OBEDIENT CHILDREN

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In Ephesians chapter five, Paul discussed the responsibilities of marriage. Therefore, it was quite logical for him in the next chapter to discuss the mutual responsibility and obligation of children to their parents, and parents to their children:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV).

Children are a priceless possession; they are a heritage given to us by the Lord and when properly trained they are as arrows in the hands of mighty men: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth” (Psalms 127: 3-4).

Parents have the responsibility of teaching the word of God in the home to the children. This grave responsibility was stated in the Law of Moses in the long ago:

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6: 6-9).

Paul commands the children to whom he wrote to honor their father and mother. To honor the father and mother means to revere, respect and venerate them. When the rich young ruler asked Christ what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, he told him to keep the commandments, among which was “honor your father and mother” (Matthew 19: 19).

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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


OVERWHELMING PRIDE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Proud as a Peacock!

Both the Old and New Testament warn against excessive pride and arrogance. Someone said that,

“Pride may be considered as the parent of discontent, ingratitude, covetousness, poverty, presumption, passion, extravagance, bigotry, war and persecution. In fact, there is hardly an evil perpetrated but pride is connected with it in a proximate or remote sense.”

The wise man Solomon pointed out long ago that pride leads the way to destruction:

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
(Proverbs 16:18-19 NKJV)

Pride Keeps Bad Company

Pride keeps bad company, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blas¬phemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7: 21-23.)

Pride Loves to Boast

Pride has a tendency to cause the person that is filled with it to boast of his accomplishments, and to commend himself to his fellow man. Paul said, “For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10: 18). And Solomon said, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27: 2). The person that is filled with pride usually seeks to justify himself.

What is the Good Life?

The prophet Micah described the kind of life that is approved of God when be said,

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6: 8)

May each one of us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time!

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

shelby@thefloyds.net

WHEN JESUS WAS BAPTIZED

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The subject of baptism is very important. It is mentioned about 100 times in the New Testament. Many in the religious world teach that faith alone will save one from their past sins. But we believe based on the plain teaching of the New Testament, that baptism is requisite for the forgiveness of sin. I believe that we shall establish and confirm that proposition.

THE BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

When our Lord Jesus Christ was about 30 years old and ready to begin his public ministry, John the Baptist, his first cousin, appeared in the wilderness of Judea and preached a powerful message of repentance. His message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah” (Matthew 3:2-3). As you may know, Isaiah the prophet delivered his message to the children of Israel, about 700 years before Christ. Of all the prophets, Isaiah prophesied about the Lord Jesus Christ more than any. And now, John the Baptist quotes this particular verse from Isaiah 40:3,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”

John the Baptist was certainly the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He preached in the power and spirit of Elijah the prophet! God’s people in the time of Christ were not living the right kind of life. They were just like the people in the days of Isaiah and Elijah! And because the people back then did not listen to Isaiah and Jeremiah and other prophets, their city of Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple was destroyed and they were taken to Babylon in bondage for 70 years. John the Baptist therefore is now preparing the people for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

John was not like the religious leaders of his day and time. He did not act like them and he did not look like them. He looked more like a country preacher. “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist and his food was locus and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4). John was a very popular preacher with many of the people who wanted to live the right kind of life. The Bible says, “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5-6). These people were not perfect people, but when they heard the message, they repented of the sins that were committing and confessed them to Almighty God. And then they were baptized. This is the first time that the subject of baptism is mentioned in the English Bible. It is found about 100 times in the New Testament. The Bible teaches that John the Baptist was baptizing “for the remission of sin” (Mark 1:4). The baptism of Jesus was the only exception. Jesus was baptized, but not for the remission of sin. He had no sins to be remitted. Later we will point out the reason why Jesus was baptized.

Out in the wilderness where John was baptizing there was also a different group of people that came out to hear him. They were well known and were called the Pharisees and Sadducees. When they came to John, his message was very strong:

“Brood of vipers! Who warned you from the wrath to come?” Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:7-9).

As we said previously, John was preaching a message of repentance, and repentance follows faith and precedes water baptism for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, John is telling the Pharisees and Sadducees that they need to bear some fruit of repentance before they are baptized. In other words, they need to change their lifestyle as proof that they have really repented of their sin. John was preaching a message of repentance and it would lead to a life of repentance.

It is at this point that John gave his audience a warning, that if sinners do not repent and change their life, there is coming a Judgment Day of both rewards and punishment. John declared to his audience that God would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire:

“His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable {Greek asbestos} fire” (Matthew 3:12).

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

When Jesus was about 30 years old, he closed up his carpenter shop at Nazareth and traveled about 60-75 miles to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist. John tried to prevent Jesus from being baptized. “He said to him, I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me” (Matthew 3:14). But Jesus replied, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (John 3:15). John did not argue with Jesus, but he went ahead and baptized him:

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV).
From this text, we can draw several conclusions that are very plain. Some religious teachers say that the action of baptism can be by sprinkling, or pouring water on the person. Others teach that scriptural baptism is by immersing the person in water. Their argument for sprinkling is that it is for the sake of convenience. But convenience did not seem to be the case for Jesus. He traveled about 60 to 75 miles to be baptized. The Bible plainly says when he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water. That could only describe immersion, which in fact is the plain meaning of the word baptism.

In the next place, when Jesus was baptized, God gave him the Holy Spirit. And today when we are baptized into Christ, we are promised, “the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39). Furthermore, when Jesus was baptized, God acknowledged Him as “My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

WHY WAS JESUS BAPTIZED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST?

But someone will ask, “Why was Jesus baptized by John, since Jesus had no sins to be forgiven?” We know that John was baptizing for the remission of sins as is clearly stated in Mark 1:4. Therefore, there must be other reasons why Jesus came to John and submitted to baptism. What are the reasons?

1. The first reason is that baptism was an essential part of God’s will. Jesus came to do his Father’s will. John the Baptist was preaching baptism because it was God’s will for him to do so. Jesus thought very highly of John the Baptist: “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28). The Scriptures reveal to us that many people, including the tax collectors came to John gladly, repented of their sins and were baptized (Luke 7:29). But there was another class of people that rejected the will of God for themselves, and were not baptized by John. They were the Pharisees and the lawyers (Luke 7:30). Therefore, unlike those that rejected the will of God, Jesus came to do the will of God and therefore was baptized by John.

