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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.

Day 9 - The Eight Rocks Of Scripture


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Numbers In The Bible Series
09 - The Eight Rocks Of Scripture

Day Nine - The Eight Rocks Of Scripture

While I was on the phone with my dear friend, we were discussing the possibilities of doing a 30-day series on the verses containing the word "rock." As I searched out this possibility, the Lord impressed upon my heart to search for each time the word "rock" was capitalized - Rock. When the results surfaced, I began to weep tears of joy along with my dear friend. My eyes rested on seven verses containing the word Rock and the seventh verse had two occurrences, totaling eight! There is no greater feeling in the world than that of finding a nugget in God's Word that will blow your socks off! How perfectly the Eight Rocks of Scriptures fell into this series that Brother Jerry Bouey and I are doing. As I started digging into the eight occurrences, I saw that they all had a common denominator. Let's dig for these golden nuggets together.

(1) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4) This Rock's work is perfect. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (Hebrews 9:11) All this Rock's ways are judgment. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (Revelation 19:11) This Rock is truth and is without sin. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Just and right is this Rock. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. (Psalm 33:4) In summary, this Rock is the Word of God - Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1 Corinthians 13:10) This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(2) But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. (Deuteronomy 32:15) This verse references the Rock of salvation. Acts 4:10-12, Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (10) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (11) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (12) (Emphasis mine) In summary, this Rock represents salvation. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(3) Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. (Deuteronomy 32:18) This Rock is the one that formed us. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16) In summary, this Rock is the Creator. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(4) How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? (Deuteronomy 32:30) This Rock chastises those He loves. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:6) The born-again believer is now a son/daughter of God. This child now receives chastening so that we can be molded into the image of Christ. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12) In summary, this Rock chastens us. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(5) For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. (Deuteronomy 32:31) There is none other that is like this Rock. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Allah cannot qualify. Buddha cannot qualify. Joseph Smith cannot qualify. In summary, there is only one Rock. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(6) The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Samuel 23:3) This Rock is God. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7) This Rock speaks to His people. John 10:14-16, I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (14) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (15) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (16) In summary, this Rock is the God who speaks to His people, both the Jew and the Gentile. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(7) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4) The beautiful Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice for all men (the number for man is six) is the Rock of all Rocks. The spiritual Rock referenced here, Jesus Christ, is the seventh time the word "Rock" (capitalized) is mentioned. The seventh (perfect) appearance of the word Rock refers to the perfection of Jesus Christ. There is no other Rock from which we can receive salvation - this is our perfect spiritual drink. Only Christ can give the living water which we need - eternal life. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38) "That Rock was Christ" is the eighth appearance of the word Rock! Only the Rock of our salvation can give us a new beginning - only Jesus Christ can provide perfect and complete salvation for all mankind! None other!

Dear God...
The living waters flow from You
The Rock that is higher than I
You freely gave, my freedom paid
To the Perfect Rock I draw nigh.

Devotional by Kate Plourde

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