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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.

Do You Believe That Divorce And Remarriage Is Acceptable ?


think again

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do you believe that murder is acceptably? they are together in James 2 all can be forgiven but does that make it right or acceptable?

Matt 19:9

                And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

 

1Cor 7:10-15

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

 

 

Clearly divorce is not an ideal thing, nor does the Bible 'endorse" divorce, nor do I. But let the Bible speak for itself. There are acceptable reasons given for divorce and remarriage. This doesn't mean we should look for reasons, it just means that yes, for your answer, the Bible, both Jesus and Paul, does give reasons for divorce.

 

And of course, in its morst cases, it is a sin like other sins, and while we should eschew sin, if we do sin, we are forgiven for our sin. Does this mean that we pile sin on sin by divorcing the second married spouse? No, God can bless even that. After all, God sanctified the marriage between David and Bathsheba, even though it was born in great sin, because it is through that line that Jesus Christ was born, through Solomon's line. Again, it doesn't mean go ahead and sin, because it's not ideal, not right, and often, as in the case with David, though he was forgiven and the marriage sanctified, much harm was done both in David's family and rule, but also it gave the enemy the opportunity to speak much evil of God and His people.

 

So, if you have divorced and remarried, it is a sin also to divorce your current wife, unless for the reasons given in scripture, just as it might have been in the first, so we don't "fix" sin by sinning again, we do it by giving it to Christ  in confession, and then moving on from where you are and seeking God's blessing upon it.

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Acceptable vs. Forgiven

 

Which sin is “acceptable?” I believe in the one and done principle of God’s word.

 

One sin is no greater than another.

John 8:7   So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

1 John 1:8   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

Once forgiveness is imparted for a sin it’s done.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalms 103:12   As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 

Divorce is one sin. Divorced remarrying is one sin. Once forgiven it is done.

 

Satan loves to present past forgiven sin repeatedly to the Christian, hoping to discourage their ministry. Those who have divorced and remarried are already limited in their ministry within the church. Satan would have them completely marginalized in their desire to serve God.

 

We have been called to peace on this matter.

 

1 Corinthians 7:15   But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

 

Don’t condemn yourself for that which you allow.

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Acceptable vs. Forgiven

 

Which sin is “acceptable?” I believe in the one and done principle of God’s word.

 

One sin is no greater than another.

John 8:7   So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

1 John 1:8   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

Once forgiveness is imparted for a sin it’s done.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalms 103:12   As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 

Divorce is one sin. Divorced remarrying is one sin. Once forgiven it is done.

 

Satan loves to present past forgiven sin repeatedly to the Christian, hoping to discourage their ministry. Those who have divorced and remarried are already limited in their ministry within the church. Satan would have them completely marginalized in their desire to serve God.

 

We have been called to peace on this matter.

 

1 Corinthians 7:15   But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

 

Don’t condemn yourself for that which you allow.

 

Now that's good reading!

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Acceptable vs. Forgiven

 

Which sin is “acceptable?” I believe in the one and done principle of God’s word.

 

One sin is no greater than another.

John 8:7   So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

1 John 1:8   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

Once forgiveness is imparted for a sin it’s done.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalms 103:12   As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 

Divorce is one sin. Divorced remarrying is one sin. Once forgiven it is done.

 

Satan loves to present past forgiven sin repeatedly to the Christian, hoping to discourage their ministry. Those who have divorced and remarried are already limited in their ministry within the church. Satan would have them completely marginalized in their desire to serve God.

 

We have been called to peace on this matter.

 

1 Corinthians 7:15   But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

 

Don’t condemn yourself for that which you allow.

And yet I have shown that divorce and remarriage is not always sin, directly from scripture, but you say "divorce is one sin, remarriage is one sin."  Not always, according to scripture.

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Malachi 2:16..........he hateth putting away.......

 

Matthew 5 31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

 

That means, if you find out that mom or dad is doing things that could bring a STD into the home or is molesting the children, or someone else's children, or  has announced that he/she

is "gay" or any other type of sexual perversion, it's a dangerous situation that God Himself (Jesus) doesn't expect a spouse to live in. Actually, according to the Law, those are already punishable by death. Any other  "irreconcilable differences" are not really "irreconcilable differences" and just need to be worked out.

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Malachi 2:16..........he hateth putting away.......

 

Matthew 5 31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

 

That means, if you find out that mom or dad is doing things that could bring a STD into the home or is molesting the children, or someone else's children, or  has announced that he/she

is "gay" or any other type of sexual perversion, it's a dangerous situation that God Himself (Jesus) doesn't expect a spouse to live in. Actually, according to the Law, those are already punishable by death. Any other  "irreconcilable differences" are not really "irreconcilable differences" and just need to be worked out.

Yup.

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In terms of being gay, if someone is struggling with same sex attraction in their mind and thought patterns, would it be good if they not got married?

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And yet I have shown that divorce and remarriage is not always sin, directly from scripture, but you say "divorce is one sin, remarriage is one sin."  Not always, according to scripture.

I know those scriptures too and agree with them. However, just now, I thought of the "hardness of heart" and think this (hardness) is not God's will. So, I'm forgiven either way and it is humbling.

