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         33
      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.

Titus


Alan
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David,

Last night I tried to copy and paste the lesson, but it did not work. I will try again. If that does not work I will contact Matt.

Thank you for bringing the matter to my attention.

Alan

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Titus 1

Greeting

Verses 1 and 2, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

Paul the Apostle was a man of God. As a man of God, he was a servant of God, he believed, and practiced, that Jesus was Lord and he was just a servant. Paul followed the teaching and the practice of the Lord Jesus.

Servant & Apostle

The Apostle Paul knew, even if others did not, that he was called to be an apostle. He expounded to Titus that he was an apostle chosen of God, called, personally, by the Lord Jesus Himself. The Lord Jesus called Paul, (then called Saul), in person, on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:1-16.

The scriptures are very plain that Paul was chosen, “...by the will of God, [not man],” 2 Timothy 1:2, to replace Judas Iscariot to be the twelfth apostle. As in all of his other epistles, Paul had to state that he was an apostle due to the picking of Matthias, by man, in Acts 1:15-26

Furthermore, there are only twelve Apostles personally selected by the Lord Jesus. Once the original twelve apostles died the office of the apostles was permanently stopped. In the New Jerusalem, the names of the twelve apostles, and only the twelve apostles, are eternally written down on the foundation of the city for all of the saints to see, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” Revelation 21:14

Faith of God's Elect

 “... according to the faith of God's elect.” Paul now states that all of this was done, “... according to the faith of God's elect.” Let us first consider faith is the most important part of being part of God’s elect. Without faith a person has no salvation, is not part of the body of Christ, does not have the Holy Spirit, and is not part of the “elect.”

God, through His foreknowledge, knows who will be saved and when they will be saved. Therefore, we read in 1 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

In connection with the, “faith of God's elect,” please read, and study, the following passages. Ephesians 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” To help our understanding of what Paul is referring to we will need to keep in thought Paul’s whole dissertation of election, predestination, and the will of God as recorded in Ephesians 1:1-14 and Romans 8:28-33. God has complete foreknowledge of all that will transpire in this world from the beginning of time and He will accomplish His will in all things

Truth - Godliness

 Truth and godliness go together. A man of God will accept the truth, the doctrines, of the scriptures.

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17

Eternal Life

God is eternal and He is life. As only God can create life and only He can give eternal life. It is not in the power of man, nor Satan, to either create life or give eternal life. It is not the heart of God to have man die and spend eternity in a devils hell. Because He loves us very much, He desires us to live with Him for eternity. He desires to give us eternal life, through Jesus Christ His son.

God gives us hope. God gives the Christian the hope of eternal life. And, because God cannot lie, this hope is sure and solid. We can rest assuredly that God will perform His promise of eternal life in heaven to all those that believe in Christ as their Saviour. And, because God is God, He was able to make this promise of eternal salvation before the world was created! Praise the Lord! Because of the foreknowledge of God, He knew that man would sin, therefore, God made the plan of salvation, and the hope of eternal life even before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:3 & 4. Before the foundation of the world, God promised eternal life to those who would believe! God is truly wonderful and loves us very much.

 

Edited by Alan
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Brother, can we expound some more on Truth and Godliness. It seems that such an important topic should have some more.

Yes. I think it would be a good idea that would be beneficial for all of us. We will first make a foundation: Truth.

First - Truth

Truth is an inherent part of the nature of God, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. "Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth." Psalm 31:5

And, it is a characteristic that God wants all of His saints to develop in their lives. "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom." Psalm 51:6

Furthermore, God wants all men, in all ages, in all countries, to come to the truth: "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:25

As Paul brought out in Titus 1:1, the scriptures are inherently truthful. The scriptures determine what is truth and what is error; specifically doctrine. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timohty 4:3 and 4

The 'fables' that Paul mentioned are not only religious fables that are written in spurious books like the Apocrypha, Buddhist writings, and Taoist writings, but would include false doctrines in the churches today.

Edited by Alan
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this is very interesting.  my husband had intended to start a series at church on the armor of God and he got the introduction done.  came time to start on the belt of truth and he got sidetracked ;)  he felt it was important to deal with what the truth is, so that is where he is headed -- a covering of basic biblical doctrines, a foundation of truth.  will have to mull over this a bit.

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tapperhoney,

We do hope that the lesson on Titus will help both you and your husband. I think your husband is one the right track concerning truth and the foundation. Looking forward to any discussion points you or your husband want to bring out in the study of Titus. As we study the truth of the scriptures and you our your husband would like to add something that I neglected to bring out, our we need to dwell on some other aspect of Titus that I do not discuss as much as I should, please let us know.

