Friday, August 31, 2007

Communion: opened or closed?

This is blog I am writing seems like a subject that is not on the highest priority of Bible believers today.
Yet, I think it should be at the heart of our ecclesiology. For whom is the commuion(representing the Bod of Christ meant?
I have a dear minister friend who has focused a lot of his time on this issue and leans towards closed/close commuinion. I have known many Baptist ministers and read authors of whom I respect who carry this position.
Yet, I have disagreements with their viewpoint.

Before I critique them I think it would be fair and first to lay out and defend their positions since it is unpopular for worldly Christians.

The thesis of close/closed communion
1. As born-again believers in Christ we are to followers his commands.

2. The first commandment we recieve from christ is to Baptized in the trinitarian name.

3. This command precedes our entering into the local church.

4. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was given to the church.

5. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper is not to be taken by unbelivers.

6. It is out of order for christians who have not been baptized thereby joining the church to partake in communion.

7. The Bible says to refuse communion with those in fornication and other sin.

8. The only biblical baptism is immersion. Therefore denominations who baptize differently are excluded from comunion.

let me answer these thesis'

1. true (John 13:15-17)
2. true (Matt. 3:15-17,John3:22-23,26, Mark16:15-16 Mat.28:19)
3. true(Acts 2:41)
4. yes and no. The Lord Jesus commanded the church to eat and drink.
Yet, the gospels nor the rest of the New Testament tells the church to distribute the elements. First of all Christ gave it to everyone. Christ even allowed Judas to partake whom he knew was not born-again Matt26:24
5. This is true(1Cor 11:27)
yet the book tells us that we should let people examine themselves and partake (1 Cor11:28-30)
closed communion advacates tend to argue as if we are defileing the communion. But God is concerned with the heart and not the food) We can not judge others only they cna judge themselves.

6. It is true that a believer ought to be baptized ideally before they partake in communion. yet it is not the churches job to distribute but the individuals job to properly partake.

7.Church discipline involves more than communion but all fellowship, until the person is brought unto godly repentance. so the communion is only a minscule example and they would not be present to be rejected.

8. This is true, but a conviction for the individual. They need to get themselves to a church that will baptize them biblically(immersion). (why because the word baptism just means immersion, sprinkling is a contrdiction in terms!)

It is also important for us to observe the communion the way the bible states. That our hearts are right as well as their doctrine on this issue.
But it is our own responsibility just like salvation.

I think a better strategy for a church is to have communion at believers services where we do not try to bring non-believers.

To all those who hold cor close communion I do really have respect for your position and simply ask that you consider this argumant.

We all need to know that which portrays the heart of the gospel.
In Christ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Deity 2 (of Christ)

this is continued from the next article.

So because of previous statements and reason's it is logical that God may in fact have the motivation to become a human being(incarnation)to meet with mankind. Those who are secular would have a hard time believing this because anti-supernatural bias.
However If God is Deity and all-powerful, nothing could stop him from doing this. Therefore if he has motive this is plausible.

Now the question is, is this what we see in the revelation of scripture?
After all God needs to give signs He would do this.

First we look at the Old Testament.
In Genesis 1:26 there is two pieces of evidence. First God states "let us make man man in Our image". This indicates that the Godhead/Elohim is plural in person. Secular scholars may argue this to be refferring to the angels. Yet the scripture is clear in verse 27 "God created man in his own image" Not the image of any other being like that of the angels.
Second this "likeness" gives more weight to the idea of God choosing man over the rest of Creation as well as God being most comfortable with the casing of human flesh.

In psalm 2 we see the messiah given authority over the earth. Why would God want glory to be given to Jesus?
Isn't that idolatry.
In matthew4:10 Jesus implies it is because he could not bow down to Satan. So why if he is not deity should we bow down to him?

In psalm 110:1
David sings of God and his lord. David being a king had no earthly authorities over him. How can their be on one lord as eph4:5 if David is serving both Adonai God and another Lord?

Finally in Isaiah 7:14 a virgin is to concieve the Messiah. who name is Emannuel meaning God with us.

Now Jehovah's Witnesses Claim that Jesus is only Godlike.
If so why is he worshipped, according to Jesus that would be idolatry.

