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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.

Debate Topics


PastorMatt

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  • Administrators

Due to a recent topic that was posted here on Online Baptist we are thinking about having a debate forum where only certain 3 or 4 members can discuss in a debate format (not a free for all). 

 

I'll be away next week, but let's get the ball rolling on topics. Please post topics below that you feel would make a great discussion and I will choose one when I get back. Thank you.

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Doubt comes if you are not grounded in the scriptures, and I think most that would debate are grounded. ;)

If most are grounded; there would be no need for a debate. Maybe a "Discussion" platform would be more appropriate. :) 

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It depends upon what we mean by "debate". If it's a classic style debate with each side seeking to factually prove their position, hopefully with an open enough mind to accept the outcome if the facts indicate they are wrong, then such can be of benefit.

 

If it's the more contemporary "debate" which is just another name for arguing ones point, often with more intent to prove they are right than to present facts and see where they lead, then that's not good.

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Also, debates do no good if one is using Scripture out of context in an effort to prove he is Scripturally correct in his position.

In other words, one cannot read God's command to Moses to "Take of thine shoes from off thy feet" and say 'that proves that every time Paul entered a Temple he lieft his shoes outside the door.'

If one is going to attempt to prove another's view in Scripture is incorrect, one needs to use Scripture, in context, to do so.

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Also, debates do no good if one is using Scripture out of context in an effort to prove he is Scripturally correct in his position.


I predict that this accusation will be leveled by post #5 of the first debate, regardless of the subject.
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It might also be helpful to remember we are under the NT, not the OT. As Christians are lives are to be lived in accord with the NT. In cases where something during the OT was to be incorporated into the NT, the Holy Ghost added that into the NT writings.

 

While a limited example, there are some who point to a passage in the OT of a prophet preaching from a wooden platform and have thus built the rule that right churches and preachers will have only wooden pulpits. No such instructions in the NT yet they reach back into the OT to make rules for Christian living that God didn't give us in or under the NT. (yes, like I said, a limited example, especially since there was no outright direction even for that prophet to use wood, but hopefully it helps convey the point)

 

I've encountered those who will take an issue and while there is absolutely nothing in the NT directing Christians to do "X", they point to this or that from the OT, often extrapolating or theorizing as they go, and then declaring that since "X" was the way then, that means we have to continue "X" under the NT; never mind that if God wanted that to be the case He could have pointed it out in the NT as He did with regards to a few other matters.

 

Perhaps I'm simply saying we should try to focus the debates with regards to Christian living so we aren't caught up in rabbit trails covering the OT when we should be considering what saith the Lord for Christians?

 

Along these lines, some also like to use the "all Scripture is profitable" as a catch all for saying anything in Scripture they want to say applies to NT Christians they can say so...even while they will argue against other things from the OT on the basis that it's not for NT Christians.

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I agree John, and leniency should be given to some aspects too, that Jesus Christ has been forever

and if God said something in the Old Testament, it was also Jesus saying it too, yet as a direction for

future examples of how God thought we should live now.

 

That sounded confusing.

 

But what I mean is, the things God told man before the New Testament were for our learning, not just about the 'Christ to come',

but also about the righteousness that God wanted us to train ourselves and fellow mankind on 'what' to do, and 'how' to accomplish

OBedience to the Lord.

Not everything in the Old Testament was for naught, like some think. It is still wrong to murder, it is still wrong to commit adultery, etc.,

yet some think that since the Old Testament is old, that we aren't required to do 'such and such' anymore.

Yet, righteousness is still righteousness.

It's not that it is 'required' as much as it is 'a source' to look at for directions on what is right and what is wrong.

Some call it 'living by the law', yet some of those things were for 'wisdom' from the Lord on how to be healthy, or how to run a legal system,

or how our children, (as examples for us too), ought to live right in honor to God our Creator.

 

Just a thought to add. And I know some already know this, just pointing it out, so it is stated.

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Due to a recent topic that was posted here on Online Baptist we are thinking about having a debate forum where only certain 3 or 4 members can discuss in a debate format (not a free for all). 

 

I'll be away next week, but let's get the ball rolling on topics. Please post topics below that you feel would make a great discussion and I will choose one when I get back. Thank you.

 

Brother Matt,

 

In my other thread, wherein I stirred up this "pot-o'-mess," I specified a number of topics in which I would desire to engage for discussion and "debate," and also specified the specific individuals with whom I would seek to make the engagement.  Certainly, into the future I may desire to engage on other topics with other individuals.  Yet for me in the present, that list still stands.

 

Sincerely, I do thank you for your willingness to consider this matter and to put forth the work necessary to make it a possibility.  Although I have done so, it was not really my intent to put a great "mess" of work on your plate, for which you had not previously planned.  So again, I say thank you.  I pray that the Lord our God will provide you with the direction and the time to proceed in a manner that will bring glory unto His Holy Name.

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Geneva,

 

I agree with what you were trying to say. In the NT we have those things you mentioned put forth. The NT speaks to the sin of murder, adultery and such, as well as the importance of righteousness. Under the NT, with our renewed hearts and the Holy Ghost within us, we should have a desire to live in such a way we won't be violating those "laws" without having to actually write them all down and check that we are careful to keep them.

 

If we truly love God with all our being and love others as ourselves our lives will reflect that, just as Christ said, and the whole law will be fulfilled even though attempting to fulfill the law isn't a specific (or legalistic type) goal.

 

These important matters are why it's sometimes easy to tell when a "Christian" or even a "good Christian" may not actually be a biblical Christian, when they proclaim to live on what amounts to hyper-grace or they "try" to keep the ten commandments.

 

Our heart, and what flows from there, announces who we are who we are living for.

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Geneva,

 

I agree with what you were trying to say. In the NT we have those things you mentioned put forth. The NT speaks to the sin of murder, adultery and such, as well as the importance of righteousness. Under the NT, with our renewed hearts and the Holy Ghost within us, we should have a desire to live in such a way we won't be violating those "laws" without having to actually write them all down and check that we are careful to keep them.

 

If we truly love God with all our being and love others as ourselves our lives will reflect that, just as Christ said, and the whole law will be fulfilled even though attempting to fulfill the law isn't a specific (or legalistic type) goal.

 

These important matters are why it's sometimes easy to tell when a "Christian" or even a "good Christian" may not actually be a biblical Christian, when they proclaim to live on what amounts to hyper-grace or they "try" to keep the ten commandments.

 

Our heart, and what flows from there, announces who we are who we are living for.

 

* I LIKE THIS. * [ I don't get much chance to 'like' anything on the weekends, for some unknown reason.]

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