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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         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.

1Cor 7: Divorce and Remarriage


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
21 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

Jude 1

7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

The "filthy dreamers" in Jude are charged with three sins which are compared to three Old Testament sinners: the "angels which kept not their first estate" "despised dominion". The Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years "spake evil of dignities" (Moses) and Sodom and Gomorrah "defiled the flesh" via "fornication and going after strange flesh" which shows us what "fornication" means: it "defiles the flesh". : it's physical sexual sin of which it does not specify. it could be premarital relations, relations with harlots, adultery(physical kind) and no telling what else.  It's not that hard. 

Brother Wayne,

With your understanding concerning the New Testament definition for the word "fornication" (as you appear to be presenting it), would you then deny that the sin of pornography is encompassed under the term "fornication"?  Would also then deny that the sin of lasciviousness is encompassed under the term "fornication"?

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7 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

If they're physical, yes, they're a form of fornication.

"Denied"? What have I denied? :4_6_2v:

I employed the word "deny" in my questions in order to understand the boundaries for your definition of "fornication."  It appears that your boundaries of the definition allow ONLY for sexual sin wherein the physical body is engaged. 

As such, I asked about the sin of pornography.  Is the sin of pornography a sexual sin of a "physical" nature, or only of a "mental" nature?  If you would claim that it is of a "physical" nature, in what manner would you make that claim?  If you would claim that it is NOT of a "physical" nature, but only of a "mental" nature, would you then claim that it does NOT fall within the boundaries of your definition for "fornication"?

As such, I asked about the sin of lasciviousness.  Is the sin of lasciviousness a sexual sin of a "physical" nature, or only of a "mental" nature?  If you would claim that it is of a "physical" nature, in what manner would you make that claim?  If you would claim that it is NOT of a "physical" nature, but only of a "mental" nature, would you then claim that it does NOT fall within the boundaries of your definition for "fornication"?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
14 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I employed the word "deny" in my questions in order to understand the boundaries for your definition of "fornication."  It appears that your boundaries of the definition allow ONLY for sexual sin wherein the physical body is engaged. 

As such, I asked about the sin of pornography.  Is the sin of pornography a sexual sin of a "physical" nature, or only of a "mental" nature?  If you would claim that it is of a "physical" nature, in what manner would you make that claim?  If you would claim that it is NOT of a "physical" nature, but only of a "mental" nature, would you then claim that it does NOT fall within the boundaries of your definition for "fornication"?

As such, I asked about the sin of lasciviousness.  Is the sin of lasciviousness a sexual sin of a "physical" nature, or only of a "mental" nature?  If you would claim that it is of a "physical" nature, in what manner would you make that claim?  If you would claim that it is NOT of a "physical" nature, but only of a "mental" nature, would you then claim that it does NOT fall within the boundaries of your definition for "fornication"?

Brother, Maybe you should do a study on those words because I certainly don't know.

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I have never heard of fornication to mean all sexual sin before now, but I am still a neophyte.  I have been under the impression that fornication, in the context of Matthew 5:32, is to mean physical sexual activity before one is married.  If fornication can be used to encompass all sexual sin, it would seem redundant to use it in that way when followed by a specifically named sexual sin.  It seems like, in that context, it would be  saying, (Matthew 5:32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit formication: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth fornication.

However, if fornication is here being used to mean sexual activity before one is married, then it would make fornication impossible for one who is married.  It would be called adultery after one is married.  In this context, the only exception for divorce would be if a husband learns that his wife (or betrothed) was sexually active before their marriage, but never told him, then he would be within his rights to put her away.  To me, this view allows for a clearer understanding of Matthew 1:18-19.

Edited by Brother Stafford
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
10 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

I have never heard of fornication to mean all sexual sin before now, but I am still a neophyte.  I have been under the impression that fornication, in the context of Matthew 5:32, is to mean physical sexual activity before one is married.  If fornication can be used to encompass all sexual sin, it would seem redundant to use it in that way when followed by a specifically named sexual sin.  It seems like, in that context, it would be  saying, (Matthew 5:32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit formication: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth fornication.

However, if fornication is here being used to mean sexual activity before one is married, then it would make fornication impossible for one who is married.  It would be called adultery after one is married.  In this context, the only exception for divorce would be if a husband learns that his wife (or betrothed) was sexually active before their marriage, but never told him, then he would be within his rights to put her away.  To me, this view allows for a clearer understanding of Matthew 1:18-19.

Brother Stafford,

That is a commonly taught viewpoint among Independent Baptists.  As for myself, I already presented a fairly thorough consideration of that viewpoint in a previous posting (here).  If you have specific questions about that presentation, I am willing to answer them.