Alan

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Paul was not "chosen" to replace Judas.  Matthias replaced Judas, to establish the Twelve Apostles to the Nation of Israel/

Paul was "chosen" as the only Apostle to the Gentiles, and to him was "revealed" the Gospel of Grace (without works).

"mixing" the Gospel of the Kingdom with the Gospel of Grace is what the Catholic Church did at its inception (and still does).

Unfortunately, most of the Protestants just "follow suit" and preach a confusing mix of the two (yes even most IFB).

Edited by beameup
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Brother, can we expound some more on Truth and Godliness. It seems that such an important topic should have some more.

We will expound and discuss the second part of your question: Godliness.

Godliness

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6 

Godliness is an attribute that is an inherent attibute of God himself. It is a great gain to every Christian to have godliness in his life. God is Holy and in both the Old and New Testaments God wants His holiness, His godliness, to be a living part of our lives. The apostle Peter quotes Leviticus 19:2 in 1 Peter 1:15 and 16, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." God wants us to partake of His divine nature of holiness as a characteristic in our own lives after salvation.

"In all manner of conversation," is not only in our speech, but in our daily living. How we converse with others is a matter of holiness. Holiness is the ultimate characteristic that every Christian should stive to obtain in his character, walk in life, and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. 

The apostle Peter builds upon the subject of holiness, (with examples of characterisitcs leading up to godliness), in his Second Epistle.

2 Peter 1:3 - 7, "According as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that ye might be partakes of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

Throughout eternity we will be reminded of the holiness of God: the essence of His godliness. Revelation 4:8, "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying,  Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."  

 

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beammeup

Thank you for your comments and frank discussion. The following is my response.

 

Revelation 21:14, and Matthew 19:28, is very clear that there are only 12 apostles. To say that Matthias is the apostle for the nation of Israel and that Paul was just the apostle to the Gentiles is a private interpretation. Is Paul the 13th Apostle as some folks say? If so, than Revelation 21:14 and Matthew 19:28 is not true. Yes, Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles but they does in absolutely no way, in any manner, mean that there was going to be a new man called to the Jews and one to the Gentiles.

  1. Paul was indeed chosen personally by the Lord Jesus Christ both in presence and by voice on the road to Damascus. Matthias was not chosen by the Lord Jesus: Matthias was chosen by the casting of lots.

  2. Psalm 109:8, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” The 12th. apostle to replace the office, or Apostleship, of Judas Iscariot, was only one office. There is no, may I repeat, no, scripture references in the Old Testament that there would be a 13th Apostle, nor any scripture prophesying that there would be an office to the Jews and one to the Gentiles. To differentiate between the office to the Jews and one to the Gentiles is a private interpretation, (hyper-dispensation), and not scriptural truth.

  3. The Lord Jesus plainly stated concerning the 12 apostles, and then to the individual who replaced Judas Iscariot, “And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28 If there are 13 apostles, where is the 13th tribe of Israel in the Millennial kingdom?

  4. The mixing of the gospel of the Kingdom and the gospel of grace smacks of hyper-dispensationalism and not scriptual truth. The only way of salvation before the Law, during the Law, during the presence of the Lord Jesus on the earth, during the Church Age, during the 7-Tribulation period, and during the 1000 Year Reign of Christ is the same: By grace through faith, in the mercy of God.

  5. To qualify as an apostle the Lord Jesus had to call "chose," the individual by name: Matthew 10:1 & 2; Mark 3:13 & 14 “And he[Jesus] goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.” "Paul, and apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.") Galatians 1:1 The Lord Jesus called Paul He did not call Matthias. Matthias was called by "man." Paul was chosen by the Lord Jesus, when the Lord Jesus gave the vision to Ananias in Acts 9: 10-18 we hear these very carefully selected words by the Lord Jesus Himself, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel."

           Paul was not only chosen by the Lord Jesus Himself, Jesus said Paul was "chosen," Furthermore, the Lord Jesus said that Paul was, "...to bear

          my name before the Gentiles,and kings, and the children of Israel." The Lord Jesus said, "... and the children of Israel." To say that Paul was just chosen as an apostle to the Gentiles is a disregard for the carefully selection of the words of the Lord Jesus.

       6. You said,"mixing" the Gospel of the Kingdom with the Gospel of Grace is what the Catholic Church did at its inception (and still does).

Brother, that thought and belief, in my personal estimation, is an unjust comparison.

beammeup,

I do hope that the above response to my position, and some clarification, will be of a help to you. It is my hope that we can remain friendly and frank in our discussions.

