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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.

How would you define/explain "The Priesthood of the Believer?"


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  • Members
11 hours ago, Salyan said:

That, as believers, we have the right and privilege to come directly to God through Jesus Christ, and have no need of human priests or mediators.

^^ I think she summed it up perfectly.

I would agree with the above just worded a little differently.

Every believer is a priest before God and does not need a human mediator to pray, interpret scriptures or offer spiritual sacrifices.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Brother Schneck,

My answer is probably a "bit more thorough" than you were seeking.  However, the other forum members would likely tell you - "Pastor Scott Markle will be Pastor Scott Markle; just bear patiently with him."

Concerning the Meaning of the Priesthood of All Believers

Each and every New Testament believer has been made a royal priest:

1.  Through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

2.  Unto God the Father Himself.

Revelation 1:5b-6 – “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (See also Revelation 5:9-10; 20:6)

As such, this position of royal priesthood Biblically carries both privileges and responsibilities.

The PRIVILEGES in this position of royal priesthood are as follows:

1.  We are eternally sanctified through the blood of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:14-22 – “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (See also Hebrews 9:13-14)

2.  We have direct and bold access unto God the Father’s throne of grace through prayer.

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (See also Hebrews 10:19-22)

Ephesians 2:18 – “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

3.  We have a living hope for our eternal future as a sure anchor for the assurance of our souls.

Hebrews 6:17-20 – “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

4.  We are built up together for the glorious presence of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 2:4-5 – “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 2:19-22 – “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (See also 2 Corinthians 6:16)

The RESPONSIBILITIES in this position of royal priesthood are as follows:

1.  We must draw near unto the Lord our God in fellowship “with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”

Hebrews 10:19-22 – “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

2.  We must “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

3.  We must “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.”

Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” (See also Hebrews 10:35-36)

4.  We must “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (See also Hebrews 3:12-13)

5.  We must “offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:4-5 – “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

A.  The “living sacrifice” of our whole selves and bodies. (See Romans 12:1-2)

B.  The “fruit of our lips giving thanks” and praise unto God. (See 1 Peter 2:9; Hebrew 13:15)

C.  The doing of good, godly woks for the glory of God. (See Hebrews 13:16)

D.  The giving of material and financial help unto the needy. (See Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:16)

6.  We must separate ourselves from unbelievers and must not touch “the unclean thing.”

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 – “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

7.  We must “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 – “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

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  • Advanced Member

quite the contrary.... I'm looking for any and all info... I had found your study from searching the forums and I had found and copied this info.  Thanks very much for the reply. I'll have followup....

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Last night and this morning I was pondering more upon that which I presented above.  In the pondering I began to consider that some individuals may wonder why I included certain passages in relation to the priesthood of the New Testament believer.  If any have such questions, I am open to answering; for I did not choose any of these passages at random, but according to a particular criteria in each case.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 8:34 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

  In the pondering I began to consider that some individuals may wonder why I included certain passages in relation to the priesthood of the New Testament believer. 

There would be at least four verses that directly teach the priesthood of New Testament believers (1 Pet. 2:4, 1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10), but I would agree with you that there are other passages that support this teaching such as some you cited (Heb. 4:16, Eph. 2:18).

Perhaps one other supporting passage that I did not notice being mentioned in your study would be 1 Timothy 2:5.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
9 minutes ago, Tyndale said:

There would be at least four verses that directly teach the priesthood of New Testament believers (1 Pet. 2:4, 1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10), but I would agree with you that there are other passages that support this teaching such as some you cited (Heb. 4:16, Eph. 2:18).

Perhaps one other supporting passage that I did not notice being mentioned in your study would be 1 Timothy 2:5.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Brother Tyndale,

I would certainly agree that 1 Timothy 2:5 speaks concerning the High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our access unto God the Father through that High Priesthood.

However, I would ask if you might explain in what manner you would consider 1 Timothy 2:5 to be speaking concerning OUR priesthood?

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

 

I would certainly agree that 1 Timothy 2:5 speaks concerning the High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our access unto God the Father through that High Priesthood.

However, I would ask if you might explain in what manner you would consider 1 Timothy 2:5 to be speaking concerning OUR priesthood?

Since you agree that 1 Timothy 2:5 would speak of believers having access unto God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ in agreement with Ephesians 2:18, then believers act as their own priests who can come directly to God through Christ since they need no other human mediators or priests to access God for them.  In the context in 1 Timothy 2:8, believers are to pray themselves to God, not needing to go to some other men [earthly priests] to pray to God for them.

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46 minutes ago, Tyndale said:

Since you agree that 1 Timothy 2:5 would speak of believers having access unto God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ in agreement with Ephesians 2:18, then believers act as their own priests who can come directly to God through Christ since they need no other human mediators or priests to access God for them.  In the context in 1 Timothy 2:8, believers are to pray themselves to God, not needing to go to some other men [earthly priests] to pray to God for them.

Brother Tyndale,

I understand the process of your logic, and I do not deny that we New Testament believers have direct access unto God the Father and the throne of Grace (Heaven's Mercy Seat) through prayer. 

However, does not the practice of various Old Testament believers seem to indicate that they could pray directly unto the LORD their God, without going through a member of the Israelite priesthood?  What conclusion would that produce concerning their "priesthood" position before God?

(Note: I am not seeking to dispute your position herein, so much as to examine more deeply its implications.)

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