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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.

Biden supports abortion and takes communion


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Now, I know there are many Christians that voted for Biden for president, how do you feel about this, he is supporting abortion, or are you just gonna look the other way and say he still better than Trump. I am not supporting Trump at this moment, the question is about abortion. Trump is gone now. What do you think about Baptist that support abortion. I don’t know any personally, but I imagine there are some out there. Sad…

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I don't support Biden, and I wasn't a fan of Trump...I liked some of Trumps policies, but I wasn't a fan of his obnoxious style of interacting with the people...That being said...what did this have to do with Mr. Biden taking communion? I don't believe the Catholilcs are good examples of "Christianity" as most of their practices are idolatrous, ie, praying to statues and graven images on coins...praying to Mary, the alleged "perpetual Virgin" and the alleged "Queen of Heaven." Mr. Biden supports abortion (freedom of choice,) but doesn't support freedom of choice in these vaccines, though there is a 99+$ recovery rate...He's a hypocrite to the inth degree and should be removed from office. He's not a Christian in any sense of the word, and his actions prove it!

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30 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

I don't support Biden, and I wasn't a fan of Trump...I liked some of Trumps policies, but I wasn't a fan of his obnoxious style of interacting with the people...That being said...what did this have to do with Mr. Biden taking communion? I don't believe the Catholilcs are good examples of "Christianity" as most of their practices are idolatrous, ie, praying to statues and graven images on coins...praying to Mary, the alleged "perpetual Virgin" and the alleged "Queen of Heaven." Mr. Biden supports abortion (freedom of choice,) but doesn't support freedom of choice in these vaccines, though there is a 99+$ recovery rate...He's a hypocrite to the inth degree and should be removed from office. He's not a Christian in any sense of the word, and his actions prove it!

Brother Tony, talking about communion is there any sin that can keep a person from taking the Lord supper, as a person being Baptist.

We know a woman that had abortion in the past and that is saved now is forgiven for her sins

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20 minutes ago, E Morales said:

Brother Tony, talking about communion is there any sin that can keep a person from taking the Lord supper, as a person being Baptist.

We know a woman that had abortion in the past and that is saved now is forgiven for her sins

The church can't really stop a person from taking communion unless they are closed communion and enforce it so strictly that they're offensive about it. I've seen that happen in the Missionary Baptist churches. The Bible says that a person should examine themselves to see if they are worthy to take it...not someone else's evaluation. And yes, if a woman had an abortion before being saved, they are forgiven, and rightly so. Christ died for them just as much as anyone else. 

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Biden is Catholic, so he's not taking communion, he's taking Mass. Which is completely different and a blasphemy to God. 
If you want to talk about the Catholic organization being hypocritical in its refusal of abortion but acceptance of public figures who support it... well, that's nothing new.

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For the sake of this conversation, it is not the issue of your denomination or sinful background when it comes to taking the Lord's Supper, it is whether someone is truly saved or not. They are responsible to examine themselves to see whether they are walking in right fellowship with the Lord at that time. If not, they shouldn't take it.

As far as a particular church stopping someone from participating or not, that is up to the local church's policy. I believe in (I think it is called) Close Communion (only those of like faith can participate). If someone is knowingly unsaved or walking in gross sin (or under church discipline), they should be refused. The churches that I know that practice Close Communion often have the Lord's Supper separate from their other services (or after them), and state it is only for those who are part of that church (and visiting church workers of like faith, etc.). If a sound, saved family member or friend from elsewhere comes in for a visit (or someone who previously attended that church regularly in the past but has moved away) - that is known to the church - typically they are allowed to participate.

For the record, I am not trying to make new guidelines or enforce/debate them, just trying to express my understanding of this issue.

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3 hours ago, Salyan said:

Biden is Catholic, so he's not taking communion, he's taking Mass. Which is completely different and a blasphemy to God. 
If you want to talk about the Catholic organization being hypocritical in its refusal of abortion but acceptance of public figures who support it... well, that's nothing new.

Sister Salyan. I don't know what it was that Biden "took". But in the Roman Catholic Church, Mass and Communion are two different things.

Mass is the service that we would call the Sunday Service; while Communion is their idea of The Lord's Supper. Their Communion differs from ours in that, they consider it a "Sacrament"; this means that they consider that it has saving powers.

