Elder J.W. Cunningham resumes the study of the Articles of Faith of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church and considers the 11th Article of Faith.  In this article is the stated belief in a close communion service where only baptized believers and members of a Primitive Baptist Church are allowed to take part in the communion service.  Listen along as Elder Cunningham considers passages from both Luke 22 and Exodus 12 to explain this belief.



The Case for Close/Closed Communion

From the Articles of Faith of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church “11.We believe that none but regularly baptized believers have a right to commune at the Lord’s table. – Luke 22:29-30, 1 Cor. 11:24-29”

I. The Intent
a. The Communion Service or the Lord’s Supper is believed by the Primitive Baptist to only be open to those that are members of the Primitive Baptist Church and in good standing.
b. This is exclusionary of two groups of people – 1. Those that have not come forward to seek membership in the church and thus given a public confession of their faith. 2. Those that have not lived a lifestyle that is appropriate to be members of the church.
c. While many are prone towards a sense of Closed Communion – in other words the Communion Service only being open to those members of the local body – scriptures don’t appear to support this approach. Rather, we must consider the larger body of the church in this matter.

II. The First Supper
a. Luke 22:19-20
b. Christ establishes the first supper without pomp and without circumstance but rather in simplicity of meaning and execution. Taking the bread and breaking and distributing. Likewise, taking the wine – pouring and drinking.
c. With the implementation of this service the old Passover (see Exodus 12) was removed and the “new Passover” being the Lord’s supper was put into place.

III. The intended Audience
a. Luke 22:28
b. The audience to which Christ was going to address his next comments was not a general audience but rather to “those that had continued with Christ” despite things not being always pleasant.
c. Today, this message is still intended to that same audience. Can we claim ourselves to be those which have continued with Christ despite the tribulations of this life? Can we say that we are of a mindset to be prepared to sit down and sup with the Lord because we have continued with him? (Note: Certainly this scripture intends a spiritual continuing, but for the disciples and to a degree this also intends a very literal and physical continuing as well.)

IV. The Final Message
a. Luke 22:29-30
b. Those that have continued with Christ have been appointed a Kingdom. This Kingdom can be considered the church for we have been given the church which is of Christ, but is also the Kingdom within the believer as Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
The Case for Close/Closed Communion
c. We only truly can be a part of that Kingdom though when we are submitting ourselves to God and following after his commandments. One of the central commandments being that we are to repent and be baptized.
d. The ultimate final message from our Lord being that when we follow his commandments and are a part of the Kingdom that he has given us, then in those times are we able to sit down with the Master and sup at his table. In the Communion service we have a physical manifestation of that supping that can happen spiritually at other times.


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