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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.

And so this happened...


HappyChristian
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
1 hour ago, HappyChristian said:

What do folks who don't have the Lord and praying friends DO?

Wonderful words and thoughts. The Lord has blessed you.

I will be praying for all of you this morning during my devotions.

May the Lord bless your husband, you, and your mom during this time of ill health.

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Surgery has been moved to mid-afternoon. And the doc told Randy that he'd have to stay in hospital for 3-4 days for monitoring. He was scheduled to preach on Sunday morning, so that's got to change. And he's off work, too - with no sick pay. Again, this didn't take God by surprise.

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I got home late tonight, had to fill in for my pastor. I just read about Randy, it was a shock even this far away. I will be in constant prayer for this situation LuAnne until you update us. You are right, this doesn't take God by surprise. As emotional as it is, it may be a blessing in disguise because of the timing, it could have been a lot worse since Diabetes is involved.

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I just saw this and I'm so thankful I can join in prayer with everyone. I remember when your Dad went to glory.

Two years ago my wife had a pulmonary embolism (I was away from OB posting). Collapsed in the floor at our home with the wide-eyed grand young'uns watching. She had blood clots in her lungs, an enlarged right ventricle, and they found the main culprit, blood clots in the back of her knee. She was as close to death as a person can be, but God didn't take her. God answers prayers, sometimes the answers are yes and sometimes no. Thank God his answer to us that time was yes.

She has an IVC filter now and she's on xarelto. But, she is with me praise God.

LuAnne, I will be praying for Randy.

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What a wonderful blessing and answer to prayer LuAnne. In reading over your latest update I was a bit concerned about Randy having to be on Coumadin for the rest of his life.

Many years ago my wife had a problem which required Coumadin after surgery. It was so long ago that I don't remember the exact circumstances, but the Coumadin had very serous consequences and almost killed her. When she recovered she did some research and found that Coumadin was rat poison. I am not trying to second guess the doctors or alarm you, but this raised some alarm bells when I read it. Wondering if there is not another alternative, perhaps there may be other blood thinners now, since our experience was so long ago, or perhaps the medication has undergone changes.

I am continuing in prayer for Randy and also for your peace of mind.

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There are other blood thinners (like the heparin he was receiving), but I think coumadin is the most common to go home with. They have removed the IV of heparin and are now giving him coumadin orally, I'm sure to monitor and make sure he has no immediate side effects. Jim, it is my understanding that the reason that it is in some rat poison is that it causes the rats who eat it to bleed to death internally. It does have to be monitored regularly. I guess we'll have to go ahead and find a doctor here (we just haven't done that yet).

So, unless something drastic happens, Randy will be coming home tomorrow! Praise the Lord! He will still have to take it easy, and he has to walk to help the swelling to go down. But I'm so thankful that the doc is pleased enough to send him home. Mom and I will pick him up tomorrow. He's looking forward to getting some rest. LOL

He has to go back next month to do some genetic testing. We are sure they will find that he has at least one gene of the factor5 deficiency. I found out today that Randy's brother didn't die from a heart attack. He died from pulmonary embolism due to factor5 Leidin deficiency. And both of his daughters (and one of each of their daughters) have it. And then we find out today: Randy's younger (#5 of 6) brother had to go to the hospital today...he has three blood clots in his left arm! The doctors didn't keep him, but did give him medicine, so I'm assuming the clots are small enough to dissolve soon. Even so, in the left arm and three of them. Sigh - now I'm more convinced than ever that they all inherited it. I told our son he needs to get tested, too. There are medications that folks with factor5 deficiency can't take. 

Randy was scheduled to preach at church tomorrow morning. We are disappointed, but know that God is in control. His next day is Feb. 26. That is my birthday, so his first sermon at this church on my birthday will be special. =D

I do appreciate the continued prayer. If you could add Everett (Randy's brother with the clots), I would be so grateful.

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Thank you for the update and good news LuAnne. I will add Randy's brother to my prayer list.

The doctor probably told Randy about the importance of walking. But if he didn't I would encourage him to walk on a regular schedule. In cases of swelling of the legs and feet walking acts like a pump. The act of walking compresses tissue and blood vessels and actually pumps blood over and above what the heart does. It can be extremely beneficial.

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2 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Thank you for the update and good news LuAnne. I will add Randy's brother to my prayer list.

The doctor probably told Randy about the importance of walking. But if he didn't I would encourage him to walk on a regular schedule. In cases of swelling of the legs and feet walking acts like a pump. The act of walking compresses tissue and blood vessels and actually pumps blood over and above what the heart does. It can be extremely beneficial.

Yes, the emergency room doc actually explained it on Wednesday. He said that the heart pumps the blood one way, but on the Venae side, muscles constrict to pump it along so walking is necessary to get those muscles constricting.  Randy does walk, but he's going to have to increase it. He loves mowing during mowing season. Since there is about an acre of grass to mow here, he walks a lot during the summer. But I'm not sure even that is going to be enough. We plan to adopt a progressively increasing walking program once he's able to motivate a bit better.

My borther-in-law was put on Zarelto. His wife told me her grandmother took Coumadin and ended up with a brain bleed. Scary...but I've been looking into things and apparently any of the blood thinners can cause a bleed - but a bleed on warfarin is more quickly controlled than the newer thinners. 

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Well, I come to you this morning after shedding a few tears...Randy called me before we headed out to let me know he can't come home today.

Last night when I called him to tell him good night, he couldn't talk so told me to call him later. I did. Apparently his heart rate had risen too high (and all he was doing was lying in bed) and so they were doing whatever tests they can do at bedside and without a doctor. They couldn't figure it out. And he hadn't felt any different. We said good night still thinking we'd see each other this morning.

So it happened again...and at 4 this morning they hooked him back up to his IV, took him off food and drink, and moved him to another room where he can be monitored more closely. I want to call him again, but I'm kind of putting it off hoping that the weekend doc visits him so there is something to know.

I have to admit that I am a bit scared. I am comforted in the fact that God isn't surprised - and that this took place while Randy was there in the hospital. Who knows the results if he were at home? If he couldn't tell his heart rate was too high, we wouldn't know to take him to the doctor! And I'm comforted knowing that people are praying. 

I know folks are in church this morning so probably won't be reading this any time soon. I will update as I get more news.  Thank you for praying.

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