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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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Pastorj
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's been a couple years since I have been active on Online Baptist. It seems like the amount of activity on the forum is down significantly from where it was when I was here last. Just curious as to what people think are the reasons. Has other social media taken away from this forum?

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This month has been especially slow for members posting. It seems like once we eliminated the more controversial members, folks don't have much to post about.

Bro. Alan. Your post showed up as a double post. I deleted one of them, but when I did, both of them disappeared. Could you please repost ?

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I am still trying to cross the road.

5a0c4ffdc951d_SnailCity.thumb.JPG.af931def8e25c561fb7a44d87102fc4e.JPG

Confession time. I must 'fess up, I just haven't been active much lately. :sorry:

Hmmm? :think_smiley_50: Maybe I need to start a new, humdinger of a controversial subject. :4_6_2v:

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I've been lurking amongst the threads, but haven't posted much. Since this forum is more active when there's controversy, here's something controversial for you. The dreaded "selfie"!! *gasp*  :4_11_3:

IMG_0039.thumb.JPG.ba69ae96e688745a6ef0a05187406d5e.JPG

Edited by Rebecca
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Y'all could pass for my daughters!  

As for me, it's been a tough couple of years health wise and otherwise.  I grew sick and tired of the heretics, for a while it seemed i was outnumbered, that I was the heathen so I withdrew to spend time in more profitable endeavors.  I miss Jerry Numbers, John81 and Irishman and others.

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Brother Swathdiver,

I understand the frustration with false teaching and false teachers.  I know that you and I do not always agree on every point.  However, I did try (when time permitted) to contend for the faith against such falseness.  I am sorry if I was not able to do so often enough or forcefully enough.  Indeed, I also miss some of the past members who were more prolific and ever edifying in their posting.

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I always found though I got very frustrated with the Ruckmanites that seemed to flock to this forum, Iron sharpeneth iron. As I debated those who held to differing positions it showed me where I needed to further study.

Anyway, I was just curious. It's been a few years since I was active. I hope to be more active.

Thanks
Ed

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I still check in very occasionally. Good to see you again, PastorJ. Was it late 2000s when you were here last? If I recall correctly, back then OB had well over 50 active, daily contributors making something like 100 new posts per day (John81 alone was adding about 10 of those). I remember the 'Current News' and 'Lounge' sections were so busy that new posts would drop off the bottom within a day or so and I used to browse by section and thread because it wasn't realistic to view by recent activity--just too much. On a given thread I'd sometimes have to go back a couple of pages to pick up where I'd left off.

Now the activity level is a dozen or so regular folk and half-a-dozen posts per day, maybe up to 50 per week. It must, at least, partly be down to general trends in web usage, for mailing lists, forums and chatrooms have declined and disappeared all over. Of course, on OB as it once was, the theological/doctrinal discussions were just a subset of all the activity and the spectrum of members was broader, maybe a bit more like church, with all that brings. I expect some would say that God has blessed this forum by ending its heady days and keeping the wheat, but I do rather miss those busier times. I hope this forum is still a blessing to many, since there are always more reading than writing. And thanks to Matt for keeping it running.

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You are correct, I was last very active in the 2008-2010 timeframe. I have stopped by now and then, but it's been a while. I guess I didn't realize how long.

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Hello PastorJ. I think time is the biggest reason why activity slowed down. I know my online time has been cut drastically since we started the church. It's nice to see you again.

Sorry I could not make it to your father's funeral, we had another funeral that we had to attend for someone else in our church. I pray all is well.

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11 hours ago, BroMatt said:

Hello PastorJ. I think time is the biggest reason why activity slowed down. I know my online time has been cut drastically since we started the church. It's nice to see you again.

I found out that I have the same problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I'm late to the game on this thread, but for me, we had some challenges that absorbed every fiber of our being, and as such, internet contributions dropped off the list.  Then, time is always a consideration.  I do think that if we all commit to working at it, we could make it more active.  I was very active on the ladies' forum, less so here.  (I wish we could access some of the old studies we had on the ladies separate forum.)

