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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

Christians can use scripture to correct for instruction and doctrine but there is a proper way and the reason for this thread. Instruct, don't argue.  Correct, don't criticize.  I am including myself as I have allowed myself to argue.  The person doing the correcting needs to remember their own shortcomings.

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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.

I agree that the pastor would be in the best position often, and your points are quite valid.  I know that our pastor has preached that we aren't true friends if we know that the someone is sinning and let it go.  Oftentimes, if we are close friends (or even if we just spend some time with folks), we can see things before others do.  I don't believe that we should try to take the pastor's place, though.  

 

I remember years ago a lady would come to my house several mornings a week. After a while I noticed a pattern of complaining about her hubby.  I would cite scripture, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.  So, I spoke to one of the pastors (after talking to my hubby, who told me to whom I should speak about it).  He assured me they knew of the problem advised me of what to say, and was glad when he found that was what I had said.  Well, I finally just told her "let's go talk to the pastor."  She never came back to my house.  Still friendly when she sees me, but not a friend, if you know what I mean (oh, and she's no longer a fellow church member).

 

And I totally agree, Laura, that we should never correct just for the purpose of proving ourselves right - that certainly isn't "considering [ourselves]" lest we be tempted!

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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.

I agree.  People have stood by the "correcting, refuting, rebuking" scripture to justify proving themselves right rather than trying to help someone.  

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i think if someone need corrected like me please go a head correct we are learning i can't spell vary good but i try so i take all the help i can get thinks

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i think if someone need corrected like me please go a head correct we are learning i can't spell vary good but i try so i take all the help i can get thinks

I was corrected regarding the KJV.  Steve Schwenke lovingly shared scripture and respectfully asked me to consider.  I could tell he really cared and now I am a KJV believer.  I will share with others in the same way he shared with me. 

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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:  

LOVE, yes that is the key, amen!

 

 In addition to love, generally speaking, I try to use scripture verses when replying to another on-line.  The scripture is God speaking and not my opinion.

 

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

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HC, wrote:

"And I totally agree, Laura, that we should never correct just for the purpose of proving ourselves right - that certainly isn't "considering [ourselves]" lest we be tempted!"
____________________________________

That is correct.  However, I must agree with Laura that in the other thread, the member did not appear to correct her, rather he was harse with her and did come across trying to correct just for the purpose of proving himself right.  It was highly noticable to me.

And, as Laura stated above, Brother Schwenke lovingly shared scripture with Laura, rather than barking a command to make himself look good. 
 
There is a huge difference there.  Brother Schwenke was showing brotherly love, whereas SFIC was not, towards Laura.

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HC, wrote:

"And I totally agree, Laura, that we should never correct just for the purpose of proving ourselves right - that certainly isn't "considering [ourselves]" lest we be tempted!"
____________________________________

That is correct.  However, I must agree with Laura that in the other thread, the member did not appear to correct her, rather he was harse with her and did come across trying to correct just for the purpose of proving himself right.  It was highly noticable to me.

And, as Laura stated above, Brother Schwenke lovingly shared scripture with Laura, rather than barking a command to make himself look good. 
 
There is a huge difference there.  Brother Schwenke was showing brotherly love, whereas SFIC was not, towards Laura.

Um - we're not going there, candle...Thanks.

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I agree that the pastor would be in the best position often, and your points are quite valid.  I know that our pastor has preached that we aren't true friends if we know that the someone is sinning and let it go.  Oftentimes, if we are close friends (or even if we just spend some time with folks), we can see things before others do.  I don't believe that we should try to take the pastor's place, though.  

 

I remember years ago a lady would come to my house several mornings a week. After a while I noticed a pattern of complaining about her hubby.  I would cite scripture, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.  So, I spoke to one of the pastors (after talking to my hubby, who told me to whom I should speak about it).  He assured me they knew of the problem advised me of what to say, and was glad when he found that was what I had said.  Well, I finally just told her "let's go talk to the pastor."  She never came back to my house.  Still friendly when she sees me, but not a friend, if you know what I mean (oh, and she's no longer a fellow church member).

 

And I totally agree, Laura, that we should never correct just for the purpose of proving ourselves right - that certainly isn't "considering [ourselves]" lest we be tempted!

Understand. The only difference is that I would have told her "Go talk to the Pastor" or "Maybe the Pastor can help you understand". I would want her to feel that she is in control of what she should do or not do. When an individual is placed in a situation where they along must make the decision; they are more apt to react instead of withdrawing into their pity party.

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Understand. The only difference is that I would have told her "Go talk to the Pastor" or "Maybe the Pastor can help you understand". I would want her to feel that she is in control of what she should do or not do. When an individual is placed in a situation where they along must make the decision; they are more apt to react instead of withdrawing into their pity party.

Ah, but in this case, I had already counseled her to do so - several times. She always had an excuse, and felt the pastor favored her hubby and wouldn't listen to her. So, I offered to go with her, kind of as moral support. She wasn't interested in that, though.  I never told her what she had to do. Just scripture. I had hoped that she would indeed act on it and was willing to silently stand by in support of her.

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I'm sure, though, if we all posted what we observed, we could have quite the argument.  Let's not, though.  :wink

True.  Not an issue with me.  I won't talk about it anymore.

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1 Corinthians 13

 1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

This is the beginning of the chapter on love.

This verse begins with a picture that shows the importance of love in our speaking.

The sounding brass was a harsh bell type sound which was used in the markets to get attention.
The tinkling cymbal was a similar type thing.
The analogy is that of someone tyring to get attention for their "special deal".
It is like in a Public mall when a shop has a loudspeaker set up and a guy calling out trying to get people to come into the shop - for the majority of people it actually drives them to the other side of the mall.
It doesn't matter if it is a good deal - most people don't like the clashing sound of the messenger and so the information becomes useless.

It actually doesn't matter if the information is good - if it is not given in a spirit of love it sounds like a sounding brass to the hearer.

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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.

 

There is also the factor of whether the one seeking to correct is really trying to help or just voicing their own frustrations.  :verymad:

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Busybody's motivation.

I really wanted to "like" this post, Arbo.  I don't like when I reach my "like" quota for the day.  You are correct.  Some people have to put their :twocents: in a comment, for the sake of doing it, when they know it might cause hard feelings.  Many people love to cause division.  BTW, I am not speaking of anyone in particular, in this forum, just a general observation about people in life.

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There is also the factor of whether the one seeking to correct is really trying to help or just voicing their own frustrations.  :verymad:

Or displaying their 'Holier than Thou' attitude.

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Or displaying their 'Holier than Thou' attitude.

Are you now saying that to speak out against sin is "displaying a Holier than Thou attitude"?  Therefore you "label" such a person a "legalist" and/or a "Pharisee"?

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

Do you not warn someone who is about to walk off the edge of a cliff?

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.

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