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         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.

It is well, it is well with my soul…


E Morales
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The Hymnal that we sing that-says it is well with my soul, shouldn’t it be, it is well with my spirit. For when we were lost, we were body and soul, and now that we are saved, we are in the body soul and spirit. Just checking 

 

river relaxing GIF

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30 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

Man was created in the image of God,...body, SOUL, and spirit....All three are required for a person to be human. 

So my brother, when we receive the Holy Spirit after receiving Christ, as our personal Savior, we had the Spirit of life already?

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3 hours ago, E Morales said:

So my brother, when we receive the Holy Spirit after receiving Christ, as our personal Savior, we had the Spirit of life already?

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is something completely different....Where, may I ask, do you get your theological positions. Many of them seem quite off base scripturally. 

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31 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is something completely different....Where, may I ask, do you get your theological positions. Many of them seem quite off base scripturally. 

I’m just asking because I don’t have the answer, if I was asked.  It’s not my belief.

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10 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

It is well with my soul because now my soul may be tied to a clean spirit.  
😁 and it is destined for glory! My spirit is not the spirit I was born with, but born again with!  😜

Care to explain that theologically? When you were born, you were body, soul, and spirit...None of those died when you became a Christian, if you became a Christian. You received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the comforter/teacher/helper to guide you through your Christian life. 

Just now, E Morales said:

I’m just asking because I don’t have the answer, if I was asked.  It’s not my belief.

I would HOPE that you would be a bit more theologically sound if you're a member of a Baptist church. Glad to know it's NOT your belief. 

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24 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

Care to explain that theologically? When you were born, you were body, soul, and spirit...None of those died when you became a Christian, if you became a Christian. You received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the comforter/teacher/helper to guide you through your Christian life. 

I would HOPE that you would be a bit more theologically sound if you're a member of a Baptist church. Glad to know it's NOT your belief. 

Brother Tony, there’s many gospel music out there supposedly godly music, that are saying words that are not right. Singing things that are not correct, but they sound nice to the ears. Even Baptist

So I can say, it is well with my Soul or Spirit for this Hymn.

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I might be wrong - but reading 2 Kings 4 recently, I think the chorus is in part based on that chapter.

2 Kings 4:23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

2 Kings 4:27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.

The Shunammite's son died, and her soul was vexed - but according to Hebrews 11:35, she had faith that the man of God would be able to bring her son back to life. I think the hymnwriter was meditating in part on this chapter when he composed that hymn, but the hymn looks beyond the physical events of our lives, and trusts that the Lord is in control - and it is and will be well with the true believer's soul, regardless what happens in our life.

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

Care to explain that theologically? When you were born, you were body, soul, and spirit...None of those died when you became a Christian, if you became a Christian. You received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the comforter/teacher/helper to guide you through your Christian life. 

I would HOPE that you would be a bit more theologically sound if you're a member of a Baptist church. Glad to know it's NOT your belief. 

My spirit was dead before I was born again 

Edited by Hugh_Flower
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The writer of this hymn, Horatio Spafford, composed this out of a heart of sorrow for the loss if his child at sea and a heart of thankful assurance that his soul was destined for heaven, even in the midst of this great loss.

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8 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

My spirit was dead before I was born again 

According to the Bible, though physically alive, ALL of our being was dead in trespasses and sin. Our body is dead in the fact that we are dying a little more each day, which, if Adam had not fallen in the Garden, we would not be experiencing now. 

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9 hours ago, E Morales said:

Brother Tony, there’s many gospel music out there supposedly godly music, that are saying words that are not right. Singing things that are not correct, but they sound nice to the ears. Even Baptist

So I can say, it is well with my Soul or Spirit for this Hymn.

We, indeed, do have many hymns and songs sung in our churches that aren't theologically sound. But, there is a difference between a soul and a spirit. 

I have had many people us this graphic for the explanation of what a body, soul, and spirit are. I don't use it personally, but have posted it as a further example of the differences between the three parts of our being.

 

image.png

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8 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

According to the Bible, though physically alive, ALL of our being was dead in trespasses and sin. Our body is dead in the fact that we are dying a little more each day, which, if Adam had not fallen in the Garden, we would not be experiencing now. 

Yes 😇

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13 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

We, indeed, do have many hymns and songs sung in our churches that aren't theologically sound. But, there is a difference between a soul and a spirit. 

I have had many people us this graphic for the explanation of what a body, soul, and spirit are. I don't use it personally, but have posted it as a further example of the differences between the three parts of our being.

 

image.png

Looking at this here it does mention the breath of life and spirit together and it also mention that those that passed away are asleep today many believe is to be present with the lord after departure, those that are born again. Can you explain to me why some believe that we will be asleep and some believe that we will be immediately with the Lord, those that are saved. 
 

Thanks

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The Bible teaches that our bodies sleep in the dust - but those that teach our souls sleep are teaching false doctrine. When we die our spirits go to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, and one day at the rapture, our bodies and spirits will be reunited again (though then with a perfected, sinless body).

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:20-23 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

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1 hour ago, E Morales said:

Looking at this here it does mention the breath of life and spirit together and it also mention that those that passed away are asleep today many believe is to be present with the lord after departure, those that are born again. Can you explain to me why some believe that we will be asleep and some believe that we will be immediately with the Lord, those that are saved. 
 

Thanks

Soul sleep is a common misconception among those who don't practice sound doctrine concerning our presence with the Lord after death. Read 2 Cor 5:1-8   Soul sleep is a false doctrine. 

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