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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.

Jesus' coming Kingdom on land.


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A believer is a believer is a believer... no matter before or after the cross.

The same God in the OT and the NT - and are still made up of three persons - and still saves when belief of the heart is inside a person.

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

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

We come to Christ looking back, the OT believers came to Christ by looking forward,
 

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2 hours ago, Genevanpreacher said:

A believer is a believer is a believer... no matter before or after the cross.

The same God in the OT and the NT - and are still made up of three persons - and still saves when belief of the heart is inside a person.

 

22 minutes ago, Invicta said:

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

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

We come to Christ looking back, the OT believers came to Christ by looking forward,
 

Certainly, both of these declarations are Biblically true.  However, these truths are NOT the point that would be under question.  Rather, the point that would be under question is whether or not the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, which He promised to engage in building, existed prior to the time (dispensation) of the New Testament, that is -- in the time (dispensation) of the Old Testament.

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

 

Certainly, both of these declarations are Biblically true.  However, these truths are NOT the point that would be under question.  Rather, the point that would be under question is whether or not the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, which He promised to engage in building, existed prior to the time (dispensation) of the New Testament, that is -- in the time (dispensation) of the Old Testament.

Moses knew his name was in the book, which I consider to be the book of life.

Exodus 32: 30 ¶  And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 31  And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.33  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.34  Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

Daniel knew about this book.

Daniel 12:1 ¶  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

The same event I believe which the Lord referred to in Matt 24:15 and following, also in Mark and Luke.
 

I will add that there may not have been a believing church in OT days (I am not suggesting either way) but I understand that OT believers were incorporated into the NT church.  I admit that John the Baptist is a difficulty, but was he saved?

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2 hours ago, Invicta said:

Moses knew his name was in the book, which I consider to be the book of life.

Exodus 32: 30 ¶  And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. 31  And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.33  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.34  Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

Daniel knew about this book.

Daniel 12:1 ¶  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

The same event I believe which the Lord referred to in Matt 24:15 and following, also in Mark and Luke.

Brother David,

What does any of this, although Biblical truth, have to do with the question as to whether or not the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church existed at that time of the Old Testament?

2 hours ago, Invicta said:

I will add that there may not have been a believing church in OT days (I am not suggesting either way) but I understand that OT believers were incorporated into the NT church.

Could you provide your Biblical evidence that Old Testament believers were incorporated into the New Testament church?

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Could it be possible that, in the verse that says "upon this rock I will build my church", that the phrase "build my church" might just engage the thoughtline that the church existed before it was 'founded' upon the truth that Peter stated "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" and the church that was built would then be built upon that foundation?

He didn't say 'create my church'.

The church is made up of believers in Jesus Christ, who is, was, and ever shall be, the God of the Bible in the OT and NT, albeit he was in different forms between the two.

Hence one who believed in God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength in the OT, is just as saved as the one who believes in Jesus Christ with all his heart in the NT.

 

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11 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother David,

What does any of this, although Biblical truth, have to do with the question as to whether or not the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church existed at that time of the Old Testament?

Could you provide your Biblical evidence that Old Testament believers were incorporated into the New Testament church?

I thought the teaching about the Lord doing the "captivity captive" thing was him preaching to one's in Paradise and the message converting them to be saved believers?

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Romans chapter 4 =

1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
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14 hours ago, Genevanpreacher said:

Could it be possible that, in the verse that says "upon this rock I will build my church", that the phrase "build my church" might just engage the thoughtline that the church existed before it was 'founded' upon the truth that Peter stated "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" and the church that was built would then be built upon that foundation?

He didn't say 'create my church'.

To this the question then must be considered -- Did the church then exist in the time of the Old Testament with no foundation whatsoever, or did it exist in the Old Testament with a completely different foundation than that of the Lord Jesus Christ?

14 hours ago, Genevanpreacher said:

The church is made up of believers in Jesus Christ, who is, was, and ever shall be, the God of the Bible in the OT and NT, albeit he was in different forms between the two.

Hence one who believed in God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength in the OT, is just as saved as the one who believes in Jesus Christ with all his heart in the NT.

Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son "who is, was, and ever shall be" the Second Person of the eternal Godhead as revealed in God's Holy Word for both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Certainly, a genuine believer in the Old Testament was just as eternally saved as a genuine believer in this time of the New Testament.  Certainly, the church now in this time of the New Testament is "made up of believers in Jesus Christ." 

However, I say again -- None of these Biblical truths are the matter under question.  Rather, the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.

34 minutes ago, Genevanpreacher said:

Romans chapter 4:1-25 . . . .

