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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.

When Should A Christian Correct Another Christian?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Attitude is important.  

 

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Speak the truth in love.

 

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

 

Do not have a critical spirit.

 

Galatians 5:14-15  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

 

Keep the spirit of unity.

 

Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

Judge rightly.

 

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Only God judges accurately.

 

James 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

 

Do not be legalistic.  

 

Colossians 2:20-23  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

 

Do not pass judgment on disputable matters.

 

Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

 

Do not judge God's servants.

 

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

 

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

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Is it love not to warn and correct? Of course not!

The fact is, I was speaking the truth in love. But your opposition to that truth caused you to see the correction as not being in a spirit of love.

Galatians 2:11 (KJV)
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Many might say that since Paul withstood Peter he was not doing so out of love... But he was. Love warns. Love corrects.

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If that Christian is teaching contrary to the Word of God and promoting something that God's Word condemns, that Christian should be corrected. Sadly, you did not receive the correction in the other thread.

Sadly, SFIC you were not correcting me but criticizing and making false accusations.  I am going to prove to you my Christianity and character by not getting sucked into that again. 

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Is it love not to warn and correct? Of course not!

The fact is, I was speaking the truth in love. But your opposition to that truth caused you to see the correction as not being in a spirit of love.

Galatians 2:11 (KJV)
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Many might say that since Paul withstood Peter he was not doing so out of love... But he was. Love warns. Love corrects.

Peter was being a hypocrite and trying to gain public approval rather than stand for what he believes.

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The Bible tells us to judge righteous judgment and gives principles by which to live. We do have problems when someone puts extra-biblical requirements on things.  We also have problems when someone takes things personally when not intended as personal.  Arguing is a two-way street and both parties are usually at fault at least in a small way (and I'm speaking even about myself, so please don't anyone think I'm pointing fingers [that should'nt even have to be said on a forum, but, again, too often we take disagreement as personal attack], please).

 

And now I'm going to intervene as a moderator.  This is not going to turn into an argument thread between the two of you.  Either take it private or quit (I mean quit arguing).  SFIC is correct. Love warns and corrects. Laura is correct. Attitude is important.  You both win. 

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For anyone reading this and may have read the thread on alcohol, which is now locked, can honestly say I was promoting alcohol? I said I don't drink nor did I condone getting drunk.  Anyway, this thread is not about alcohol so I will not speak on that anymore. 

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The Bible tells us to judge righteous judgment and gives principles by which to live. We do have problems when someone puts extra-biblical requirements on things.  We also have problems when someone takes things personally when not intended as personal.  Arguing is a two-way street and both parties are usually at fault at least in a small way (and I'm speaking even about myself, so please don't anyone think I'm pointing fingers [that should'nt even have to be said on a forum, but, again, too often we take disagreement as personal attack], please).

 

And now I'm going to intervene as a moderator.  This is not going to turn into an argument thread between the two of you.  Either take it private or quit (I mean quit arguing).  SFIC is correct. Love warns and corrects. Laura is correct. Attitude is important.  You both win. 

My goal is not to win.  I posted this thread for myself so I can be in the right attitude when discussing topics.  I'm sorry but some people do make personal assaults on others on this forum so how do you not take that personally?

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My goal is not to win.  I posted this thread for myself so I can be in the right attitude when discussing topics.  I'm sorry but some people do make personal assaults on others on this forum so how do you not take that personally?

Well, the thing about it is that this looks an awful lot like a public rebuke (and, well, rebuke is biblical...but I think taking it private might resolve things a bit better) to SFIC because of the argument you guys had in the now-locked thread.  You disagreed with him, and then allowed it to become personal. I understand, honestly, how it can be when we believe something strongly and are trying to get our point across but someone disagrees with us.  And SFIC should not have said you were condoning alcohol .  Mayhap stating it something like "it could be construed as" doing such would be less likely to sound like an attack, I don't know. (and post #10 looks pretty much like you're encouraging folks to join the argument  :icon_smile: )

 

As I said, the Bible tells us to judge righteous judgment - and gives us principles by which to live.  Standing on those principles does not make one a legalist nor does it mean one is judging God's servants. However, the way in which we present things is vital, as you pointed out in your OP.  Something that far too many Christians forget about or completely disregard.

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I want to be clear as to my intentions for posting this thread.  It is not because of what happened in one particular thread or between particular people but multiple threads and multiple people I have been involved with and in and some I have not.  In the short time I've been on this forum, several threads had to be locked.  I think we all need this post as a reminder that we are having discussions with other brothers and sisters and we should treat them as such.

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When Should A Christian Correct Another Christian?

 

If it involves members of the local assembly; I believe it should be the Pastor who does the correcting.

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When Should A Christian Correct Another Christian?

 

If it involves members of the local assembly; I believe it should be the Pastor who does the correcting.

 

You don't think that one member can point scripture out to another member?  (and I say that because all too often when one points out scripture it would be because of need for correction)

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You don't think that one member can point scripture out to another member?  (and I say that because all too often when one points out scripture it would be because of need for correction)

Yes I believe two Bible believing Christians can correct using scripture.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

 

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

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Yes I believe two Bible believing Christians can correct using scripture.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

 

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

I agree with you there. ( I was trying to clarify BroK's comment for my own mind.  I wasn't sure if he meant on individual basis or just as it affects the church as a whole [although I guess both would in the long run]).  I am thankful for friends who love me enough to point out my errors.  Even if it's hard to swallow.   :biggrin:  

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You don't think that one member can point scripture out to another member?  (and I say that because all too often when one points out scripture it would be because of need for correction)

All depends on HOW the scriptures is point out!! I still believe that the Pastor is in the best position to do this.

There are several factors one must consider: How well do you know the individual: How grounded are they in the Word: Are they easy influenced: Are they easy offended: What is their opinion of you?:  Does the Pastor have guidelines in place on how to handle different situations? etc

Pointing out scripture and correcting at the same time can easily cause resentment.

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