Jump to content
Online Baptist Community
  • Newest Sermon Entry

    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

When Is The Church Not The Church?


AVBibleBeliever

Recommended Posts

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

When we use the bible word church to describe the place of fellowship.

 

When we use the bible word church in part of the title of our place of fellowship.

 

My whole point is to get you thinking about how you use Bible terms in un-biblical ways.

 

The more we call our places of fellowship churches the more we put credence to the Roman Catholic teaching that the church is a building or place of fellowship instead of the body of Christ.  When we do such we are subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith.

 

What is the church?

 

and How they are to assemble?

 

These are not clearly taught that is why it has deteriorated to what we do today in calling our fellowship the Independent Baptist Church of "what so ever and ever".  The Bible never used the term church in that way. 

 

 I am going to paste here a teaching on the church written by a KJV Bible Believer.  Using only the word of God.  and hopefully if any of you read it you will see why I challenge you to use biblical terms and word when we speak. and to desire to practice those things you learn as well.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There is only ONE Body of Christ that is made up of many members. That ONE Body is identified in the Word of God as the CHURCH. Christ only has one Body.

That said, there are also buildings called Churches in the Bible.

In Revelation, we see Jesus speaking to the angel that was sent to the Church at Sardis, to the angel at the Church at Ephesus, and to five ofther Churches in other geographical locations.

I believe those Churches in Revelation to be places of worship where members of the ONE CHURCH, the Body of Christ met. Individually, we are not separate Churches. Rather, we are all members of ONE Body, ONE CHURCH, of which every joint supplieth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

There are local, new testament churches, to which 98% of the NT references are written, and there is the church, overall, the full body of all believers, (despite how many may argue against that, it IS biblical). 

 

The building is not the church, though there is nothing wrong with giving a local body a name with 'church' in the title, to identify it as such. There is little difference between the church at Galatia and Bible baptist church of Herlong. We give them more of a name now, because with so many false groups calling themselves churches, we add so we can identify what we are. If I just say the church at Herlong, well, many will ask, Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

a few food for thought questions

 

1) Why are there so many divisions of the blood bought Saints to the point they have to have so many different doctrines and practices?

 

2) Which group of blood bought Saints is correct and who is not?

 

3) Are we willing to emphasize that the church is not the place but the group of blood bought saints?  (Happy clarified that and I knew that.  My point was to get minds stirred up to think biblically about the words we use, especially when it comes to the word church or churches.)

 

4) Knowing what we have learned above how many of you are willing to forgo fellowship with blood bought Saints that are not of our Genre?  If so why?

 

5) How much can we rely on the teaching of men verse the teach of Gods word?  If you know that Gods words are pure, true and right should we not put all we learn to the text of the Holy Scriptures and not our Bible colleges, commentaries and dictionaries?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 

Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.

Good point uke you are on the right track, but I think your conclusion is wrong.  Because most of what we add to God's words are not of God but men.  should we allow men to help us define who and what we are?  or Should we filter it all through solid Bible first and let God define what we are?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Not true.  

Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Lady Administrators

Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.

Your first statement here is accurate. PrOBlem is, by that statement, you negate the statement that referring to a church "subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith."  And that is why I said your statement was not true.

 

Some people replace works for salvation, but simply referring to a place as a church does not affirm, in any way, that membership is equal to salvation nor does it put credence of works over faith.  That is a very broad-brush statement and it just isn't accurate - no matter who comes to that conclusion.  

 

There may be lost folk who attend our church (and, yes, I did use that word), but if so, they are in the minority, and  definitely do not give more $ or time or anything than those who are members. And, if they attend often, they hear the truths about salvation on a consistent basis - no way that anyone could assume that our usage of the word church in our name implies works.  

 

While I admit the same would not be true of other places, we cannot broadbrush and say it is the general order of things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 I sincerely believe we can know a persons' heart.  That which is in the persons' heart eventually manifests itself sooner or later.

If we can't know what is in a persons' heart, then why would the Apostle Peter speak of men of "like precious faith"?  Why would the Apostle Paul call anyone saints and faithful? 

Why?  Because what was in their hearts manifested on the outside.  Their actions and words revealed they were indeed "saints and faithful Brethren".

We can know whether one is saved or not, just as the Apostles also knew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Perhaps if one is spending a great deal of time with a person it can be determined whether they are truly exhibiting evidence of salvation or not, but when encountering people only casually or even less, it may not be possible to know, at least not for an extended period of time.

 

I know plenty of folks I believe are saved that if one had looked at them at various points of their Christian life they might not have thought they were saved.

 

At the same time I know plenty of "good Christians" who appear to be evidencing the good fruit yet they have no biblical testimony of salvation.

 

Those we are closest to we should be able to tell where their heart is. We should be much closer to our fellow, local brothers/sisters in Christ but that's typically not the case, at least in America. Many of us only see fellow church members once or twice a week and very little, if any, actual contact with them. We can't know one another under such circumstance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The local church is primary a place where Christians can meet together to be taught the Word of God.

I can WORSHIP God anytime and anyplace.

I can FELLOWSHIP with God and fellow believers anytime and anyplace.

 

"I worship God up at the Church house the same as I worship Him down at my house.

I worship God down at my house the same as I worship Him up at the Church house."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 19 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...