Certainly, Old Testament believers were eternally justified through faith just as New Testament believers are now eternally justified through faith.  However, I repeat myself yet again -- This Biblical truth is not the matter under question.  Rather, the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.  So then, what does Romans 4:1-25 have to say specifically about whether or not THE CHURCH existed in the time of the Old Testament?

Now, at some point you need to understand that as long as you continue to present matters concerning salvation, justification, faith, etc., we will continue to go in this same circle:

1.  You will present some Biblical truth concerning how Old Testament believers were saved the same way as New Testament believers are now saved.
2.  I will express my agreement with the Biblical truths that you present concerning these matters.
3.  Then I will repeat that these points of agreement over these Biblical truths are NOT the matter under question, but that the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.

3 hours ago, Genevanpreacher said:

I thought the teaching about the Lord doing the "captivity captive" thing was him preaching to one's in Paradise and the message converting them to be saved believers?

Well now, I myself do not even hold to that viewpoint concerning "the 'captivity captive' thing."  However, granting it for the sake of your argument, you then move from it to the conclusion that these Old Testament believers were thereby converted "to be saved believers."  Excluding the point of disagreement over "the 'captivity captive' thing," I certainly agree with the Biblical truth that Old Testament believers were "saved believers."  However, that was NOT the matter of the question to which you provided your response.  Rather, the matter of the question was what Biblical evidence could be provided to indicate that Old Testament beliers were incorporated into THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.

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3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

To this the question then must be considered -- Did the church then exist in the time of the Old Testament with no foundation whatsoever, or did it exist in the Old Testament with a completely different foundation than that of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son "who is, was, and ever shall be" the Second Person of the eternal Godhead as revealed in God's Holy Word for both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Certainly, a genuine believer in the Old Testament was just as eternally saved as a genuine believer in this time of the New Testament.  Certainly, the church now in this time of the New Testament is "made up of believers in Jesus Christ." 

However, I say again -- None of these Biblical truths are the matter under question.  Rather, the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.

Certainly, Old Testament believers were eternally justified through faith just as New Testament believers are now eternally justified through faith.  However, I repeat myself yet again -- This Biblical truth is not the matter under question.  Rather, the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.  So then, what does Romans 4:1-25 have to say specifically about whether or not THE CHURCH existed in the time of the Old Testament?

Now, at some point you need to understand that as long as you continue to present matters concerning salvation, justification, faith, etc., we will continue to go in this same circle:

1.  You will present some Biblical truth concerning how Old Testament believers were saved the same way as New Testament believers are now saved.
2.  I will express my agreement with the Biblical truths that you present concerning these matters.
3.  Then I will repeat that these points of agreement over these Biblical truths are NOT the matter under question, but that the matter under question is whether or not THE CHURCH, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the time of the Old Testament.

Well now, I myself do not even hold to that viewpoint concerning "the 'captivity captive' thing."  However, granting it for the sake of your argument, you then move from it to the conclusion that these Old Testament believers were thereby converted "to be saved believers."  Excluding the point of disagreement over "the 'captivity captive' thing," I certainly agree with the Biblical truth that Old Testament believers were "saved believers."  However, that was NOT the matter of the question to which you provided your response.  Rather, the matter of the question was what Biblical evidence could be provided to indicate that Old Testament beliers were incorporated into THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.

Brother Scott,

You agree that "Old Testament believers were thereby converted "to be saved believers."  so how were they saved? and what church were they saved into? 


 

 
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Bro. Scott,

My point on those verses are that the church IS made up of believers, whether NT or OT, and as such the church DID exist before the NT, since anyone putting their faith in the Lord is saved, and the church is made up OF the saved, I say yes the church DID exist before the NT.

There are witnesses to that in the verses referenced in the comparison of the OT about faith and believing in the Lord as righteousness, which IS salvation.

So in my opinion, the church as believers existed, they were just waiting for the real sacrifice to base that faith upon, since the law was our school master to bring us to that faith.

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

Brother Scott,

You agree that "Old Testament believers were thereby converted "to be saved believers."  so how were they saved? and what church were they saved into? 

Brother David,

Concerning your first question, they were saved through faith in the Lord God and in His promised Savior.  Concerning your second question, there is NO indication that they were saved into the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church.  Indeed, that is the matter under question; and if you disagree, you need to provide actual Biblical evidence, not just that they were saved through faith, but also that they were saved into the Lord Jesus Christ's church.

 

15 minutes ago, Genevanpreacher said:

Bro. Scott,

My point on those verses are that the church IS made up of believers, whether NT or OT, and as such the church DID exist before the NT, since anyone putting their faith in the Lord is saved, and the church is made up OF the saved, I say yes the church DID exist before the NT.

