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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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As far the ministry is concerned, Paul said, "...the husband of one wife..." When a man is divorced, in the sight of God, not man, he has two wives. In the requirements of the office of the pastor Paul does not dwell on whether or not the divorce was the fault of the wife or the man. Or, whether or not the man was the wronged and forgiven. Or whether the wife left the man due to his following the Lord.The issue is not who is at fault with the divorce the issue is that the divorced man cannot keep his household in proper order.

So Paul wrote, "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" 1 Timothy 3:5 A divorced man is not a good example to the church if he cannot keep one wife, and his family in proper order. If he cannot take care of his family properly how in the world can he take care of the church of God?

The office of the pastor is a holy office. The man in the office of the pastor is the under-shepherd of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The example of the qualifications of the office of the Pastor is found in the requirements of the Priest in Leviticus 21 As the office of the Priest was holy so is the office of the Pastor.

When Paul dealt with issues in the church that were questionable he gave examples of the Old Testament Law to follow. "Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?" 1 Corinthians 9:8 Let us read one of the requirements for the office of the priest found in Leviticus 21

"They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God." Leviticus 21:7

 

 

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That still doesn't touch on the actual point of divorce and the listed pastoral qualifications.

Paul doesn't say if unsaved Fred and unsaved Stacy get married at 18, Fred gets born again at 19, still unsaved Stacy wants nothing to do with Christ or a Christ follower so she divorces now saved Fred, a couple years later saved Fred feels called to be a pastor, prepares for this, marries a saved woman, so now he can't be a pastor.

 

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Regarding point #2, where does it say anything about divorce with regards to the husband of one wife aspect?

Would anybody like to explain it more futher, or better, or clearer, than I did?

That still doesn't touch on the actual point of divorce and the listed pastoral qualifications.

Paul doesn't say if unsaved Fred and unsaved Stacy get married at 18, Fred gets born again at 19, still unsaved Stacy wants nothing to do with Christ or a Christ follower so she divorces now saved Fred, a couple years later saved Fred feels called to be a pastor, prepares for this, marries a saved woman, so now he can't be a pastor.

 

I would like to note that the above illustration is somewhat being discussed in the thread by brother Jordan and I am hesitant to continue this line of reasoning in my own thread. Here is the link to brother Jordan's thread on marriage and divorce: http://www.onlinebaptist.com/home/topic/23739-if-a-divorced-person-marries-are-they-in-adultery/#comment-411404

Brethren,

Is there any other points in the Titus 1:5-9 section that need to be discussed? So far we have only discussed one of the qualifications for the office of a pastor. As brother tapperhoney previous mentioned we need to have a proper balance in discussing issues and I would like to give time and space in this thread to cover any of the other 14 characteristics that a man must have to pastor a church.

"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." Proverbs 11:1 In order to give a  just balance, (or a just proportion of time and space to this section of scripture), we need to press on to other areas of discussion.

Alan

 

 

 

 

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We can move on to other points if there is nothing in the qualifications for pastor that speak to divorce. There are other points that need discussion too and I'll read through the list again later. I only posted on #2 because that was the first one I came to with a question.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

"Thus saith the Lord", with regard to the 2nd point is "husband of one wife". By itself, that's clear, but add in "can't be divorced or married to a divorced woman" and now we've added to the "thus saith the Lord".

That is very different from the issue of women being accepted as pastors since Scripture is totally clear pastors are to be men: "Thus saith the Lord" using male pronouns and referring to the pastor as being a husband.

As to the other issues mentioned, the Lord didn't give us a list of qualifications for music or Bible versions/translations, those are matters we must address through other biblical means.

One of the major problems with regards to many pastors today is the lack of calling. If a man isn't called of God to be a pastor, then he shouldn't be a pastor. Yet many men (and now women) go into the pastorate for reasons other than being called of God. Some because they see it as an easy career choice; some think it's a way for them to "do good", others for various reasons. Only men called of God to be a pastor can serve properly as a pastor.

Then, somewhat coupled with the above, is the problem with the schools prospective pastors attend which are filled with unsaved teachers and professors that confuse and corrupt the minds of future pastors.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

Yea and amen! Thank you for your posting concerning the aspect of all the qualifications listed by Paul to Titus. :thumb: I agree with every word and every thought. One of the major reasons our IFB, and other churches, are lacking in holiness is due to the pulpit lacking in holiness and is full of worldy reasoning and leniency in just about all matters.

 John81 said, "One of the major problems with regards to many pastors today is the lack of calling. If a man isn't called of God to be a pastor, then he shouldn't be a pastor. Yet many men (and now women) go into the pastorate for reasons other than being called of God. Some because they see it as an easy career choice; some think it's a way for them to "do good", others for various reasons. Only men called of God to be a pastor can serve properly as a pastor.