Alan

Edited by Alan
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Paul was not "chosen" to replace Judas.  Matthias replaced Judas, to establish the Twelve Apostles to the Nation of Israel/

Paul was "chosen" as the only Apostle to the Gentiles, and to him was "revealed" the Gospel of Grace (without works).

"mixing" the Gospel of the Kingdom with the Gospel of Grace is what the Catholic Church did at its inception (and still does).

Unfortunately, most of the Protestants just "follow suit" and preach a confusing mix of the two (yes even most IFB).

Good point BMU, though the 12 had the direct commission from the Lord to be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. We never hear of most of them by name again in Scripture, though some may be in Jerusalem in Acts 15. Presumably they were obedient to their Lord. Paul with Barnabas were commissioned by the Holy Spirit speaking to the Antioch church. Both are considered Apostles in Acts 14:4,14 

Peter & the 120 were in in prayer before they considered the Scriptures calling for a replacement for Judas. There is no suggestion that they were mistaken. 

We know of Peter, James & John, & possibly Philip. It is likely that, like Paul they went first to synagogues wherever they went, where they existed. An obvious line to follow would be the Jews of the dispersion who came from the countries recorded in Acts 2, to instruct these new Christians, & spread out from there. There are stories/accounts of their lives & ministry in church history, but how reliable are they.

As for ""mixing" the Gospel of the Kingdom with the Gospel of Grace" there is only ONE Gospel, one saving name - Jesus.

# written before Alan's reply.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Covenanter
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Covenanter said, "We know of Peter, James & John, & possibly Philip. It is likely that, like Paul they went first to synagogues wherever they went, where they existed. An obvious line to follow would be the Jews of the dispersion who came from the countries recorded in Acts 2, to instruct these new Christians, & spread out from there. There are stories/accounts of their lives & ministry in church history, but how reliable are they."

I thoroughly agree with your conclusion. Excellent observation.

Also, you observation of Acts 1:8 in relation to the apostles is also very noteworthy and helpful to the discussion.

Thank you very much for your observations and comments.

Alan

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But might I contend that even without Matthias there are still at least 13 Apostles? Look at Hebrews 3:1.

Hebrews 3:1, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."

Hmmm..... Glad you brought Hebrews 3:1 to our attention. :)

May I give you my thought. In essense, the Lord Jesus, as the builder of the house (see Hebrews 3:2-6), would be considered the "head," of the house, the builder, not the house itself, and would be worthy of more honour than the house itself. So, Christ would be the supreme example (as called of God), but, not be mentioned as an 13th apostle; as in relation to the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem nor in judging in the 12 tribes of Israel during His 1000 Year Reign.

Hebrews 3:3,"For this man [Christ] was counted of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house."

Alan

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Titus 1:3 and 4

Verse 3 and 4, “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

“... manifested his word through preaching...”

The message of salvation, eternal life through Christ, is wonderful news! God has firmly decided that it would be through the lips of the redeemed to spread this good news to fallen man. It is called preaching. The preacher is anointed of God to spread the good news of eternal salvation around the world and throughout the ages. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. ... For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. ... That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:18, 21 & 29

God manifests His word, the written word of God, through preaching. The textbook for the man of God is the Bible, (“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught,” verse 9).

In the English language, the preserved word of God is the Authorized Version of 1611, commonly called the King James Version. The Authorized Version of 1611 is the only honest and faithful version of the Bible that we have today.

“... according to the commandment of God our Saviour;”

When a man of God is called to preach the gospel of Christ it is committed to him through the commandment of God, not of some man or religious denomination. The man of God obtains his instructions from God, not the denominational head of some church. This is one of the reasons why all of the churches in the New Testament are independent from each other with no denominational heads at all. The leader of a real local church is Christ, not the pope, or a bishop, or apostle, or some other man in a denomination.

In a sermon entitled, “The Biblical Doctrine of the Church,” by Paul R. Jackson, in the book, The Biblical Faith of Baptists, states:

There is a delightful blending of authority within the church. Our Lord Jesus is the undisputed Head. He has never relinquished that authority to anyone or to any group. No man, no hierarchy, no denominational headquarters, has any jurisdiction over a local church…The Lord exercises His authority through the Word of God.[1]

God is Lord of all things, including the local church. Therefore, a calling, yea, a commandment, from Him to preach is the highest calling a man can receive.

“... God our Saviour;”

And, in verse 3 Paul stated that this preaching was a commandment from, “...God our Saviour.” But, when Paul received the call to preach, (Acts 9:1-16 & 26:13-18); it was from a personal call from Christ Himself. Paul uses God and Christ interchangeably. Why? Because Jesus Christ was not only man, but also was, in essence, God in the flesh.