(Note: The problem with viewing the New Testament definition for the word "fornication" throughout the entire New Testament as "sexual sin outside the marriage covenant" is that this definition does NOT fit the entire teaching of the New Testament on the subject.  In order to engage that definition correctly, an individual would be required to consider EVERY New Testament passage that employs a form of the word "fornication.")

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
8 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

As for myself, I already presented a fairly thorough consideration of that viewpoint in a previous posting (here).

Forgive me for missing that.  I don't know how that happened.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 3/10/2017 at 9:56 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Now, concerning the DOCTRINAL implication of your statement, I believe that I understand your intention and position.  I believe that you are indicating that only the teaching of the apostle Paul's writings on this subject are valid and applicable unto the New Testament believer for the present day, and that the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels on this subject were only valid and applicable for the Old Testament Israelites.  (Note: If I am wrong in my understanding of your position, I am certainly open to a better understanding thereof.)  If I am correct in my understanding of your DOCTRINAL position on this matter, then I presently stand in disagreement thereof.

You are correct in my position.  It makes no sense to me how one can combine what the Lord said in Matthew and what Paul said in 1st Corinthians as they are opposed to each other.  Have you read on this topic in the Way of Life Encyclopedia?  Maybe that can explain it better than I.    

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 10:34 AM, Musician4God1611 said:

Ok. So here's my question I've been getting around to bringing up. Concerning Matthew 5:32 (at this point I'm not referring to Matthew 19:9 because I feel like that is a different part of the discussion), if you look at it grammatically, is he saying it is wrong to put away your wife except for the cause of fornication, or is he saying if she's committing fornication you don't CAUSE her to commit adultery because she's already doing it. Therefore not saying it's "ok" to put her away, but rather dealing with what causes her to commit adultery.

I'm seriously curious about your thoughts.

Brother Middlebrooks,

My best understanding concerning the grammatical structure of our Lord's declaration in Matthew 5:32 and concerning the place of the "exception clause" therein is as follows:

Our Lord's declaration in Matthew 5:32 is a compound sentence, containing two independent clauses that are joined with the conjunction "and."

The first independent clause is -- "That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery."

"and"

The second independent clause is -- "Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

Since your question specifically concerns the grammatical place of the "exception clause," and since the "exception clause" is a part of the first independent clause, I shall focus the remainder of my comments on that first independent clause.

The subject of that first independent clause is the pronoun "whosoever" (with some grammatical provisions).  The main verb of that independent clause is "causeth."  And the direct object of that independent clause is the entire infinitive (verbal) phrase "her to commit adultery," wherein the pronoun "her" serves as a form of subject for the infinitive phrase itself, wherein the infinitive "to commit" serves as the verbal of the phrase itself, and wherein the noun "adultery" serves as the direct of object of the infinitive phrase itself.

Yet since the pronoun "whosoever" is a relative pronoun, it actually serves to initiate a relative (dependent) clause of its own.  This relative (dependent) clause encompasses the following -- "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication."  As such, technically (the "some grammatical provisions" from above) the ENTIRE relative clause  serves as the subject for the main verb "causeth." 

For the relative (dependent) clause itself, the pronoun "whosoever" serves as the subject of the clause.  The verb "shall put" serves as the verb of the relative (dependent) clause itself.  The adverb "away" serves to modify the verb "shall put."  The noun "wife" serves as the direct object of the verb "shall put," and the adjective "his" serves to modify the noun "wife."  Finally, the participial (verbal) phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication," serves as an adjective to modify the relative pronoun "whosoever."  For this participial (verbal) phrase, the participle "saving" serves as the verbal itself, which is then modified by the prepositional phrase "for the cause," which prepositional phrase is then modified by the second prepositional phrase "of fornication." 

(Note: In the Greek the English participle "saving" translates the Greek adverb "parektos."  This Greek adverb means "besides;" and it can be used as an informal preposition meaning "apart from, except for," which appears to be its usage in the grammatical structure of Matthew 5:32.  As such, in the Greek the phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication," appears to be adverbial and to modify the verb "shall put."  Regardless, it appears that grammatically the "exception clause" is a part of the relative (dependent) clause, and thus does not directly modify the verb "causeth.")

So then, how does this grammatical understanding aid our doctrinal understanding of the declaration?  The first dependent clause of our Lord's declaration presents a form of conditional statement.  As such, the relative (dependent) clause serves as the condition of the conditional statement, and the main verb with its direct object serves as the result of the conditional statement, as follows:

Condition: "Whosoever shall put away his wife"

Result: "Causeth her to commit adultery."

