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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.

MacArthur


DaveW
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
39 minutes ago, Bob Hutton said:

How about you issuing apologies to Dr Macarthur for calling him "poison"?

I'm happy to let the matter drop as I can see that tempers are rising.

Kind regards

Bob

I issued a just warning against a false teacher - you disrespected the authority of this forum.

Which of these is more in line with Scripture?

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1 minute ago, DaveW said:

I issued a just warning against a false teacher - you disrespected the authority of this forum.

Which of these is more in line with Scripture?

Dear bother in Christ,

I am happy to let this matter drop as I can see that some people are getting rather worked up.

All I will state is that, before you accuse me of disrespect, you should have a good, hard look at the comments you made at the outset.

On a lighter note,one hopes you will be in better temper later in the year when the Aussies regain the ashes.

Kind regards

Bob

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38 minutes ago, Bob Hutton said:

Dear bother in Christ,

I am happy to let this matter drop as I can see that some people are getting rather worked up.

All I will state is that, before you accuse me of disrespect, you should have a good, hard look at the comments you made at the outset.

On a lighter note,one hopes you will be in better temper later in the year when the Aussies regain the ashes.

Kind regards

Bob

 

42 minutes ago, DaveW said:

I issued a just warning against a false teacher - you disrespected the authority of this forum.

Which of these is more in line with Scripture?

 

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1 hour ago, Salyan said:

You know, my observation of Calvinism is that a) it isn't learned from the Bible - it comes from the teaching of men - many books and 'much learning' - and b) it presents itself as an intellectual doctrine and attracts those who are drawn to intellectualism. It often seems to become a point of pride - "see how much more study/learning I have done" or "see how much more I've thought about it than all you peons". Your statement above about 'shallow thinkers' really does reflect this observation, as it displays this as a point of pride in your life (you obviously think that you are a much deeper thinker than anyone who rejects MacArthur or Calvinism).

Oh, and I am going to answer a question posed above. You asked if I considered Spurgeon to preach a damnable heresy, and said that if I said yes, I'd condemn one of the greatest preachers of the Western world (thus attempting to negate my statement by the supposed position of the man). I haven't studied Spurgeon much, so I really can't speak to what he did or did not preach. However, if he did teach the 'doctrines of grace' (irresistible grace, total depravity, unconditional election, etc.), than yes, he did preach damnable heresy. And you know what? If he preached such heresy, then perhaps he was not one of the 'greatest preachers of the Western world'. Because the popularity of a man does not define the truth of his teaching.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:8
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. James 2:1
For their is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11

 

Calm down dear, you clearly can't cope with someone daring to question your pathetic shallowness, silly girl.

1 hour ago, DaveW said:

Deserves a double "like" in my opinion. ;)

Study the Bible properly - you silly boy!

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52 minutes ago, Salyan said:

and b) it presents itself as an intellectual doctrine and attracts those who are drawn to intellectualism.

That has been my observation all along too. Since becoming aware of Calvinism, the Doctrines of Grace, Reformed Theology, etc. and after studying it to some extent, my conclusion was that it appealed to one's intellect and was a source of pride; in which, it gives somewhat of a worldly credence to Christianity in the eyes of those (in the world) who look on Christians as unlearned and/or simpletons who can't think for themselves in this grand age of enlightenment that we live in. No offence intended, and I won't go as far as to say that all Calvinists are that way, but from what I've studied and seen, that is what the stalwarts of Calvinism lean towards.

I don't care how much studying I've done...or anyone else has done. The greatest and deepest truth that I've ever learned is this...

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

I'll take that over Supraspectacularantisanctimonialbipartisantheographysuperstudieduptothegillsism any day. :)

Just now, john martin said:

Calm down dear, you clearly can't cope with someone daring to question your pathetic shallowness, silly girl.

Ban him now.

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22 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

That has been my observation all along too. Since becoming aware of Calvinism, the Doctrines of Grace, Reformed Theology, etc. and after studying it to some extent, my conclusion was that it appealed to one's intellect and was a source of pride; in which, it gives somewhat of a worldly credence to Christianity in the eyes of those (in the world) who look on Christians as unlearned and/or simpletons who can't think for themselves in this grand age of enlightenment that we live in. No offence intended, and I won't go as far as to say that all Calvinists are that way, but from what I've studied and seen, that is what the stalwarts of Calvinism lean towards.

I don't care how much studying I've done...or anyone else has done. The greatest and deepest truth that I've ever learned is this...

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.

I'll take that over Supraspectacularantisanctimonialbipartisantheographysuperstudieduptothegillsism any day. :)

I do agree with this and Salyan's original comment, although I'll also say that I think I have seen in 'reformed' writings and conversations with Calvinists a genuine desire to answer questions that naturally occur to all* of us, such as why it is that some people respond to the Gospel with saving faith and others don't.

I also wonder whether the whole of systematic theology could similarly be accused, including formulations of doctrines I believe in, such as the Trinity and substitutionary atonement. Some of them I feel quite proud about if I even manage to spell them right.

*A contextualised generalisation referring to the totality of the writer's own interactions with persons online and in real life and not in any way a statement or implication about a wider group of people nor a universal claim about humankind.

