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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
      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."


      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:


      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.”


      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?


      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.

Parenting Advice


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Biblically, the husband is the head of the house.


One mistake couples with blended families often make, and that includes many Christians, is not coming together as one family. Blended or not, when a man and woman marry they become one and their children become theirs.


In the best case, the husband and wife would come to agreement regarding any and all of the children. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, then it falls to the head of the house to make the decision and for the wife to accept that.


The children need to know that they are accepted by both parents as their child, that they are loved, and that biological parent and step-parent will stand together in the raising of them.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Blended families are always difficult to manage.  These issues should have been addressed before marriage.  The step-father needs to go to great lengths to develop that relationship, as you need to develop a good relationship with your step-child. 

As far as "fairness" is concerned - it is overrated.  This world will not treat your child fairly.  LIfe simply is not always fair, so the sooner they learn that, the better off they are. 

My advice to you is to sit down and have a long discussion with your husband about these issues, and try to resolve them.  Point out the difficulties, and demonstrate your willingness to work with him on these issues.  He cannot relinquish his God-given responsibilities.  If he tries to do that, he will only invite more trouble into the home. 


This will be difficult no matter how it works out, but as John said, a blended family should drop the "blend" and just be a "family." 

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Difficult questions, - & if there were straightforward answers, there wouldn't needto be questions.


We have two divorce with children situations in our family.


J2 married a divorcee with 2 children, & mother expected to continue custody. They bought a house need J2's work & arranged schooling. Ex suddenly decided he should have a say in the children's schooling; took the matter to court; lied to the court social worker who interviewed the children in his presence. Ask a six-y-o on her father's lap which parent she would like to live with? & interview a 12 y-o in his father's presence. No cross examination, nor interview in the mother's presence. Ex won the case, & J2 & wife are left with legal fees of £15,000 & a school trip of over 40 miles each way, several times a week - sometimes morning & evening. Son is soon 16, & no longer subject to the court decision - but it's his exam year & they don't want to change schools.

What happens when just daughter is under the court? Approaching puberty & change of schools. Both children & backward, & all that travelling & perpetual tension cannot help. J2 is very happy asa step father, & willing & able to help the kids. Father offers no help. He doesn't go to school open days. Their little girl will soon be 2, & brother & sister are devoted to her. A new baby is on the way.

They aren't believers. Wife's parents are divorced, & the only contact she has had with her father since was at a funeral.

Him - "who are you." She - "I'm your daughter." End of conversation. J2 introduced himself as his future son-i-l.

Her father was a clergyman at the time of the divorce, & became Canon of the CofE Gibraltar diocese. Now retired, living near his daughter in England, but has made no contact. Even to see his grandchildren.

S0 - how does that help ?!??!!?


J3 married a Christian girl, daughter of a Methodist minister (who died young) & a mother active in the Methodist Church. They have two children, boy & girl, J3 is very happy with. She suddenly wanted a divorce for no valid reason. The judge summarily rejected her arguments, & split the assets, so J3 was able to buy his own house near enough to have no prOBlem with schools or access. Ex has the children most of the time, but we have stayed with J3 to look after them during the week when mother has been away.

He's now remarried, again a Christian lady - with no children. The children lover her.

S0 - how does that help ?!??!!?


Grace, are his children also yours? Presumably born after your remarriage, so any favouritism did not show up for several years. Or, did you both bring children into the marriage. Is it a hers. his & ours situation? Have the other parents, Exs, an interest in their children? 


Lord, help Grace & husband see themselves as a single family, & work out these questions together. Give them your wisdom, & your concern. Help them to see that as Christians, they are adopted into one family & so to see that the children are trusted by God to them, & give them the love they need in a difficult situation, & so find blessing. And may the children seek your wisdom also, so that the tensions of growing up may be resolved by mutal love, & salvation. May all be born again into your family, so that parents & children become brothers & sisters in Christ. Amen.



What sort of issues are involved, where you disagree?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Here was the situation when I had a blended family.  

I was scripturally spanking my children, but not permitted to spank hers, by court order of other father.  When my kids did something wrong that was worthy of chastisment, rather than just training, it was over in the same day as the infraction and by evening complete fellowship was restored between child and parents...It was over.


Ephesians 4:26 (KJV
26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 


Proverbs 22:15 (KJV

15  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.


 Proverbs 29:15 (KJV

15  The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


Her kids however, were "grounded" or had priviledges removed for days, weeks, or even months at a time.  They went to bed "angry" every night with no closure at all and no restored fellowship.  The punishment and infraction was still in their face the next day, week, or month, and they often began their campaign to either shorten the duration of the punishment, or circuMVent (sneak around it) as the devil would have them do.  


Ephesians 4:27 (KJV
27  Neither give place to the devil. 


It was not long before her kids started begging to be spanked like my kids.  They were envious of the quick punishment and restored fellowship.  Far from it being "unfair" to my kids because they got spanked, it was unfair to them that didn't get spanked.  


Now 20 years later there is a marked difference in how both sets of kids turned out as adults in society.  Lets just say that God's way works...


Bro. Garry

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

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