Then, somewhat coupled with the above, is the problem with the schools prospective pastors attend which are filled with unsaved teachers and professors that confuse and corrupt the minds of future pastors. "

John81,

Thank you for very for your posting. Excellent anyalysis and correct flow of thought concerning the linkage to part of the problem is the schooling that some of these men receive. We apprecitate your comments very much.

Alan

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"Thus saith the Lord", with regard to the 2nd point is "husband of one wife". By itself, that's clear, but add in "can't be divorced or married to a divorced woman" and now we've added to the "thus saith the Lord".

Now, I believe opposite. To me, personally, "husband of one wife" has a crystal clear meaning and saying "divorced men or a man married to a divorced woman are still qualified to pastor" is adding to the Bible. You and the majority of folks here on Online Baptist disagree with me and see a gray area where because God allows divorce under some circumstances, it's perfectly okay for pastors, under some circumstances. I will not debate or discuss this anymore, as there is already a thread dedicated to that subject (and I doubt it will be a fruitful discussion as we are both firm in our belief). And since this thread is dedicated to the study of Titus, I'll not belabor the point.

As to the other things you brought out, I agree there aren't qualifications for certain standards, I was just pointing out that when a pastor doesn't take his role seriously, doesn't take the very words of God seriously, and allows certain things to slide into gray areas in his own personal life, he's leading the church down a dangerous path. So because the pastor allows certain things in his life (whatever it may be), those same or similar things start slipping quietly into the church and the pastor doesn't address them because he himself would be affected, and soon there is less and less preaching against sin and more and more acceptance of sin. Things that used to be crystal clear are now gray and God's people are confused about what is right and what is wrong. Pilate's question to Jesus is becoming commonplace among Christians today - "What is truth?" 

If God holds pastors to a higher standard than laypeople (15! qualifications!), than so should we. A pastor should be above reproach. A pastor should not lead the church God has called him to down a path that leads to sin. God will hold that pastor accountable for everything he says and does behind the pulpit and as a pastor.

#15 - Faithful to the Word. I believe this qualification is very important, but sadly becoming increasingly rare. Titus 1:9 -  "holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." 

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I have no intention of trying to start debate (I believe they are pointless anyway) but I wanted to state my viewpoint of this topic. For some time my husband and I been bothered by people taking "bishop" to mean "pastor."  Greek is a very precise language, and Paul was a "lawyer" before his salvation, so I believe that he chose his words very carefully.  Ephesians 4 has been cited above as "proof" that bishop and pastor is interchangeable.  However, if we look at the context (Eph. 4:8) it is clearly speaking of gifts given to the church members.  Pastors and teachers is a gift given to certain individuals for the building up of the body.  The Greek word used refers to a "shepherd."  These are people who are best suited for discipleship -- they are nurturing and able to instruct in an effective way.  Now, in Titus, the word bishop is from a Greek word meaning superintendent or overseer.  That indicates an administration type role.  Also, there is a parallel passage in 1 Timothy 3 where Paul states that the bishop is an office.  So a pastor and a bishop are not the same thing.  I do believe that for someone to hold the office of bishop they need to have the gift of pastor, but not everyone with the gift of pastor should hold the office of bishop.  I fear that because of the association of the word bishop to religions we take strong issue with -- such as the Catholic church, and the cult of the Mormons, we have "thrown the baby out with the bathwater" and have misconstrued scriptures to support our justification for not using that term.  A gift is not gender specific.  I know many women who have the "gift of pastor" -- I think it is somewhat innate to the female to be a nurturer and teacher.  I also think this is why many women mistakenly go into "pastorates" when clearly scripture indicates that the overseer of a church is to be a man.  An office can be gender specific and this one clearly is. 

My husband and I taught a class on spiritual gifts, where we took all the passages we could find dealing with those and compared and studied them very deeply and came to this conclusion for ourselves.  We realize that it is not a popular Baptist belief so we generally keep quiet about it, but I did want to put it out there for other to consider. 

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Thank you for your viewpoint.

Ephesians 4:11 and 12, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." This, in my estimation, "pastors and teachers" is clearly referring back to the office 'overseer, bishop, in 1 Timothy 3:1and 2 and Titus 1:5 and 7 as generally believed and accepted. I still accept as all three terms; bishop, elder and pastor meaning the one and the same office: commonly called pastor.  The pastor is the overseer of the church and is the office of the bishop. Due to the misuse of the word, and office of the bishop, I feel there is no harm done is using the title pastor instead of bishop.

 

 

Rebecca said,"If God holds pastors to a higher standard than laypeople (15! qualifications!), than so should we. A pastor should be above reproach. A pastor should not lead the church God has called him to down a path that leads to sin. God will hold that pastor accountable for everything he says and does behind the pulpit and as a pastor.

