though Jesus & His work on the Cross them trust & obey Him as each day goes by while following Jesus closely taking up your cross while denying your self?

 

Sadly many feel close, or closer to God just because they fast, they feel fasting, doing without, suffering, gets them closer to God, that my friend is a work running on emotions.

 

A lady that my wife works with she will always tell everyone when she is fasting, seems she loves to blow her horn as many do.

 

 

 

Jesus fasted, and he did not need too. The flesh is weak my friend, by fasting you're telling it, Jesus is in control. Now do it without playing the horn or saidness on your face.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I believe in fasting but I don't practice it : (  There is power in fasting, I think it is there just waiting for me to do it. I am weak in many areas. :th_wellduh:

 

This is a great and challenging post. I'd encourage you to make the decision to privately fast and pray.

Matthew 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

The way I understand this verse: Jesus informs us that prayer and fasting is the antidote for unbelief to a faithless and perverse generation. I’ve heard this devil compared to a stronghold in this verse since it refused to obey the disciples. So Jesus gave them the solution.

I’ve fasted many times. As mentioned, fasting becomes “easier” after the second day. As the needs of your flesh become more distant, I believe you’re more in tune with spiritual matters and closer to God. I’ve seen God answer prayer that I perceived as impossible because of fasting, clean living, obedience, and prayer. This is a great topic and reminded me that it’s been some time since I’ve fasted.

This topic reminds me of this story (paraphrased):

A Cherokee Indian teaching his grandson said, "A fight is going on inside me. It is a fight between two wolves. One is evil (list evil qualities) and one is good (list good qualities). The same fight is going on in you." The grandson then asked, "Which wolf will win?" He replied, "The one you feed the most."

If you feed your flesh more than your spirit, the flesh will win. I wish knew Christians that fast and pray. I need this type of influence in my life. The truth is, I’m not sure if I know any.

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40 day fasts?! Wow, I think you end up dying around 50 days without food. 

 

Other than Jesus and Moses, I believe the longest you read of in the bible three days.

 

Interesting tid-bit: God never commanded anyone to fast.

Perhaps, but there is an assumption of fasting:

 

  "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." (Matt 6:16)

 

As well, Jesus said we WOULD fast when the bridegroom was gone:

 

   "And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast." (Mat 9:15)

 

As well, we see it in the book of Acts as an example that they fasted, so the assumption should be that we should, as well.

 

   "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away."

 

And Jesus declared that there are spiritual powers that can be dealt with only through fasting and prayer:

 

   "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (Matt 9:29).

 

 

So, sounds like we do have a mandate. Fasting is useful for seeking God's will, for power in spiritual warfare, and in mourning for Jesus to come again.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No, I'll just go to the Cross of Christ, & kneel down, confess my sins, & worship my Savior. Rituals actually do not draw a person closer to God, for most they're just works, that plays on emotions, & makes the person feel better about their self, thinking they've really done something. 

 

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

 

Yes, Jesus died on the Cross being completely obedient to the Father & the Father set Him in that position, & there is no other way to the Father except though Him. And I promise you if you will go to that Cross & leave it all there, there's nothing else that can gain the closeness to God you'll have when you stand & walk away.

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Fasting is surely a biblical practice, and I never heard of it until I became IFB. And of course we often neglect watching, which is to sleep what fasting is to food-giving up sleep for spiritual purposes. Fasting and prayer is always seen associated with seeking God's will in life and is always associated with prayer-to fast but not pray is to do only half the work.

Honestly many, including me, are lazy Christians and choose not to fast, or not fast regularly.  There is power in fasting and it is commanded right along with prayer.

 

One thing to keep in mind that many strong Christians might be fasting but never speak of it as it is a personal thing that one would not necessarily "toot" their own horn about.

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No, I'll just go to the Cross of Christ, & kneel down, confess my sins, & worship my Savior. Rituals actually do not draw a person closer to God, for most they're just works, that plays on emotions, & makes the person feel better about their self, thinking they've really done something. 

 

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

 

Yes, Jesus died on the Cross being completely obedient to the Father & the Father set Him in that position, & there is no other way to the Father except though Him. And I promise you if you will go to that Cross & leave it all there, there's nothing else that can gain the closeness to God you'll have when you stand & walk away.

Nice sentiment, except its not some empty ritual-its quite biblical. Jesus fasted, Moses fasted, Paul fasted, Elijah fasted, David fasted. You're saying that they all just sought to play on the emotions of others, all just doing works to feel closer to God? Now, if one goes about it ritualistically, that's all it will be, but if one doesn't try it, you're missing out on an aspect of your relationship with Christ and your Christian walk that you'll never know otherwise.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I believe in fasting, but frankly don't have the character and discipline to do it. I end up being so hungry I can hardly pray, times when I have fasted in the past.....which is key.....it's not just fasting, but it's praying while fasting that counts. Fasting alone is just a crash diet.

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