2. Another reason why Jesus came to John and submitted to baptism was when He came up out of the water, this was the step that brought the reception of the Holy Spirit and the approval of his heavenly Father who said, “This is my beloved son, I am well pleased.”

3. And the third reason why Jesus was baptized was because this was the act by which Christ was publicly presented to the people of Israel as their Savior. On one occasion the people asked John the Baptist why he was baptizing if he was not the Christ nor Elijah, nor the prophet? John’s reply was very simple: “I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is he who, coming after me, is preferred before me, the sandal strap. I am not worthy to lose” (John 1:26-27).

The next day, John presented Jesus as the Savior of the people of Israel: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34 NKJV).

4. The final reason why Jesus was baptized is from what he said in answer to that question himself. Jesus said to John, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15 NKJV). And this is the same thing King David said is his day: “My tongue shall speak of your word, for all your commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119: 172). Jesus wanted to fulfill all of God’s righteousness.

IS BAPTISM BY SPRINKLING OR IMMERSION?

Some religious teachers have made the ridiculous claim that baptism is by sprinkling. This is absurd because the Greek word for baptism means, “dip, plunge and immerse.” Baptism by immersion is borne out in every passage where it is used. The writer of the book of Hebrews mentions to his readers that their hearts had been sprinkled and their bodies were washed with pure water: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). This is definitely a reference to their bodies being washed with the pure water of baptism and for the forgiveness of sins.

We have an example of the meaning of baptism from the Old Testament book of Leviticus. In the Greek translation of the Hebrew, there are three different Greek words used for three different kinds of action:

15 And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. 16 Then the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD. (Leviticus 14:15-16).

Pour=keo
Dip=baptidzo
Sprinkle=rantidzo

The first mention in history of sprinkling for baptism was in 251 A.D. A man by the name of Novation was baptized by pouring water over him because he was sick. They called this clinical baptism. But he was never allowed to be an officer in the church. This indicates that his baptism was somewhat skeptical.

It was not until 1311 A.D. that the apostate church at the Council of Ravenna, made sprinkling for baptism the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. This was not the doctrine of the apostles of Jesus Christ, nor of Christ himself. For the practice in the New Testament was baptism by immersion for the forgiveness of sins. There are still large outside baptisteries in Europe that demonstrate the even the Roman church practiced immersion until 1311!

Sometimes in the New Testament, the word baptism is used figuratively of being overwhelmed in suffering or in the power of the Holy Spirit. For instance, the apostles on the day of Pentecost received the promise that Christ had made them when he said that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. No one was ever promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit except the apostles (See Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-4). And the word baptism, in this case means to be overwhelmed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

LESSONS SUGGESTED BY CHRIST’S BAPTISM

When Jesus was about 30 years old. He traveled about 75 miles to be baptized by John the Baptist. This was not very convenient. Therefore, the argument for sprinkling or pouring water on someone for baptism on the basis of convenience is false. The Bible says, “It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan” (Mark 1:9). Notice that Jesus went to the water instead of having the water brought to him. This is what happens when a person is immersed, but does not happen when a person has water sprinkled or poured on them. And we also take note that Jesus went to “much water,” not to a glass, or a pitcher of water, but to the Jordan River (John 3:23). Bible baptism requires “much water,” but sprinkling does not!

RACOON JOHN SMITH

racoon john smith

The story is told of one of our pioneer preachers, Raccoon John Smith, who went to a baptizing where some water was to be sprinkled or poured on the candidate. He slipped up to where the glass of water was, poured out some of the water and drank the rest of it. When the preacher noticed his glass was empty, Raccoon John Smith jumped up and said, “Pardon me for drinking your Jordan dry.”

The little cabin of that pioneer preacher is located in Monticello, Kentucky, the hometown of my mom. We are grateful to those pioneer preachers who preached the truth of the gospel and sacrificed so much to serve Almighty God.

Another thing that stands out is the fact that Jesus went down into the water, for the Bible says he came up out of the water. Anybody with average intelligence can see that is the case, and this is a description of baptism by immersion. And the Bible teaches this so plainly that is hard to understand how anyone could misunderstand the plain teaching of the Bible on water baptism for the forgiveness of sin. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote,
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we are, therefore, we were buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-5).

BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST JESUS

From Romans 6:3-5 we notice that when we are baptized, we enter “into Christ.” Prepositions are very important because they reveal different kinds of movement. They are indispensable when we consider the gospel plan of salvation. For instance different prepositions convey different kinds of movement toward the object, which in this case is salvation. Therefore, let us notice UNTO, INTO, and IN, and how they differ in relation to forgiveness of sin and let me say plainly that:

1. FAITH IS UNTO SALVATION:

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV).

2. REPENTANCE IS UNTO SALVATION:

18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life (Acts 11:18 KJV).

3. CONFESSION IS UNTO SALVATION:

10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10 NKJV).

4. BAPTISM IS INTO CHRIST AND SALVATION:

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:26-27 NKJV).

5. AFTER BAPTISM WE ARE IN CHRIST AND SALVATION:

10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10 NKJV).

And another passage basically says the same thing. When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Colossae. He reminded them that they had been baptized into Christ and into his spiritual body: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised him up from the dead” (Colossians 2:12). Water baptism is the operation of God. Just as when Jesus died, was buried, and then was raised from the dead by the operation of God, so it is with baptism. We die to sin or separate ourselves from sin, and in baptism we bury the old life of the sinner. And by faith in the operation of God we are raised to walk a new life.

After Christ was baptized, God the Father confessed Jesus Christ as the Son in whom he was well pleased. There is no record in the Bible that God ever acknowledged anyone as his child until after they were baptized into Christ. And now we give you a passage of Scripture that bears out what we have just said. To the Galatians, the apostle Paul declared,

“But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For (gar-Greek) you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For (gar-Greek) as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for (gar-Greek) you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:25-28).