There are witnesses to that in the verses referenced in the comparison of the OT about faith and believing in the Lord as righteousness, which IS salvation.

So in my opinion, the church as believers existed, they were just waiting for the real sacrifice to base that faith upon, since the law was our school master to bring us to that faith.

Brother "Genevanpreacher,"

And my point is that although you have provided Biblical evidence that Old Testament believers were saved through faith in the Lord God and His promised Savior, you have not provided a single passage of Biblical evidence that indicates that "the church IS made up of believers, whether New Testament or Old Testament." 

Thus far you and Brother David have provided the following passages of Scripture -- John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Exodus 32:30-34; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:15; Romans 4:1-25.  Yet not a single one of these passage makes reference to THE CHURCH.  Therefore, not a single one of these passages can answer the question as to those who make up THE CHURCH.

If you want to make your point with Biblical evidence, actually find a passage of Scripture that references THE CHURCH, and then demonstrate from that passage whom it defines as being a part of THE CHURCH.  Or, find a passage of Scripture that references THE CHURCH, and then demonstrate from that passage that it reveals the existence of the church in the time of the Old Testament. 

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2015‎ ‎6‎:‎37‎:‎35‎, Invicta said:

Would you like to expand on that?

Concerning the New Testament Church.

I would contend that the church which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church in Matthew 16:18 is specifically an element of the New Testament dispensation.  I would hold to this position for the following reasons:

1.  In Matthew 16:18 our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the future tense concerning His promise to engage in the building of His church on the doctrinal foundation of His deity.

2.  From Ephesians 1:19-23 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ became Head over all things for the sake of the church at His exaltation unto the right hand of the Father.

3.  From Ephesians 2:14-17 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ created “one new man,” that is – the new spiritually entity of the church, through His crucifixion.

4.  From Ephesians 2:19-22 we learn that this new spiritual entity of the church is built upon the New Testament apostles and prophets, “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

5.  From Ephesians 3:1-13 we learn that the “manifold wisdom of God” in formulating the New Testament church was a Biblical mystery, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,” “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,” but which by New Testament revelation through the Holy Spirit was revealed unto the New Testament apostles and prophets.

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Concerning the New Testament Church.

I would contend that the church which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church in Matthew 16:18 is specifically an element of the New Testament dispensation.  I would hold to this position for the following reasons:

1.  In Matthew 16:18 our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the future tense concerning His promise to engage in the building of His church on the doctrinal foundation of His deity.

2.  From Ephesians 1:19-23 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ became Head over all things for the sake of the church at His exaltation unto the right hand of the Father.

3.  From Ephesians 2:14-17 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ created “one new man,” that is – the new spiritually entity of the church, through His crucifixion.

4.  From Ephesians 2:19-22 we learn that this new spiritual entity of the church is built upon the New Testament apostles and prophets, “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

5.  From Ephesians 3:1-13 we learn that the “manifold wisdom of God” in formulating the New Testament church was a Biblical mystery, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,” “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,” but which by New Testament revelation through the Holy Spirit was revealed unto the New Testament apostles and prophets.

I also would contend that your last 3 references do not mention the church. Thus negating them as proof for your view.

But I will state that just because a verse doesn't say church in it, it doesn't mean it is not speaking about the church, (like our other references?)

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A quick question Bro. Scott, as a curiosity - if believers don't 'make up' the church, and a NT 'organizing' does, what is the church then?

2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

If you want to make your point with Biblical evidence, actually find a passage of Scripture that references THE CHURCH, and then demonstrate from that passage whom it defines as being a part of THE CHURCH.  Or, find a passage of Scripture that references THE CHURCH, and then demonstrate from that passage that it reveals the existence of the church in the time of the Old Testament. 

As for NT verses referencing the church in the OT - Acts 7 -

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

I know, I know, this is not the church...sure seems like Stephen thought it was.

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In looking up in the older Bibles I noticed the Tyndale Bible, Cranmer Bible, Great Bible and Geneva Bible, all say 'congregation'  -  the Wycliffe Bible, as well as the Bishop's Bible, agree with the KJB for Acts 7:38.

Just interesting comparison.

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Concerning the New Testament Church.

I would contend that the church which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church in Matthew 16:18 is specifically an element of the New Testament dispensation.  I would hold to this position for the following reasons:

1.  In Matthew 16:18 our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the future tense concerning His promise to engage in the building of His church on the doctrinal foundation of His deity.

2.  From Ephesians 1:19-23 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ became Head over all things for the sake of the church at His exaltation unto the right hand of the Father.

3.  From Ephesians 2:14-17 we learn that our Lord Jesus Christ created “one new man,” that is – the new spiritually entity of the church, through His crucifixion.