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Personally I am convinced that divorce is acceptable if the conditions meet the Lord's very specific fornication criteria.

 

BIG however though on the issue of remarriage, I don't see the same "go ahead" with remarriage (in the below context from the Gospels)

 

Another issue to raise concerning this text: That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. The reversed text dealing with the husband, reverses the roles in this scenario IMO.

 

Heartstrings explanation of this text is one possible interpretation but contextually this text could be interpreted in at least 3 ways without a clearly defined way to rule out any of the 3.

 

Could be the wife's fornication but I sincerely doubt it, I think that is the least likely of the 3. If it were her fornication she was already committing adultery so the last part of the text would then be irrelevant.

 

Could be the safety and health issue Heartstrings mentioned, but I have a measure of doubt on that one too since at the time STDs were present most likely but undiscovered, defined or realized by anyone as were pretty much all medical prOBlems.

 

Most likely IMO is that the fornication mentioned was committed by the husband in this scenario which explains why it is then acceptable for the divorced wife to remarry without committing adultery (wasn't any fault of hers). The whole trust and peace in marriage goes out the window when a dude gets caught, making his life misery in the flesh unless he does release her from the marriage.

So, "if" this is the most reasonable interpretation then this does not give the offending husband any go ahead in remarriage.

 

Now in the instructions to NT churches (you know, born again people who now have the Spirit abiding within them), particularly ICor 7 put all the hub bub about marrying into a real perscpective for us. IOW: it is basically a waste of time on earth to worry over it but since we are weak and can't live on our own apparently, God knows we will marry and divorce and marry and divorce and .....on marriage it does say that remarriage is not sin but trouble in the flesh and boy HOWDY is it.

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so I read this a couple of days ago and it upset me so much that i decided to wait until I cooled off to reply. lol :coverlaugh:

 

Now in the instructions to NT churches (you know, born again people who now have the Spirit abiding within them), particularly ICor 7 put all the hub bub about marrying into a real perscpective for us. IOW: it is basically a waste of time on earth to worry over it but since we are weak and can't live on our own apparently, God knows we will marry and divorce and marry and divorce and .....on marriage it does say that remarriage is not sin but trouble in the flesh and boy HOWDY is it.

1 corinthains 7 is speaking of pauls opinion of what virgins should do it is speaking of a married or divorced person when it says it is ok to marry Jesus says in 3 of the Gospels that for a divorced person to remarry is adultery. do you think paul is saying it is not a sin to commit adultery?

 

, God knows we will marry and divorce and marry and divorce and .....on marriage it does say that remarriage is not sin but trouble in the flesh and boy HOWDY is it.

that is ridiculous God also knows that we will lie, steal ,and maybe even murder. but a Christians are not to do those thing cause Christ commanded us not to 1 john 2 says And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments He that saith I know Him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.

question; is it a sin to commit adultery? i know that God can(and will) forgive but Hebrews says For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

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so I read this a couple of days ago and it upset me so much that i decided to wait until I cooled off to reply. lol :coverlaugh:

1 corinthains 7 is speaking of pauls opinion of what virgins should do it is speaking of a married or divorced person when it says it is ok to marry Jesus says in 3 of the Gospels that for a divorced person to remarry is adultery. do you think paul is saying it is not a sin to commit adultery?

 

that is ridiculous God also knows that we will lie, steal ,and maybe even murder. but a Christians are not to do those thing cause Christ commanded us not to 1 john 2 says And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments He that saith I know Him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.

question; is it a sin to commit adultery? i know that God can(and will) forgive but Hebrews says For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

 

Only your personal indoctrination is ridiculous in this chapter friend. Read it again carefully for yourself without your judgmental notions and you will see it clearly. God addresses virgins, married and the divorced in this chapter; ie, everyone.
 
Verses 25-30 is the gist of what I am conveying. Marriage matters zero to the born again Christian in God's eyes. It is a distraction at best and holds the believer back from following Christ at the worst.
Whatever position you came to a saving knowledge in Christ was is what it should remain without the fleshly need to keep "improving" your lot in this physical life. If you came married stay, if you came divorced, stay; if you came a servant, be content in it: etc. Unfortunately most IFB churches place more emphasis on married couples/families than single which is definitely backwards from Scripture.
 
Your fixation on divorce makes little Scriptural sense, it tends to turn what could be a useful Christian for God into a bitter judge of your fellow Christians. Get over it and yourself and drive on for God.
Fornication is always sin, marriage is not but will cause trouble in the flesh. Our Lord in the Gospels was speaking to the Jews on divorce and refuting their hypocritical attempts to live by the law as He always did during His ministry on earth.
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Hebrews says For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

If you are saved then you never commit sins of co-mission? By your interpretation their is no more willful sin from a Christian. So, fighting, arguing, and bitterness with a fellow Christian is not a sin of co-mission? So, teaching the law after salvation is not a sin of co-mission? Go read what Paul and Peter did. 

 

Yep, Jesus Christ is the only sacrifice for sin there will be no other sacrifice for our sins.

 

Are you walking as Christ walked?

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