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Let's see...... a new member who, in his first post fully aligns with the Calivinst posts before him. It smacks of "bringing in the reinforcements" from another board.

Fortunately folks like this end up shooting themselves in the foot all by themselves. They will eventually expose their agenda for what it is. This is the real "shallow thinking."

It's interesting that the new guy uses the same borderline sarcastic and patronizing grammar as the person before him.

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45 minutes ago, Alimantado said:

although I'll also say that I think I have seen in 'reformed' writings and conversations with Calvinists a genuine desire to answer questions that naturally occur to all* of us, such as why it is that some people respond to the Gospel with saving faith and others don't.

 

I believe it comes down to whether a person has been genuinely convicted of their sinful state and need of salvation...and whether they are willing to accept their need of salvation in regard to their sinful state and ultimate eternal destination. Some may be convicted, but they are unwilling to accept salvation. In my own personal experience, it took more than once to "convict" me enough to be saved. I didn't respond the first time that I knew I needed salvation. I knew that I needed to be saved, but I rejected it because of my own sinful desires. Some folks aren't willing to give up their selfishness in order to be saved. 

51 minutes ago, Alimantado said:

*A contextualised generalisation referring to the totality of the writer's own interactions with persons online and in real life and not in any way a statement or implication about a wider group of people nor a universal claim about humankind.

...and that's why I said that I wouldn't say that all Calvinists are like that. :) I learned long ago to stop generalizing people...but I still fail at times. :(

46 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

It smacks of "bringing in the reinforcements" from another board.

My thoughts exactly...although, to give the benefit of the doubt...he/she could be a "watcher" who hasn't registered before, and he/she decided to get in while the getting was good. LOL! However, it's just too coincidental.

In regard to MacArthur, I find it interesting...and according to his own words...unless he has recanted since I watched the video...he has no testimony of salvation. His "testimony" is that he doesn't recall that there was ever a time that he was saved...just that he's always believed. 

...and no, I won't take the time to find the video. I have no desire to. If anyone wants to see it, find it yourself and see for yourself...that's the only way you'll accept it in most cases. I don't mean to be unkind or unwilling to provide proof of my claims, but I just don't have any desire to. 

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3 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Let's see...... a new member who, in his first post fully aligns with the Calivinst posts before him. It smacks of "bringing in the reinforcements" from another board.

..........

I just said to my son last night that it looked like we were having our "annual influx of Calvinists".

It does seem as though they organise at a board to come here and "have some fun" every so often.

I find it funny how there is often one who takes "the smiling assassin" role, who thinks that they can say anything they like as long as they start and finish with nice words.

I found that with real life calvinists too......

The other thing that I find interesting is that when a good man falls to Calvinism they often leave other Bible doctrines and godly positions when try to find a Calvinist church.

For instance, I have known some who end up going to Presby churches even though it follows infant Baptism, and/or uses modern corrupt versions (you know, versions that remove salvation from the picture: see Acts 8:37 - or not if you have an MV).

I have always been amazed at what men will give up in their pursuit of Calvinsm.

 

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6 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Let's see...... a new member who, in his first post fully aligns with the Calivinst posts before him. It smacks of "bringing in the reinforcements" from another board.

Fortunately folks like this end up shooting themselves in the foot all by themselves. They will eventually expose their agenda for what it is. This is the real "shallow thinking."

It's interesting that the new guy uses the same borderline sarcastic and patronizing grammar as the person before him.

I didn't wait. The guy is banned. 

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11 hours ago, DaveW said:

I find it funny how there is often one who takes "the smiling assassin" role, who thinks that they can say anything they like as long as they start and finish with nice words.

I have been served a Complement Sandwich a few times by mid-level managers. Worst technique ever! For my educated Calvinist friends who use this approach, It just so happens I read this article in the "Harvard Business Review" the other day (i'm edumecated!) that explains the problems with it and a better way: The “Sandwich Approach” Undermines Your Feedback  https://hbr.org/2013/04/the-sandwich-approach-undermin

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On 2/22/2017 at 5:32 PM, DaveW said:

Calvinism is not a "secondary issue" at all.

In Calvinism salvation is through the choice of God - in the Bible salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

I really hope you're not implying that Calvinists don't believe salvation is by grace through faith in Christ because, if you are, that would be bearing false witness. 

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23 minutes ago, D-28 Player said:

I really hope you're not implying that Calvinists don't believe salvation is by grace through faith in Christ because, if you are, that would be bearing false witness. 

I really hope you have not joined this forum to call a member a liar - because that would be bearing false witness..... among other things.

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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               5
      SO THE GIVER OF LIFE, THE ROCK OF ALL AGES
      GREW UP TO FULFILL THE HOLY PAGES
      HE PREACH WITH AUTHORITY LIKE NONE BEFORE
      PLEASE TRUST HIS WORDS AND NOT THE GREAT WHORE
      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
      FOR MY SOUL WAS PURCHASED BY GOD UPON THE CROSS
      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
      I WILL NOT STEAL HIS GLORY WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
      BUT TRUST THE LAMB WHO STOOL IN PILATE’S HALL
      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
      FOR I WILL NOT GIVE ANSWER NEITHER WILL I HEAR
      AND WHEN THE BOOKS ARE OPEN AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
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