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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.

Revelation 16:15?


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Can anyone help me to understand what this verse of scripture means?

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Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Here Jesus is coming for His own, per 1 Thessalonians 4:16, He will gather the church up with no one aware of what is going on. Its going to be quite a time on earth with family member trying to figure out where their loved ones have gone to.



Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Here Jesus comes with clouds and every eye shall see Him, of course He is coming with the church (clouds) to set on the throne of David,

This is the order, Jesus 1st comes for His Own, this is the rapture of the saints, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, later, after the 7 years of tribulations, He comes back with His own, "clouds" (church) to set down on the throne of David to rule the nations with a rod of iron.

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Thanks for responding Bro. Jerry! :goodpost:

Now I hope you can help me figure out what this particular part of that verse means

"Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments"

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

"Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments"

"keepeth his garments" --->>> keeps them spotted from the world --->>> i.e. maintaining a proper and Godly testimony to the world and being separated from worldly and sinful habits and practices.
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"Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments"

These people:

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1 Cor 3:11-15 (KJV)

Will they not be very blessed at this event spoken about in the above verses, that is they want lose rewards. Of course I understand that there be many those who think that this, "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" is speaking of those who are working real hard to be saved, but we know that is not true.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thank you Bro P.E. and Bro Jerry!

I found that verse in a Mennonite Tract to explain why they adhere to their plain dress. That was why I wanted to hear the IFB thought about this verse.

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Good answers PE and Jerry.

We are to continually be growing in Christlikeness and looking with anticipation for the soon return of Christ. If we are truly expecting Him any moment, we will want to be free from sin and its entanglements which means we will be pursuing holiness in our lives.

This is to serve as a warning to those who think they can just get saved and then pu their Christianity in cruise control.

Christ wants to find us walking in the Spirit, not in the flesh, when He returns.

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The garments would be, I assume, similar to the parable of the virgins with oil....we must always be ready for Christ's return...being found "naked" would be similar to being found in "shame"...or unprepared for Christ's return. I believe the garments are figurative.

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Thank you Bro P.E. and Bro Jerry!

I found that verse in a Mennonite Tract to explain why they adhere to their plain dress. That was why I wanted to hear the IFB thought about this verse.


I would not put down the Amish nor Mennonites dressing, there is no doubt they dress modest. And there is no doubt their live a life trying to avoid the appearance of evil.

But I don't feel that verse is actually referring to the way we dress, but you and I both know there be plenty of verses in the Bible that teaches modest dressing habits and to even avoid the appearance of evil.

To many Christians, and even many Baptist say the only thing that counts is what's in your heart, but if its in your heart, it will show up brilliantly on the outside. Many Christians must have it all hid on the inside.
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Bro. Jerry, according to a Mennonite Tract that I read, they do not believe in eternal security, and therefore all that they do is to keep themselves holy and free from sin, for if they do not then they fear losing their salvation. It is indeed a works based religion much like the RCC who believe that if they do not attend mass, light candles and be good catholics they will not go to Heaven either. They believe the rest of us are lost because of the sinful way we live, and indeed compared to the way they live we are quite worldly - maybe too much so.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Amish and the Mennonite people, I just worry that they are relying on their outward actions to save them and have no true knowledge of saving grace. I have been accused by members of this board about being "legalistic", but it is not so. I believe in eternal security, but I also believe that if I want to get close to the Lord and walk with Him, the only way to do that is to stop letting my flesh get in the way and to obey His commandments.

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Bro. Jerry, according to a Mennonite Tract that I read, they do not believe in eternal security, and therefore all that they do is to keep themselves holy and free from sin, for if they do not then they fear losing their salvation. It is indeed a works based religion much like the RCC who believe that if they do not attend mass, light candles and be good catholics they will not go to Heaven either. They believe the rest of us are lost because of the sinful way we live, and indeed compared to the way they live we are quite worldly - maybe too much so.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Amish and the Mennonite people, I just worry that they are relying on their outward actions to save them and have no true knowledge of saving grace. I have been accused by members of this board about being "legalistic", but it is not so. I believe in eternal security, but I also believe that if I want to get close to the Lord and walk with Him, the only way to do that is to stop letting my flesh get in the way and to obey His commandments.


The Amish are 100% works based. The Mennonites vary. My hubby's grandma attended a Mennonite church the last many years of her life, and that church didn't teach that you could lose your salvation. I think by and large they do, but not all of them.

Your last statement is so absolutely correct, Janet!! Jesus said that if we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. He then went on to talk about loving each other - but He said commandments, plural, so He wasn't just talking about love!!

edited to add: When I read the verse in Revelation, it put me in mind immediately of the verse in James 1:25-27

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
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I've heard many people say that.

I can testify to this fact, at a funeral service I attended where a pastor of a SBC Church and a pastor of our local Mennonite Church spoke, the SBC failed miserably, but the Mennonite laid out the true path to eternal life without adding works to it. But I understand that this Mennonite was not speaking for every group of Mennonites, but if what he preached is what they teach and believe this group of Mennonites do not trust in works.

And yes, I've read some articles on the Amish and they seem to trust in their own works and do not hold to eternal security.

I suppose and know there are those people who call their self Baptist who do not teach God's true path, just as their be both Amish and Mennonite groups, as well as others, who do not teach the true path.

I might add, their are some false teaching groups out there that do hold to many Bible truths, actually that is what makes them so dangerous.

But the comment I made about them was held to this.

<<"I would not put down the Amish nor Mennonites dressing, there is no doubt they dress modest. And there is no doubt their live a life trying to avoid the appearance of evil.">>

Their life style, the way they dress does avoid the appearance of evil, I can't say the same for all Baptist.

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