The word for-gar in the original language assigns a reason for what the writer has just said in the previous sentence. Therefore, the teaching goes something like this: But after faith has come, why are we no longer under a tutor? We are no longer under a tutor? Because we are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. But why are we all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ? The reason is because we were baptized into Christ and have put on Christ. Therefore, baptism puts us into Christ and when we are baptized into Christ, we are in Christ.

EXHORTATION

The first thing Jesus did after he was baptized was to immediately lift up his heart in prayer. If you have not been baptized into Christ and into His spiritual body—the church, why not make that decision today. Be buried with your Lord in baptism and arise to walk a new life. Then lift up your voice in prayer and thank the Almighty for loving you by giving His Beloved Son to die on the cross of Calvary! *
* Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd delivered the essence of this sermon May 30, 2021, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

THE ROOSTER CROWED

By

Shelby G. Floyd

See the source image

Jesus taught that if we confess him before men he will confess us before the Father. He also said that if we deny him before men he will deny us before the Father:

Matthew 10:32-33
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

The apostle Peter who was very self-confident and always the first to take the lead, once emphatically said that he would never deny the Lord:

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:31-34.)

Peter thought he was stronger than he really was. He was “cocksure” of his loyalty to the Lord. Little did he know that in a few short hours he would deny that he ever knew the Lord (Luke 22:54-62).

Neglecting the Great Salvation

Some of God’s people today deny the Lord by their actions. When we fail to obey the Lord, our denial is
just as bad as if we were denying Christ in the flesh. Neglect of our great salvation is very serious:

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Hebrews 2:1-3).

Some Christians will fail to commune with Christ on the Lord’s Day and will absent themselves from the congregation for almost any reason. The Bible declares that we are to provoke one another to love and good works and not to forsake the assembling of our selves together as some are in the habit of doing (Cf. Hebrews 10:23-25).

Which would be worse, to deny Christ while he was in the flesh, or to fail to remember his death, burial and resurrection at the Lord’s Table on the first day of the week? In so doing one would be crucifying Christ afresh and putting him to open shame (Hebrews 6:6)!

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

THE DIVINE NATURE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

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The Bible teaches that there is just one God, but this one Godhead involves three distinct persons—identified as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29).

Christ Is the Bodily Fullness of the Godhead

Paul declares that in Christ “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). That is why Jesus said to Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus Christ existed eternally as “the Word,” but was historically made flesh and lived among the human family (John 1:1-4; 1:14).

In several scriptures the first person of the Godhead is even called “God the Father” (Romans 15:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:2-3). Great is this mystery of godliness that has been revealed unto us (Colossians 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16).

One God—Three Persons

All three persons are mentioned together in such a way as to indicate that they share the same nature—deity (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6). After the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a dove; the Father was in heaven and endorsed his Son as being well pleasing. This is a clear illustration of the three distinct persons who shared the divine nature.

There are several independent lines of proof that Jesus was the divine Son of God. (1) John the Baptist gave testimony to this fact (John 1:32-34; 5:32-35). (2) The works of benevolence that Jesus did testify to his deity (John 5:36; Matthew 11:4-6). (3) The miracles of Jesus prove who he claimed to be. (John 20:30-31; 1 John 5:7-8). We serve an awesome God!

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

Communion–Sunday Worship

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good to see all of you today. A lot of you have come out to honor your mothers after our worship today and that is wonderful. We have a lot of great mothers in this congregation and you know Almighty God chose a young Jewish maiden to bring his only begotten, and beloved Son into this world. So God honors mothers and we do also!

Last night I called Jim and left a message for him. I asked do you have an upbeat song service for tomorrow? This morning I asked again. Do you have an upbeat song service, and he said, well, I am going to sing everything slow! But Jim did a great job and let me tell you the song leader has a lot to do with the with how the preaching goes over, because it can put you in an uplifting mood and we appreciate our song leaders.

The New Testament clearly outlines the essentials of worship. There is no doubt about that. These are communion, the contribution, prayer, preaching and singing. It really is that simple. In matters of judgment or incidentals, the New Testament does not have a whole lot to say. That indicates that God specifies what he wants us to do in worship and then to some extent He leaves it up to us as how we expedite it or carry it out. Therefore we are not to unloose what God has commanded and we are not to command what he has unloosed. So this is the third sermon that I have prepared to present on Acts 2:42, which is a statement that Luke records immediately after the church was established and after 3000 people were baptized into Jesus Christ. Acts 2:42 says they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine or teaching, fellowship or the contribution, the breaking of bread—that is the communion, and prayer. So the first sermon was on prayer. The early church was a praying church. They started out that way, and the early church listened and abided by the apostles teaching or doctrine, and the early church took up a weekly contribution and the early church broke bread every Sunday, every first day of the week. And I plan to establish that proposition this morning.

JESUS ESTABLISHED HIS OWN MEMORIAL BEFORE HIS DEATH
Now Clay read that wonderful scripture from Matthew 26:26 through 30 where Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper. But where and when did he do that? It was the Last Supper, and it is not called the Last Supper for no reason at all. The Last Supper was the last Jewish supper that would ever be observed scripturally by God’s people. It had served its purpose. Every time they took the Last Supper, they were reminded of their bondage down in Egypt and how Moses was sent down there to bring them out of that bondage and lead them to the promised land. So Jesus took some elements of the Last Supper and He instituted or inaugurated the Lord’s Supper. And so in the Bible it is called the Lord’s Supper and the Bible even uses the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Table! This is because we usually have a supper on the table! The Lord’s Supper as also called the breaking of bread or communion. Those are the words that the Bible uses to express the Lord’s Supper. Now the people in the world sometimes refer to the Lord’s Supper as the Sacrament or the Eucharist, but we believe it is better to express Bible subjects by Bible language. It is a lot more accurate if we describe Bible things with Bible terms. Therefore, Jesus established the Lord’s Supper at the Last Supper. And the Jerusalem church began by observing the Lord’s Supper steadfastly every first day of the week. They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine. That is the apostles teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer.

