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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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No Nicolaitans
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

In February, we had to get a new heating and air system. Thousands of dollars unexpected.

In July, we had to get a new roof. Thousands of dollars unexpected, but not surprising.

Yesterday, our hot water heater went out. It's gas, and a small water leak is the culprit which causes the pilot light to go out. 

We are debating on replacing the water heater or getting a tankless water heater. Due to a current "special" offered by a local propane company, the tankless will be only a couple of hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater. 

From my limited knowledge, tankless water heaters are great. 

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

Also, please pray...this is another unexpected expense that has come at a bad time.

I guess 20 years is pretty good for how long this one lasted though...

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They're wonderful if you get a heater large enough to meet your needs. Since your current unit is gas, get a gas tankless. Local supply (at the sink) electric units require a separate 110v circuit for each one. Most of the whole house units I installed required 70A/240V. Some were 100A or 125A/ 240V. That could end up with a new sub panel and even possibly a service replacement. I LOVE them but recommend them for new construction only, I don't believe it's worth the money as a remodel item (talking about the electric units, not the gas ones).

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57 minutes ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

They're wonderful if you get a heater large enough to meet your needs. Since your current unit is gas, get a gas tankless. Local supply (at the sink) electric units require a separate 110v circuit for each one. Most of the whole house units I installed required 70A/240V. Some were 100A or 125A/ 240V. That could end up with a new sub panel and even possibly a service replacement. I LOVE them but recommend them for new construction only, I don't believe it's worth the money as a remodel item (talking about the electric units, not the gas ones).

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

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5 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

May be, not up on the gas / plumbing end of things. I just send current through things so it can make your water exciting. As I told a customer after fixing his Jacuzzi, "If you get a tingle or your hair stands up while using this thing, give me a call 'cause it ain't quite right yet."

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8 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

Our heating, water and space heating is from piped natural gas.  They sell it by KWH, the meters register cubic metres and the convert it via calorific value and by some mathematical mumbo jumbo to kilowatt hours,  Back in the old days of coal gas the meter read it in cubic feet and that was what it was sold in. We knew what it meant then.

 

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10 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

In February, we had to get a new heating and air system. Thousands of dollars unexpected.

In July, we had to get a new roof. Thousands of dollars unexpected, but not surprising.

Yesterday, our hot water heater went out. It's gas, and a small water leak is the culprit which causes the pilot light to go out. 

We are debating on replacing the water heater or getting a tankless water heater. Due to a current "special" offered by a local propane company, the tankless will be only a couple of hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater. 

From my limited knowledge, tankless water heaters are great. 

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

Also, please pray...this is another unexpected expense that has come at a bad time.

I guess 20 years is pretty good for how long this one lasted though...

Modern gas boilers over here don't have pilot lights, they light electronically when the water or heating comes on.  We legally have to have condenser boilers on new istallations.  They use much less gas.

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Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

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6 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

Yep...have to work tomorrow. Lowe's opens at 6:00 or 6:30 am. I'll get there early, buy it, and hopefully get it installed before I have to go in tomorrow afternoon (other things to do too). My only worry is that the plumber (who piped the original water heater) hard-piped it. From the specifications that I've read online, that shouldn't be a problem other than having to cut the pipes and installing a coupling. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to all who may have prayed.

Side note: if you're a plumbing contractor, please don't hard-pipe to a water heater. 

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2 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Yep...have to work tomorrow. Lowe's opens at 6:00 or 6:30 am. I'll get there early, buy it, and hopefully get it installed before I have to go in tomorrow afternoon (other things to do too). My only worry is that the plumber (who piped the original water heater) hard-piped it. From the specifications that I've read online, that shouldn't be a problem other than having to cut the pipes and installing a coupling. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to all who may have prayed.

Side note: if you're a plumbing contractor, please don't hard-pipe to a water heater. 

Remember that newer water heaters have electric ignitors instead of pilot lights. It draws very little and can be on an existing circuit.

As to the sweated connections, it probably has to do with reducing call backs plus maybe a little job security.

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1 minute ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

t probably has to do with reducing call backs plus maybe a little job security.

Well, all I can say in light of that is...

Whoever the contractors were (that built our house), they were seeking eternal job security. LOLOLOL...LOL!

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On 20/09/2017 at 6:46 PM, No Nicolaitans said:

Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

In our country it is illegal to install a gas appliance or service them if you are not registered as Gas Safe.  Not all plumbers are.  

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On 20/09/2017 at 5:27 AM, No Nicolaitans said:

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

 

In France, only tankless are allowed. Our church has 3 tankless heaters one only does the central heating for the main hall.  The other two are combination heaters supplying radiators and hot water.  One supplies the kitchen and the rear hall, the other supplies the corridors, side rooms and conveniences.  

