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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.

Did Baptist preachers ever have more than 2 wife's at one time


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Some OT believers had more than one wife - and we see the fallout and problems that caused. However, preachers are something found in the New Testament - and it is the New Testament that teaches clearly the Biblical example (especially for those in church leadership) is to be the husband of one wife. Of course, the primary context is referring to not being divorced and remarried, YET it would certainly cover not having more than one wife at a time too.

Also, for the sake of clarification, there were no OT prophets that were preaching the Word of God that ever had more than one wife (yes, David, Solomon, and Jacob all had more than one wife - but we are not given the Book of Jacob). I am not sure how David's and Solomon's writings fit what you are asking about; however, today, we have further revelation and instruction - especially when it comes to Christian conduct and the leadership and examples in the church.

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

Got the scripture references to prove that preachers had more than one wife in the OT or the NT? I don't think this is the case, at least not as far as I can remember.

King Solomon, comes to my mine right now. How did the Mormons and the Muslims started this tradition of many wife’s. King David also come to my mine but they are all in the Old Testament. In the new I believe there are none like you mention.

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1 hour ago, E Morales said:

King Solomon, comes to my mine right now. How did the Mormons and the Muslims started this tradition of many wife’s. King David also come to my mine but they are all in the Old Testament. In the new I believe there are none like you mention.

The two people you mentioned weren't preachers, but were KINGS of Israel. Yes, the could preach in some form or another, but that wasn't their major function. Their having more than one wife wasn't usually anything to do with love, but with building alliances with other countries or peoples. The Bible tells us in 

1 Timothy 3:2

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;”

Titus 1:6

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Edited by BrotherTony
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3 hours ago, Jerry said:

Some OT believers had more than one wife - and we see the fallout and problems that caused. However, preachers are something found in the New Testament - and it is the New Testament that teaches clearly the Biblical example (especially for those in church leadership) is to be the husband of one wife. Of course, the primary context is referring to not being divorced and remarried, YET it would certainly cover not having more than one wife at a time too.

Also, for the sake of clarification, there were no OT prophets that were preaching the Word of God that ever had more than one wife (yes, David, Solomon, and Jacob all had more than one wife - but we are not given the Book of Jacob). I am not sure how David's and Solomon's writings fit what you are asking about; however, today, we have further revelation and instruction - especially when it comes to Christian conduct and the leadership and examples in the church.

The primary context is having one wife, not the divorce/remarriage.

Edited by Hugh_Flower
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Your opinion. Every commentator I have ever read refers to divorce and remarriage in that passage. However, it is difficult to have more than one wife if you only ever married and stayed faithful to one. Regardless, the NT certainly is against polygamy.

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Well, if the church is in the OT like many theologians teach, and the Baptist denomination is the true church the rest of Christians being only guests, then Baptist preachers in the OT had plenty of wives. David, an IFBer, had at least 22 wives and Solomon had 700 plus 300 concubines. 

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17 hours ago, E Morales said:

King Solomon, comes to my mine right now. How did the Mormons and the Muslims started this tradition of many wife’s. King David also come to my mine but they are all in the Old Testament. In the new I believe there are none like you mention.

16 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

The two people you mentioned weren't preachers, but were KINGS of Israel.

And what they did was in direct disobedience to God's Word as per the Law of Moses:

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 - "When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel."

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
20 hours ago, Jerry said:

Of course, the primary context is referring to not being divorced and remarried, YET it would certainly cover not having more than one wife at a time too.

16 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

The primary context is having one wife, not the divorce/remarriage.

15 hours ago, Jerry said:

Your opinion. Every commentator I have ever read refers to divorce and remarriage in that passage. 

Actually, the primary definition and context is that he be a man/husband who is Biblically and relationally committed and devoted to only one woman/wife, which encompasses BOTH the polygamy issue and the divorce/remarriage issue, as well as wife abuse or neglect issues (dealing treacherously with her as per Malachi 2:13-14).  Indeed, the Biblical elder/overseer (bishop) "MUST be BLAMELESS," especially in his marriage relationship with his wife (considering that in both of the qualification passages of 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1, the responsibility of his marriage relationship follows immediately after the necessity to be "blameless").  As such, the qualification to be "the husband of one wife" (to be "a one woman/wife man/husband") would encompass ALL of the Biblical truth concerning a godly marriage relationship.  (Note: I would contend that viewing the phrase, "the husband of one wife," only as being contrary to divorce/remarriage is a narrowing of the Biblical intention for the qualification.)

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Well said bro. Markle, and something that most Baptists will not consider, given to them constantly listening to "commentators", as well as those with preconceived ideas. This is the epitome of biased teaching. Sadly, I have heard this taught in Baptist churches and no one thinks to even question it..

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2 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Actually, the primary definition and context is that he be a man/husband who is Biblically and relationally committed and devoted to only one woman/wife, which encompasses BOTH the polygamy issue and the divorce/remarriage issue, as well as wife abuse or neglect issues (dealing treacherously with her as per Malachi 2:13-14).  Indeed, the Biblical elder/overseer (bishop) "MUST be BLAMELESS," especially in his marriage relationship with his wife (considering that in both of the qualification passages of 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1, the responsibility of his marriage relationship follows immediately after the necessity to be "blameless").  As such, the qualification to be "the husband of one wife" (to be "a one woman/wife man/husband") would encompass ALL of the Biblical truth concerning a godly marriage relationship.  (Note: I would contend that viewing the phrase, "the husband of one wife," only as being contrary to divorce/remarriage is a narrowing of the Biblical intention for the qualification.)

Yup. I agree, the main statement is about polygamy and the rest requires further study. 👍🏻

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