Now it does not mention singing because the New Testament was progressively revealed to us. It was not revealed all in one day. It took about 60 years and the New Testament was not completed until about 95 A.D. And then the bible was closed and Jude said the faith was once delivered (Jude 3), and that means it never needs to be repeated. We are not going to have any new revelations since the end of the first century! From the beginning, the Lord’s supper was observed on the first day of the week.

Now Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon. I pointed out to you the last time I spoke, that Jesus in his conversation with the woman at the well said the time is coming when neither in this mountain nor at Jerusalem shall men worship the Father. He added that our God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. So the place in Jerusalem was not the only place that people could worship. We can worship anywhere in spirit and truth!

And we have an example with Buzz Aldrin taking communion on the moon on Sunday, July 20, 1969. I really am thankful that we had a man like Buzz Aldrin, who had the courage and the faith to do that, because one year earlier on Christmas Day 1968 when we first landed on the moon, several astronauts read Genesis 1:1 through 10 out of the King James Bible and there has never been a more beautiful reading of the book of Genesis. But they got a lot of grief from Madeleine O’Hara. You can see the video of Aldrin taking communion on the moon by searching on YouTube.

A SUMMARY OF PAUL’S TRAVELS LEADING TO TROAS
Now I want to talk to you about some of the travels that the apostle Paul made as he traveled around on his evangelistic journeys. He was always encouraging the disciples and the congregations with the word of God. God’s word is a great comfort in any thing that is going on in your life. You will find encouragement and the word encouragement means it gives you courage to go forward and live your life and to deal with problems and whatever is going on.

Paul did not have automobiles or jet airplanes and he did not have a phone that he could call ahead and talk to people to find out how they were doing. But he traveled all over the world, establishing churches, and setting them up in the worship on the first day of the week. Then he would leave them and they would carry on, because they been taught what the Bible teaches in regards of worship.
In Acts 20:2 we find that Paul and those travelling with him, when they had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece. According to Romans 15:4 Paul wrote the church at Rome “that whatever things that were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” So he was always encouraging people personally with the word of God. Life is made up of our relationships with each other and we have a lot of wonderful relationships. Heartland you can see the map on the screen and that map shows how Paul was traveling around. He probably rode on a donkey and walked a lot. It is amazing what that man accomplished without all the modern means that we have of travel and communication. And the Bible declares to us in Acts 20:2-3, that when they had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece and he stayed there three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Now please notice the young men who are traveling with him:

And Sopater of Berea accompanied him to Asia—also Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. These men, going ahead, waited for us at Troas. But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days (Acts 20:4-6 NKJV).

These men going ahead waited for us at Troas. Did you notice there the change in the pronoun to the plural us and we? That indicates that the man who wrote the book of Acts is traveling with them. Who wrote the book of acts? Luke, the same person who wrote the gospel according to Luke, is the man that wrote the book of Acts, and he is traveling with these seven other men. And Paul says, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and in five days we joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. (Acts 20:6). Now they stayed seven days and that is very important.

A WINDOW INTO THE WORSHIP AT TROAS ON SUNDAY
I want us now to look through a window. This window is beautiful because it allows us to openly look into an actual worship service of a New Testament congregation. Have you ever thought about that we can just open a window and see what was going on in that congregation? Therefore we can actually have a perception of what was going on in an actual New Testament worship service!

Let us now look through the open window to the Troas worship service: “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7 NKJV).

Now notice what the Bible says in Acts 20 and verse seven. What day did they come together to break bread? The text says, “…now on the first day of the week.” What day of the week was the first day of the week? Sunday! Yes! We learned that in our previous lesson, that the church began on the Day of Pentecost which was the first day of the week (Acts 2:1-4). Our Sunday is the first day of the week. That is when the disciples came together to break bread. Therefore they came together to take the Lord’s Supper established by Jesus before his betrayal, death, and resurrection (Matthew 26:26-30). The seven men who were travelling with Paul went ahead to Troas and waited for Paul and Luke to arrive (Acts 20:4-5). Later when Paul and Luke joined them at Troas, they “stayed seven days” (Acts 20:6). And some people have tried to say that this breaking bread here was a common meal. I do not think Paul waited 7 days to eat nourishment! This was a special kind of breaking bread and so they waited 7 days. Why did they wait seven days? Evidently, they got there too late on the Lord’s day. The church had already met for worship to take the Lord’s supper, and then they all went home just like we do. Therefore, they had to wait seven days until the first day of the week came again and the congregation would gather together. So this is another proof that indicates that the church was in the habit of meeting together every first day of the week.

PAUL PROCLAIMS AN ALL-NIGHT SERMON
Therefore Paul and company met with them on Sunday, the first day of the week and he spoke to them and continued his speech until midnight (Acts 20:7). You know I have never heard anybody complain about our preaching here. At Heartland we just get up and speak on the subject and we step down when we are through. Sometimes it is shorter, sometimes it is longer! But the Bible says plainly Paul met with them and he did intend to leave the next day by going aboard a ship headed to Syria. He was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem because there was a feast day of the Jews, and he wanted to be there, and perhaps convert some of his own people. But the Bible says he spoke to them and continued his speech until midnight.

I think we have established that the Lord’s supper was taken on the Lord’s day (Revelation 1:10). Paul preached until midnight. Weak preaching produces weak churches. We want the Heartland congregation to be strong in declaring the word of God. I would love to come here every Sunday and make everybody happy. Sometimes we must preach on things that make people holy! We want God’s people to be holy and happy! That is our goal and we cannot be holy if we are committing sin and living an ungodly life. We must teach and preach on things that encourages people to live a holy life as well as a happy life. And we will not have a happy life unless we live a holy life! We need to remember the charge that Paul gave the young preacher Timothy,

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV).

There will not be much power coming out of the pulpit if our goal is to make everybody happy. Where did the church meet? It met everywhere. The church met in the Temple court and in synagogues and in people’s houses (Colossians 4:15 Roman 16:5) and in a rented place. The church did not own property back then. And in our lesson today they were in a building up on the third story. They were not too proud to meet anywhere to worship the Lord God.

EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED DURING WORSHIP AT TROAS
Now I want us to look through that window again and notice everything that happened during a worship service at Troas that I have listed on the chart on the screen. I believe we have everything mentioned. Paul preached! Paul preached until midnight. A young man was sitting in a window, so they had a window on the third story. A young man fell into a deep sleep. His name was Eutychus. Eutychus was overcome by sleep. And he fell down from the third story. Eutychus died from the fall. Luke the physician gave us his death certificate—he said he was taken up dead! Luke is present in worship (we, and us section of Acts 20:5, 6, 13). Paul went down and brought Eutychus back to life!

And the Bible says that after Paul had raised this young man up and gave him life, he went back up to the third story and “broke bread.” That means he went back up there and took the Lord’s supper and worshipped God. And then the Bible says Paul “talked a long while, even till daybreak” (Acts 20:11). After they took the Lord’s supper, Paul probably answered many questions in an more informal type of discussion, like we do in a Bible class. Paul stayed with them until early morning and he departed

Have I covered everything that happened there in the Troas worship service? I do not want to leave anything out. It has been a very eventful worship gathering. I had a thing like that to happen at one of my preaching places. We had a wonderful elderly lady and her husband was a doctor. He never came to church on Sunday morning, but would always come on Sunday evening worship and eat the Lord’s supper. So one Sunday evening I was preaching and we had a young couple sitting about halfway back in the congregation. He and his wife were talking and laughing and that really disturbs the preacher. Therefore, immediately after we dismissed, I asked the husband what was going on? He said, I kept telling my wife to wake our son up because he was snoring. But my wife kept telling me that our son was not snoring. She said it is the doctor who is asleep and snoring! But that is not the end of the story! Shortly afterward the young men brought the Lord’s supper around and the doctor was still asleep. They woke him up and it startled him and he scattered the Lord’s supper all over the place! That is the only time anything like that has happened. It was not a good situation. But it is not a sin to fall asleep in worship.

Martin Luther King was speaking up in Harlem in 1968, and Bill Clinton was on the podium and Bill Clinton fell asleep. Later the New York Post said, “Like Martin, Clinton had a dream!” And even now we have noticed sometime that our president has gotten a little bit sleepy upon the podium. So you know things like that happen, and it is not good, but sometimes we cannot help it. For instance, if you are a person that does heavy labor and you work long hours and you come to worship, you might fall asleep. And some people take certain kinds of medicine that will make you sleepy. And so it is not a sin if anybody goes to sleep because we are not to judge that situation. We do not always know the circumstances and we do not have a record of Paul rebuking Eutychus for falling asleep and disrupting the assembly! The record say that Eutychus was a “young man” and the original word means a lad about eight to fourteen years old. He could have been a slave and worked long hours before coming to worship. We do know that it is midnight and Paul is still preaching. We could say, “Paul preached him to death.” It is not a sin to fall asleep physically in worship, but it is a sin if we fall asleep spiritually! Therefore Paul wrote the Ephesian church and said,

Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead
And Christ will give you light.
(Ephesians 5:14 NKJV).

The Troas worship was experienced by people just like us. They were ordinary people who had been baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27) and were doing their best to serve the Lord. I think the congregation at Troas was made up of common people like all of us. So we decided to describe what the members at Heartland do in their everyday life. We have factory workers, public school teachers, school administrators, nurses, homeschool teachers, policeman, business owners, technology workers, and school bus drivers. We also have delivery truck drivers, medical supervisors, plumbers, carpenters, accountants, armed services, both active and retired. But that is not all! We have retired postal workers, preachers, truck drivers, mechanics, bakers, clerical workers, childcare workers and administrators, and young people like Eutychus. And we also love our little children and infants, with more on the way! Have I missed anyone? I think I know this congregation fairly well. All of you are just common people like they were in New Testament times. All of us do different things. But when we come together, we all worship God on the first day of the week and we break bread.

INCIDENTALS AT THE TROAS WORSHIP
Now I want us to look at some incidentals. Incidentals are things that God has not legislated, but left us free to carry out his commands. Did God tell us the time of the day to worship? No! Different congregations have different times to worship, but they all “break bread” on the first day of the week. God did not tell us the length of the sermon. He did not tell us where we are to sit, some like to sit up front and some in the back. Evidently it was permissible for Eutychus to sit up in an open window! Sometimes children will get up and leave the congregation for a short time. We have no record that Eutychus was criticized for sitting in the window! Do not make it a habit to come to worship to find fault, but to be lifted up in love and devotion to the Lord! God did not tell us how many lights we should have in the assembly. Troas probably had oil lamps and that would probably help to make Eutychus sleepy.

We are all going to die someday. It could be at a worship service like where Eutychus died. But we do not have an apostle to raise us up to life again. But all those who die in the Lord have the promise that Christ will raise us up to everlasting life.

I will close with the story of a man who was rather wealthy, and he noticed there was a man that was very needy. The wealthy man had seven costly coins. And he gave the needy man six of those coins and he was very happy. But then he turned around and followed the man who gave him six coins and stole the seventh coin. You may say, that is terrible, the man should be put in prison!

But the moral of that story is that God gives us six days to work and make money and enjoy life to the fullest! But I wonder what God thinks when we steal the first day of the week—the Lord’s day? Let us think about that as we stand to sing a word of encouragement for anyone to become a Christian and live a faithful life. *

* Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd presented the essence of this sermon May 9, 2021, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

THE MIND OF CHRIST

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” wrote Paul to the church at Philippi. (Philippians 2:5).

Jesus Christ is the perfect model of humbling ourselves before God Almighty: “He humbled himself” (Philippians 2:8). He took three big steps to do this.

1. He gave up his right to glory, his prerogative of equality with the Father: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (Philippians 2:6-7).

2. He became a human in the very nature of a servant: “…rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself…” (Philippians 2:7-8).

3. He was the perfect man who voluntarily died a heinous death as a felon on the cruel cross of Calvary: “…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8). Those who have given their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ are commanded to imitate his humble attitude: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

We will have the mind of Christ when we seek the unity of the congregation with one mind and purpose, out of a heart of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2).

