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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.

Separation over doctrine.


DaveW
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12 minutes ago, DaChaser said:

True, will stick by my assertion, but will not divide over it!

Understood.  I, on the other hand, will continue to hold that Calvinistic/Reformed soteriology is false doctrine; and I WILL separate over it - at least over the two points of regeneration before faith and of limited atonement.

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3 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

There can be no truth in a doctrinal sense, if there is even one lie inserted. Brethren it is either truth or a lie, there can be no mixture of the two.

Galatians 5:9 (KJV) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Secondary issue, as we should only separate over issues such as "is Jesus God, Did he physically resurrect, is the Bible inspired?"

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3 hours ago, DaChaser said:

Secondary issue, as we should only separate over issues such as "is Jesus God, Did he physically resurrect, is the Bible inspired?"

The original, sound Baptist Churches were turned from the way by false doctrine of every nature , just a little bit at a time until they were apostate. For me there is no secondary issue, it is truth or a lie, can't be both and will not be tolerated by me.

To "pick and choose"which lie to accept is walking on very dangerous ground. 

Ephesians 4:14 (KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

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4 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

The original, sound Baptist Churches were turned from the way by false doctrine of every nature , just a little bit at a time until they were apostate. For me there is no secondary issue, it is truth or a lie, can't be both and will not be tolerated by me.

To "pick and choose"which lie to accept is walking on very dangerous ground. 

Ephesians 4:14 (KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Exactly what I mean by "eat the meat and spit out the bones" and "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." We cannot compromise when it comes to the truth of God's Word especially on the gospel and soteriology! Calvinism and Lordship Salvation are false and from the pit of hell. They are false gospels that will not save and cannot save!

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18 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Understood.  I, on the other hand, will continue to hold that Calvinistic/Reformed soteriology is false doctrine; and I WILL separate over it - at least over the two points of regeneration before faith and of limited atonement.

 

14 hours ago, DaChaser said:

Secondary issue, as we should only separate over issues such as "is Jesus God, Did he physically resurrect, is the Bible inspired?"

 

13 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

The way of eternal life is hardly a secondary issue.

 

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Sounds like true salvation (and the means thereof) is somewhat important...almost as though it's the whole reason for everything.

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On 5/18/2020 at 2:50 AM, DaChaser said:

I am just saying that one can be saved and be either a calvinist or not, and while cam make for inyeresting discussions, not an issue to divide over! To me, thnose issues are like Deity of Jesus, Trinity, Bible inspration etc!

Excuse the words of a young woman coming in here, but I think the question is...What kind of beliefs do you want your children to have? What kind of friends? God doesn't ask us to seperate over things just because. He is quite practical and logical, and he knows that we become what we hang around. It pays to ask the same questions the Lord would to himself (if that were possible)..."Now what will happen if I don't tell my children to stay away from this and this and this? Not good. Better include that in the rules".

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17 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

The way of eternal life is hardly a secondary issue.

 

I am a 5 point calinist, but will not deny that one not holding to that cannot be saved!

14 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

The original, sound Baptist Churches were turned from the way by false doctrine of every nature , just a little bit at a time until they were apostate. For me there is no secondary issue, it is truth or a lie, can't be both and will not be tolerated by me.

To "pick and choose"which lie to accept is walking on very dangerous ground. 

Ephesians 4:14 (KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

We must agree on the Fundamentals of the faith, but free to disagree on secondary issues! Must hold to Second Coming, but can be various timing, such as Post/pre/A Mil!

4 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

 

 

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Sounds like true salvation (and the means thereof) is somewhat important...almost as though it's the whole reason for everything.

We can agree to disagree on if its calvinistic or not is my point! That would not be something to divide over!

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2 hours ago, LYDIA WESTERN said:

Excuse the words of a young woman coming in here, but I think the question is...What kind of beliefs do you want your children to have? What kind of friends? God doesn't ask us to seperate over things just because. He is quite practical and logical, and he knows that we become what we hang around. It pays to ask the same questions the Lord would to himself (if that were possible)..."Now what will happen if I don't tell my children to stay away from this and this and this? Not good. Better include that in the rules".

The redeemed of the Lord would include those holding to calvinism, not to it, spiritual gifts, none today, and various modes of baptism and second coming views!

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51 minutes ago, DaChaser said:

I am a 5 point calinist, but will not deny that one not holding to that cannot be saved!

Brother DaChaser,

As I stated earlier in this thread discussion, I hold that Calvinistic/Reformed soteriology is false doctrine; however, I would agree that many who hold to that doctrine are indeed saved through faith in Christ alone, and are thus my brethren in Christ.  (Even so, I have called you "Brother" above.)
 

19 hours ago, DaChaser said:

Secondary issue, as we should only separate over issues such as "is Jesus God, Did he physically resurrect, is the Bible inspired?"