This statement is entirely true. The qualifications for the office of the pastor is more stingent than the qualification for the priest under the Old Testament Law. The pastor of the church will be held more accountable for the direction of the church than the members of the church.

 

 

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Hi! I'm joining in on the study a few days late (sorry).  I wanted to say it's been an excellent study so far, Alan! As far as the first thread of conversation went, my 2 cents is: 1. I'm thankful Paul was an apostle because although he did spread the gospel to the Jews, but he was also called to spread the gospel to the gentiles! In 2nd Timothy 1:11 it tells us that Paul is: " appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."  

2.  I used the words "called to spread the gospel" above because the account of how Paul came to be an apostle is quite interesting! In Acts chapter 9 Paul was on his way to Damascus, and the Lord basically knocked him to the ground and temporarily blinded him! Talk about a "wake-up call"! 

3. Paul had in the past persecuted believers and delivered them up to be killed, and other disciples were a bit wary of him... why wouldn't they be, right? But God makes it clear he CHOSE Paul in Acts 9 verse 15 the lord said of Paul: "he is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" 

4. I tend to agree with the above interpretations about bishops being the leaders of churches, whether called pastors or other names meaning the same as the head of the church (not above the Lord, of course), that they should adhere to the biblical teachings, not to add or take anything away from the word of God.  I also agree that the bible clearly teaches that women should not be the head of a church.  I think many of the problems of today's churches stemmed from adding to or taking away from the words the bible states and after they dip their toes into the "gray areas", it then leads further and further away from the word of God.  

5. Now as to the current topic of study: false teachers and false doctrines: Paul was talking about certain people back then spreading false doctrines and he gave some characteristics of those people.  That topic is VERY relevant today... there are a slew of false teachers and false doctrines, teaching the "commandments of men" (as verse 14 states) and gullible people are following right behind them saying "Amen"!!!! There is no substitute for READING the word of God yourself and studying.  I know we are in Titus in this study, however I have to say that each one of us should be able to follow 2nd Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  God expects us to read and study His word and not just "take someone's word" for the doctrine they teach.  I agree with Alan (and more importantly, the bible... GOD's word)  that we should call out and expose those who are teaching false doctrine. 

Thanks for including me in on this study and I hope to "get to know" others here for fellowship and study. 

 

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Ronda, Rebecca and the other Fine Ladies on Online Baptist,

Thank you very much for 'liking' the various posts! :sign0200:

I am very glad that the lessons are a blessing to you and an encouragement.

I also want to let all of the ladies on OnLine Baptist know that your comments, or any areas of discussion, are welcomed. We would enjoy your participation.

Alan 

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I have no intention of trying to start debate (I believe they are pointless anyway) but I wanted to state my viewpoint of this topic. For some time my husband and I been bothered by people taking "bishop" to mean "pastor."  Greek is a very precise language, and Paul was a "lawyer" before his salvation, so I believe that he chose his words very carefully.  Ephesians 4 has been cited above as "proof" that bishop and pastor is interchangeable.  However, if we look at the context (Eph. 4:8) it is clearly speaking of gifts given to the church members.  Pastors and teachers is a gift given to certain individuals for the building up of the body.  The Greek word used refers to a "shepherd."  These are people who are best suited for discipleship -- they are nurturing and able to instruct in an effective way.  Now, in Titus, the word bishop is from a Greek word meaning superintendent or overseer.  That indicates an administration type role.  Also, there is a parallel passage in 1 Timothy 3 where Paul states that the bishop is an office.  So a pastor and a bishop are not the same thing.  I do believe that for someone to hold the office of bishop they need to have the gift of pastor, but not everyone with the gift of pastor should hold the office of bishop.  I fear that because of the association of the word bishop to religions we take strong issue with -- such as the Catholic church, and the cult of the Mormons, we have "thrown the baby out with the bathwater" and have misconstrued scriptures to support our justification for not using that term.  A gift is not gender specific.  I know many women who have the "gift of pastor" -- I think it is somewhat innate to the female to be a nurturer and teacher.  I also think this is why many women mistakenly go into "pastorates" when clearly scripture indicates that the overseer of a church is to be a man.  An office can be gender specific and this one clearly is. 

My husband and I taught a class on spiritual gifts, where we took all the passages we could find dealing with those and compared and studied them very deeply and came to this conclusion for ourselves.  We realize that it is not a popular Baptist belief so we generally keep quiet about it, but I did want to put it out there for other to consider. 

Very interesting and seems very reasonable IMO. I am not sure of the history of why IFBs stay away from the term Bishop. I suppose the catholic association but ? There is certainly a difference between the two in Scripture.