The only way we can do this is by thinking of other people as being better than ourselves: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

When we imitate Christ, God raises us up to sit with him in the heavenly places, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). To live with Christ forever in the heavenly home we must have the mind-set of Christ while we are here in our earthly home. *

*Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby--Pulpit 2017

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

PRACTICE CHRISTIAN LOVE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Man looking at bright cross sign

God’s people must learn by practice to love one another and pray for one another. Nothing in the world will convince outsiders that we are truly the disciples of the Lord more than visible, genuine love and affection among brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). It was reported to have been said by outsiders in apostolic times, “Oh, how those Christians love one another.”

When the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the congregation at Philippi, he publicly declared his love for them: “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8). He also stated that it was right for him to feel this way about them, “because I have you in my heart” (Philippians 1:7). We will not develop the love of God in our relationship with each other until we have each other in our hearts.

The way we can indwell in each other’s hearts is by praying for one another at all times and under all circumstances: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).

We also develop this love for one another by caring for one another in our material and spiritual needs. The congregation at Philippi had cared for Paul in his needs again and again. And Paul had always shared with them in their spiritual needs: “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:14-19).

Let us learn to love one another by habitual practice, so when we think of one another we will have a good memory of each other and thank God, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5). *

* Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

SUNDAY WORSHIP

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Sunday Worship - Christ Church - Mt Pleasant SC

Good morning. It is a beautiful day to come out worship God. I was standing back in the entryway and Mitch Davis came in and he told me “That is a Great Sermon!” And I asked, “What did I preach about?” He said, “I don’t know.” He has not changed since he was 18 years old! We continue to pray for Gary Stephens and his family in the loss of his mother.

My message is a continuation of what I began three weeks ago when I spoke to you about how the early Christians were devoted to the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers (Acts 2:42). Today we are talking about Sunday worship. I am sure that most of us have received our financial stimulus and it really comes in handy to stimulate our financial obligations. In like manner we need to have some worship stimulus to make our worship to God more meaningful each Sunday. Today our Sunday worship is about the first day of the week worship as it is identified in the New Testament. A few weeks ago Mitch preached on the first day of the week topic—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first day of the week is mentioned about eight times in the New Testament. So that indicates it was a very important day among the Christians during the first century after the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

Today we usually speak of the week in days like Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so forth. Our lesson is about Sunday worship, but we are really talking about first day of the week worship. Let us look at the days of the week. In the Old Testament as you open up the book of Genesis, the first thing that God said was, “‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3 ESV). When God had finished creating what he did on the first day, the Bible says in the Hebrew— “day one (yo-vm e-chad).” I have read that Hebrew scholars teach that when the word day is used with a numeral, it always refers to a 24-hour day, and I believe that to be the case. We have people that teach that the earth and all its tenantry including the universe were created in millions or billions of years. In Genesis one the days are twenty-four-hour days and the work of creation was completed in a week. That is how we got our seven-day week. And, at the same time that God created the seven-day week, he also caused the earth to take 365 days to go around the sun. He created the vast universe and for all we know, the entire universe may orbit around the throne of God. But if God created this universe and he did, then he did not have any problem creating the heavens and the earth in seven days.

Hebrew, days of the week | Hebrew language words, Learn hebrew, Hebrew  lessons

THE SEVEN DAY WEEK
Let us take a look at the week. First, we have the Hebrew words for each day of the week. Sunday, the first day of the week was given the name Yom Rishon. Saturday, the seventh day of the week was given the name Yom Shabbat. Conversely our days were named after idolatrous gods. This demonstrates that man was created a worshipping being. The Gentile world realized that man must worship something! If mankind does not worship the true God, then we will invent something to worship. Therefore, Sunday was named after the sun-god and Monday was named after the moon god. Tuesday was named after I believe a German god Tyr. Wednesday was named after the Anglo-Saxon god Woden. Thursday was named after Thor and then Friday was named after Woden’s wife Frigg and Saturday was named after the planet Saturn. And we still go by those names today, but we do not worship any of those gods. Therefore, we do not even think of those gods when we say I am going to do this on Friday. These are just names by which we identify each day of the week so far as English-speaking peoples are concerned.

Why Sunday? | Bible facts, Bible knowledge, Happy sabbath

THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK
When we talk about the first day of the week, we are talking about Sunday. Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week which was Yom Rishon or Sunday. He spent 40 days after he was resurrected talking to the apostles about things that he wanted them to know and do. And Jesus appeared to them on many different occasions. Sometimes he would show up in a room where they were getting ready to have prayer. Sometimes he would approach them in other places. For 40 days he spoke to them about things pertaining to the kingdom of God. They thought while he was living that the kingdom of God was going to be an earthly kingdom that would overthrow Rome and establish Israel as the preeminent kingdom in this world. Now he is again telling them that his kingdom is not of this world. He wants them to understand that his kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. Christ will rule from heaven and not on this earth. He will in the hearts of His people!

And so some of the last things that he said before he ascended up into heaven, was go into the city of Jerusalem and tarry or wait there until you receive power from on high. So they went back to Jerusalem, where they started praying. And they prayed that God would help them replace Judas who fell by transgression and went to his own place. And then the day of Pentecost arrived. If you go back to the book of Leviticus 23:15-16, you will find that Pentecost (or the Feast of Weeks) always occurred 50 days after the Passover. And it always occurred on the first day of the week—Sunday in our language. When you come to the book of Acts the second chapter, the day of Pentecost was fully come. The apostles waited ten day after Jesus ascended and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, there appeared under them cloven tongues like as a fire and sat upon each of them and they all began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4). Now when they were speaking in other tongues that was not pig Latin, it was not baby talk, because just a few verses later some of the people in the audience asked “how hear we every man in our own language?” And the Greek word there is dialektos or dialect. It did not make any difference what dialect they were speaking, for they could hear and understand what the apostles were saying.

The Bible says that when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one place and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and sat upon each of them and they all began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance Acts 2:1-4).