This is also the reason that a priest will administer Communion as a part of what they call The Last Rites, when a person is dying. They teach that this will assure that the dying person will arrive in Heaven as their final destination.

it is also a bit more complicated than that, but I don't want to write an essay on it here.  🙃

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I guess we can look at it as, Biden is supporting it, but not doing the crime. Like Christians that are supporting illegal activity, like smoking marijuana, the LGBTQ movement, or gambling but not doing it. Then saying, it’s a personal choice. That makes a person free of something.

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1 hour ago, E Morales said:

I guess we can look at it as, Biden is supporting it, but not doing the crime. Like Christians that are supporting illegal activity, like smoking marijuana, the LGBTQ movement, or gambling but not doing it. Then saying, it’s a personal choice. That makes a person free of something.

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Smoking marijuana isn't necessarily a crime these days. Many states have legalized not only the medical use, but the recreational use of it as well. Gambling isn't a crime, either. You need to be more clear about what you post as legal and illegal, Morales! Also, Biden is just as culpable in the actions of the abortionists by helping them gain more rights in how, what age they can slaughter children up to, etc., in abortion. 

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7 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Sister Salyan. I don't know what it was that Biden "took". But in the Roman Catholic Church, Mass and Communion are two different things.

Mass is the service that we would call the Sunday Service; while Communion is their idea of The Lord's Supper. Their Communion differs from ours in that, they consider it a "Sacrament"; this means that they consider that it has saving powers.

This is also the reason that a priest will administer Communion as a part of what they call The Last Rites, when a person is dying. They teach that this will assure that the dying person will arrive in Heaven as their final destination.

it is also a bit more complicated than that, but I don't want to write an essay on it here.  🙃

Fair enough that the mass includes a few things, but it isn’t just a Sunday service. It includes the ritual of supposedly resacrificing Christ (“the perpetual sacrifice of the mass”) and effecting transubstantiation in preparation for the service of the Eucharist, or Communion. I don’t think the two can be effectively separated. (And people need to be warned that masses are a blasphemy, and not just a Sunday service.)

I might be off topic from the general discussion. Just wanted to clarify that what the Catholics call communion is a very different thing from what we practice.  
 

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4 hours ago, Salyan said:

Fair enough that the mass includes a few things, but it isn’t just a Sunday service. It includes the ritual of supposedly resacrificing Christ (“the perpetual sacrifice of the mass”) and effecting transubstantiation in preparation for the service of the Eucharist, or Communion. I don’t think the two can be effectively separated. (And people need to be warned that masses are a blasphemy, and not just a Sunday service.)

I might be off topic from the general discussion. Just wanted to clarify that what the Catholics call communion is a very different thing from what we practice.  
 

Having been involved in the RCC for a while, and having several relatives that are RCC, the mass and communion are two separate things, though one is often in the other. At least this is what I have observed while in the RCC..of course, I don't know what they're doing now, nearly 40 years later, They've changed a lot of things.

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All Biden have to do is, go to a confession with the priest, say that he’s sorry, make a donation maybe light some candles, and he’ll be forgiven.  Sad

 

I was raised up Catholic, they did somewhat planted a seed, but that’s all. I remember as a kid there was a sister Carmela, I still remember her name today. She taught kids Bible stories, that is worth something to me.

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17 minutes ago, E Morales said:

All Biden have to do is, go to a confession with the priest, say that he’s sorry, make a donation maybe light some candles, and he’ll be forgiven.  Sad

 

I was raised up Catholic, they did somewhat planted a seed, but that’s all. I remember as a kid there was a sister Carmela, I still remember her name today. She taught kids Bible stories, that is worth something to me.

This shows the shallowness and unScriptural positions of the Catholic church and it's doctrines. Biden is not, in my estimation/opinion, a Christian in any way, shape or form.

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13 hours ago, Salyan said:

Fair enough that the mass includes a few things, but it isn’t just a Sunday service. It includes the ritual of supposedly resacrificing Christ (“the perpetual sacrifice of the mass”) and effecting transubstantiation in preparation for the service of the Eucharist, or Communion. I don’t think the two can be effectively separated. (And people need to be warned that masses are a blasphemy, and not just a Sunday service.)

I might be off topic from the general discussion. Just wanted to clarify that what the Catholics call communion is a very different thing from what we practice.  
 

I am sorry Salyan, I was not clear in what I said. I was only trying to explain to some that do not know about the Mass, as to just what it was. I was just trying to liken it to something they could understand. In their church the Mass is the center of the service, just as our preaching and teaching is the center of our service. Yes, they, as well as communion are vastly different and for different purposes.

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