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Hi! I'm joining in on the study a few days late (sorry).  I wanted to say it's been an excellent study so far, Alan! As far as the first thread of conversation went, my 2 cents is: 1. I'm thankful Paul was an apostle because although he did spread the gospel to the Jews, but he was also called to spread the gospel to the gentiles! In 2nd Timothy 1:11 it tells us that Paul is: " appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."  

....... 

5. Now as to the current topic of study: false teachers and false doctrines: Paul was talking about certain people back then spreading false doctrines and he gave some characteristics of those people.  That topic is VERY relevant today... there are a slew of false teachers and false doctrines, teaching the "commandments of men" (as verse 14 states) and gullible people are following right behind them saying "Amen"!!!! There is no substitute for READING the word of God yourself and studying.  I know we are in Titus in this study, however I have to say that each one of us should be able to follow 2nd Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  God expects us to read and study His word and not just "take someone's word" for the doctrine they teach.  I agree with Alan (and more importantly, the bible... GOD's word)  that we should call out and expose those who are teaching false doctrine. 

Thanks for including me in on this study and I hope to "get to know" others here for fellowship and study. 

 

Ronda,

Thank you very much for joining the discussion. Anytime you want to add your  :twocents: to the discussion please feel free to do so. Thank you for the hearty Amen!

Also, you are correct, it is  very relevant in our day and age, and it is still the responsibility of the man of God, ye, every student of the scriptures, to expose false doctrine.

Wretched,

Thank you for your comments.

Alan

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Very interesting and seems very reasonable IMO. I am not sure of the history of why IFBs stay away from the term Bishop. I suppose the catholic association but ? There is certainly a difference between the two in Scripture.

Thank you, wretched, for your thoughts.  While not looking for debate, I am interested in other's thoughts/reactions to my opinion.  I appreciate your response.

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Chapter 2

Sound Doctrine

      Verse 1, “But speak the things, which become sound doctrine.”

Paul is continuing his theme from 1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” A heart belief in sound doctrine is able to save the soul from hell.

After a person is saved he needs to know and believe sound doctrine. Why? Sound doctrine, from the Bible, will give the person true security, a solid foundation for life, personal holiness, good works before God and man, and a personal relationship with God. It is God’s desire for us to walk with Him in a personal way. In order to walk with God, we need to find out what He thinks and agree with Him. The prophet Amos said, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. The answer is no. To walk with God, to abide in Jesus Christ, is, first of all, to agree with what they say. Therefore, we need to agree with what God says and what is taught in the Bible. These beliefs are called doctrine.

A sincere, and heart, belief in sound doctrine produces good works and a proper relationship with God.

Some examples of sound doctrine are as follows.

     1. The Inspiration and Preservation of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 and Psalm 12:6-8

     2. The Trinity. 1 Timothy 3:16 and 1 John 5:7

 3. A Literal Heaven. John 14:6

     4. A Literal Hell. Luke 16:19-31

     5. God Created the World in a literal Six Days. Genesis 1:1-31

     6. One True God. Deuteronomy 6:4

     7. The Literal Second Coming of Christ. Acts 1:9-11 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

     8. The Sinful Nature of Man. Romans 3:23

     9. The Virgin Birth of Christ. Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23

     10. Salvation by Grace Alone. Ephesians 2:8 & 9

     11. The Atonement by Christ on the Cross for the salvation of the soul. Hebrews 10:5-19

    12. The literal restoration of the nation of Israel as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and confirmed in the New Testament by the Lord Jesus and Paul the Apostle. Isaiah 1:25-27, 49:5-26, Romans 11:1-5, 12, 23, 25-29 and Romans 15:8, “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.”

The Man of God is commanded to speak Sound Doctrine

Paul told Titus to, “...speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” The man of God needs to know, preach and teach sound doctrine to his people in order for them to be saved and to know the truth. The Lord Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. Sound doctrine will set us free from sin, self and the deceitfulness of Satan. False doctrine, through the teaching of reprobates, deceives people and will destroy and trap them for eternity in hell and will cause them to be reprobate concerning good works.

It is the responsibility of the man of God to speak (to preach), the truth concerning the whole counsel of God. Paul had related this truth to the church at Rome when he asked them this spiritual question, “...and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14. It is the responsibility of the man of God to preach sound doctrine in order for their hearers to know the truth concerning the things of God. Sound doctrine produces salvation and good works.

 

Edited by Alan
grammer
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Is there a difference between IFB and southern baptist? Maybe I have been away from church for so long that I just don't recognize the termonology. From what I have read on this site about IFB beliefs, it's also what I and the baptist church I attend's beliefs. Just wanting clarification. Thanks in advance.

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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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