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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.

Cloven tongues like as of fire


E Morales
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On 9/30/2021 at 11:26 AM, SureWord said:

Peter makes it clear that the Jews will have to be baptized with the baptism unto repentance for the forgiveness of sins to be saved as a nation. Yes, the blood of Christ will be involved but they can trample under foot and consider unclean the blood of the covenant as mention in Hebrews. Their salvation will be completed when the Lord returns as Peter mentioned in his epistle. 

The church will be complete and in heaven when this occurs. There will be no sealing of the Spirit except for the 144,000 virgins. 

This is why it's called the Great Tribulation. It will be a trial of all the souls of men unlike the age we live in.

And what of a situation like we find with Abraham? Romans 4:3 (KJV) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

He was not baptized, so, by your reasoning he must not have been saved.

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16 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Acts 2:21 (KJV) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Hmmmm, doesn't say anything about being baptized; must be a mistake huh?

The charismatics are the ones that believe salvation is through baptism. Teaching you can also learn how to speak in tongues by repeating cokacolacokacolacokacola. 

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You know Jim, In honesty Im just repeating what I have learned through people. In that it’s a systematic method of theology, which isn’t the best way to approach the study of scripture. If I can not defend it, I can not attend to the truth of it. 
 

How ever, I believe I am not remembering the full study, and Im not providing this method of interpretation justice.  

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To add. To me this is the way to approach it.

the grace was supplied at the cross

the grace was dispensed at Pentecost 

the grace was revealed unto Paul at his transformation.

 

This is how I view at the moment, And If I was better at showing my self reproved I could show you what I am trying to say, However I am still learning.  I apologize 

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On 10/1/2021 at 8:05 PM, Jim_Alaska said:

And what of a situation like we find with Abraham? Romans 4:3 (KJV) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

He was not baptized, so, by your reasoning he must not have been saved.

The Nation of Israel didn’t crucify Jesus Christ and reject him yet 

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No one in the history of the world needed to be baptized for salvation - which is what Hugh Flower and SureWord are teaching (at least for other dispensations - I am not sure where they stand on the Gospel in this one).

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4 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

You said Abraham didn’t have to be baptized and I’m agreeing with you - for the reason I provided. 

So then, by saying that "The Nation of Israel didn’t crucify Jesus Christ and reject him yet", are you then saying that after this happened people had to be baptized to be saved?

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1 hour ago, Jim_Alaska said:

So then, by saying that "The Nation of Israel didn’t crucify Jesus Christ and reject him yet", are you then saying that after this happened people had to be baptized to be saved?

Saved as a nation, for the Kingdom of Heaven. I am not talking about being born again as Christians, as salvation to heaven.

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And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Mat 3:4  And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Mat 3:5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

Mat 3:6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

Edited by Hugh_Flower
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34 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Mat 3:4  And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Mat 3:5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

Mat 3:6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand

That is PRE-CRUCIFIXION! It has nothing to do with salvation after Christ was crucified, buried, and risen...and I think it's pretty clear when the Bible says there is no salvation through any other, and Christ says "no man cometh to the father but by me." Baptism doesn't have anything to do with it Johns baptism was a precursor, a forerunner to what the apostles preached.

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Hugh, they were not baptized to be saved, they were baptized because they were saved. Please notice that the preaching of John said, "repent and be baptized". The result of his preaching was all those that did repent, which incidentally were the same people that Jesus chose to form His church.

But the point you are missing is that no one in the Bible, in any age, had to be baptized to be saved, whether they were individuals or as a nation.

I don't know where you learned this stuff, but it is not Baptist at all and certainly not Scriptural. You can't just say "stuff" and make it up as you go. No Scripture teaches baptism for salvation. Salvation is completely by Grace, through Faith, with nothing added or subtracted.

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I’m not saying they need to be baptized to be saved, where have I said that. 
Where I said “saved as a nation” I’m talking about the literal nation of Israel becoming the Kingdom of Heaven. Not eternal life. As in, the repentance of the nation.

Edited by Hugh_Flower
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Hold up friends, The passage quoted above from Matthew chapter 3 was pre-Crucifixion but not the command to baptize those whom repent and turn back to God through His Son.  That is absolutely what our Lord has commanded us to do after His Resurrection and He did not limit it to any group when He said "all nations" and "all the world". Nowhere does the Lord state it is optional or at any man's discretion. I am not agreeing with anyone in this thread (it is hard to tell what is really being said) but don't let the ideas that you were specifically taught make God's Word of none effect either. It is clear in the NT that water baptism "in itself" does not regenerate but it still remains that God commanded it for a reason and the only hint He gave was when He Himself was baptized of John; that it was to "fulfill all righteousness". A demonstration to others of repentance initially is what should be garnered from it. Water baptism was also practiced by those whom carried on Christ's Life and Message throughout the NT Epistles after this.

The idea that water baptism is unnecessary or meaningless for believers is just as much folly as those whom claim it "in itself" saves. 

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-28-19/

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Mark-16-16/

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2 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

That is PRE-CRUCIFIXION! It has nothing to do with salvation after Christ was crucified, buried, and risen...and I think it's pretty clear when the Bible says there is no salvation through any other, and Christ says "no man cometh to the father but by me." Baptism doesn't have anything to do with it Johns baptism was a precursor, a forerunner to what the apostles preached.

Yes, and I’m saying in the early acts the only baptism they knew of was John’s, not until Paul was saved did the understanding of baptism change.

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27 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

Yes, and I’m saying in the early acts the only baptism they knew of was John’s, not until Paul was saved did the understanding of baptism change.

Water baptism was never part of salvation - before or after the cross. It was the first step of obedience after salvation, a testimony of their salvation, or as John the Baptist stated, the fruits of repentance. In a culture where you were ostracized by the Pharisees and other religious leaders for standing for the truth (agreeing with the OT prophets, siding with John and Jesus), it was a public testimony of what they believed and where they stood.

To restate, baptism has never played a part in someone becoming saved in any way, shape or form. It was the first step of obedience after salvation, the testimony of their faith in the Messiah, and as Paul later stated it was an identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; it pictured death to the old life and resurrection to new life.

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50 minutes ago, Jerry said:

Water baptism was never part of salvation - before or after the cross. It was the first step of obedience after salvation, a testimony of their salvation, or as John the Baptist stated, the fruits of repentance. In a culture where you were ostracized by the Pharisees and other religious leaders for standing for the truth (agreeing with the OT prophets, siding with John and Jesus), it was a public testimony of what they believed and where they stood.

To restate, baptism has never played a part in someone becoming saved in any way, shape or form. It was the first step of obedience after salvation, the testimony of their faith in the Messiah, and as Paul later stated it was an identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; it pictured death to the old life and resurrection to new life.

Yeah man, we aren’t disagreeing with what you have stated here.

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