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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.

Adrian Rogers - Sermon - Don't Be A Disgrace To Grace


Covenanter

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Listen here.

 

I listened to it several times after I heard it on Radio, & discussed it with the Premier Christian Radio presenters, who in a "Right to reply" feed-back programme agreed with my criticism. I've now found it & skipped through it. I shall listen again.

 

The sermon is a strong exhortation to godly living (first 20 minutes);

Lot as an example of becoming a disgrace to grace (next 20 minutes);

And a final Gospel invitation/prayer, with an assurance that if you say the prayer sincerely you are eternally saved - by grace, not works, with the implication (from Lot) that one can live a rotten lifestyle & still be saved. But DON'T be a disgrace to grace.

 

My concern is that he overplays Lot's spiritual decline;

and that saying the "salvation prayer" falls far short of Biblical salvation - that demands repentance resulting in godly living.

 

I NOT arguing "calvinism" nor teaching loss of salvation.

 

 

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Listen here.

 

I listened to it several times after I heard it on Radio, & discussed it with the Premier Christian Radio presenters, who in a "Right to reply" feed-back programme agreed with my criticism. I've now found it & skipped through it. I shall listen again.

 

The sermon is a strong exhortation to godly living (first 20 minutes);

Lot as an example of becoming a disgrace to grace (next 20 minutes);

And a final Gospel invitation/prayer, with an assurance that if you say the prayer sincerely you are eternally saved - by grace, not works, with the implication (from Lot) that one can live a rotten lifestyle & still be saved. But DON'T be a disgrace to grace.

 

My concern is that he overplays Lot's spiritual decline;

and that saying the "salvation prayer" falls far short of Biblical salvation - that demands repentance resulting in godly living.

 

I NOT arguing "calvinism" nor teaching loss of salvation.

 

 

I did not listen to the sermon - be that as it may, I have always enjoyed Adrian Rogers and his fine insightful outlines -

So I am confused what you are compalining about,

 

1. Adrain shouldn´t exhort pople to godly living?

2. Adrian shouldn´t have used Lot as an example of abusing the grace of God?

3. A preacher pleading with sinners to get saved??

 

Wow, what a cad that Adrian Rogers was!!

 

I think you´re sort of out in the weeds complaining about a sermon from a man who has a solid testimony of being a saved man, a man used of the Lord.

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I did not listen to the sermon - be that as it may, I have always enjoyed Adrian Rogers and his fine insightful outlines -
So I am confused what you are compalining about,
 
1. Adrain shouldn´t exhort pople to godly living?
2. Adrian shouldn´t have used Lot as an example of abusing the grace of God?
3. A preacher pleading with sinners to get saved??
 
Wow, what a cad that Adrian Rogers was!!
 
I think you´re sort of out in the weeds complaining about a sermon from a man who has a solid testimony of being a saved man, a man used of the Lord.

I am not attacking AR but questioning aspects of the message.

Apart from your typo, I agree with the thrust of the sermon - godly living.

Lot is cited by Peter as a positive example of the LORD's protection in his stand against the disgusting wickedness around him. Lot was at the gate to welcome and protect the visitors, NOT as a city representative. David would be a better example of a disgrace to grace.

And assuring a "salvation prayer" convert of eternal security goes against Jesus' parable of the sower.

A question we need to ask is, "in what aspects of my life am I a disgrace to grace? "
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That "sinners prayer" thing can be very dangerous; as can telling someone "if they really believe", because many folks don't grasp the true, biblical meaning of that.

 

This is part of the reason Scripture puts so much emphasis upon making sure we realize we are sinners in need of saving, and of the importance of repentance in salvation.

 

There are many out there today who have recited a sinners prayer, thinking they really believe they want to go to heaven when they die, and are yet as lost (perhaps moreso) as before theys said the prayer.

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While Adrian did speak out what some would call "The Sinner's Prayer", he told people if they prayed that prayer and really meant it they were saved.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

 

But no-one's going to up and say "so long as you pray this and not really mean it you will be saved" are they? I listened to that bit of the sermon and didn't spot that three-word caveat. In fact, if those three words weren't included the natural assumption would still be that you were to mean it.

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That "sinners prayer" thing can be very dangerous; as can telling someone "if they really believe", because many folks don't grasp the true, biblical meaning of that.

