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.

  1. 2bLikeJesus

    2bLikeJesus

  2. Pastor Scott Markle

    Pastor Scott Markle

  3. wretched

    wretched

  • Similar Content

    • By Donald
      This message, offers an answer, to “the problem of legalism”.
      ➀ First, before you stop reading, telling yourself, .....
        “I am not a legalist, I just have more standards than he does!”
      You had better make sure, that your “standards”, are based clearly on sound Doctrine.  Because if they are not, than you have a big problem.
      ➁ Two reasons, “legalism” is a problem, that needs to be fixed...
        (A) It effects your worship...
      “Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
      teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:7)
      If we find ourselves, teaching “Doctrines”, that are not spelled out in the Word of God,
      than Jesus says, that this will make our worship of Him “a waste of time”!
      He wants us to worship him, “in Spirit and in truth”!  And that requires that we minister “God’s Word” to others, not “our opinion”!
        (B) Also, legalism stunts our Spiritual growth....
      (Romans 14:1-6)
      V.1 ¶ Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [but] not to doubtful disputations.
      V.2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
      V.3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
      V.4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
      V.5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
      V.6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
      A familiar passage, that gives us two examples of “legalism”.  And in this passage, we see that the legalist is regarded as being “weak”.  This is a “weakness in the faith”.
      Notice, in the rest of this passage, we are not told to do anything to try and bring this brother to the error of his ways.  Because this might place a stumbling block before him.
      But, we are not dissuaded, from using God’s Word, to educate our brothers and sisters in the deeper areas of God’s Word.
      ➂ The answer to this problem....
      “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

      Lets take a closer look at this verse...
      ------------------------
      “But strong meat”
       This is not talking about food.  This is talking about the deeper parts of the Bible.
                                                                                           
      There are some parts of almost every verse in the Bible, that have a “deeper meaning”, that is hidden from young Christians or the casual reader.  (Proverbs 25:2)
      ------------------------
       “belongeth”
      The LORD is the one, who determines how deeply we understand the Bible, at any given point in our walk with Him.  Here we learn that when He gives us this understanding, it “belongs” to us.
      This means(for one thing), that we should learn to keep things the Lord shows us, to ourselves, until He tells us when and how to share them.  (Proverbs 29:11)
      ------------------------
       “to them that are of full age,”
      Each of us have two ages.  Our actual age, from the day we were born.  
      And our Spiritual age, that is not determined by time, but by our commitment to the Lord and to His Word.
      At different points in our Spiritual lives, the Lord decides what He wants us to know.
      But, being “Spiritually mature”, doesn’t depend upon what you “know”, but upon what you “understand”.
      ------------------------
       [even] “those who by reason of use”
      This is an instruction, to “use” something!
      So now, we are talking about the subject of “receiving understanding” from the LORD.
      And the mysterious way, this is accomplished.  I said “mysterious”, because this was a complete mystery to me, until the day the Lord revealed it to me.
      For all the untold hundreds of times I had studied through Hebrews and never saw this truth, makes this mysterious, to me.
      ------------------------
       “have their senses exercised”
      So the other shoe drops.  What it is that we are to “use”, in order to gain understanding from the LORD.  Our “senses”.  All of them.
      As mature Christians, we are to be brave and not be afraid, of “exposing ourselves to things”, that we might be telling ourselves are “wrong”: Even though God’s Word has nothing to say about it.
      This is learning to be sensitive to the “leading of the Holy Spirit”, who will quickly let us know, if we are going in a direction He does not want us to go in.
      I am not talking about any form of lasciviousness.  What I am talking about is a quest, to learn God’s will for our lives.  So that He can reward us, with deeper understanding of His Word and His Will and Who He is.
      ------------------------
       “to discern both good and evil.”
      The Lord wants us to learn to “discern”, what is Good and Evil, not based upon what the latest hot preacher, has to say about it.  But what God has to say about it!
      Also, each of us having “different” weaknesses, will compile differing lists, of what are good and evil, for us.
       
    • By John Young
      Understanding The Psalms
      A handbook for Spiritual Christian Growth
      Book 1 (Psalms 1-41): How to Be Blessed by God (Downward Blessing)
      Book 2 (Psalms 42-72): Learning To Trust God (Upward Trust)
      Book 3 (Psalms 73-89): The Believer's Worldly Struggle (Outward Reality)
      Book 4 (Psalms 90-106): Going to God for Protection (Inward Faith)
      Book 5 (Psalms 107-150): Learning to Praise God (Pressing Onward)
      "The Psalms" is a harmonious collection meant to be meditated upon and mastered in progresive order, to foster spiritual growth and understanding. Learned as a whole, greater truth emerges then if learned as separate units.
      Book 1 teaches the Believer how to maximize blessings from God and how to remove those things which would cause God to oppose or hinder us.
      Book 2 teaches us to thank God for his blessings in our lives and how to build our trust in him, knowing that He will help and sustain us in all things.
      Book 3 takes our faith (reliance on God in all things developed from previous books) and pits it against the encroaching evil of the ungodly world system.
      Book 4 shows the protection God has for the believer who trusts in him and how to take full advantage of his protection while living in an ungodly world.
      Book 5 Having given us spiritual power for our own growth and defense, we are now taught how to go on the offensive by Praising God. When we learn to use the many tools and methods to boldly praise God, we can push back the evil of this world and save others, who can then also be blessed by God.

      Feel free to share your observations of the Psalms!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 9 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...