And then Peter stood up and he seems to be always the first to speak out. He is quick. He is impulsive and impetuous and he preaches a great gospel sermon on this Sunday worship first day of the week and after he had finished his sermon, he had convicted many of those in the audience of having the blood of Jesus dripping from their hands because they had cried out, crucify him, crucify him, and they were so moved by his sermon. They cried out, “what shall we do,” what shall we do to escape the consequences of what we have done and you know what he told them? “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and then the Bible tells us 3000 people were baptized into Christ and there is the nucleolus of the church. The church started in Jerusalem with 3000 members and they added members every day. The church was a growing church and then we come to our text: The 3000 is the antecedent of the word they—”they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer” (Acts 2:42). We do not need to talk about prayer because I spoke to you three weeks ago about prayer on the first day of the week. Then the church assembled and they continued in the apostles teaching, fellowship breaking bread and prayer. Today, I will talk in a general way about each one of those items. Later I plan to have a fully developed sermon on each one of those topics.

Near the end of the New Testament we read of the apostle John. He was one of the dearest apostles to the Lord Jesus Christ. And John, like many of the apostles was being persecuted because he stood for the kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. No doubt the Roman government had arrested him, and by the way, in contrast to what we do today in America, when the Romans arrested you, they put you in prison. They did not intend to do housekeeping with prisoners like we do. They put you in prison and you had a trial. You were either found guilty or innocent. If you were found innocent, they let you go free. If you were found guilty, they put you to death that very day. And we see that happened when they put Jesus to death.

John was in exile and no doubt was suffering because he had been expelled from the coast of Asia. He wrote, “I John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ and I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:9-10). Are we all in the spirit today? We are here on the Lord’s Day just like John to worship the Almighty God. The first day of the week was very important to the biblical Christians. The place was not important, but what they were doing was important.

The Woman at the Well. In the Gospel of John, Jesus revealed… | by Angela  N. Meyer | Challenging Theology | Medium

THE WOMAN AT JACOB’S WELL
Jesus will verify what I have just said when we now go and examine the lesson that Jesus taught the woman at the well in Samaria. Jesus passed through Samaria going to Jerusalem. The Jews and the Samaritans did not get along very well. Usually Jewish travelers would go around Samaria. Jesus went right straight through Samaria to Jerusalem and he had a conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. She had come out of town to draw a bucket of water and take it back to her house. And Jesus revealed something to this woman that she did not expect him to reveal. In your Bible in John the fourth chapter, beginning with verse 16, Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here. The woman answered and said I have no husband. Jesus said to her, you have well said, I have no husband for you had five husbands and the one whom you now have is not your husband, and that you spoke truly. The woman said to him, sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.” And then in the next verse, she changed the subject. Now this woman in the past had five husbands. Now she is living with a man and he is not her husband. She has a marriage problem, but Jesus did not beat her over the head with her sinful relationship. We all have fallen short. We have all done things wrong but we do not want to be identified by it.

How we deal with people is very important as well as how people deal with us when we do wrong. But the woman quickly changed the subject! And I do not know about you, but when people get on you about something that you are guilty of, what do you do to get them off the problem? We change the subject because we do not like to talk about our shortcomings and sin! Likewise this woman changed the subject and said,

“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (John 4:20).

She wants to get the Lord into an argument and debate. She wants to be in the affirmative that up there in Samaria is where people ought to worship. She wants Jesus to argue that down in Jerusalem is where people should worship. But Jesus does not take the bait. He does not accept what she wants him to do. And so the Lord actually was given an opportunity to teach about true worship because she needs to understand true worship and the true gospel message.

Therefore Jesus answered, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father” (John 4:21). It does not matter where you worship, but who and how you worship is important. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23). True worship is to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. So Jesus taught the woman at the well, the place of worship is not really important, but what we do and how we do our worship is what is really important. God is the object of our worship, and that is important.

The spirit of worship is important and the truth of worship is important. People can worship God truthfully, but not in the right spirit. God will not accept that worship. And people can worship God in the right spirit, but not according to the truth. God will not accept that worship either. Jesus gave us the formula for acceptable worship. The Lord taught the woman at Jacob’s well the worship that God will accept. And I love this verse that closes out this conversation in John 4:24:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

SUNDAY WORSHIP: THE APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE
Now I want us to zero in on those items of worship that we talked about beginning in Acts 2:42: “They continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayer.” We are not going talk about prayer because we discussed that three weeks ago. The special time of worship is the first day of the week on which the church was established and it was called the day of Pentecost. The day of Pentecost always occurred 50 days after the Passover. Numbering the days after the Passover one would count 50 days and it would be on the first day of the week or Sunday (Leviticus 23:15-16). Therefore Sunday worship was on the first day of the week when they convened in the temple and even from house to house to worship Almighty God. The place was not important, but what they did was very important. Jesus verified what we have just said when he taught the woman at the well in Samaria. Therefore our worship should be on every first day of the week. When we come together to worship there are several things that should characterize the worship on the first day of the week—Sunday worship.

The TRUTH under FIRE: A STUDY in ACTS TWO :42 - FOUR FACETS in the FUNCTION of  the CHURCH


Let us start with the apostle’s doctrine. The word doctrine simply meets teaching. What I teach should not be my doctrine. It should be the doctrine of the apostles or the doctrine of Christ. The first congregation at Jerusalem continued in the apostle’s doctrine or teaching (Acts 2:42). When we go to Acts two, we find a few things that they were teaching on the day of Pentecost. For instance, they taught on that day baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). They taught that repentance precedes baptism (Acts 2:36-41). The apostle Peter taught faith comes by hearing (Acts 2:37; Romans 10:9-10). Peter taught that the sinner has something to do in obtaining salvation from sin (Acts 2:37). He taught that the disciples should continue in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42).

When we come together every week like we do, we are either going to continue in the apostle’s doctrine or, in the doctrines of demons. Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy, and he wanted him to continue in the apostle’s doctrine. Therefore he wrote to Timothy, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1 NKJV). What are they going to do in the latter times? They are going depart from the faith—from the apostle’s doctrine. They are going to leave it, and give heed to deceiving spirits. There are deceiving spirits in this world and the naïve and the simple will be deceived and leave the apostle’s doctrine and what are they going to accept? They will replace the apostle’s doctrine and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. But as for me, I will stick with the apostles teaching!