“... and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

Again, verse 4 also bears witness to the Trinity. Instead of saying, “...God our Saviour,” Paul says, “...the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” God and Christ are one and the same, but, both have seperate offices.

The Warmth of Paul

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith:”

Paul was a man who deeply loved those who were close to him. His relationship with Titus was akin to the relationship that he had with Timothy. I personally believe that Paul was very close to a lot of people. Titus was one of those folks.

Most likely through the personal preaching, or soul-winning efforts, of Paul the Apostle he was able to win Titus to the Lord. Titus was with Paul on several of his missionary endeavors, 2 Corinthians 2:12 & 13; 7:6; 12:18 and Galatians 2:1-3. Now, Titus is the bishop, or pastor, of the church at Cretia, on the island of Crete.

The relationship between Paul and Titus was one of mutual respect. Paul treated Titus as a father to a son. In all likelihood Paul had led Titus to Christ and is now giving him advice as to a convert.

It is like the relationship between many Godly men in the faith and their converts. One such example is between missionary David Hill, (1840-1896), and his Chinese convert, Hsi sheng-mo, (1835-1896). David Hill was a missionary with the famed China Inland Missions, (founded in June 27, 1865 by J. Hudson Taylor). Before he was converted, Hsi was a dedicated Confucian scholar. At that turbulent time in China, the Chinese publicly called missionaries “Foreign Devils.” It was with great reluctance that Mr. Hsi first met with David Hill.

After witnessing to Mr. Hsi, David Hill was able to lead him to Christ in 1879.[2] From the time of his conversion, to the end of his life, Brother Hsi served the Lord with fervor and respect from the local Chinese. The relationship between missionary Hill and convert Hsi was like Paul and Titus.

Grace, Mercy and Peace

Paul, in his greeting to Titus, lists three aspects of the Christian life that should be very close to the heart of every saint. The grace of God, the mercy of God and the peace of God. All of these are characteristics of God and were exhibited by the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, it behooves every saint to have these characteristics also.

In most of his epistles Paul mentioned these three characteristics numerous times in one form or another: Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2 &3; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2 and Philemon 3.

Please take note that when Paul wrote these salutations to the various churches and individuals that they were not just passing greetings, but they were an integral part of the heart of Paul. We are saved through the mercy and grace of God. And, we have peace with God. There is no salvation, no church, no fellowship, and no hope of eternal life in heaven without the grace and mercy of God. There will be no mercy, no grace nor any peace in hell. Hell must truly be a terrible place.

Grace, mercy and peace come, “...from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Heaven must truly be a wonderful place. Paul recognized Jesus Christ as Lord.

Again, as one studies these new versions he finds out that, on occasion, they delete the word Lord in reference to the Lord Jesus. For example. In the Revised Standard Version of 1946 they say, “To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace [they also delete “mercy” from this verse] from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”

Therefore, the man of God who truly desires to be a servant of God, and not of man, should not use any Bible version starting from the Revised Version of 1881 in spiritual matters, preaching nor Bible studies.

 

 

[1] Fundamental Baptist Congress of North America. The Biblical Faith of Baptists. (Detroit, Michigan: Fundamental Baptist Congress of North America, 1964) Page 40 & 41.

[2] Taylor, Mrs. Howard Pastor Hsi Confucian Scholar and Christian. (Newington Green, N, England: Morgan & Scott, 1900) Page 169 & 170.

Edited by Alan
spelling Aug.20, 2016
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I am carefully reading through all information presented before I comment, but one thing I want to ask is that in verse one you quote it as "the faith of God elect" and in my KJV Bibles it reads "the faith of God's elect."  just wondering about the discrepancy.

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"predestination" is a sticky topic in IFB circles, and frequently avoided.  the problem, as I see it, is that some people have taken this doctrine, which is clearly in scripture, and twisted to suit their own theology.  God predestined that those who choose to accept Christ as their savior will be conformed to the image of His Son.  Not that they were predestined to get saved.

God himself is truth, and the source of all truth.  Without God there is no truth.  In order to know truth we must seek God.  This can only be done through Christ.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

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"predestination" is a sticky topic in IFB circles, and frequently avoided.  the problem, as I see it, is that some people have taken this doctrine, which is clearly in scripture, and twisted to suit their own theology.  God predestined that those who choose to accept Christ as their savior will be conformed to the image of His Son.  Not that they were predestined to get saved.

 

I would say that Paul explained it in Romans 9 that God chose even before that; pay special attention to verse 11;

Romans 9:

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

 Also see Galatians 1:15; Proverbs 16:9
Edited by Leonard Sylvia
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      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
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