Sermon Outlines by Milburn Cockrell
Why Baptists Practice Closed Communion
Acts 2:41, 42; 1 Corinthians 11:2, 28
Baptists have been misunderstood, criticized and misrepresented more for this practice than for any other.It is,really, restricted observance of the Lord's Supper.
THE BAPTIST POSITION:
"We do not invite unbaptized persons to the Lord's table,and as we do not extend invitations to such persons,we do not accept invitations of unbaptized persons to partake with them"(George W.McDaniel).
I.AND YET, ALL THE MAJOR DENOMINATIONS TEACH IT!
1.Church of England:"No church ever gave the communion to any person before he was baptized;among all the absurdities ever held,none ever held this,that any person should take of the communion before he was baptized" (Dr.William Wall).
2.Presbyterian:"It is certain that so far as our knowledge of primitive antiquity goes,no unbaptized person received the Lord's Supper"(Dr.Doddridge).
3.Congregational:"I agree with the advoates of close communion...that we ought not to commune with those who have not been baptized,and of course are not members,even if we regard them as Christians"(Dr.Griffin).
4.Methodist:"It is but just to remark that in one principle the Baptist and Pedo-Baptist churches agree.They both agree in rejecting from the table of the Lord and in denying the rights of church fellowship to all who have not been baptized"(Dr.Hibbard).
5.Episcopalian:"None could be admitted to holy communion but baptized persons lying under no censure"(Prof. Chettham).
6.Campbellites:"Your third opinion is:Do any of your churches admit unbaptized persons to communion,a practice that is becoming very prevalent in this country?Not so far as is known to me ...But I object to making it a rule,in any case,to receive unimmersed persons to church ordinances"(Alexander Campbell).
II.MISREPRESENTATIONS OF OUR POSITION:
1."Baptist believe that they are the only people who are saved."Contra.Acts 10:34,35;John ,36;;Acts 16:31;Revalations 22:17.
2."Baptists are bigoted."Contra Romans 14:5b.
3."Baptists are narrow and divisive."Contra 1 Corinthians 11:2b;2 Corinthians ;1 John .
"It is submitted that Baptists are not responsible for existing divisions.Baptists have adhered to a uniform Scriptural practice.The people who deviate from the course of the New Testament are responsible for the divisions"(George W. McDaniel
Why Baptists Pratice Closed Communion
III.BECAUSE,ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE.IT IS RESTRICTED TO :
1.The saved --believers --Matthew 26:20;Acts ;no one else could.
2.The baptized (no New Testament record to the contrary).
A.A Scriptural subject --a born-again person --Matthew 28:19;Acts ;-38.
B.A Scriptural administrator --a New Testament church --Matthew 28:19 ;no man-made society originating later has any authority.
C.A Scriptural mode --immersion --Matthew 3:16;Mark 1:5;John 3:23;Acts 8:38,39;Romans 6:4;
Colossians 2:12;sprinkling and pouring are equivalent to no baptism at all!
D.A Scriptural design --to show that the person baptized has already been saved --Matthew 3:15;1 Peter 3:21.
3.Those in church capacity --Acts 2:41;1 Corinthians 11:18,20;it is a church ordinance; man-made substitutes for a church not even counted.
4.The sound in doctrine --Acts 2:42;1 Corinthians 11:18-20;(Makes inter-denominational communion impossible!);2 Thessalonians .
5.The fellowship of pure life and orderly walk --Acts 2:42;1 Corinthians 5:11.
"Close communion"is the only consistent,Scriptural position.
When we get to the Lord's table, what blessed communion with Him! 1 Corinthians 10:16.
Have you heeded the Gospel testimony dramatized by the Lord's supper? 1 Corinthians 11:26.