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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.

Way Of Life - The Darwinian Inquisition


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In his recent book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, philosopher Daniel Dennett compares religious believers--90 percent of the population--to wild animals who may have to be caged, and he says that parents should be prevented (presumably by coercion) from misinforming their children about the truth of evolution, which is so evident to him” (Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, chapter 11).

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Good article, and sadly, very true.

 

If you haven't seen it, an excellent video is "No Intelligence Allowed", which is Ben Stein, NOT a Christian, he's Jewish, and I don't think he's a religious Jew, who interviews educators and scientists who have been blackballed, fired, and slandered, not so much because of creationist views, though there are some represented here, but because of their Intelligent Design beliefs. These are people, often secular, non-Christian scientists, who look at the plain evidence through their scientific understanding, and clearly see intelligent design in all areas of nature, and because of this, they have been thrown out of jOBs, refused promotions, refused publishing, etc.

 

The best part is near the end, when Stein, (the real stone-face of our time), interviews Richard Dawkins, and plainly challenges him with the evidence, and actually gets him to admit that there could be intelligence "out there" that designed everything. Not a confession of God, but more than I think anyone else could get out of a knucklehead like Dawkins.

 

I recommend it to anyone really interested in the subject: it'll make your blood boil. And pray for Ben Stein-he is so close.

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If evolution is true, shouldn't we be living longer and longer as time goes on?

Also, if we evolved from monkeys and frogs then why are there still monkeys and frogs?

And since there are still monkeys and frogs, why don't any of them change into humans today?

 

Logic always trumps book smarts!!! Besides if you believe any book then you are really putting all your trust in the author of that book to be right. That's why I'll take the KJV Bible for answers to these silly origin questions, because I trust the author!!!

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These days it's all about perception, agendas, money and acceptance. Archeology, history, geology, and all the related fields are corrupted by powers that be.

 

Huge amounts of money are to be had for those who study the "right" issues in the "right" way. Those who actually seek the truth are demonized and silenced.

 

It's actually surprising that History Channel allows "America Unearthed" to air or the man who hosts the program to continue on. The only reason I think they allow it is so they can claim to be searching for the truth and because they know this man won't push the stories too far.

 

The truth doesn't matter. In fact, since the truth usually goes against the humanist, liberalists and PC agenda, the truth is specifically targeted for silencing because it would expose their whole house of cards for the fraud it is.

 

Too many millions, even billions of dollars are at stake.

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If evolution is true, shouldn't we be living longer and longer as time goes on?

Also, if we evolved from monkeys and frogs then why are there still monkeys and frogs?

And since there are still monkeys and frogs, why don't any of them change into humans today?

 

Logic always trumps book smarts!!! Besides if you believe any book then you are really putting all your trust in the author of that book to be right. That's why I'll take the KJV Bible for answers to these silly origin questions, because I trust the author!!!

Here is what they will tell you:

 

  "We didn't 'come from monkeys and frogs", rather we all, monkeys, etc, had a common ancestor, and that split up, so to speak, and evolved into monkeys and frogs and humans" The theory changes, and then we are called ignorant for not being able to follow their theory as it continually, well, evoles, because with every new discovery, evolution is found false, so it must be tweaked to try and keep it alive.

 

Recently, I have read how scientists found that the boson higgs particle they so desperately sought with the great hadron collider, and they apparently found, disproves the remote possibility of a 'big bang'. That's exactly what the researchers said, but when I brought it up, I was told that it had nothing at all to do with the big bang and it disproved nothing-even though the scientists said it did. This is why we are not hearing anything more about that.

 

Then scientists came out and said they had proven the expansion of the universe which to them, proved the big bang. Except it ALSO proved the truth of the Bible, which says the Lord stretches out the heavens. Suddenly, those scientists were wrong and it was poo-poo'd.

 

They found vast oceans-worth of water in the earth, encased in a type of mineral, enough water that, they said, if it was all on the surface, would, (surprise!) cover the entire face of the earth, over the mountains. Oh, but this can't have ANYTHING to do with a world-wide flood that covered the mountains and then asswaged back into the earth.

 

Willingly ignorant. More and more, I believe the Lord is allowing secular scientists to find proof positive of His word, and with each discovery,it is ignored or re-interpreted to try and fit their view.

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Paid4, gotta respond to your comments about trusting books by human authors, which are similar to a few comments on the board of late about reading others' theological views. An analogy: I want to build an engine to drain a field to grow crops, so I get out a book on building combustion engines. The information in that book is based, among other things, on Newtonian physics.  If I believe the book I will be putting my faith both in the author and in physicists like Isaac Newton himself. So do I go ahead and build the engine based on what the book says, or do I refuse to accept the teachings of man? Do I take that approach when wanting to learn how to drive a car or wire the fusebox in the house, or learn English or learn maths?
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Paid4, gotta respond to your comments about trusting books by human authors, which are similar to a few comments on the board of late about reading others' theological views. An analogy: I want to build an engine to drain a field to grow crops, so I get out a book on building combustion engines. The information in that book is based, among other things, on Newtonian physics.  If I believe the book I will be putting my faith both in the author and in physicists like Isaac Newton himself. So do I go ahead and build the engine based on what the book says, or do I refuse to accept the teachings of man? Do I take that approach when wanting to learn how to drive a car or wire the fusebox in the house, or learn English or learn maths?

 

I don't know if Paid4 is taking it to the extreme one or two others here do.

 

In the above post at least, it seems he's limiting his comment at the present to the topic of origins, for which he says he will believe what the KJB says above what a man might say which contradicts that.

 

On topics such as you raise here, to which the KJB doesn't speak on, our only choice is to learn from someone who knows or we can try it on our own. In these cases, we are not putting our faith in man above God.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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Paid4, gotta respond to your comments about trusting books by human authors, which are similar to a few comments on the board of late about reading others' theological views. An analogy: I want to build an engine to drain a field to grow crops, so I get out a book on building combustion engines. The information in that book is based, among other things, on Newtonian physics.  If I believe the book I will be putting my faith both in the author and in physicists like Isaac Newton himself. So do I go ahead and build the engine based on what the book says, or do I refuse to accept the teachings of man? Do I take that approach when wanting to learn how to drive a car or wire the fusebox in the house, or learn English or learn maths?

 

 

John answered it well. I don't condemn all man written books. What I had in mind when I wrote this was the books being used in our schools to teach things that have not been proven. They also are written with bias and leave out the other side of the story. The teachers that teach them have been taught by college professors who trust and site what "others" have done in the past. Take for instance the carbon dating that is widely used to find out scientifically how old something is. That "principle" is trusted as fact and then everything off that must be true....not so. Carbon dating is very flawed. There are many other methods of dating OBjects. Some methods way of testing proclaim the world to be only days old which we know is not true. Others show billions of years. The interesting part of it all is that if you average all the methods out is shows the earth to be around 6,000 years old.

 

With all that said, I am trusting the research and thoughts of others that have done the work already. I am a hypocrite, I know.

 

The ultimate goal and my prayer for my children as well as all public school children is that they think outside the box and ask thoughtful questions. It's amazing to see people believe something because of who said it and not because of proof. If they honestly seek the truth in every matter, I really believe they will find it.

 

Just for laughs to answer your analogy........Why not just dig a ditch, a little work never hurt anyone. lol.

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