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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.

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  • Advanced Member
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For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)

There is a video several acquaintances have shared where an attractive lady confronts a street preacher and tells him he is turning people off instead of turning them to Jesus. She tells him the correct way is to live as Jesus teaches us and others will see our lives and want to learn more. He, on the other hand, is preaching that we are sinners and without Jesus, eternity will be spent in hell.

Either way, a portion of the gospel is given. Can we say, as Paul did:

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.(Philippians 1:18 KJV)

What does attract people to our Lord? Why do Christians even care? As a politician recently asked, “What difference does it make now?” My answer is, an eternal one.

I am very concerned about some loved ones who are ignoring God. Another who states there is no God. And, their active Christian family members who assure me there’s no prOBlem – they are good people who help others. I agree that they are, but I’m concerned because of what the Bible tells us in all the counsel.

There are several scenes in the Bible that give us a description of God's throne. The one on my mind is described in Matthew 25:31-46. No, I won't copy all of the verses here, but it would be a good idea to read them all to understand where my thoughts led - and see if those thoughts can be followed.

But first, let's take a look at a couple of other verses:

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:18-20 KJV)

To me all of this means that faith is necessary (backed up by Hebrews 11:7 - go ahead, look it up), but once there is faith, there will be good works. Please, take time to read around these three verses. Are there other verse that would negate any of them?

And think of how they fit in Matthew 12, when the sheep ask:

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (Matthew 25:37 KJV)

Or, when the goats ask:

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? (Matthew 25:44 KJV)

Do you find it strange they virtually asked the same question - when did we see you? One group responded to needs, while the other group did not even recognize the needs of their fellow man. Faith will bring forth good deeds – the fruit of believing Jesus and his teachings. The Bible also tells us how to have faith:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

… and, why:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

There were two destinations – the same two taught throughout the Bible – heaven and hell. I am concerned for my loved ones and want to share all the counsel of God. The entire word of God, the Bible.

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  • Advanced Member

In our daily lives those around us will (hopefully see Christ) . In the street no-one will see.

 

I hadn't finished ...

 

Hopefully those who see our lives know us & where we stand as Christians. We can't be preaching to them all the time, but our witness & conversation will draw them to Christ. 

 

The people who hear a street preacher will not see his his life as a witness. His preaching the Gopel is God's word to his hearers.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Faith comes by hearing the word of God.  The girl is 100% WRONG!!!!

 

No evil person will ever want to know why you do good? What fellowship does light have with darkness?

 

By the foolishness of PREACHING people are saved!!!  This is God's way.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I wouldn't say the girl is 100% wrong because the Holy Ghost can, and sometimes does, convict sinners hearts by lives and examples of godly men/women. That said, they won't be born again simply by seeing our light shine for Christ, they do indeed need to hear the Gospel.

 

I've personally know of some, and read of many others, who were drawn to learn what was different about a Christian in their midst and this led to them talking with the Christian, hearing the Gospel and being born again.

 

However, if one believes that "lifestyle evangelism" is all that's needed, then I would say that's 100% wrong. There are some who believe that if one simply let's their light shine before men that in itself will bring them to Christ. I've seen no evidence of that. Typically those who proclaim 'lifestyle evangelism" only, are those who often rarely or never verbalize their faith (meaning you won't hear them talking about Christ, salvation, sin, that sort of thing)

 

There are some who practice a somewhat more "active" form of "lifestyle evangelism" in that while they don't go about randomly sharing the Gospel, they do look for opportunities to share the Gospel when someone notices them conducting their lives in a godly manner.

 

Not everyone is called to be a street preacher, just as not everyone is called to pastor a church. However, we are all called to "let our light so shine before men". We are all called to be peculiar in comparison to the lost sinners. Our speech, our actions, our reactions, our lives should show Christ in us. That's something we are all called to.

 

Along with that, we are all called to be ready to give answer, tell others, of the hope within us, the Gospel that saved us and can save others too.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Romans 10:14 (KJV)
14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 

 

Romans 10:15 (KJV)
15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 

 

Romans 10:17 (KJV)
17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

 

Ephesians 1:13 (KJV)
13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 

 

Acts 8:4 (KJV)
4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 

 

This lady expects that people will come searching for God on their own?! 

 

 

Psalm 10:4 (KJV)
4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 

 

Bro. Garry

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

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

temp_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)

There is a video several acquaintances have shared where an attractive lady confronts a street preacher and tells him he is turning people off instead of turning them to Jesus. She tells him the correct way is to live as Jesus teaches us and others will see our lives and want to learn more. He, on the other hand, is preaching that we are sinners and without Jesus, eternity will be spent in hell.
 

She is 100% WRONG based on the statement in bold print.

 

1 Timothy 2:12

 

Depending on how far he was with the gospel, think of how many people she may have turned away from Christ.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Without being able to see the video (why wasn't the video included in the article?) it's difficult to tell the context. From the photo it seems as if the street preacher (the guy with the headphones??) is on the back side of the microphone and the girl is in front. Did the street preacher have an open mic for people to step to and say something?

 

How was the street preacher conducting himself? Was he preaching appropriately or inappropriately?

 

How did the girl actually conduct herself? Did she interrupt him in the middle of something; was she invited to the mic to speak?

 

"If" the street preacher was in the midst of appropriately preaching and this girl cut him off to speak her mind then I would agree that particular action was 100% wrong.

 

That doesn't mean everything she said is wrong, but her action in such a case would have been wrong.

 

"If" the street preacher was preaching in an appropriate manner, that's something a Christian should be pleased to hear; even if that's not something they themselves are called to do.

 

"if" the street preacher was preaching inappropriately then one would hope a Christian hearing such might rightly bring that to his attention.

 

Does anyone have a link to the actual video?

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