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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

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DaveW
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
3 hours ago, DaveW said:

I like good preaching whether it is loud or quiet, whether it is gentle or hard, whether it is long or short.

These things mean nothing IF the content is not there.

Brother Dave,

I give some of my "change" - Amen, and AMEN!!!

2 Timothy 4:2 -- "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

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I agree, content is everything and delivery should be in direct proportion to the leadership of The Holy Spirit, as well as the convictions of the man delivering the message.

I do not think that there is any one method of delivery or length of sermon that appeals to all, but I do think that when a sermon is genuinely empowered by The Holy Spirit people will recognize the source as being the Good Shepherd. In these instances neither length nor volume of the sermon will be of any consequence.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
6 hours ago, DaveW said:

Length in and of itself is irrelevant.

This is the key to "good preaching" - the Biblical substance.is what is important, not the volume, the intensity, or the length.

So next time you are asked if you like "loud preachin' " or "long preachin' ", maybe you should think about it a bit before just answering "yep, sure".

I like good preaching whether it is loud or quiet, whether it is gentle or hard, whether it is long or short.

These things mean nothing IF the content is not there.

I agree with you completely.  Content is essential.  Loud or long preaching for its own sake, at the expense of sound content, is like putting lipstick on a pig.  I think that we all meant was that we prefer a long and/or loud sound sermon rather than a short and/or quiet sermon that is sound.  

Anyone who would sacrifice quality for quantity or volume should probably be slapped in the face with a dead fish. 

Edited by Brother Stafford
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When we were first married I was really annoyed with my wife when she started her shopping list for the next day during the sermon.  When I told her to stop she said that she had heard it all once and he was repeating himself to fill in the time.  She sai the only preacher she had heard who did not repeat himself was John Stott who she heard when she was at college.  That was when we were in the Brethren.  Now we have been in Baptist churches we don't get repetative preaching, not usually anyway.  

Personally, I don't thing presentations should be part of a Lord's Day service, which should be preachig the word.  I often say this to our church officers as we have non believers in the services that need the preaching and by the time they get to the sermon they have lost interest.  My opinion is that presentations should be for the midweek meeting where we can discuss, and ask questions and then pray about the work  

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8 hours ago, John Young said:

I agree its the content that matters. I can't stand listening to topical sermons in the style of "Elevators in the life of Jonah" or the like. Who cares?!

"Elevators in the Life of Jonah"?????  Ok, now that one was a completely new one for me.  What "elevators"?

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On 12/29/2016 at 7:07 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

"Elevators in the Life of Jonah"?????  Ok, now that one was a completely new one for me.  What "elevators"?

The times Jonah went up and down. For example....

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1:15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

Jonah 2:10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

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I once visited a Baptist church with a friend and they had a visiting preacher.  His message was something like "God is not only a forgiving God, he is also a for giving God,"  and many people shouted loud amens.  He said "You can see I grought a number of my congregation along."  He kept repeating "God is not only a forgiving God, he is also a for giving God," and more and more joined the amens.  I don't remember him saying much else.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 11:22 AM, Invicta said:

I once visited a Baptist church with a friend and they had a visiting preacher.  His message was something like "God is not only a forgiving God, he is also a for giving God,"  and many people shouted loud amens.  He said "You can see I grought a number of my congregation along."  He kept repeating "God is not only a forgiving God, he is also a for giving God," and more and more joined the amens.  I don't remember him saying much else.

Sometimes the take away is what the Holy Spirit had in mind for each individual.

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31 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

A few of these made me laugh so hard I think I tinkled a little.

 

Why Black Preachers? Why not just "10 Types of Preachers"? What difference does their colour make?

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17 minutes ago, Invicta said:

Why Black Preachers? Why not just "10 Types of Preachers"? What difference does their colour make?

The guys that made the video are black and many black people feel the need to attach their color to whatever they do.  Some of the styles are more often found in "black" churches, but I have seen a white preachers do them too; even the "asthma" style.  I just thought it was a funny video.

Edited by Brother Stafford
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I am sorry bro.  I didn't watch the video, the title put me off.  From time to time we have black preachers at out church and they are no different in their preaching from any other preacher, except at times from their accent.   We don't have any black members but we do get black visitors from time to time.   We had one this morning who is occasional. and there is another who occasionaly comes in the evening.

When my daughter was working as a nanny in Long Island, she went into a church, not knowing it was a black church.  She sat at the back and a little girl said in a loud whishper, "Mommy. there is a white lady."

Edited by Invicta
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In the liberal church I used to attend, I'd lose interest in the sermon in about 15 minutes. I'd fidget, daydream, doodle, that 35 minutes of preaching felt like an all day work meeting and just as boring. Now, our pastor preaches for 45 minutes or more and I don't lose interest at all! It's not that Pastor is loud, because he's not or harsh because he's not, but he has such a passion for the Word, a passion for Christ, a passion for souls...its totally different!

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The last one was labeled "The White Guy Voice". As this black guy seeks to imitate a black imitating a white preacher he ends with "Okay, we're going to have to end this because church is 17 minutes". Was that a generalization of white US churches today? Yep - but that statement was way too funny!!

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18 hours ago, swathdiver said:

If I walked into a church and saw a stage arrayed like that, I'd turn right around and go to breakfast instead.

That's what we should have done years ago!

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