However, the inclusion of the "exception clause" within the grammatical structure of the relative (dependent) clause presents an additional condition, which serves as a form of nullification to the first condition, as follows:

Condition: "Whosoever shall put away his wife"

          Nullification: "Saving for the cause of fornication"

Result: "Causeth her to commit adultery."

As such, if the "condition" is met, but the "nullification" is not met, then the "result" stands true.  However, if the "condition" is met, and the "nullification" is also met, then the "result' does not apply.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Middlebrooks,

My best understanding concerning the grammatical structure of our Lord's declaration in Matthew 5:32 and concerning the place of the "exception clause" therein is as follows:

Our Lord's declaration in Matthew 5:32 is a compound sentence, containing two independent clauses that are joined with the conjunction "and."

The first independent clause is -- "That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery."

"and"

The second independent clause is -- "Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

Since your question specifically concerns the grammatical place of the "exception clause," and since the "exception clause" is a part of the first independent clause, I shall focus the remainder of my comments on that first independent clause.

The subject of that first independent clause is the pronoun "whosoever" (with some grammatical provisions).  The main verb of that independent clause is "causeth."  And the direct object of that independent clause is the entire infinitive (verbal) phrase "her to commit adultery," wherein the pronoun "her" serves as a form of subject for the infinitive phrase itself, wherein the infinitive "to commit" serves as the verbal of the phrase itself, and wherein the noun "adultery" serves as the direct of object of the infinitive phrase itself.

Yet since the pronoun "whosoever" is a relative pronoun, it actually serves to initiate a relative (dependent) clause of its own.  This relative (dependent) clause encompasses the following -- "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication."  As such, technically (the "some grammatical provisions" from above) the ENTIRE relative clause  serves as the subject for the main verb "causeth." 

For the relative (dependent) clause itself, the pronoun "whosoever" serves as the subject of the clause.  The verb "shall put" serves as the verb of the relative (dependent) clause itself.  The adverb "away" serves to modify the verb "shall put."  The noun "wife" serves as the direct object of the verb "shall put," and the adjective "his" serves to modify the noun "wife."  Finally, the participial (verbal) phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication," serves as an adjective to modify the relative pronoun "whosoever."  For this participial (verbal) phrase, the participle "saving" serves as the verbal itself, which is then modified by the prepositional phrase "for the cause," which prepositional phrase is then modified by the second prepositional phrase "of fornication." 

(Note: In the Greek the English participle "saving" translates the Greek adverb "parektos."  This Greek adverb means "besides;" and it can be used as an informal preposition meaning "apart from, except for," which appears to be its usage in the grammatical structure of Matthew 5:32.  As such, in the Greek the phrase, "saving for the cause of fornication," appears to be adverbial and to modify the verb "shall put."  Regardless, it appears that grammatically the "exception clause" is a part of the relative (dependent) clause, and thus does not directly modify the verb "causeth.")

So then, how does this grammatical understanding aid our doctrinal understanding of the declaration?  The first dependent clause of our Lord's declaration presents a form of conditional statement.  As such, the relative (dependent) clause serves as the condition of the conditional statement, and the main verb with its direct object serves as the result of the conditional statement, as follows:

Condition: "Whosoever shall put away his wife"

Result: "Causeth her to commit adultery."

However, the inclusion of the "exception clause" within the grammatical structure of the relative (dependent) clause presents an additional condition, which serves as a form of nullification to the first condition, as follows:

Condition: "Whosoever shall put away his wife"

          Nullification: "Saving for the cause of fornication"

Result: "Causeth her to commit adultery."

As such, if the "condition" is met, but the "nullification" is not met, then the "result" stands true.  However, if the "condition" is met, and the "nullification" is also met, then the "result' does not apply.

But what makes it a nullification of the condition rather than a nullification of the results?

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49 minutes ago, Musician4God1611 said:

But what makes it a nullification of the condition rather than a nullification of the results?

Brother Middlebrooks,

Grammatically, the "exception clause" is a modifier WITHIN the relative (dependent) clause; and the relative (dependent) clause is that which presents the condition.  As such, the "exception clause" is grammatically a form of SUB-condition WITHIN the condition (and should not be separated from it).  Thus the "exception clause" serves as an exception (nullification) to the condition.

However, doctrinally that which the "exception clause" actually nullifies is the application of the result.  The reality of the condition (of a husband who has put away his wife) still exists, but the result does not apply to this condition in reality because the case of the exception has intervened. 

