WORSHIP AND THE SUNDAY BIBLE CLASSES

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The religion of Jesus Christ must be taught to every person who would be a Christian. This religion is not inherited by a fleshly birth (John 1:11-12; 3:3-5), but it is obtained by faith in Christ Jesus (John 20:30-31). Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), the word must be taught. In giving the great commission, Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). A person then must enter the school of Christ to be instructed in the gospel in order to be a child of God. Jesus taught that, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45).

However, this instruction does not end with conversion, but extends throughout the Christian life. After the apostles baptized the disciples; Jesus instructed them to teach the disciples to observe all that he had commanded them (Matthew 28:20). The three thousand on the day of Pentecost who gladly received the word, and were baptized, did not stop their instruction in the knowledge of Christ: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We have access to the grace of God through the teaching of Christ and his apostles (Titus 2:11-12).

The Sunday school with classes for every age is one of the best ways the church can obey the great commission. The Sunday school contributes largely to the number of persons who are baptized each year. The teachers of each class should realize they have a weighty responsibility to edify the body of Christ. One of the purposes of the Sunday school then is to teach the gospel to those who attend the services, but are not yet members of the church. Those who are members need to attend the classes on Sunday in order to obtain knowledge of the Christian religion:

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

Unless each Christian advances in grace and knowledge there is reason to believe that person will be carnal minded and a detriment to the church (I Corinthians 3:1-3). Each congregation needs to equip and train more teachers and evangelists to preach the word. The Sunday school classes provide an excellent means to do this. Any Christian aspiring to be a teacher of the gospel will not be absent himself from the Bible classes conducted in the church. The teachers can train other teachers by committing the gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Many members of the church who should be teaching others need to be taught themselves, because they have become dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Each Christian is commanded to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible is “…given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is therefore the text book in every class in the Bible School.

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142
shelby@thefloyds.net

THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Our lesson today is one of a series from the book of James. You can prepare to learn more by reading this very practical book each week.

OUR FAITH MUST BE TESTED

In almost every area of life things must be tested before there can be any benefit to the human family. Medicine is one example where much testing must be done before it is made available to the public. These wonderful drugs are often tested for years to see if they will do what they were designed to do. Aerospace is another area where repeated testing is done to see if planes, rockets and missiles will do what they were designed to do by the engineers.

The same thing is true with computer products. Software companies test these products for months before they are marketed to businesses and the private sector of our economy. Even after much testing often the consumer will discover that the product has a “bug” that must be corrected.

Even nations are not exempt from testing. Our country was severely tested on Sept. 11, 2001 like it has not been tested for some time. This tragic event tested our people to see what we are made out of and to see if our country will do what it was designed to do—live in liberty and have justice for all.

In like manner God has chosen to test your faith and my faith. God does not test our faith for his benefit, but for our benefit to see if our faith is genuine. This testing is to see if our faith will do what it was designed to do. Scripture says, “Without faith we cannot please God” (Hebrews 11: 6). Faith is therefore the basis of our hope of eternal life and heaven. We may think that our faith is strong, but until it has been tested we do not really know for sure. We may say, “I will survive anything that comes my way.” But we do not know until we have come through the various trials that come our way. Continue reading “THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH”

WHAT IS MAN?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Have any of you ever had anybody come up and ask, “What are you?” I’ve never had anybody come up to me and ask that, but I have had people come up to me and ask, “Who are you?”

WHO IS MAN?

We’ll answer that question by maybe giving our name, our address or whether we’re a Hoosier, Kentuckian, or whatever. But I’ve never had anybody ask me, “What are you?” Yet, that is a question that is asked in the Bible. It is not “Who are you?” The question is “What are you?” There are a lot of different theories that degrade man and do not give man the proper rank, dignity and honor that God intended for man to have. For instance, some say that you are born a child of the devil. That’s the theory of total hereditary depravity. Some teach today even in our higher institutions of learning that man is born a child of a gorilla. That’s the theory of evolution. And some for fifty years or more, until just recently, had argued that we are born the child of the state. That’s communism. Any one of those theories would degrade man and not elevate him to his proper rank and dignity. Continue reading “WHAT IS MAN?”