 

This is part of the reason Scripture puts so much emphasis upon making sure we realize we are sinners in need of saving, and of the importance of repentance in salvation.

 

There are many out there today who have recited a sinners prayer, thinking they really believe they want to go to heaven when they die, and are yet as lost (perhaps moreso) as before theys said the prayer.

It is good to leave out a prayer when evangelizing and rather tell people they must repent and trust in Jesus alone, as a prayer may give people false assurance. I don't use Gospel tracts that have a prayer on them as I am uncomfortable with them. When I was in the false theology of Calvinism, I was in the Evangelism Explosion ministry, and was very uneasy with the mass professions people claimed to make by leading people in prayer.

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This is actually heartstrings' post

Alimantado, on 27 Aug 2014 - 12:28 PM, said:snapback.png

Hi Heartstrings

 

In the post above, you acuse Covenanter of falsely claiming that Adrian Rogers included, in Covenanter's words, a "salvation prayer" in his 'Disgrace to Grace' sermon. You say that "all (you) found" when you listened to a sermon of the same name was some other contents, the OBvious implication being that there was no reference to a salvation/sinner's prayer in Rogers' sermon at all.

 

Now that Covenanter has indeed posted it up and even SFIC (who earlier 'liked' your post) has acknowledged that there is indeed reference to something like a salvation/sinner's prayer at the end of the sermon (though SFIC says he thinks it isn't actually one), do you still want to claim that the sermon contains no such thing?

 

I've now listened to that section (and I'm going to listen to the rest because it sounds like a good sermon--haven't heard of Adrian Rogers before) and I can certainly see which bit Covenanter was talking about.

Brother Alimantado;

I don't recall disputing that there was "no salvation prayer". Perhaps you could point that out? The issue I had with Covenanter was this part...
 

Quote

A dangerous argument for eternal security was put forward by the late Adrian Rogers e.g. in his sermon "Lot - A disgrace to grace" in which he [Adrain Rogers] argued that if you have gone through the "salvation prayer" on the lines of: "Lord Jesus, I admit I am a sinner, & I believe you died for my sins, so I can be forgiven" then you are truly saved. You can live a filthy rotten life (like Lot), but you can't lose your salvation.

 

I tried to show Covenanter that the whole message was about living right and not being a "disgrace to grace". In the message, Adrian Rogers merely used Lot as an illustration of a "just man", a real saint of God who chose the world and thereby as a consequence lost his family. His life, testimony, and posterity were indeed wrecked because of his own decision to live for the World. But God will not allow one of His own to live a "filthy rotten life" and get away with it. 

 

May I elaborate more? The Bible speaks of others, besides Lot, who did not "persevere" in their Godly living including the man in 1 Corinthians who Paul said had "his father's wife" and was about to be turned over the Devil for the "destruction of the flesh" that the "spirit might be saved". In other words, this dude was committing a "sin unto death". God has not made us automatic "perseverers" evidenced by the man in 1 Corinthians 5: Just as surely as you have a choice to choose Eternal Life AKA Jesus Christ, you also have a choice to live for him in this life. God will not make us live for him, but He will make us wish we had....like old Brother Lot learned too late..

 

Covenanter, If you believe on Jesus in your heart, no matter what "words" you may "repeat" or come up with on your own or utter none at all, you are saved. As sure as I'm breathing that's the kind of salvation that Adrian Rogers preached. Even a person with ALS, like Steven Hawking, whose "trapped" body can do no more than twitch it's cheek, if he truly repented in his heart, turned to Jesus from sin and self, the Holy Ghost would come into that man and he could be gloriously saved...saved for eternity. Could he later sin? Yes. Because we are all still sinners, we all have "the sin that so easily besets us" and we all have the propensity to "love this present world". 

 

Listening to the sermon again.........

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And so is this...

Ok

At the 43.03 mark he says "if you will pray a prayer like that and mean it......."

 

First of all he said "prayer" and he gave the stipulation that you must "mean it".   He's not telling anyone to say certain words because he says a prayer "Like that" . He is just showing you how to come to God and he's showing you the issues to be dealt with in coming to God and I noticed he mentioned these three things... "I'm a sinner" "I'm lost" "Jesus you died to save me" Those three issues are the three that the Holy Spirit deals with the heart: sin, righteousness, and judgement.

