Jump to content
Online Baptist Community
  • Newest Sermon Entry

    • 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.

Why our IFB churches are dying


Recommended Posts

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

(Sarcasm warning) Hmmm. I guess I will now have to work on being more thoroughly Biblical in grammatical and contextual details for the edification, rather than the entertainment of the congregation.  As we all know, I do not usually care for such things; but I will work on it.

(Back to being serious) Brother PastorJ, I have not traveled to various other churches nearly as much as it appears that you have; however, I possess intense agreement with your burden concerning the preaching and teaching of God's Holy Word in our churches.  In my opinion, the downfall of Fundamentalism as a Biblically sound and spiritually powerful movement for God's glory is rooted to two sources: (1) A disheartening lack of real Bible students, beginning with the leadership; (2) A failure of the men to truly be Biblically sound, godly leaders in their homes, both as husbands and as fathers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree 100% with you. Our colleges are putting out individuals who can't stand on the Word of God. I have participated in a number of ordinations and there have only been a couple where I felt the person was ready to be ordained. Unfortunately, in the IFB circles, there is an expectation that they will be ordained no matter what.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

That is true. I had one candidate submit a 1 page statement of faith and our questioning was limited to that. I asked the candidate to explain the Trinity and he was not able to. I chose not to vote and then shared with the pastor that I could not vote positively for him therefore, it would not be wise for me to attend the ordination service.

What is sad is that this is true of other denominations also. We are about entertaining now and not preaching.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."  (2 Tim.4:3-4)

If I may be so bold as to butt in here... I believe this (scripture above) is why good churches with sound doctrine are declining. But pastors aren't told to cave into worldly demands, nor to make churches more like rock concerts or coffee shops. Instead are told to:

"P
reach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" (2 Tim.4:2)

Better to have a church sound in doctrine and Bible with even a hand-full of people than a stadium full of those who have itching ears and want to hear fables.  (In my ambulatory years) I never worried about whether the congregation (or even the pastor) was friendly, whether they sang off key, or if they even knew my name (no offense meant here, this is just how I see things). But rather, I wanted to hear the sermon. And I didn't want a 5 minute "sermon-ette" filled with stories about uncle Bob and aunt Millie (or whomever). Nor did I care to hear jokes. Nor did I want to see a group of mini-rock-star wanna-be's leading what some call the "praise and worship team" these days. I wanted to hear the word, and solid teaching. If one feels he must tell a story, why not have it be a story which is an example of the word of God? How it relates to scripture?

It's a shame that some have gone to spending MORE time in their music (which is supposed to be honoring and praising the Lord, not about self) and less time in the sermons. It should be the opposite. Sadly, some in the congregations may want a "McChristian" drive-thru sermon with 5 sentences or less. But a solid pastor will not cave in to the demands of the worldly... the worldly can go fill the multi-million dollar atrocities and have their ears tickled there. 


 

Edited by Ronda
Removal of all eschatological reference as per request
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thanks, but feel free to start another thread for discussion eschatology. I have participated in many over the years.  

Let's keep this one to the points I brought up

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Unfortunately there is some truth in your points.

When I go to preaching meetings (which is rare where I am), there is almost never a time when ALL the preaching is sound and edifying.

There will often be some really good preaching, but you almost always get at least one who is just soapboxing and ranting, without any real substance to the preaching.

There are many who still preach the Word, but alas, not all.

Friendly????

I visited a church a while back, and the only people who spoke to us or approached us were the Pastor, his assistant, and one of the music guys (another area to watch).

Even after he asked me to close in prayer and introduced me to the people before I did, nobody came and spoke to us. We had to instigate every discussion.

We have some like that here, but we also have some very friendly people.

I know we can do better tgathan n we are though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
On 11/17/2017 at 10:08 AM, Pastorj said:

That is true. I had one candidate submit a 1 page statement of faith and our questioning was limited to that. I asked the candidate to explain the Trinity and he was not able to. I chose not to vote and then shared with the pastor that I could not vote positively for him therefore, it would not be wise for me to attend the ordination service.

He couldn't explain the Trinity? Say what? What did he say?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators
22 minutes ago, Salyan said:

He couldn't explain the Trinity? Say what? What did he say?

A man like this is not qualified to ordain, plain and simple. I see the main problem as the ordination committee. The ordination process is supposed to determine if a man is qualified to be ordained. Unfortunately today any ordination process is expected to end in ordination. No one wants to make waves or be the one to go against the flow and speak the truth.

Time to return to the old ways, political correctness has no place in any church of the Living God.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

If the church and the pastor don't already know what the man teaches and believes and hasn't seen a pattern in faithfulness before the ordination is scheduled ---- they shouldn't even be scheduling an ordination for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
55 minutes ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

If the church and the pastor don't already know what the man teaches and believes and hasn't seen a pattern in faithfulness before the ordination is scheduled ---- they shouldn't even be scheduling an ordination for him.

Very true......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 11/17/2017 at 10:37 PM, Pastorj said:

Thanks, but feel free to start another thread for discussion eschatology. I have participated in many over the years.  

Let's keep this one to the points I brought up

I edited my post to remove all eschatological reference, and hope that is more to your liking. I did feel it was relevant, but since it's not my OP, I will abide by your parameters.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

There is one church where the pastor still preaches a 45 minute expository sermon, the music is not about self, mostly traditional hymns and one choir "special", and the people are amazing. Yes, I'm talking about my church. We have visited churches of various denominations in three different states...and there has been only ONE where we ended up becoming members. We look forward to going to church, were welcomed and encouraged to get involved (very hard to get involved in some churches) and truly feel we are an important part of the body. We took a couple of Sundays off from church due to some things including 2 injection procedures on my neck and back that haven't done a whole lot for me and I was just worn out from it all...our pastor called us...just to make sure everything was OK. How many churches do you find that at? My husband told him what was going on and pastor stated we'd be in his prayers. The prayers of a powerful man availeth much...lemme tell you! 

I know there have to be good churches out there, I mean, if we found one in Las Vegas Nevada of all places...God will lead, just be open to his leading. I've learned over the years, if something is of God, it will be very easy...if not, no matter how much you try to force the issue, it will be like pounding your head into a wall. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
On 11/17/2017 at 9:11 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

(Sarcasm warning) Hmmm. I guess I will now have to work on being more thoroughly Biblical in grammatical and contextual details for the edification, rather than the entertainment of the congregation.  As we all know, I do not usually care for such things; but I will work on it.

(Back to being serious) Brother PastorJ, I have not traveled to various other churches nearly as much as it appears that you have; however, I possess intense agreement with your burden concerning the preaching and teaching of God's Holy Word in our churches.  In my opinion, the downfall of Fundamentalism as a Biblically sound and spiritually powerful movement for God's glory is rooted to two sources: (1) A disheartening lack of real Bible students, beginning with the leadership; (2) A failure of the men to truly be Biblically sound, godly leaders in their homes, both as husbands and as fathers.

Brother Markle,

I would like to discuss this. Would it be better to start another thread?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...