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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.

Pet Peeves


2bLikeJesus

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Pet Peeve:  I just witnessed my 13 year old grandson reach into the refrigerator and take a swig out of the quart of milk and put it back in!  Have you ever seen a Dilbert cartoon where Alice has to fight "the fist of death"....

 

I trained his parents better than that...looks like some more training is in order. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

When first married I had to train my wife in that area. Her mom was sick much of the time and her dad was on the road driving a truck a lot so the kids raised themselves a lot of the time. My wife didn't think anything at all about grabbing the milk, container of orange juice, or any other drinkable, drinking what she wanted right from the container and putting it back in the fridge. Ewww!

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Nothing wrong with drinking from a container if only one drinks from that container.

 

I keep water in the fridge that only I drink from and I drink right out of the container.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Pet peeve:  No matter how carefully you put your ear buds into a pocket, when you pull them out to use again, they have mysteriously tied themselves into a knot that would make any sailor or eagle scout proud.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Pet peeve: Parents never thinking their almost 50 year old son (Saved, imbibed into the word of God, Happily married 26 years, and Father of 4 children, all from my one and only wife, mind you!), can make 'wise' decisions.

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Pet peeve:  People who disrespect, or think evil of, bachelors who by choice are not seeking any relationships.  So many think that is so weird that there must be something wrong with you, or that your'e a sodomite.  God gifts some people with the ability to be single and not "burn", so that their service to God can be without distractions.  

 

Happily a bachelor,

Dwaine

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Amen brother!  I get it also, being a bachelor now for the last 19 years.

 

 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 (KJV

32  But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 
33  But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 

 

Bro. Garry

In His will.  By His power.  For His glory.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Pet peeve:  New cooking utensils that have labels on them using glue that is NOT water soluble, requiring you to wage all out chemical warfare on items you want to eat out of to remove the glue stuck to it.

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  • 4 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Pet Peeve:  People who say "like" all the time.  Sometimes "like" 4 times in "like" the same sentence, "like" do you know what I mean it's "like" really annoying.

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Pet Peeve:  People who say "like" all the time.  Sometimes "like" 4 times in "like" the same sentence, "like" do you know what I mean it's "like" really annoying.

​Like, dude, I feel ya. It's like TOTALLY annoying. Like, DUDE!

 

Wow, that felt strange.

 

While preaching and witnessing on the streets of downtown Atlanta, Ga my oldest son had a guy tell him, "DUDE, dude. That's like totally dude!"

What a vocabulary.

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Way back then, I knew a girl who talked that way. She wrote me a letter once and she even wrote that way! As annoying as it was to hear her speak it, trying to read her letter was a real chore with so many "likes" in there and sometimes they were used properly and not just a space filling "like" which took some deciphering skills to catch.

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A few years ago I read a "re-telling" of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet updated with the modern day teenage vocabulary. The first few paragraphs were humorous with all the "likes", "yeahs", and "dudes" and other such un-needed words inserted where they didn't belong. However, I couldn't finish it, it was just too difficult  annoying to read. 

I have a few pet peeves, but I've already aired them on a dog forum.... :coverlaugh:

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I thought this might be too lengthy but...here it is.

Why did I develop this one bias against one?

Somewhere in the deep reaches of my life I developed a distaste for the ‘one’ remarks. This may only be a blind spot for me while others have no issue or have no aversion to this. ‘One’ can be at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Sometimes, preceded or followed by some conciliatory qualifier, weak modifier, personally exclusioning preposition, prepositional phrase, or sometimes a word feigning humility. For me PERSONALLY, something I’ll probably have to get past, the use comes across as arrogance. Examples:

Example 1
To fully comprehend the correct view one must have some knowledge of scientific imperatives.
Example 2
One might need to have the further knowledge of debate when attempting to argue political perspective.
Example 3
One might, one must, one should, one shouldn’t, (here’s a favorite) one couldn’t possibly, one never, ad nauseum, the list could go on indefinitely.

Is the use scholarly or give an appearance of great knowledge, experience, or wisdom? It makes me want to reply, “well, how about two or three, will that make a difference?” It isn’t Biblical, ‘one’ will not find ‘one’ used in the manner described above from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.

If you’re talking to me, my preference is that you talk to me; such as example 2, “You need further knowledge of how to debate when arguing politics” I’m a big boy and I can handle it. If you’re talking to a group, then say which group, i.e. “Christians should or conservatives might this or that.”

If you’re excluding yourself then plainly indicate the individual or group you’re addressing as the subject. Or, if you truly are being arrogant, just come out and tell me how much more perceptive, educated, smarter or experienced you are and how much you want to put ‘one’ in their place.

I hear the ‘one’ comments coming.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

As far as I know, I don't use the term "one" in that manner when speaking but do so in writing as "one" is used as an all-inclusive which is often better than saying "you", especially if not meaning a direct and personal "you".

If I say, "If you were to do or think or act such-and-such..." in a conversation the listener would likely understand my context but when written, especially in a forum or similar situation, it's most often taken in a direct, personal saying.

I've never deemed the use of "one", when referring to folks in general, as something scholarly or whatever, only a simple means of trying to convey the idea of anyone in a manner more readable.

I'm not a grammar major so if there is a better way to convey such in writing, please let me know. This is a term I don't recall ever using prior to being involved in forums where personal pronouns are so often taken out of context and, well, personally.

As for a similar pet peeve of mine, it would be in regards to those who refer to themselves in the third person. Certain famous people seem to have a habit of this and it's rather annoying, to me anyway.

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