4.  From Ephesians 2:19-22 we learn that this new spiritual entity of the church is built upon the New Testament apostles and prophets, “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

5.  From Ephesians 3:1-13 we learn that the “manifold wisdom of God” in formulating the New Testament church was a Biblical mystery, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,” “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,” but which by New Testament revelation through the Holy Spirit was revealed unto the New Testament apostles and prophets.

 

26 minutes ago, Genevanpreacher said:

I also would contend that your last 3 references do not mention the church. Thus negating them as proof for your view.

But I will state that just because a verse doesn't say church in it, it doesn't mean it is not speaking about the church, (like our other references?)

Actually, Brother "Genevanpreacher,"

Ephesians 3:10 does indeed specifically reference the church. And since Ephesians 3:1-13 presents only two actual (although lengthy) sentences, the reference to the church in Ephesians 3:10 is a very part of the context of these two sentences.  Furthermore, since Ephesians 2:14-22 also presents only two actual (although lengthy) sentences, and since these two sentences immediately precede the two sentences of Ephesians 3:1-13, the reference to the church in Ephesians 3:10 is also a part of the context of these two sentences.

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22 minutes ago, Genevanpreacher said:

A quick question Bro. Scott, as a curiosity - if believers don't 'make up' the church, and a NT 'organizing' does, what is the church then?

Brother "Genevanpreacher,"

I believe that you have a misunderstanding concerning my position.  I have not denied that genuine New Testament believers "make up" the church.  I have only denied that Old Testament believers, although eternally saved through faith, are a part of the New Testament church.  Furthermore, I would not indicate that a New Testament "organizing" (if we are thinking a man-made "organizing") began the church.  Rather, I would indicate that a New Testament foundation by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His New Testament apostles and prophets were the beginning of the church.  Therefore, I would indeed deny that the New Testament church, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the Old Testament.

32 minutes ago, Genevanpreacher said:

As for NT verses referencing the church in the OT - Acts 7 -

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

I know, I know, this is not the church...sure seems like Stephen thought it was.

Ah, yes, Acts 7:38 -- I was wondering when one of you would bring this one forward.  Please notice that Stephen refers specifically to "the church in the wilderness."  This refers to the congregation of Israel.  This does not refer to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church that our Lord Jesus Christ specifically referenced in Matthew 16:18 as His church.  Indeed, there are other types of church (Greek - "ekklesia") referenced in the New Testament, and different types of congregations (Hebrew - "qahal") referenced in the Old Testament.  However, my questions have continually been concerning the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church.

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2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Actually, Brother "Genevanpreacher,"

Ephesians 3:10 does indeed specifically reference the church. And since Ephesians 3:1-13 presents only two actual (although lengthy) sentences, the reference to the church in Ephesians 3:10 is a very part of the context of these two sentences.  Furthermore, since Ephesians 2:14-22 also presents only two actual (although lengthy) sentences, and since these two sentences immediately precede the two sentences of Ephesians 3:1-13, the reference to the church in Ephesians 3:10 is also a part of the context of these two sentences.

My mistake, should've noticed when my mouse ran over the references it seemed to short to be a real reference from you. :D

 

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother "Genevanpreacher,"

I believe that you have a misunderstanding concerning my position.  I have not denied that genuine New Testament believers "make up" the church.  I have only denied that Old Testament believers, although eternally saved through faith, are a part of the New Testament church.  Furthermore, I would not indicate that a New Testament "organizing" (if we are thinking a man-made "organizing") began the church.  Rather, I would indicate that a New Testament foundation by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His New Testament apostles and prophets were the beginning of the church.  Therefore, I would indeed deny that the New Testament church, which our Lord Jesus Christ called His church, existed in the Old Testament.

Ah, yes, Acts 7:38 -- I was wondering when one of you would bring this one forward.  Please notice that Stephen refers specifically to "the church in the wilderness."  This refers to the congregation of Israel.  This does not refer to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church that our Lord Jesus Christ specifically referenced in Matthew 16:18 as His church.  Indeed, there are other types of church (Greek - "ekklesia") referenced in the New Testament, and different types of congregations (Hebrew - "qahal") referenced in the Old Testament.  However, my questions have continually been concerning the church that our Lord Jesus Christ called His church.

So what you are saying is you want details that cannot be supported the way you want to see them. So why ask?

A church is made up of believers. There were believers in the OT. That makes them a church or congregation. Why does it matter when it was? It was.

Ever look up where that refers to in the OT? They were gathered together to hear the word from God. They heard God's word preached. Their hearts were turned to the Lord. They even met with God.

Sounds like church.

Exodus 19 by the way.

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