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THE LORD'S SUPPER - CLOSE COMMUNION
I CORINTHIANS 10:16-21 AND 11:17-22
By Berlin Hisel
Introduction:

I. This Age Is Characterized By the Neglect of the "Local Church."
     A. Open Communion Is Another Way the Truth of the Local Church Is Neglected.
     B. The Proper Observance of the Lord's Supper Emphasizes the Importance of the "Local Church."
     C. Baptists Are Recipients of Much Abuse and Unjust Criticism Because of the Practice of "Close Communion."

II. "Close Communion" Is Not Out of Line of Good Thinking.
     A. Every Church Teaches "Close Communion" of Some Sort.
           1. Baptism Or Sprinkling Is Required By All Kinds of Churches Before the Right To the Lord's Supper Is Given.
           2. All Draw a Line Somewhere, So We Should Draw the Line In the Right Place,
     B. Baptists Expect Everyone That Partakes With Us To Submit To the Same Things We Do.
           1. Suppose a Coach Gave a Supper For His Basketball Players. I Heard of It and Went. They Would Say To Me, "You Can't Eat Here". Then I Would Cry, "Unfair - Bigots". They Would Tell Me, "You Go Try Out and If You Make the Team You Can Come Next Year". Would I Be Justified To Say They Didn't Love Me, Etc.? Of Course Not.
           2. Take Another Example: A Lodge Has Their Initiation Service, I Go To It and I Can't Get In. Why? I Must Submit To the Same Rules and Rituals They Do and Then I Can Participate. Are They Too Good For Me? No, For They Associate With Me In Other Things. Do I Have a Right To Call Them Narrow, Bigots, and Unkind Because of This? NO.
           3. These Things One Reasons As Just, But When It Comes To Religion, Men Don't Reason, They Just Cry, "Foul Play".

A SCRIPTURAL OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER

I. SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO A PROPER OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
     A. Note Some Scriptures That Show This To Be True.
           1. Acts 2:41-42 - "They" refers to the baptized of verse 41.
           2. Acts 20:7 - the distinguishing mark of "disciples" was baptism.
           3. The order is: "believe" - "baptism" - "communion."
     B. Baptist Baptism Is Different From All Other Baptisms.
           1. There must be a. proper condidate - saved person (Acts 2:47).
           2. There must be a proper mode - immersion.
                 a. Romans 6:1-4 (burial).
                 b. Matthew 3:6 - "In" Jordan, not "by" Jordan or "with" Jordan.
                 c. "In" water, not "with" or "by" water.
                 d. They handled the "person" and not the "water."
           3. There must be a proper administrator - church (Matthew 28:18-20).
     C. One Might Say There Is Really a "Close" Baptism. A scriptural observance of the Lord's Supper requires a scriptural observance of baptism.

II. SCRIPTURAL DISCIPLINE OF CHURCH MEMBERS IS ESSENTIAL TO A PROPER OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
     A. The Principle of Discipline Has To Be Considered.
           1. A church can only judge "those within" (I Corinthians 5:12).
           2. This would eliminate all other churches because one church cannot judge another church's members.
     B. Certain Laws Are Needed For the Benefit of the Church.
           1, I Corinthians 5:9-l2 - Both man and church needed the discipline.
           2. Matthew 18:17 - This shows excision also.
     C. Sin Destroys the Unity of the "One Body."
           1. Note the "leaven" of I Corinthians 5;6-8.
           2. Note the "one body" of I Corinthians 10:17.
           3. Note who the "body" is in I Corinthians 12:27.

III. THERE MUST BE SCRIPTURAL UNITY OF THE CHURCH IF THE LORD'S SUPPER IS PROPERLY OBSERVED.
     A. There Is No Unity If a Church Observes the Lord's Supper With the Heathen.
           1. The Lord's churches are forbidden to eat the "Lord's Supper" with the heathen (I Corinthians 10:16-22).
           2. Those who are heretics are also forbidden in this passage.
     B. There Is No Unity If We Observe the Lord's Supper With Sects In the Church.
           1. I Corinthians 11:17-20 emphasizes factions, sects, not error.
           2. I Corinthians 1:11-12 shows the kind of divisions.
     C. There Is No Unity If a Church Observes the Lord's Supper With Physical Divisions.
           1. I Corinthians 11:21-22 emphasizes that they didn't wait for one another.
           2. This would teach that a church can't take the Lord's Supper in someone's home unless the church meets there.

Conclusion: The Bible says (l Corinthians 11:2), "keep the ordinances, as I delivered them unto you." (Adapted from Carl E. Sadler).

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[From Berlin Hisel, Outlines in Systematic Theology, printed in 1981. These outlines were used in classes at Lexington Baptist College. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]