8. The ordinances stand by themselves and are not to be made appendages of other meetings or celebrations. They belong, not to associations or conventions, but to the local church.
9. The Lord?s Supper needs scrutiny of the communicant?s qualifications as much as Baptism and only the local church is the proper judge of these qualifications.
10. We may deny the Lord?s Supper to one whom we know to be a Christian, when he walks disorderly or disseminates false doctrine, just as we may deny Baptism to such a person.
11. Fencing the tables, or warning the unqualified not to partake of the Supper may, like instruction with regard to Baptism, best take place before the actual administration of the ordinance. The pastor is not a special policeman or detective to ferret out offenses. See Expositor?s Greek Testament on <461001>1 Corinthians 10:1-6.
B. The prerequisites are those only which are expressly or implicitly laid down by Christ and his apostles.
(a) The church, as possessing executive but not legislative power, is charged with the duty, not of framing rules for the administering and guarding of the ordinance, but of discovering and applying the rules given it in the New Testament. No church has a right to establish any terms of communion; it is responsible only for making known the terms established by Christ and his apostles.
(b) These terms, however, are to be ascertained not only from the injunctions but also from the precedents of the New Testament. Since the apostles were inspired, New Testament precedent is the ?common law? of the church.
English law consists mainly of precedent, that is, past decisions of the courts. Immemorial customs may be as binding as are the formal enactment of a legislature. It is New Testament precedent that makes obligatory the observance of the first day, instead of the seventh day, of the week. The common law of the church consists however, not of any and all customs, but only of the customs of the apostolic church interpreted in the light of its principles or the customs universally binding because sanctioned by inspired apostles. Has New Testament precedent the authority of a divine command? Only so far, we reply, as it is an adequate, complete and final expression of the divine life in Christ. This
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