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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.

"christian" Cursing


2bLikeJesus

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Please pray for me as I try to clean up certain things I keep saying without thought.

 

Saying "My Goodness".  Mark 10:18 (KJV18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.  Saying "My Goodness" is the same as saying "My God". 

 

Saying "My Word".  John 1:1 (KJV1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   Once again, saying "My Word" is the same as saying "My God". 

 

Saying "Holy cow, holy mackrel, holy _______you fill in the blank.  Calling anything at all holy but God.  

 

Just something I have come under conviction over recently. 

 

Bro. Garry

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Prayer is certainly needed when it comes to our speech. As we learn in James, who can tame the tongue! We certainly can't without the Lord's help.

 

After all these years in Christ and I still find myself fighting certain speech battles too. Including trying to not to use the words "luck" and "lucky". I rarely use those anymore at all but every so often there it is again.

 

Praying for you brother.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Prayer is certainly needed when it comes to our speech. As we learn in James, who can tame the tongue! We certainly can't without the Lord's help.

 

After all these years in Christ and I still find myself fighting certain speech battles too. Including trying to not to use the words "luck" and "lucky". I rarely use those anymore at all but every so often there it is again.

 

Praying for you brother.

I fortunately have been lucky to break the habit of using the word.  "Whoops".  That's a double "Whoops".  Sorry . . . . I'll just shutup now.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I would never consider saying "oh my God", so is it ok to substitute the word God with a synonym for God such as "goodness" or "word"?  This is something that I personally am convicted about and would like to clean up.  I need to find another phrase to express surprise, or shock.  Maybe just "Wow", or "Oh My"  without adding another name or attribute of God in place of OMG.  This is just a personal conviction of mine I have asked for prayer for.  Am I saying everyone should do this, no, it is just a small thing I would like to do that I think would please my Lord.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A few years back my pastor preached a sermon about "Christian Cuss Words", and used several examples and went to the dictionary and read the definitions. It was an eye opener. A lot of the words were slang for words the world uses everyday and we would feel dirty saying, but they're watered down enough that most of the time we say these words without realizing what we're doing. One example is "Gee/Geez". It's slang for "Jesus". I used to say "gee" quite frequently because I used to watch old tv shows (Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, etc) and that was a commonly used word, so I got into the habit of saying it. During the sermon I was convicted about using that word because I was basically taking God's name in vain. There were several other terms he mentioned that I was also convicted about, but that one stands out to me the most. It's another reminder to watch our tongue, be careful of the words we choose to use. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A few years back my pastor preached a sermon about "Christian Cuss Words", and used several examples and went to the dictionary and read the definitions. It was an eye opener. A lot of the words were slang for words the world uses everyday and we would feel dirty saying, but they're watered down enough that most of the time we say these words without realizing what we're doing. One example is "Gee/Geez". It's slang for "Jesus". I used to say "gee" quite frequently because I used to watch old tv shows (Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, etc) and that was a commonly used word, so I got into the habit of saying it. During the sermon I was convicted about using that word because I was basically taking God's name in vain. There were several other terms he mentioned that I was also convicted about, but that one stands out to me the most. It's another reminder to watch our tongue, be careful of the words we choose to use.

You weren't "Takng God's name in vain".
"Take" isn't a synonym for "say", in anybody's thesaurus.
If The Spirit inwells you, and leads you not to say empty things, than you most assuredly did not take His name in vain.

Example:

My wife took my name, she is legally known as Mrs. Ramsey.
Had she done this, and then gone to another man to provide for her, she would have taken my name in vain. Her vow would be empty meaningless words.

So, when a child of "He who sees and provides" says "God isn't enough for me, He can't provide", and steals, or goes to some false idolatry for provision, he has taken the name (Jehovah is the name of God in Exodus) of God in vain.
In English, we used to use the term "Providence" a translation of "Jehovah", to describe the Creator.

Pro 30:8-9
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies:
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with food convenient for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny thee,
and say, Who is the Lord?
or lest I be poor, and steal,
and take the name of my God in vain.


A few years back my pastor preached a sermon about "Christian Cuss Words", and used several examples and went to the dictionary and read the definitions. It was an eye opener. A lot of the words were slang for words the world uses everyday and we would feel dirty saying, but they're watered down enough that most of the time we say these words without realizing what we're doing. One example is "Gee/Geez". It's slang for "Jesus". I used to say "gee" quite frequently because I used to watch old tv shows (Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, etc) and that was a commonly used word, so I got into the habit of saying it. During the sermon I was convicted about using that word because I was basically taking God's name in vain. There were several other terms he mentioned that I was also convicted about, but that one stands out to me the most. It's another reminder to watch our tongue, be careful of the words we choose to use.