The Mormon Church claimed the Jesus was one an offspring of God and that there were many gods. But the Bible claims only one God Deut 6:4,1Cor.8:6

The Muslims claim that Jesus was virgin born, but only a prophet.
But why was He only a prophet?, why was His name emmanuel(God withus) and Jesus(Jehovah saves)If God was not Jesus' Father who was? Everyone knows it wasn't Joseph.
How could such a miracle happen and why? Why did it not happen to anyone else.

We must look at a few of the miracles of Christ.
star of bethlehem
A sign seen by Asian astronomers

A virgin Birth
Showing Him to be unique to all humanity

water into wine
power over molecular structure

casting out a thousand demons
power over all supernatural beings

walking on water
power over the laws of nature
raising the dead
ability to give life to others
calming the storm
power over the forces of nature.

power over death

transcending time and space.

Jesus shows signs of deified power.

Jesus claimed to be deity
John 14:6-11
The Bible claims him deity
Phil 2:6 Colossians 1:17 Tim 3:16 Hebrews 1:8

NOw the final authority on this issue is the Word of God which in the beginning was with God and was God.(John1)

I don't know why I was led to write on this subject and usually take more time to develop these ideas. But it is my hope that maybe someone needed this information for such a time as this.
IN Christ,

Friday, August 24, 2007


I know that their are many people who may ask the question why is Christ God?

Some people get mixed up with this. By this we mean Jesus was a man as well.
We also mean that he was one of three persons of the godhead.

Yet Jesus was in fact God.
God needed to communicate to us personally.
The prophets and angels could only go so far. If we are to truly recognized God we must know him personally.

People don't take the word of a religious teacher or prophet seriously because there is question of fallibility or true authority. We are Christian because his name is above all names.

since we do not fullly follow God we need someone with the authority to mediate our relationship with God. Who would have more authority than God?

Why Christ?
1. He has effected the most people.
2. he has made miracles that were of God

I will continue this blog later

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

going home 4 church

As some of you may nottice I have had my profile changed from Rev. to Pastor.
The reason for this is more than liking the title Pastor more than Rev. I was recently elected Pastor of I house church which me and my wife are conducting. We chose to start very small so to focus on dicipleship and be prepared once we start evangelistic outreach. The experience was rather exhilarating. I never realized how much artificial legalism we place in modern/tradition American Church. We are so constrained by time and driven by programming that the idea of fellowship in the church has been crushed. One reason why I wanted the house church model is that our evangelism is many times strangled by other financial burdens. (Building utilities, rent, insurance, taxes employment etc.)
I think older members become trapped in the sin of caring about materialism more than the mission. But young people need to remember that this is also because they are lazy and hardly ever tithe!!
But if their is no burden of a building then the only thing we need to be concerned with is the gospel!!
It was a good time had by all we eveng got to go to a park for a while and eat my wife's turkey sandwhiches.
So now I am studying a book on house churches. It seems good in many ways but I think those of us who are in house churches need to remember that a church is an organized body.
Many strive for freedom so much they forget this. The book I am reading has the flaw of not being congregational.
But I will comment on this more later.
In CHrist,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The case for Biblical freedom

Satanic freedom is to choose what is right and wrong.
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
God’s Law must be followed instead of judged. This type of freedom made the way for evil. God had to cut mankind off from immortality, otherwise they would be fixed in damnation like the demons.
Mysticism) the view that God has annihilated the law in exchange for listening to the Holy Spirit. Mystical freedom is insufficient, since it views God’s Law as an error in need of correction and focuses away from the Word of God.

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

The New Covenant places the Law on our hearts

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
The Authority of God is in the Law and word of God
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior:
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Yet the law of God is meant to liberate us!

Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deu 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Jos 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Jos 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Joh 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
Joh 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
Joh 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Joh 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

The Law points us to Christ who will set us free
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The only thing which makes the law enslave us is the doctrines of man
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Col 2:16-23 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Legalism is when the Law is warped
Mat 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We are free from legalism
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Freedom from the penalty of sin
Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Freedom from the doctrines of sin
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Freedom from the authority of sin
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Freedom to worship God and grow in Him. (power of spirit)
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

We must contend to preserve our freedom in Christ
Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Therefore freedom is a blessing given to us by Christ. We must strive follow the word of God in order to preserve and experience this freedom. The more we succumb to legalism or lawlessness the more we will become slaves to sin.