 

Sin.......I'm a low down wicked sinner

Righteousness......God is Love and Holy and righteous and he displayed all of that in Jesus and on Calvary.

Judgement.....I'm on my way to Hell for all eternity and I deserve it.

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Romans 10
 9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

I know it doesn't say "pray" but to whom are we supposed to make this confession?
To confess it to men won't save you.
This confession needs to be to God surely?

Does it need to be before men, so men can hear it? The Eunuch did so.... But that was telling what he already believed by then.

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One Baptist pastor put it something like this...if a person has decided to accept Christ, he's already saved and a prayer of salvation will just be a formality.

 

No doubt I didn't say that as good as he does, but looking through Scripture, looking back at my own salvation, considering the testimony of others, I do believe what he says is true.

 

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with saying a prayer. The prOBlem comes when saying a prayer is used as a formula. As it's so often presented, those who hear the call to say a sinners prayer see the recitation of the prayer as what saves them.

 

We (Christians overall) are way too lax in presenting the reality of sin, the cost of continuing in sin, the need for repentance and the cost of following Christ. We too often opt for the easy to digest, watered down presentation along the lines of asking if they want to go to heaven and when most say "yes", telling them they need to pray to receive Jesus in their hearts. There is a lot left out there.

 

I know of so many people who have said a "sinners prayer" and think that means they are going to heaven. A few who are a little more concerned often wonder if they are really going to heaven since they realize just how "bad" they are even after saying that prayer. Most often their response is to simply repeat that same "sinners prayer" many times over the course of their life to try and make sure they will get to heaven.

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Well, I am certainly not advocating the "sinner'sprayer" in the "pray after me 1,2,3" way - but you asked the question, and I gave a verse that has something of an application....... I just see the "confession" here to be a vocal prayer to the Lord. (This is meant to be friendly by the way, but I think it is not coming through that way....)

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I get your point Dave, I didn't take your post as any sort of jab or mean mine to seem as such either. Just discussing, but as we know our writing can be taken in different ways by different folks.

 

From your time here I know you understand salvation and wouldn't agree with the idea of simply telling someone to repeat a simplistic prayer, declare them to be heaven bound, and leave them.

 

As for the confession from the verse above, I've heard that related to prayer and also as mean confessing Christ publically, in the sense of how Christ said those who confess Him before men, He will confess before His Father (and those who deny Him before men, He will deny before His Father).

 

In various passages we read of those who were hearing Peter preaching and the Holy Ghost came upon them. That means they were saved. As with Cornelius, we read of him and his family being baptized right after such an occurrence.

 

I think we agree that if one is saved, their words and actions will indicate such.

 

Those (such as Charles Stanley and others) who preach that one can get saved and continue to live like the devil are not preaching from solid biblical ground.

 

So many folks I know point back to saying a "sinners prayer" or to them being baptized as their assurance of heaven. Try talking to them about Jesus, the Bible, church, the fruit of their lives, and they nearly always get defensive, declare no one can know their heart, and often point out how much better they are than certain other people. It's really sad.

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This discussion is now going the way I hoped it would. Thanks folk.

Casting my memory back 60 years ......
I was baptised as a baby and taught I was a Christian, confirmed in 1951 at 12. I went to the same school as Isaac Watts. Divinity lessons were Scriptural and included discussions. When Billy Graham came to London, the novel idea of conversion by going forward was discussed. I did not need to respond - I was already a Christian.

When BG returned I was then attending a Bible class. There were lots of campaign meetings led by BG imitators. I never went forward, but said the salvation prayer, just to make sure. I went to Wembley Stadium in a coach party to hear him. I was moved more by the Gospel singing in the coach than the preaching. But I knew I was already a Christian. BUT, no conviction of sin. No repentance.

At 18 I was praying, meditating on the Law and how well I was keeping the commandments when the Lord reminded me of the great commandments. I was convicted and saved, and baptised as a believer at a Gospel church in my first term at university.


I said the salvation prayer sincerely many times, and was sure I was saved, but until I came to repentance, I was deceiving myself.

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His way of salvation is on line: www.lfg.org discover Jesus.
I'm sure sinners have been saved that way, but I'm equally sure many are not saved who have used the prayer - including me.

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