You weren't "Takng God's name in vain".
"Take" isn't a synonym for "say", in anybody's thesaurus.
If The Spirit inwells you, and leads you not to say empty things, than you most assuredly did not take His name in vain.

Example:

My wife took my name, she is legally known as Mrs. Ramsey.
Had she done this, and then gone to another man to provide for her, she would have taken my name in vain. Her vow would be empty meaningless words.

So, when a child of "He who sees and provides" says "God isn't enough for me, He can't provide", and steals, or goes to some false idolatry for provision, he has taken the name (Jehovah is the name of God in Exodus) of God in vain.
In English, we used to use the term "Providence" a translation of "Jehovah", to describe the Creator.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's very common these days to hear Christians, and even some IFBs using what some call 'christian cussing'.

 

If a Christian uses a more acceptable form of "hell" as an expletive, everyone knows the meaning.

 

One term I really don't like is "freaking", which of itself wouldn't be so bad but it's come to be a replacement for a very foul word and I'm finding more and more Christians using that word. I often hear children using that term with their parents. That's something I wouldn't even have thought of doing (though as far as I know, that word wasn't being used for that back then) and I absolutely wouldn't accept my children using that word as it's used today.

 

There are many others which are slightly varnished terms for cuss words or sexual references and I hear many children and Christians using them as part of their common language.

 

Sometimes I'll say "gravy" or "poodles" or "pickles", but even then I try to limit their use.

 

Years ago I used the term "flippin'", for me I was thinking "flippin' pancakes" but somewhere along the line that term came to be a replacement for a very vulgar cuss word and as soon as I found out about that, I stopped using that term.

 

It's a challenge to make our speech pure and it can't be done without relying upon the Lord.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's all a matter of vocabulary.  If one reads a lot of good books including the bible one will develop a vocabulary that does not contain such words.  In my earlier years I didn't read much and I learned my vocabulary from the people I associated with.  They were all (just like me at the time) far from the Lord and with small vocabularies.  I am not proud of it but I was a foul mouthed idiot.

 

Just about the time I took up OTR truck driving I (while listening to J. Vernon McGee over a period of time on the radio) returned to my heavenly father.  I also took up reading the bible along with commentaries and other reference material as well as a lot of history (you would be surprised how much down time a trucker has that he could spend reading).  I would say over 90% of the books I read were pre 20th century works.  I slowly but surely developed a decent vocabulary . . . . along with a determination to use it.

 

If all the words one knows are bad words . . . . one will use bad words.  Teach your kids to read a lot of good books an keep them away movies and TV . . . . it works.

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  • Lady Administrators

I honestly don't believe if we use the word "goodness" or even "word" we are casting slight on God. Unless we use it in relation to that, of course. I do have words, so when I use them, they are my words. So if I say, "My word" I am simply expressing surprise at something, not calling God's name out (Jesus as the Word).   I know that there is no inherent goodness in myself, but it is the same with that - I'm not calling on God's name in surprise.  

 

I've heard it taught that it is the repetitive usage of a term that can make it become cussing. We know of cussing as using things from scripture as cussing (d, h, etc. ). But then we look at the f word - something that became a word from an acronym and is vile.  And then look at the words that are from bodily functions.  Passing gas is normal and something that needs to be excused. The dictionary word for it is one which I used commonly to describe it when growing up.  But when I got married, my hubby told me he doesn't like that word and I wasn't to use it. So for the past 28 years I haven't...and when I hear it I cringe.  It's not a cuss word, but it's not a nice word.  Then there's the other word that came from the man who invented the toilet.  It went from part of his name (which my grandma absolutely forbade me to use) to the other that is more gross.

 

Ha! Pilgrim, we were posting at the same time.

 

That said, if God is leading you to not use certain words, you'd best not (anyone!).  It might not be cussing, but it would be speech that doesn't honor God because He's convicted you about using it.

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I would never consider saying "oh my God", so is it ok to substitute the word God with a synonym for God such as "goodness" or "word"?  This is something that I personally am convicted about and would like to clean up.  I need to find another phrase to express surprise, or shock.  Maybe just "Wow", or "Oh My"  without adding another name or attribute of God in place of OMG.  This is just a personal conviction of mine I have asked for prayer for.  Am I saying everyone should do this, no, it is just a small thing I would like to do that I think would please my Lord.  

 

Thank you for the clarification Garry. I do understand and have had the same experience of being convicted regarding usage of certain words the are substituted for other words.

 

I will pray for you in this respect as you asked us to do.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Maybe I should borrow from Dave's avatar "Yosemite Sam" and say "Great Leapin Horny Toads" or "Iv'e been Hornswaggled" or "Bamboozled".   :nuts:

 

John81 unless John81 is Dave  :coverlaugh:

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