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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.

"traditions"


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 2Thess 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

 

And in  2Thess 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.

 

I have read and re-read Paul's Writtings trying to figure out which traditions he taught in this Epistle.  I still am trying to figure it out but apparently Paul taught some traditions and he gives a command by inspiration to stand fast and hold the traditions which he taught.

 

This is a good a place as any for us to search the scriptures and see what Traditions Paul taught and we are commanded to Stand fast and Hold.

 

Tradition is found only 11 times in the scriptures and Traditions are found only 2 times in Scriptures and they are all in the NT.  Interestingly enough is that Jesus described the tradition of the elders as the Washing of cups and eating without washing their hands.  But surely this is not what Paul was speaking of?
 

Edited by AVBibleBeliever
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  • Moderators

Tradition, per Websters 1828: (those that apply to the context)

 

  2. The delivery of opinions,doctrines, practices,rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials. Thus children derive their vernacular language chiefly from tradition. Most of our early notions are received by tradition from our parents.

 

3. That which is handed down from age to age by oral communication. The Jews pay great regard to tradition in matters of religion, as do the Romanists. Protestants reject the authority of tradition in sacred things, and rely only on the written word. Traditions may be good or bad, true or false.

 

  So a tradition is something handed down, through generations, or from person to person. Some can be true, some false, not necessarily man-made. So Paul handed down true doctrines of God as traditions, things to be adhered to.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Uke, Does Webster's identify what the traditions were that Paul taught?

 

The Bible is a document that was handed down from generation to generation.

 

Your statement may be true but no where in the NT does it say that Paul handed down "true Doctrine" of God as tradition.  The word doctrine as defined in the Bible is teaching and he said he taught traditions.  But are traditions the same as "true doctrine"?

Edited by AVBibleBeliever
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

also the term "true doctrines" is not found anywhere in the Bible and the one place where  the "Doctrine of God" is found is here  Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

 

OBviously Paul used Doctrine and Tradition and it cleary shows that the two are different.  Remember, "things that are different are not the same" James Knox

 

For Clarity it would have been more ingenuous to quote all of the the Webster's meaning rather than just the two you quoted without the scriptures that are in the Webster's 1828, and the YOUR Addition of the words to Webster's 1828 "(those that apply to the context)".  Parenthetical statements are meant to clarify a statement but Webster did not have this one in the original Webster's 1828 Dict as you imposed it.

 

 

TRADI'TION, n. L. traditio, from trado, to deliver.

1. Delivery; the act of delivering into the hands of another.

A deed takes effect only from the tradition or delivery.

The sale of a movable is completed by simple tradition.

 

2. The delivery of opinions,doctrines, practices,rites and customs from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any opinions or practice from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials. Thus children derive their vernacular language chiefly from tradition. Most of our early notions are received by tradition from our parents.

 

3. That which is handed down from age to age by oral communication. The Jews pay great regard to tradition in matters of religion, as do the Romanists. Protestants reject the authority of tradition in sacred things, and rely only on the written word. Traditions may be good or bad, true or false.

Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thess. 2.

Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions? Matt. 15.

 

It is clear by Webster that a tradition is more than just the "true doctrines of God".

 

Doctrine is found 50 times in scripture and only 5 of those are in the OT.

 

Doctrines is found 5 times in the NT only.  two in the gospels, two in Paul's Epistles, and once in the Book of Hebrews.

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  • Lady Administrators

How interesting that you would post this, AVBB! This is the reading from today's Days of Praise.  Days of Praise is put out by the Institute for Creation Research, which is a KJB organization.  Anyway, it's something that I've been ruminating on since I read it this morning and had been thinking of posting about it.  :clapping:

 

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Liberals commonly question the authority of the Scriptures on the assumption that they were based on ancient traditions.

However, the word “traditions” itself as used here conveys no such idea. It means simply “that which has been delivered.” Paul used the same word in defining the gospel. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Paul did not add or subtract anything to what he had received directly from God. “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).

He was making the same claim to the Christians at Thessalonica. He had first taught them “by word” when he preached there in person (Acts 17:1-4), then later by “our epistle” in his first letter. Now, in his follow-up letter to them, he was reminding them that, in both instances, he (as an apostle) had communicated to them only those things he had directly received from God by divine revelation. Therefore, it was indeed vital that they should “stand fast, and hold” these great truths “which ye have been taught.” Paul was asserting that God had directly communicated, through him, the new truths which He wanted them to have.

Before the New Testament was written, much had to be conveyed verbally to the early church, through the apostles and prophets. Later, the portions of those teachings that were of permanent application were inscripturated (compare Acts 17:3 with 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The end result of this marvelous process was the inerrant Bible we have today, and it is this completed revelation of God that we must hold fast. HMM

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

what is even more amazing is that I don't read the "day's of praise" or have any publication of theirs in my home.

 

It was placed on my heart yesterday and I thought I would share it as I was looking at the Bible to determine what were the traditions Paul taught especially as it seems he was pointing to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians as containing those Traditions.

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  • Moderators

Paul taught the word of God-the doctrines of the Lord as they were delivered to him by revelation. Thus, the 'traditions' that he would encourage them to follow must be those doctrines of the Lord. Why he chose the word 'tradition' over 'doctrine' in this case is perhaps a good question to pose, but I suspect Paul would not demand they hold to traditions that were anything other than the doctrines of the Lord.

 

And excuse me if I used the term 'true doctrines' trying to clarify them away from what people might normally consider a 'tradition' to be, ie, a tradtion of men. The Bible mentions doctrines of God and doctrines of devils-it shouldn't take much discernment, particularly considering the context of this discussion, what I meant when I used such a term.