Following the grammatical structure, wherein the "exception clause" is a modifier within the relative (dependent) clause, and thus is a sub-condition within the condition of that relative (dependent) clause), we would see the following two possibilities:

Possibility #1 --

1st condition met, wherein a husband has put away his wife . . . but . . .

          sub-condition not met, for the cause of the divorce was NOT fornication . . . therefore . . .

the result applies, such that the husband causes his wife to commit adultery (apparently IF she remarries).

Possibility #2 --

1st condition met, wherein a husband has put away his wife . . . and . . .

          sub-condition met, for the cause of the divorce WAS fornication . . . therefore . . .

the result does NOT apply.

(Note: I am more than willing to answer questions, so please do not hesitate.  I simply pray that I am explaining myself clearly enough.) 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 6:37 AM, swathdiver said:

You are correct in my position.  It makes no sense to me how one can combine what the Lord said in Matthew and what Paul said in 1st Corinthians as they are opposed to each other.  Have you read on this topic in the Way of Life Encyclopedia?  Maybe that can explain it better than I.    

Brother "Swathdiver,"

At your recommendation I read through Brother Cloud's article on "Divorce" in the "Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity" (5th edition).  In that article, Brother Cloud dealt significantly with Matthew 19:3-9 & portions of 1 Corinthians 7.  However, throughout that article I could not find a single reference unto Matthew 5:31-32.  In my opinion (as much as I respect Brother Cloud's characteristic depth of study), this is a fault with Brother Cloud's article.

Now, it is true that in Matthew 19:3-9 our Lord Jesus Christ was responding to a question from the Pharisees concerning the teaching of the Old Testament Law.  Furthermore, it is true that our Lord Jesus Christ responded, not with a detailed discussion concerning the teaching of the Old Testament Law on the matter, but by referring them back to the original intent of the Lord our God at the creation of marriage.  Finally, it is true that we New Testament believers are no longer bound under the dispensation and details of the Old Testament Law.

However, Matthew 5:31-32 is NOT presented in the same manner as Matthew 19:3-9.  In Matthew 5:31-32 our Lord Jesus Christ is NOT responding to a question from the Pharisees concerning the Old Testament Law, but is providing His own teaching unto His own disciples concerning a daily walk of righteousness before the Lord our God and heavenly Father.  Furthermore, in Matthew 5:32 our Lord Jesus Christ does not make any reference unto the Old Testament Law at all, but founds His teaching concerning divorce and remarriage upon His own personal authority as the LORD, saying, "But I say unto you . . . ."  As such, I believe that Matthew 5:32 (as well as the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount) certainly IS teaching for New Testament believers in the New Testament dispensation.

Yet you yourself seem to struggle with this because in your viewpoint there is a contradiction between the specific teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ on the matter of divorce and remarriage with the specific teaching of the apostle Paul under Holy Spirit inspiration on the matter.  As for myself, I see NO contradiction between the two teachings.  Rather, it appears to me that the apostle Paul's teaching under Holy Spirit inspiration provides a complement and completion unto the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ on this matter.  In fact, I believe that the apostle Paul revealed with the opening portion of 1 Corinthians 7:10 that he was providing a teaching on the matter which was complementary with the Lord's teaching.  Therein the apostle stated, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord."  Herein the apostle indicated that he was providing a teaching that carried the authority of "commandment."  Furthermore, the apostle indicated that this commandment was the same as the Lord's commandment on the matter, thus indicating that there was unity (not contradiction) between his teaching and the Lord's teaching on the matter.  Now, this opening statement of 1 Corinthians 7:10 grammatically encompasses the entire sentence of 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.  Thus the apostle Paul indicates that his teaching concerning divorce and remarriage is authoritative command and in unity with the Lord's teaching in Matthew 5:32.

On the other hand, the apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to provide additional (not contradictory, but complimentary and completing) teaching concerning the matter of divorce in 1 Corinthian 7:12-16.  Even so, he communicates that this is so with the opening portion of 1 Corinthians 7:12, saying, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord."  With this statement, the apostle was not indicating that this teaching was not authoritative command.  Rather, with this statement the apostle was indicating that the Lord Jesus Christ had not teach specifically on the case about which the apostle was intending to teach.

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9 hours ago, swathdiver said:

I see where you are coming from and reject your assertions.  Matthew 5 notwithstanding.  

Brother "Swathdiver,

I thank you for your acknowledgement of my posting.  Furthermore, I certainly would not argue with your right and responsibility before the Lord God to search the Scriptures and study the matter for yourself, and thus to draw your own conclusions on the matter.  Obviously, we now part with disagreement between us over this matter; however, we do part peaceably. 

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