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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.

Speaking In Tongues


GraceSaved

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My sister goes to a charasmatic church.  She speaks in tongues (the spiritual language modern day tongues).  She has shown me every scripture that she's been taught, mostly the ones in Acts and 1 Corinthians.  I went through them with her and showed how it was unbiblical.  She now sees in scripture but is so conditioned to 20 years experience.  I can sympathize with her because I used to go to a charasmatic church but it started to make me question and feel uncomfortable.  When I studied and searched for the truth in scripture, I didn't care about my experience.  We are not to trust ourselves, our feelings or our experiences if it is against the Word.  Of course I've been praying for her and I still think she is saved and a Christian but just in error.  What else can I tell her?  Especially because she feels deceived and can't understand what she's been doing all these years.  Any advice or suggestions?  Thanks in advance.

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Take her to 1 Corinthians 14.  show her that the Apostle Paul said it was forbidden for the woman to speak in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under OBedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Context (the whole Chapter is dealing with tongues) shows that a woman speaking in tongues was forbidden.  This means each time she does, she is being rebellious to the above verses.  And thus, rebellious also to God.

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She understands how it was to be used in the church and and they don't use it in public anymore unless interpreted because it's controversial. Specifically she's dealing with how it's used in private prayer. Charasmatics teach that it is used for empowerment, edifying oneself and allowance for the Holy Spirit to intercede as we know not what to pray for.

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One of my favourite passages.....
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

the key here is "what is the Word more sure than?"
The previous verses talk about the transfiguration of Christ.
Peter says that the Word of God is more sure than his own experience of viewing the transfiguration of Christ.

Throw that at her.......

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Dave W. I did. :-) That one sure blew my mind the first time I read it. I think I showed her every possible thing I could show her in scripture. The hard part is helping her get over the experience. For me, I just stopped believing once I sought after and learned the truth. She hasn't said it but I think she is struggling with thinking why God would allow her to be deceived. The only words of comfort I can offer is to be thankful that now she knows the truth. She just has to decide now what she will do with that truth.

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Take her to 1 Corinthians 14.  show her that the Apostle Paul said it was forbidden for the woman to speak in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under OBedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Context (the whole Chapter is dealing with tongues) shows that a woman speaking in tongues was forbidden.  This means each time she does, she is being rebellious to the above verses.  And thus, rebellious also to God.

How does the "And if they will learn any thing" relate to 'speaking in tongues'? Is speaking in tongues a learning subject and the husband must be capable of teaching his wife about it?

Why would Paul single out the women on this subject matter?

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Her speaking out could be seen as a disruption in the service.  The key though, may be in the words "as also saith the Law".  The Law forbade the women to speak in tongutes or when tongues were given for some reason.

verse 40 may hold significance as well.  Let all things be done decently and in order.

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"Jews seek a sign" - that's what Acts 2 was all about.

It was fulfilled by the "little flock" in Jerusalem under "the twelve" apostles.

The Body of Christ ("Church") didn't start until Paul was saved in Acts 9.

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Wrong, beammeup.

The Body of Christ started much earlier than that.  Read Acts 2

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Even in Philippians 3, Paul said that before His conversion he persecuted the Church.  How could he have persecuted the Church if the Church did not exist until after Saul/Paul got saved?

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The "church of the firstborn" is the Jewish "Sect of the Nazarenes",  a strictly Jewish sect. 

Mosaic Law was still practiced by the Jewish believers in Acts.

Rejection of Steven's message = Steven stoned = Paul (apostle to Gentiles) saved.

Just because they use the Greek ekklesia does not mean the Body of Christ.

 

 

2 Tim 2:15 "rightly dividing"

The "middle wall of partition" between those saved under the Gospel of the (imminent) Kingdom

(ie: "grafted in" to Israel)

and those saved by the Gospel of Grace ("one new man") was accomplished in Acts 28:28 when

Paul is in prison (see Ephesians).

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Ephesians 2:14-15 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Both are one in Christ.  The Gentiles were grafted into the vine.  No such thing as a Church of the Jews and Church of the Gentiles.  Christ has ONE BODY, not two.  The Church that existed before Acts 10 did not remain a separate Church from the Gentiles.... it was one universal Body.

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Maybe if she heard the testimony of all of the people who have been possessed of devils, by opening up to "the spirit" to receive their gift of tounges, she would consider that the spirit behind these "miracles" is Satan.

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Maybe if she heard the testimony of all of the people who have been possessed of devils, by opening up to "the spirit" to receive their gift of tounges, she would consider that the spirit behind these "miracles" is Satan.

You need to be very careful because Paul taught that the gift of tongues was from the Holy Ghost, and the qualifier is that if it was interpreted then we know it was of God because it brought edification.

 

The unknown uninterpreted tongue known as an unknown tongue could be of the Holy Ghost too because it was for the one who did it is being edified, but the body is not being edified.  Pauls teaching is about who is doing it where and how and its outcome.

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So what about today's tongues that do have an interpretation?  I've seen that done in the charasmatic churches.  Everybody is praising or praying to God in tongues then there's this quiet lull as if everyone instinctively knows a message is about to come forth and one person speaks out in tongues while everyone listens and waits for interpretation...then someone interprets.  I was also in a service years ago where this happened where apparently the tongue spoken was in Greek and there was a Greek woman there who understood.  There was also an interpretation for everyone else to understand.  What is that about?

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