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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.

You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop...


HappyChristian
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  • Lady Administrators

Got this in my email. It's something....

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Condi Rice was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush.
She answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks.
A french admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "why is it that we always have speak English in these conferences rather than French?

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. 'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. Then you should know enough to have your passport ready. The American said, "the last time I was here, I didn't have to show it.
"Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'
You could have heard a pin drop.

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  • Advanced Member

As some of those anecdotes imply the French are cowards, I'd like to invite anyone who isn't interested in this kind of stereotyping to give a nod sometime to the 1.6 million French soldiers who died in the two world wars--all individuals who fought for their friends and families.

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  • Lady Administrators
As some of those anecdotes imply the French are cowards' date=' I'd like to invite anyone who isn't interested in this kind of stereotyping to give a nod sometime to the 1.6 million French soldiers who died in the two world wars--all individuals who fought for their friends and families.[/quote']


I don't think they imply cowardice on anyone's part!!! I think what they show is that many times people, including the French, forget what the Americans have done for them.

kind - we pay for the oil we get. We pay for it. We've received NOTHING free from any of these countries (save the Statue of Liberty, from the French), and we have cancelled many a debt as well as saved many a life. No, we aren't perfect. But we've done good things in this world, and that is what this thread was about.
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  • Advanced Member
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'


If the point of that last story was just that the Customs Officer was ignorant of the elderly man's sacrifice on his behalf, it could have finished with something like, 'I didn't show my passport last time because I was at Omaha Beach fighting for your freedom.' Instead it finished by making two points: the elderly man was at Omaha and the French were no-where to be seen.

I can't think of any reason for the story to state that the elderly gentleman didn't encounter any French on the battlefield other than to imply that the French are cowards. Perhaps I'm being uncharitable, though. Can you think of another reason?

As far as Rice's comment is concerned (if that conversation ever actually happened), I don't believe the US has fought many wars that weren't mostly motivated by self-interest--but the same goes for every other nation. IMO, acknowledging that doesn't take away from the good the US has done for lots of countries, regardless of the motivation, or from the sacrifices of individuals.
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  • Lady Administrators


Of course, all of these conversations could be apocryphal! But re: the story you're talking of - there were no Frenchman on the beach at Omaha when the Americans landed. I'm sure that's what he was referencing. Perhaps, if this conversation is accurate, it was more a reaction to the Frenchman's sarcasm. Many of the younger generation don't realize what the older generation has done for us - not just in America, but everywhere.
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  • Advanced Member

We'll have to agree to disagree on this. :smile The story isn't merely pointing out a historical fact, otherwise it could equally point out that the Turks weren't there, or the Icelandic. It's a story and the reference is designed to say something.

Anyway, I can heartily affirm your reasons for posting these stories, even though I think some of them say a bit more than what you intended! :clap:

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  • Lady Administrators
We'll have to agree to disagree on this. :smile The story isn't merely pointing out a historical fact, otherwise it could equally point out that the Turks weren't there, or the Icelandic. It's a story and the reference is designed to say something.

Anyway, I can heartily affirm your reasons for posting these stories, even though I think some of them say a bit more than what you intended! :clap:


Well, yeah, sorry if I offended with the idea that any of the stories were accusing the French of cowardice. I don't think it was, and I don't think any other nationality was included simply because he was talking to a Frenchman! But, I guess it's all in the way we read something!

Just so you know - my husband is of French heritage. The DePriest family here in America began from Robert Depress of France. He was a Huegenot who fled after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, landed in VA in 1689. So, I in no way intended for anyone to think I was dissing the French!!! :Green
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Nope! It's me who needs to apologise for not giving you the benefit of the doubt in the first place. :ooops

Thanks for the family history. I've no idea where my family are from. My great-grandparents all came from London but I haven't looked further back than that. Pretty sure they're not frogs though.....oops did I just say that?! :frog

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Well, after Napoleon the French haven't really amounted to much militarily. They couldn't handle the Mexicans in the mid-1800s. They lost and couldn't retake their caribean island to poorly armed slaves. In World War One there were high numbers of deserters and constant talk of giving up. Were it not for the British pressuring them to stay in the fight and the constant behind scenes messages that America would join them as soon as they could arrange things, the French would have given up and allowed the Germans to keep a sizable chunk of France. In Word War Two the French military, the largest and supposedly best army in Europe (some said in the world) were handily routed and half the country gave up and basically joined with Hitler. The Vichy French were among the most ardent of those who sought out Jews and turned them over to the Gestapo. For a certainty, without American help France would have remained under Nazi control.

With all that, the French have been very haughty and carried a rather holier-than-thou attitude towards America for the past several decades. Does anyone recall how the French were towards America during the Reagan years? Or even recently during the Bush years?

I don't personally have anything against France or the French of those of French background, but it is good to face the truth.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Nope! It's me who needs to apologise for not giving you the benefit of the doubt in the first place. :ooops

Thanks for the family history. I've no idea where my family are from. My great-grandparents all came from London but I haven't looked further back than that. Pretty sure they're not frogs though.....oops did I just say that?! :frog


An ancestor of my wife was a mayor of London. I can't recall the date off hand, but I do know it was well before America was even a colony.
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I don't personally have anything against France or the French of those of French background' date=' but it is good to face the truth.[/quote']

So the French weren't victorious in many of their later battles. That says nothing about the individuals who fought. The Somme was probably one of Britain's biggest military disasters, but we wouldn't say (I hope!) that the 300,000 or so (just UK) men who died there 'didn't amount to much'.

I'd certainly agree with the spirit of Happy Christian's posting, which was to point out that the sacrifice of those who fought in the wars is too often forgotten. And it's true that the US saved Europe, including Britain. That doesn't make the sacrifice of the Europeans, including the French, who fought alongside the US any less.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


I mainly posted that to check your feathers. :Green

Even so, it's yet true that overall the French military has performed rather dismally since Napoleon lost the cream of the French in his failed quest to dominate Europe.

Of course that doesn't nullify the great accomplishments and heoric efforts of some French soldiers. It could be noted that even though France gave up, and many French agreed to cooperate with the Nazis, there was yet a number of French who refused to take this course and formed a fomidible underground resistance network; brave and noble folks.

No doubt, England made blunders, but overall their performance showed metal and perseverance, which is more than can be said for the overall French performance. It might be noted that Chruchill's pet project, the attack against the Turks, was a complete fiasco, wasted the lives of many brave men (many Australians) and came close to sinking Churchills future, yet England moved beyond that and persisted to victory (as Churchill would himself do later).
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An ancestor of my wife was a mayor of London. I can't recall the date off hand, but I do know it was well before America was even a colony.

One of my great, great, etc. grandfathers was a duke in England, but I'm not sure where. My mom has the coat of arms somewhere since she's the firstborn of her family.
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  • Lady Administrators

One of my great, great, etc. grandfathers was a duke in England, but I'm not sure where. My mom has the coat of arms somewhere since she's the firstborn of her family.




Sir Francis Drake is in my family tree, on my maternal grandma's side. And my maternal grandpa's mom came over here from Wales when she was 15. I love to look into genealogy. I cannot believe some of the really neat stuff in my family tree!
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