THE POWER AND NATURE OF FAITH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

I do not know of any topic that is more important than the subject of faith.

Our text is found in Hebrews chapter 11 in verse one, where Paul said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This will serve as our basic text, but we will go in further pursuit of the importance, the nature and the power of faith. Continue reading “THE POWER AND NATURE OF FAITH”

THE PREACHING OF REPENTANCE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord“(Acts 3:19). This statement was made by the apostle Peter in a sermon delivered before the Jews in Solomon’s porch, a part of the temple of God at Jerusalem. This passage emphasizes the prominent place that repentance held in the preaching of the apostles. The preaching of repentance was also a prominent topic in the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2); of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:17; 11:20-22); of the twelve who were sent out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mark 6:12); and likewise to the seventy who were sent out to preach to the people (Luke 10:1-16).

THE FIRST AND LAST WORDS OF CHRIST WAS THE PREACHING OF REPENTANCE

The first words of Jesus when he began his earthly ministry were words pleading for the people to repent of their sins: “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The last words of Christ before he ascended back into heaven were,

“Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47). Thus the first and last words of Christ were the preaching of repentance.

THE PREACHING OF REPENTANCE WAS IMPORTANT TO THE APOSTLES

When the apostles were sent out under the second or the great commission of Jesus Christ, they preached repentance. On the day of Pentecost, when the great crowd of people asked Peter what they should do, he recognized that they already believed the word that he had preached; and therefore, his answer was, “repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). When Paul stood before the great high court of Athens, near the end of his sermon, he said, “and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Therefore from this summary one can see that repentance held a very important place in the preaching of the apostles, and those who went before them.

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

Repentance then is necessary for the remission of sins, and eternal life. But what is repentance? Many people have a very obscure idea of what they are to do when they are commanded to repent. With many people repentance is a sorrow for sin. Matthew says that, “when Judas saw that he was condemned, he repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:3-4). Judas was sorry that he was condemned, but he was not sorry that he had betrayed Christ. He was not sorry to the point that he would change his life; for he went out and hanged himself, which indicated that his sorrow was of this world, and not a godly sorrow that leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Godly sorrow then, precedes repentance, and is that which works repentance; therefore, it should not be confounded with repentance itself. Neither is repentance to be confounded with a change of life or reformation of life.

JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESUS PREACHED REPENTANCE

John the Baptist told those who came out to his baptism, to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:7-8). The fruits of repentance refer to a change of life, and therefore, it is something that follows repentance. Therefore, repentance is something that is distinct from godly sorrow, and from a change of life. But what is it? On one occasion Jesus said, “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41). The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah: but Christ was greater than Jonah, and yet, the people to whom he spoke refused to repent of their sins. But what did the people do in repenting at the preaching of Jonah? When Jonah finally decided to go into that great city of Nineveh, a population of a hundred and twenty thousand who did not know their left hand from their right hand; he preached unto the people saying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The people believed what Jonah preached to them and from the King on down to the lowliest person in the kingdom, they humbled themselves in sackcloth and ashes. “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not” (Jonah 3:10). The repentance of the Ninevehites then, consisted in their turning from their evil way, which began in a change of will, and issued forth in a change of life.

HAVE A CHANGE OF MIND BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

In the Old Testament we read of Jacob and Esau. Esau was the first born which meant that he had right to the larger portion of his father’s inheritance. On one occasion Esau returned from hunting, and was very tired and hungry. Jacob offered him pottage to eat on the condition that he would sell his birthright, which he did. When he later realized what he had done; he could find no place for a change of mind. “For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:16-17).

Therefore, repentance is simply a change of mind, produced by godly sorrow, and leading to a change of life. God is not willing that any person should perish, but he gives all men the privilege to come to repentance. Life is the boundary line of repentance.*

Copyright © 2018 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

*The Informer, October 25, 1972, by Shelby G Floyd.

Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In the New Testament Christ is pictured as a Living Stone in God’s spiritual building:

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious…Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “ Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:4, 6).

Continue reading “THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE”

THE BIG “IF”

By

Shelby G. Floyd

After exhorting his readers to add to their faith—goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love—Peter urges them to put all of this into action. Unless one is active nothing happens:

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).

Continue reading “THE BIG “IF””