 

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27 minutes ago, Invicta said:

In our country it is illegal to install a gas appliance or service them if you are not registered as Gas Safe.  Not all plumbers are.  

Wow! Really? Things haven't reached that point here in the US yet...

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7 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Wow! Really? Things haven't reached that point here in the US yet...

Yes they have tightened up the law after many accidents.  TV show Rogue traders has shown several plumbers claiming to be Gas Safe (but who were'nt registered, who gave fake registration numbers) installing gas heaters incorrectly.  

This must be a recent regulation, as one of our deacons installed his before the regulations came in.

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

Yes they have tightened up the law after many accidents.  TV show Rogue traders has shown several plumbers claiming to be Gas Safe (but who were'nt registered, who gave fake registration numbers) installing gas heaters incorrectly.  

This must be a recent regulation, as one of our deacons installed his before the regulations came in.

I think that would cause a small turmoil here in the US for now...however, I think people (here in America) are being prepped to accept such regulations too. I see less and less people who are willing (or able) to do things themselves, and that will make it easier for the government to lay down restrictions and laws here such as you describe. Americans are becoming lazy, and they (the general population) will seemingly accept almost anything to make their lives easier...even if it infringes on their freedom...as long as it doesn't interfere with their smart phone usage. :laugh:

I'll try and post my "before" and "after" pictures later...

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59 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I think that would cause a small turmoil here in the US for now...however, I think people (here in America) are being prepped to accept such regulations too. I see less and less people who are willing (or able) to do things themselves, and that will make it easier for the government to lay down restrictions and laws here such as you describe.

There are plenty of rules like that here in UK. For example, if you want to drive a car it has to meet structural requirements and be tested annually by authorised garages--you can't just cobble together anything and take it on the roads. If you build a house there are materials you're not allowed to use, like asbestos. If a hospital wants to offer surgery its surgeons have to be qualified--they can't just hire someone who likes scalpels and blood. Want to keep a brown bear at home as a pet? Nope.

There are rules in UK which I think are over-regulation but I think the gas one is reasonable because of the higher risk of injuring/killing neighbours (compared to electrical and plumbing, for which there aren't equivalent restrictions). Every year there are reports of houses blown up in gas explosions, though from what I recall the last few haven't taken anybody out.

 

 

 

 

 

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A few years ago, about 8 miles from here, there was a gas explosion in a house where an elderly woman lived.  She was found by neighbours i under wreckage in her garden.ad, and the house she lived in was destroyed together with the ones on either side, and several others were damaged including some across the road.  Remarkably the lady was not badly injured as far as I remember.  Her landlord did not have the house insured.  If you let out a house to a tenant you have to have an annual gas safety certificate for every gas appliance. I doubt whether the landlord had that either. Our church also has to have a gas safety cert.  Ours is due on 2nd Oct. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1463820/Woman-83-is-saved-as-blast-wrecks-homes.html

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It seems the Landlord had the relevant certification.

 

The HSE* said the gas had leaked from the gas meter outlet in the cellar because of the weak joint where a pipe had been soldered

An HSE spokesman said: "The gas spread into the ground floor rooms to create a flammable mixture, which most likely ignited when the occupant of the property switched on a kettle in the kitchen."

The property was rented, but the HSE said the landlord had met all obligations under gas safety regulations to have appliances checked.

BBC News

* HSE, Health and Safety Executive.

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7 hours ago, Invicta said:

It seems the Landlord had the relevant certification.

 

The HSE* said the gas had leaked from the gas meter outlet in the cellar because of the weak joint where a pipe had been soldered

An HSE spokesman said: "The gas spread into the ground floor rooms to create a flammable mixture, which most likely ignited when the occupant of the property switched on a kettle in the kitchen."

The property was rented, but the HSE said the landlord had met all obligations under gas safety regulations to have appliances checked.

BBC News

* HSE, Health and Safety Executive.

I can't remember the name of the ingredient that is added to natural gas here, but it gives the natural gas an odor; otherwise, people couldn't smell a leak. Is nothing added there to give the gas an odor?

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2 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I can't remember the name of the ingredient that is added to natural gas here, but it gives the natural gas an odor; otherwise, people couldn't smell a leak. Is nothing added there to give the gas an odor?

We have as well.  We had a smell of gas about a year or so ago and called the gas company and they said "Turn off all gas appliances and don't switch any lights or electrical equipment on, and open windows.  Soon a representative came but didn't seem too worried and said he had also to see a neighbour.  I asked what it was and it appeared to be a leak from a gas main about a quarter of a mile away on a main road. "Opposite the spud man, he said"  The spud man sells potatoes from his van by the side of the road,  He added "If you look over there you can see the cloud of gas."  And I could, it looked like a mist.

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