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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.

Big Bible Colleges


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Since it appears that some here are searching for reasons to accuse me, I will explain my view on Big Bible colleges.
I have started another thread so as not to pollute my Bible College thread.

First - I think every church should, when they are able, have extra study available for members. If they are able to make it as in depth as an Institute or College course, then great.

I also have no prOBlems with a correspondence style course supplied by someone else.

Secondly, this is MY OPINION, and as such I will not condemn a man who went to or sends one of his people to a big Bible College.
I also will not outright condemn those who run such colleges - they are trying to supply teaching that is not offered elsewhere.

But I see no sense in sending away a growing enthusiastic Christian.

Think about it - a young man gets saved in your church. The Lord convicts him in your church. The Lord teaches him in your church.
Through the ministry of your church he grows to where the Lord calls him to preach - so you send him across the country to learn how to preach?????

Doesn't make sense to me.

Much better to join with solid local preachers and together teach these enthusiastic Christians and whilst learning their growth, energy, and enthusiasm can be used to exhort and encourage the church where the Lord saved them.
(Note: reference to "your church" here means the church you attend).

I understand that it is not possible for all men nor in all churches.

But that is my view on big Bible Colleges.

It is certainly not about being my own authority as some have suggested - it is about giving opportunity for people to grow where the Lord planted them.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Since it appears that some here are searching for reasons to accuse me, I will explain my view on Big Bible colleges.
I have started another thread so as not to pollute my Bible College thread.

First - I think every church should, when they are able, have extra study available for members. If they are able to make it as in depth as an Institute or College course, then great.

I also have no prOBlems with a correspondence style course supplied by someone else.

Secondly, this is MY OPINION, and as such I will not condemn a man who went to or sends one of his people to a big Bible College.
I also will not outright condemn those who run such colleges - they are trying to supply teaching that is not offered elsewhere.

But I see no sense in sending away a growing enthusiastic Christian.

Think about it - a young man gets saved in your church. The Lord convicts him in your church. The Lord teaches him in your church.
Through the ministry of your church he grows to where the Lord calls him to preach - so you send him across the country to learn how to preach?????

Doesn't make sense to me.

Much better to join with solid local preachers and together teach these enthusiastic Christians and whilst learning their growth, energy, and enthusiasm can be used to exhort and encourage the church where the Lord saved them.
(Note: reference to "your church" here means the church you attend).

I understand that it is not possible for all men nor in all churches.

But that is my view on big Bible Colleges.

It is certainly not about being my own authority as some have suggested - it is about giving opportunity for people to grow where the Lord planted them.

NOBody accused you of anything. Go ahead and start a bible college (better to call your model a "bible institute", IMO). The more the merrier if it is bible based.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I believe in the local IFB church as far as a Bible Institute goes.  Even if the church is small, as is with my missionary friend's church, it is Biblical.  Many teenagers go off to Bible college and get confused.  A lot of big Bible colleges do not line up with the word of God.   :twocents:

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Our pastor's son was in college doing pre-med studies (on the way to becoming a doctor) when the Lord called him to preach. He came back to our church (after our pastor and church board discussed this and agreed it was the Lord's leading) and began serving under the guidance or our pastor while also taking online courses through a Baptist university for a Master's degree.

 

Upon completion of the Master's degree, and serving under our pastor during that time, he went through the ordination process (which I was privileged to attend). He passed the ordination and after further consideration of the matter he became the associate pastor in our church.

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  • Lady Administrators

I agree with you, Dave, but then there is the other side of the coin.  My hubby is a living example of someone who was being "trained" one-on-one by his pastor when we met.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about things, but we left there the day before we got married due to some serious prOBlems (including attempted murder) on the part of the pastor.  Then we went to another church that had an institute.  My hubby took a class and enjoyed it - learned a bit, too.  The pastor there believed that all training should be by the church (now, to be fair, he did not always hold that belief - until real trouble came to the college where he sent his kids...).  Hence the institute.  But then serious prOBlems with him surfaced, too.

 

Both pastors had the idea that, because they were pastors, they were never to be questioned or corrected. They were authoritarian to the extreme. And there were doctrinal issues, serious ones, especially in the first church (it took my hubby some years of study and prayer to really lose all of the falsehoods from both churches).

 

That said, moving to a Bible college is not for everyone at all!  If the church they are in is scriptural and the teaching is biblical, it is great to stay and be trained there.  But if someone does go to a Bible college (I'm talking a single young person), it should be one that their pastor can recommend and that their parents can trust to be and remain biblical during their time there.

 

The school of the prophets in the OT would give the picture that it isn't sinful to send men to an area to be trained.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Galatians 1:16-18 (KJV)
16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 

 

Paul goes away to Arabia for 3 years to prepare for his ministry.  I guess I can see a biblical model of separating yourself from all your friends and family for the purpose of ministry preparation.

 

Bro. Garry

In His will.  By His power.  For His glory.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The most important thing is for each person to follow the leading of the Lord, whether that be learning under a pastor or attending a school. It's all too common for one who is called of the Lord to a task to follow the advice, prompting or pushing of others rather than the leading of the Lord. Some of these eventually find their way back into God's will, but many end up derailed and never get back on the track.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Galatians 1:16-18 (KJV)
16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 

 

Paul goes away to Arabia for 3 years to prepare for his ministry.  I guess I can see a biblical model of separating yourself from all your friends and family for the purpose of ministry preparation.

 

Bro. Garry

In His will.  By His power.  For His glory.

Three years in the desert alone with God would be better than some colleges or seminaries.

