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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.

My daughter to PNG


DaveW
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Have her contact Michael Joseph and his wife Lynette. I've had Michael in my home and attending to their wedding here in the U.S. His mission board is "Independent Baptist Mission For Asians' www.ibmaforasians.org. Email: michael.kaman@yahoo.com

Michael is a dedicated missionary for our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I hope she likes sweet potatoes.

Suru Bible Baptist Church 
P.O. Box 38, Mendi
Southern Highlands Province

Edited by 1Timothy115
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It is our sincere hope and prayer that the Lord will bless your daughter Hannah-Rose in Paupua New Guinea.

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Brother Dave, it is good to "see" you back posting. Thank you for this update in regard to your daughter. I will certainly put her on my prayer list and hope and pray that she is effective in both her nursing, as well as ministry work.

May God richly bless you and your work as you serve Him.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Kunai health clinic is in the northern Highlands, although about 5 years ago she went to the southern highlands for a couple of weeks, so she has an idea of what she is getting into.

The Clinic is under the administration of some US missionaries, and it is a ministry of Kotidanga Baptist Church, which is the local IB church, pastored by a PNG national.

She has now landed in Port Moresby, and is currently en route to the hotel where she will have to quarantine for two weeks. After that, she will spend a little time with the missionaries, John and Lena, before heading up to her new home for the next 12 months at least.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

My Hannah-Rose has made it through the boredom of 2 weeks quarantine in a hotel in Port Moresby, and is currently spending the day with the missionaries, getting to know them and making last minute preparations before flying up to the Kotidanga region on Friday (that will be Thursday night for most of you!)

The flight is by a single engined small transport - typically a Pilatus Porter or similar for those who care, and the airstrip on the mountain is slightly larger than a postage stamp. The pilots who fly in such places are absolute heroes.

A one hour flight, assuming the weather is good enough and clear to the stirp, then followed by a 5 mile hike to Kunai. By the time you wake on Friday morning she will be just about ready to go to sleep in her quarters after a long, exciting and no doubt stressful day.

Then she will start with the work.

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Thank you for the update on your daughter Bro. Dave. I have had her on my prayer list. I also pray for her safety and ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations. Missionaries typically have a "getting used to it" curve, some are easy and some are kind of difficult. Hers may be a bit on the difficult side considering the remoteness, as well as adapting to native peoples.

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Thank you once again for this update Bro. Dave. It is always good to know what to pray for, as well as results of answered prayer. It seems from your update that she will be used of The  Lord in a mighty way. May God richly bless her as she serves Him.

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  • 2 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Long story short - the PNG government has changed the visa requirements for those at the clinic, and it has caused some problems. As a result it is difficult for new staff to get in, and some have had to leave.

This all means that Hannah-Rose is now basically running the clinic. 

She is doing fine in most respects, misses her family and home church, but loves the work, the church there in Kotidanga, and loves the people she is working with and for.

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Bro. Dave; this speaks well of her mission and purpose in PNG. It shows us that God is in control and reaffirms her call to this mission field. I look forward to further updates as time goes on and will certainly pray for her and the mission there.

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  • 6 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A final update for the folk here who care.

For all sorts of reasons the Clinic is having to close down. Covid and the PNG government are making it almost impossible to get staff. Hannah-Rose has been running the clinic on site for these past months, with the Missionaries keeping track of the official side of things, but without more staff to help at the clinic, and with the government causing difficulties the decision has been made to close the clinic. They are all devastated, but accepting that the Lord is moving them on.

Please pray that we can get Hannah-Rose flights back to Australia, and then back home to Perth. It is difficult getting into Australia at the moment. What should be a 3 hour flight looks to be a multi stop flight taking 42 hours....

That is if we can get her a seat.

Please pray also for her future leading to other ministry opportunities. 

 

Thanks folks.

Dave

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  • Moderators
3 hours ago, DaveW said:

A final update for the folk here who care.

For all sorts of reasons the Clinic is having to close down. Covid and the PNG government are making it almost impossible to get staff. Hannah-Rose has been running the clinic on site for these past months, with the Missionaries keeping track of the official side of things, but without more staff to help at the clinic, and with the government causing difficulties the decision has been made to close the clinic. They are all devastated, but accepting that the Lord is moving them on.

Please pray that we can get Hannah-Rose flights back to Australia, and then back home to Perth. It is difficult getting into Australia at the moment. What should be a 3 hour flight looks to be a multi stop flight taking 42 hours....

That is if we can get her a seat.

Please pray also for her future leading to other ministry opportunities. 

 

Thanks folks.

Dave

That’s awful! Will be praying she gets home. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Praying for her to get home safely - and that the seed sown since she started in PNG will continue to bear fruit for the glory of the Lord.

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We have managed to get a flight for her to Brisbane, which is in the State of Queensland. And it is a direct flight, so 3 hours and no stops. Blessings.

There she will have to stay in "Hotel Quarantine" for two weeks, before boarding a flight home to Perth (the other side of Australia, in Western Australia). Actually a longer flight than from PNG, around 5 1/2 hours. Yes it is THAT far. It is basically like a flight from New York to San Francisco: top right to bottom left of the nation.

The current rules might make it difficult for her to get into WA, and even if we can get her back home, she will then (most likely) have to be in home isolation for another two weeks.

We have the funds to pay for all of this as the Lord has provided bountifully.

The clinic is actually closing officially tomorrow, and then she has to fly from the Highlands to Port Moresby, if the weather permits, on Itty Bitty Airlines (not its real name...). The intervening time between now and the 3rd Dec will be spent packing and rolling everything up. Flight to Aus is the 10th.

The Lord is providing in all sorts of ways.

Sad to see that ministry closing, but happy to be seeing our oldest little girl again soon.

Please keep the local IB church and Pastor (Pastor Ben)in prayer up there, and be praying for the missionary family who will continue their support work up there, and the schooling ministry that will also continue there.

Thanks folks,

Dave.

 

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