If everyone would reach out to a member through private message or email, you could gather back some of the contributors you are missing.  I know for sure when we had our challenges, I would have welcomed knowing someone missed my presence, and I would have asked them to pray for me, even if I couldn't get back to contribute here daily.  Happy Christian, you may remember when we private messaged every member on the ladies' forum to invite them to some of the studies.  It did generate a bit more traffic.  Just a thought. :)

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When I first joined OB, there were a lot of friendly and astute folks who knew their bible very well, and they contributed so much to this website, and I also missed them. I know that I have personally left several bible based website forums because they didn't want to here the truth. It was basically, "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up, let me continue to stick my head in the sand.". I've noticed this type of mentality among MANY website forums.  And as a result, I left these forums. There are several reasons why some "Christians" refuse to be corrected in their false beliefs, and I believe that they are because of arrogance, or their mind is made up; or like others here have said in this thread, because of time. I am in several ministries, and I still believe that the Lord wants me to go out and preach to the lost FACE to FACE, or in person. One cannot grow in the knowledge of the truth if one is not willing to be rebuked by another forum member who has clearly showed their error using hermeneutics and exegesis. I use to believe that one can lose their salvation until a friend of mine opened my eyes showed me using scripture how I was wrong...this was almost 30 years ago, and now I have grown in the knowledge of the truth of the Word of God . Time is too short in this life to engage in debates with someone who has shut their eyes and closed their ears to the truth of the sacred scriptures. This website also use to have a chat section where folks could chat live here on OB, and for some reason, there were no dissensions, and the members would work out their differences. It's also difficult to tell if someone is raising their voice at you, or that you can perceive their voice inflections and their tone, so someone elses words can be misinterpreted as them being indignant towards you, or if they're trying to communicate in a friendly manner. We who are spiritual should restore such one in the spirit of meekness (Gal.6:1). I am now currently seeking more ministries to get involved in. As I said, life is too short, and we only have a one shot deal in this life, and how we serve the Lord in this world will result in rewards that will last for eternity, so we should make the most of it, and use our talents wisely. We all want to here the Lord say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matt.25:45), when we meet Him face to face. I would encourage everyone on this board to engage in some type of ministry. Even the smallest amound of good works that we do for the Lord is significant to Him (cf Matt.24:45; 10:42). And again, it's either hearing these words from the Lord, "Well done faithful and good servant; or, thou wicked and slothful servant." Lets us use our talents wisely. I won't be posting too much here on OB, because I believe that I have other duties to fulfill in this world, and I want to make the most of it, because the ramifications are eternal once we enter the Eternal state.

Edited by (Omega)
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  • 4 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 11/17/2017 at 4:12 AM, BroMatt said:

I know my online time has been cut drastically since we started the church. It's nice to see you again.

 

On 11/17/2017 at 3:27 PM, Alan said:

I found out that I have the same problem.

Same thing here. Its a good problem to have I guess!

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On 11/15/2017 at 9:34 AM, Alan said:

5a0c4ffdc951d_SnailCity.thumb.JPG.af931def8e25c561fb7a44d87102fc4e.JPG

 

That little feller looks like a Pond Apple Snail.  We have them here too.  Had a whole swamp named after them that was a favorite hideout for drug runners during the 1980s and now a major highway runs over it.  Somewhere we have a photo of a bunch of them all over our youngest daughter's hand and arm after a good rain.  Thank God for these little creatures!

Edited by swathdiver
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On 4/21/2018 at 2:51 AM, swathdiver said:

Somewhere we have a photo of a bunch of them all over our youngest daughter's hand and arm after a good rain.  Thank God for these little creatures!

Edited yesterday at 02:51 AM by swathdiver

Swathdiver,

If you ever find the photo of the Pond Apple Snail on your daughter's arm, and you feel led to,  can you upload it so we can see?

Alan

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