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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.

John Calvin Had It All Wrong


Calvary

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The discussion was about the false doctrines, not the bits you might get right.
Even the Catholics get some doctrines right.

If you want a competition then you have come to the wrong place.

Especially right now as my son just came back from a definitely non-calvinist trip where far more than one was saved.

That in itself doesn't prove a doctrine right or wrong.

If you actually wanted people to rejoice over it, you would have put it in the soul winning section........

By putting it here, you are using it as propaganda. ......

But, praise God if he did get saved. If he did it was because of the preaching of the Gospel, not the preaching of Calvinism.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I had wanted to say this earlier but I held my tongue but now you asked for an anti-calvinist to comment and here goes.

 

Number or activity does not prove the truth of any system of Theology.  Gain is not th evidence of godliness as some would want us to think.  Large ministries prove nothing. 

 

2Cor 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.   And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.   Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 

PrOBably not what you wanted to hear and at the same time it is what you were expecting to hear.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Also, the number of popular teachers in a certain theology does not make it true. There are a number of popular preachers who hold to Calvinism, and people basically get the theology by listening to them or reading their books, not from the Bible. We need to throw out our creeds and have the Bible as the ONLY authority.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Benny Hinn uses a King James Bible, has the plan of salvation outlned on his website, and claims Jesus Christ is Savior, and preaches on ''the blood''.

 

My Jesus created all things, tasted death for every man, is willing that all should come to repentence, is not willing that any should perish, and he did not create a single person to burn in Hell for the ''glory'' of it..

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Also, the number of popular teachers in a certain theology does not make it true. There are a number of popular preachers who hold to Calvinism, and people basically get the theology by listening to them or reading their books, not from the Bible. We need to throw out our creeds and have the Bible as the ONLY authority.

fully agreed.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Benny Hinn uses a King James Bible, has the plan of salvation outlned on his website, and claims Jesus Christ is Savior, and preaches on ''the blood''.

 

My Jesus created all things, tasted death for every man, is willing that all should come to repentence, is not willing that any should perish, and he did not create a single person to burn in Hell for the ''glory'' of it..

And what is your point exactly?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A full understanding of Scripture is not required for one to be saved. Thanks be to God for that! We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, come in the flesh, died and resurrected to pay for our sins. With our heart we believe, with our mouth we confess.

 

God made salvation very easy.

 

Our view of various other matters, which most often are come to after salvation, don't necessarily prove or disprove one being saved or lost.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No, but it's possible to believe in another "Jesus" as in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

 

Benny Hinn has the wrong Jesus and so do the teachers of a Jesus who didn't die for everyone. Sorry; wrong Jesus.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

There is a vast difference between believing the Gospel of Christ and being saved, and having differing views of what Scripture means.

 

I can believe you are a good man who loves your family while at the same time come to think you are a goat kicker and whether or not I'm right about the goat kicking doesn't change the fact I know the you who is a good man who loves your family.

 

The majority of folks I know who were born again had little understanding of the Bible and little knowledge of Jesus beyond the Gospel that was presented to them. It was after salvation that they read the Word, studied the Word, attended church and from there formed their doctrinal views.

 

There is no doubt that the night I was saved if someone had come up to me after I was born again and asked me about a point of Calvinism or Arminianism, or some other point on this spectrum, I wouldn't have had a clue what they were talking about or known who was right or wrong.

 

While what little I know of Benny Hinn I'm pretty sure I'm in disagreement with, but as to whether he's saved or not, I don't know near enough to even hazard a guess.

 

One thing I do know, there are many folks I have no doubt they are saved even though they hold to differing, sometimes very differing views, on various aspects of Scripture. One can speculate and debate how born again Christians can come to different views on any number of issues but that doesn't change the fact saved people can hold different understandings of things yet they are still saved. All of this is part of living in a fallen world where none of us will know perfection or be in perfect accord.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Ah yes but John we are not talking about individuals, but about doctrines.

What you say may be right about an individual, but a doctrine MUST BE CORRECT.

If a teaching is wrong, whether or not the one teaching it is saved, that teaching is wrong.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Covenantor, how do you know the kid is one of God's "elect", according to Calvinism, he wouldn't know until he died whether he was saved from hell or not. Calvinism is of man, not God.

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Covenantor, how do you know the kid is one of God's "elect", according to Calvinism, he wouldn't know until he died whether he was saved from hell or not. Calvinism is of man, not God.

He believes & confesses Jesus as Lord & Saviour.

 

Your misunderstanding of "calvinism" has NOTHING to do with the Gospel of salvation & Christian living.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

How about you actually answer the question.
How DOES one know if they are elect?

After all, that is far closer to the actual theme of this thread than your propaganda.

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How about you actually answer the question.
How DOES one know if they are elect?

After all, that is far closer to the actual theme of this thread than your propaganda.

 

Paul answers your question:

1 Thes. 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

4 Knowing , brethren beloved , your election of God.

5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad ; so that we need not to speak any thing.

9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come .

John adds:

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

confirming the words of Jesus:

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another .

We look for the fruit of the Spirit:

Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Dave,

 

I agree with your point about the importance of doctrine. I've not argued doctrine isn't important, only that if one responds to the Gospel of salvation they are saved regardless if they understand other biblical doctrines.

 

Sometimes it's argued that if one is a Calvinist, Armenian, Lutheran or Methodist that means they aren't saved. That's a false argument.

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Ah yes but John we are not talking about individuals, but about doctrines.

What you say may be right about an individual, but a doctrine MUST BE CORRECT.

If a teaching is wrong, whether or not the one teaching it is saved, that teaching is wrong.

But, Dave, are YOU the inspired arbiter of sound doctrine? Am I? I consider much of your teaching is in error, & readily rejected by Scripture, but I hesitate to condemn you for your errors. We could be friends - brothers in Christ - but I would not invite you to teach. We are all learning, both from Scripture & each other, & only in glory will we know all truth.

 

I seek to quote Scripture that DIRECTLY supports what I believe & teach, whereas your teaching tends to be INFERRED from Scripture & interpreted in accord with your beliefs.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And yet still the question goes unanswered.

I can tell you a personal instance where a young man who was saved became influenced by a Calvinist. He became convinced Calvinism was correct, but then also became worried he was not one of the elect. He was given no reasonable answer by his calvinist friend.
This fear so caught him that he eventually convinced himself that if he didn't "just know he was one of the elect" that he must not be.
And he stopped coming to church, moved into a worldly lifestyle, and was still in that situation the last time I heard about him.
I can assure you that his downfall was due to the influence of Calvinism and because he could not be told how to know he was elect.

So how about you actually answer the question.......

And saying he was OBviously not one of the elect won't help him with his fear now....

You misquote scripture to fit with your predetermined system of false belief.
I preach simply what the Bible actually says.
Your position is shown by the way you impose your beliefs on this matter, on prophesy, and on anything to do with Israel.
Wherever I have opposed you I have done so with the simple understanding of Scripture.
You don't directly answer questions - just as you did here, you put a pseudo answer and then deflect to something else.

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