 

My reasoning in not including the first definition of 'tradition' here is that it doesn't fit the context. ie, Paul delivered traditions to them-so he traditioned the traditions to them? That one clearly didn't fit the context of the meaning in the verses you gave, while the second two would. That I included the definiton numbers of 2 and 3, AND mentioned that I was only including the ones that fit the context, wasn't at all disingenuous-to remove them and pretend the first didn't exist would be disingenuous. Just didn't see the point in including it-waste of space.

 

As for the 'traditions', or the practices delivered by Paul to them, it would include such as:

 

1Thes 4:1-6:

   "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

   For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

   For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

   That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

   Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified" 

 

And other traditions or doctrines, or mentioned here, commandments, that Paul taught the Thessalonian church in the epistles to them, as well as anything they learned from Him in other epistles that had been passed to them from other churches, or taught to them by word of mouth when He taught them in person.

 

No reason to only concern ourselves with just the second epistle-I would believe all his teachings would be under consideration. Notice paul says in 2:15, 'whether by word or our epistle" he sent them two epistles, and he also includes word, hence, oral teaching.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The context of the verses cited here "tradition" is referring to the teaching that God has taught them. In other verses where it refers to the "traditions of men" which is an entirely different context.

based on what Bible Proof can you show that tradition is truly speaking of the teaching of God and not that of men?

Edited by AVBibleBeliever
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I lost a friend to the Orthodox Church years ago and much of it was over the "traditions" issue.

 

He had been raised as a child attending a Baptist church, unfortunately it was what many folks would call a legalistic church, but I would say a Pharisee type church would be more accurate. They were far more concerned with outward appearance of righteousness than true transformation and inward holiness. Anyway, that led to his family leaving the church before he was grown.

 

Years later he married a non-practicing Catholic woman. The religion issue wasn't a factor at that point because while both considered themselves to be Christians (they were secular Christians, not actual born again Christians) neither of them was interested in attending services.

 

Then they had a child. Both had been raised in church during their childhood; him in that Baptist church, her in the RCC. They both thought it important their child attend church and receive a Christian upbringing. After much discussion it was determined the husband would do a study of church history, talk with several different clergy from various Christian groups, and try to determine which one was closest to real, original Christianity that Jesus and the Apostles established.

 

To shorten this, I'll just get to the point he determined the Orthodox church was the closest to the original church and he believed they followed the biblical model the best. He believed the RCC was close, yet off in several areas.  He also believed that while all Orthodox churches were the real deal, the Eastern or Russian Orthodox (I don't recall for sure which, but I do remember it wasn't the Greek Orthodox) was the absolute purest or closest to the original. (After some more thinking, I'm fairly sure it was the Russian Orthodox he settled upon)

 

Finally, to the point, so much of his decision was based upon the traditions of the Orthodox church. His study and talking with an Orthodox priest led him to the conclusion that only the Orthodox church truly held to the traditions Christ and the Apostles established. He would constantly refer to the verses from the OP in this thread. There was really no way to argue against the Orthodox traditions because he was locked onto those verses and his perception that the Orthodox church held to the unwritten traditions which the RCC had deviated from and Protestants (every other Christian, according to him) rejected. Therefore, he considered Protestants (which to him would include us) as the farthest away from actually following the true teachings and traditions of Christ and the Apostles. He constantly accused any "Protestant" who argued against him of thinking of themselves as "little popes".

 

I spent months trying to get through to him but he was more tenacious than a pit bull. He had locked onto the Orthodox church and their beliefs and his mind was totally closed. This eventually led to our parting company and him fully immersing and engraining his wife and child into the Orthodox church.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Molded traditions are not necessarily the word of God or pure sound doctrines.

 

Traditions often time will replace and go against the word of God, Just as Jesus first defined the traditions that made null the commandments of God.

 

I propose that the traditions that Paul alludes too in 2Thess 3:6 are the ordained rules/ordinances suggested by the counsel in Jerusalem as written out in Acts 15:19, 20, 25-29 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. . . . . .   It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,  Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.   We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.   For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. and sent by letter to all the Gentile churches by the hand of Paul and Silas. Thessalonica was one of the places the church received the letter that Paul delivered unto them these ordinances, and apparently there were some who were still not following those things that they received from Paul the ordinances of which the Gentiles were to keep.

 

Traditions are a combination of God's word and Outward practice.  If our tradition is in accordance to the word of God then they are good.  But if they make null and void the word of God these traditions must be abandoned. 

Edited by AVBibleBeliever
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  • 6 years later...
  • Members
On 7/9/2014 at 6:53 AM, AVBibleBeliever said:

I have read and re-read Paul's Writtings trying to figure out which traditions he taught in this Epistle.  I still am trying to figure it out but apparently Paul taught some traditions and he gives a command by inspiration to stand fast and hold the traditions which he taught.

(I realize you, the opening poster, may not be back to read this;  so for everyone)

Do you think only Paul was able to be inspired and/or for the Father in heaven to reveal through Jesus His Word, His Message, His Wisdom and His Understanding ?  (not just nor only at all this one Epistle, but all Scripture - I think Jesus Himself "opened their minds" to understand,  after the meal after walking with them on the road to Ephesus? (Jesus walked with two disciples and they did not recognize Him) )

What is written throughout the New Testament concerning Who the disciples obeyed and How they Learned to hear the voice of the Shepherd, Jesus ? ... and how the Father Revealed to them His Word...

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