 

God bless,

Larry

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  • Moderators

Its true-the college/institute issue is not a simple, black and white issue. There is good in all the ways you can go, be it training at the feet of your pastor, or attending a small institute or a large college. A  lot i=of your decisions should be bsaed, I suppose, on if the Lord has given you some idea as to where you will be going, so your training can be toward that end. I pastor in a very small, rural community, in a small country church. Thus, going to a very large college, like North valley Baptist, Jack Trieber's, (I think its Golden State College), or West Coast baptist, Larry Chappell's college, wouldn't have been a great idea, because they are men and churches that emphasize big-church, big-city thinking.

 

I used to attend Lighthoue Baptist in San Diego, a very large church, and spent a year in the institute there. but when I came to where I am now, I had to really modify the way I worked, because the enitre work is very different. yes, sin is sin, the gospel doesn't change, men are still saved the same way. But, for instance, I don't go evangelizing every week. Why? because I can cover the entire area in about 3 weeks, and if I just keep repeating over and over, folks will grow tired of seeing us and we'll tend toward running them off. Also, I am more involved in 'community' type things, because I can establish relationships that way, and it gives me more ways to and places to work. I sing and play the ukulele at a local monthly dinner, so I do some novelty stuff and I also do a lot of hymns. But these things would be hard in a large community.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

My former church in my home town our pastor and two local pastors taught classes for anyone called into the ministry, before you were allowed to attend the classes they met with you to assure your calling to the ministry ,once you were accept you were required to live the appropriate life of the leadership of a pastor or teacher and complete all assignments given. I wont go into detail about the classes but they were in direct line with the Word of God.

A few years ago a pastor friend gave me some literature on a class given at a local bible college that I might wont to attend so I thought I would check it out. I did some research on the college and found that it was teaching some of the theology of Joyce Meyers,I didn't take the class and later called the pastor and he was unaware of this,he told me someone had given him the literature and thinking it to be good he passed it on to me and was sorry he had recommended it to me.  

 

when looking into going to a bible college it is best to do research before you attend because they may be teaching the wrong thing.don't be afraid to ask questions it's very important.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The most important thing is for each person to follow the leading of the Lord, whether that be learning under a pastor or attending a school. It's all too common for one who is called of the Lord to a task to follow the advice, prompting or pushing of others rather than the leading of the Lord. Some of these eventually find their way back into God's will, but many end up derailed and never get back on the track.

God is not going to sit by and let you bypass the good works that He fore ordained you to. You will not miss God's Will. You won't run from it. Ask Jonah.

Anishinaabe

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Actually, we see a clear example of the warning that if one fails to act in accord with God's will, God will raise up another, in the book of Esther.

 

Jonah was called as a prophet, and had answered the call. Jonah rebelled against God's specific command to go to Nineveh and God chastised him for that. Had Jonah continued in his rebellion and not repented, it's very likely that would have been the end of Jonah and God would have sent another.

 

God has good works for all of His people to do but it's OBvious we fail this. That's why when all our works are tried by fire, there will be some burned up, and in the case of some folks, all their works will be burned up, though they are saved.

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  • Moderators

My former church in my home town our pastor and two local pastors taught classes for anyone called into the ministry, before you were allowed to attend the classes they met with you to assure your calling to the ministry ,once you were accept you were required to live the appropriate life of the leadership of a pastor or teacher and complete all assignments given. I wont go into detail about the classes but they were in direct line with the Word of God.

A few years ago a pastor friend gave me some literature on a class given at a local bible college that I might wont to attend so I thought I would check it out. I did some research on the college and found that it was teaching some of the theology of Joyce Meyers,I didn't take the class and later called the pastor and he was unaware of this,he told me someone had given him the literature and thinking it to be good he passed it on to me and was sorry he had recommended it to me.  

 

when looking into going to a bible college it is best to do research before you attend because they may be teaching the wrong thing.don't be afraid to ask questions it's very important.

Yes, even good, godly men can fall to error when not checking carefully into that which they recommend to others.

 

I had that happen when a pastor recommended to a bunch of folks in an e-newsletter, a book. I don't recall the name of it, but he sent also a link to read the first few pages of the first chapter, as well as the introduction pages.  The first thing I read when I opened it was a quote from Lao Tsu, and that name set off a warning bell, so I asked my wife is she knew the name. My wife, by the way, spent many years in the New Age before she was saved. She told me he was the founder of Tao Buddhism. At that point, I closed it and emailed the pastor about it. He contacted me the next day, and apologized, telling me that he had not read the book, but had read a former book by the same author anbd it was sound, so he thought he could safely recommend this book, as well. He pulled the book and the recommendation and he learned a good lesson. And so did I-always check completely into what you recommend to others.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Actually, we see a clear example of the warning that if one fails to act in accord with God's will, God will raise up another, in the book of Esther.

Jonah was called as a prophet, and had answered the call. Jonah rebelled against God's specific command to go to Nineveh and God chastised him for that. Had Jonah continued in his rebellion and not repented, it's very likely that would have been the end of Jonah and God would have sent another.

God has good works for all of His people to do but it's OBvious we fail this. That's why when all our works are tried by fire, there will be some burned up, and in the case of some folks, all their works will be burned up, though they are saved.

Jonah was gonna have a hard time continuing in rebellion, in a whale's belly.

Anishinaabe

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A man who is saved, discipled and called to preach has the opportunity to stay and learn from his pastor or online courses.  Going away to Bible college is just another option.  

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  • 4 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I know for me because I come a from an broken home with lost family, that It was definitely helpful for me to go away to bible college in order to get away from sinful influences around me, for me going away has been sort of a training in the wilderness I suppose.

 

I go back home every now and then, and I can definitely see how going away and being involved in intensive bible study with a controlled environment at a bible college really has changed me and developed my walk with the Lord.

 

I will be the first to admit that Bible College does not make a preacher successful, a clean heart and the empowering of the Spirit of God is what will do that.

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