Having acknowledged the above, I would now ask the question -- WHO defines what is a "secondary issue" that is not worthy of separation?  For that matter, where do we get the idea that even "secondary issues" themselves are not worthy of separation?  I myself would contend that God Himself in His Own Word has taught us the doctrine of separation; therefore, we MUST glean the answers for these question from the Biblical doctrine on the matter.  Does God's Own Word teach us that we should ONLY separate over the "fundamentals of the faith," and that there are ONLY five of those?  Or is that a man-made paradigm?  I myself would contend that it is indeed a man-made paradigm.  Yes, I WOULD separate over "the fundamentals of the faith."  Yet I would contend that there are a few more than five "fundamentals of the faith."  Furthermore, I would contend that the Biblical doctrine of separation teaches separation over MORE than just the "fundamentals of the faith."

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Was just thinking that maybe I should give some examples of doctrines that I view as "fundamental," more than the commonly listed five:

1.  The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (and the 1,000 year reign thereafter).
2.  Biblical Creationism (as per seven literal days, by the power of God's Word).
3.  Believer's Baptism by immersion.
etc.

Certainly, others may not agree with me concerning the fundamental importance of these doctrines (and of those that fall within the "etc.").  However, I am not responsible to make separation decisions FOR them (although I may make separation decisions FROM them).  Rather, I am responsible before the Lord my God to make separation decision for myself and those whom I have been appointed to lead and to teach.

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52 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother DaChaser,

As I stated earlier in this thread discussion, I hold that Calvinistic/Reformed soteriology is false doctrine; however, I would agree that many who hold to that doctrine are indeed saved through faith in Christ alone, and are thus my brethren in Christ.  (Even so, I have called you "Brother" above.)
 

Having acknowledged the above, I would now ask the question -- WHO defines what is a "secondary issue" that is not worthy of separation?  For that matter, where do we get the idea that even "secondary issues" themselves are not worthy of separation?  I myself would contend that God Himself in His Own Word has taught us the doctrine of separation; therefore, we MUST glean the answers for these question from the Biblical doctrine on the matter.  Does God's Own Word teach us that we should ONLY separate over the "fundamentals of the faith," and that there are ONLY five of those?  Or is that a man-made paradigm?  I myself would contend that it is indeed a man-made paradigm.  Yes, I WOULD separate over "the fundamentals of the faith."  Yet I would contend that there are a few more than five "fundamentals of the faith."  Furthermore, I would contend that the Biblical doctrine of separation teaches separation over MORE than just the "fundamentals of the faith."

I appreciate this last paragraph and have often wondered this myself, I have asked a few people who have stated the "secondary issues" talking point similar questions and I have never been satisfied with the answer, no one seems to want to explain how you define a primary and secondary doctrine. 

I have also struggled with trying to figure out what issues to separate over, I don't think it's reasonable to think that someone must agree 100% with me, But I also think there is more to separate over than what is considered "The Fundamentals". 

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Was just thinking that maybe I should give some examples of doctrines that I view as "fundamental," more than the commonly listed five:

1.  The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (and the 1,000 year reign thereafter).
2.  Biblical Creationism (as per seven literal days, by the power of God's Word).
3.  Believer's Baptism by immersion.
etc.

Certainly, others may not agree with me concerning the fundamental importance of these doctrines (and of those that fall within the "etc.").  However, I am not responsible to make separation decisions FOR them (although I may make separation decisions FROM them).  Rather, I am responsible before the Lord my God to make separation decision for myself and those whom I have been appointed to lead and to teach.

Think that many of us will have a different list on what should be dividing over, but important thing is to be true to what you believe God has given to you!

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5 hours ago, DaChaser said:

Think that many of us will have a different list on what should be dividing over, but important thing is to be true to what you believe God has given to you!

Calvinism must be avoided, period! It is heresy, a false gospel that is damning many many people to hell!!!

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2 hours ago, gracelife said:

Calvinism must be avoided, period! It is heresy, a false gospel that is damning many many people to hell!!!

Ive noticed that young pele who grow up in calvinist homes very very often struggle with whether they are saved or not. Also, people like David Brainard had some very aweful, heart-rending struggles until he finally came to rest. He said that he couldnt u derstand how a merciful could be just in damning some to hell, and concequently him. He thought he was probablg damned. Its laborious to read pages and pages of this before finally getting to the salvation bit.

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Gal 1:6-9 KJV

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Sounds to me as though the gospel is kind of important and more than worthy to separate over.

...but that's my opinion and Paul's.

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16 hours ago, gracelife said:

Calvinism must be avoided, period! It is heresy, a false gospel that is damning many many people to hell!!!

Would reallu disagree with you on this, as much of the "soul winning" ministries and missions were by calvinists!

14 hours ago, LYDIA WESTERN said:

Ive noticed that young pele who grow up in calvinist homes very very often struggle with whether they are saved or not. Also, people like David Brainard had some very aweful, heart-rending struggles until he finally came to rest. He said that he couldnt u derstand how a merciful could be just in damning some to hell, and concequently him. He thought he was probablg damned. Its laborious to read pages and pages of this before finally getting to the salvation bit.

I am a calvinist, and was much more taken by the truth that God would even choose to save a lost sinner like me, as none of us deserve his saving grace!

9 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Gal 1:6-9 KJV

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Sounds to me as though the gospel is kind of important and more than worthy to separate over.

...but that's my opinion and Paul's.

True, but Calsvinists and Arminians teach the same Gospel, just disagree on underrstanding it!

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