SUNDAY WORSHIP: FELLOWSHIP
Next, they continued in fellowship (Acts 2:42). That word fellowship is a broad word that comes from the Greek word koinonia and it means partnership, fellowship, joint participation, share, and contribute. Words like that. Now today we have almost exclusively identified the word fellowship as something you do by going back to the fellowship room, drinking coffee, and sharing a meal together. Well, that was part of their fellowship. But I do not believe that was the fellowship that was being done here. But the word fellowship is translated from a word that is on several occasions translated “contribution” or its equivalents. Study the context in 2 Corinthians 8:4; Philippians 1:5 and Philippians 4:15 where the word koinonia is used in sharing or giving financially to promote the gospel!

Church Growth | Being Changed from the Inside Out

The King James and New King James versions do not say that we should contribute every first day of the week. But here are several versions that do translate kata mian sabbatou by “every first day of the week or the equivalent! We now list some of those passages of scripture:

1. Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NIV).

2. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you are to do as well. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save as he may prosper, so that no collections need to be made when I come (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NASV).

3. When you collect money for God’s people, I want you to do exactly what I told the churches in Galatia to do. 2 That is, each Sunday each of you must put aside part of what you have earned. If you do this, you won’t have to take up a collection when I come (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 CEV).

4. Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 ESV).

Concerning the collection, some translations just say we are to contribute “on the first day of the week.” That would be sufficient because every week has a first day. But the Greek text is even more specific in 1 Corinthians 16:2! And where the original text is specific, the translation into English should be just as specific! If we are to contribute on the first day of every week, then the translation should say that in one or more different places in the New Testament. The King James and New King James versions do not say that we should contribute every first day of the week. But here are several versions that do translate kata mian sabbatou by “every first day of the week or the equivalent!

Now I have visited congregations where after the Lord’s Supper was observed, a man would get up and say, “The elder have set aside this to be a good time to take up an offering.” The person meant well, but the impression was left that the elders were the ones who decided that a collection should be taken up. But the elders did not decide that! The apostles and the apostle’s doctrine declare that a collection should be taken up “on the first day of every week!”

The elders can decide if the basket is to be passed by each person, or that each person can go and pass by the basket, or for that matter, send it electronically as some are doing during the Covid Pandemic. Those are incidentals and each of them simply carry out the command. The command is bound, but not the incidentals! The elders did not set the day to take up a collection. The apostles did that as they continued to reveal the teaching on many subjects involving the work of the church. We are commanded to take up a collection every first day of the week and by the way we been doing that here at Heartland ever since we started this congregation in 2000. I hear of churches continually ask for special collections to pay their bills. We have never had to do that. Why? Because we are doing what God tells us to do and it is not that difficult. Just obey the Lord, and there will be plenty of money to take care of all the expenditures of the church. We have obeyed the Lord and He has blessed us. Thank all of you for contributing this past year during a very difficult time when many people had to worship from home. It has been a rough year but we came through it with flying colors.

BREAKING BREAD IN THE COMMON MEAL
The phrase “breaking bread” does not always refer to taking communion. For instance in the very context we have been considering we have this statement:

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (Acts 2:44-46 NKJV).

Now breaking of bread is a figure of speech called synecdoche, where a part stand for the whole or the whole can stand for the part. For example, one might say, come over to my house and we will break bread. The bread could stand for the entire meal. This figure of speech is also used in the Lord’s Supper. Communion is not just “breaking bread!” Communion also includes drinking the fruit of the vine. Therefore “breaking bread” stands for the fruit of the vine also.

Acts 2:44-46 teaches that the church did not take the Lord’s supper every day. They just took the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week in what is Sunday worship. We have had Sunday worship today and I think I have covered all that we have done today except singing. And by the way, the New Testament was not all revealed on one day. The Bible was a progressive revelation until the end of the first century. The New Testament started in revealing the life of Christ in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The history of the beginning and development of the church is revealed in the book of Acts. And the apostolic letters that were written to the church continued until about 95 A.D. or the end of the first century. The revelation from God to God’s people then stopped! We have not had any new revelations since then. The inspired writer Jude summed it all up when he wrote near the end of the first century:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3 NKJV).

The word “once” translates from hapax that means once for all and it never needs to be repeated! We can plant our feet upon the word of God and stand secure! This is the lesson today. Become a Christian. There is no other way!

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved



Shelby G. Floyd delivered the essence of this sermon April 18, 2021, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



THE CURSE OF ALCOHOLIC DRINK

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. (Prov. 23:31-32)

The Bible has much to say about strong drink, and the evils that are associated with it. Solomon is noted for his wisdom, and the books that are written by him are inspired. In the book of Proverbs we have some of the greatest principles on ethics and morality that can be found.

There are some persons who have tried to use the Bible as approving the use of wine, But Solomon says, “Don’t even look at that colorful stuff bubbling up in the glass! It goes down so easily, but later it bites like a poisonous snake” (Proverbs 23:31-32 CEV). That is from a contemporary version. Here are Solomon’s words from the ESV:

“Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.”

Therefore, when wine is mentioned in the Bible in the sense of intoxicating drink; it is always condemned.

A Nation of Alcoholics and Drunkards?

It is a dangerous precedent for any nation of people to become a race of alcoholics. Abraham Lincoln once said,

“Whiskey has many defenders, but no defense.”

President Lincoln was a great opponent of strong drink. It is still true that whiskey and strong drink has many defenders, but there are no plausible arguments that can be made in its behalf. Strong drink is one of the greatest curses that have ever beset our country. There are millions of alcoholics. There are an equal number of persons who are classed as problem drinkers. The drinking of strong drink and drunkenness causes thousands of deaths annually on our nation’s highways. Many times this number of persons is injured for life, resulting from accidents caused by drinking drivers.

Wine is a Mocker
Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
(Proverbs 20:1 NKJV).

Wine is a mocker in that the man who drinks wine mocks things that are decent and wholesome. Those who drink wine and strong drink are deceived, and they are not wise. In the New Testament Paul said,

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians. 6:7).

Those who drink wine and strong drink usually come to poverty, because the labor of their hands is used to buy the fiery liquid. Their families are de¬prived of food, clothing, and other necessities of life in order to gratify their desires for strong drink. Solomon said,

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
(Proverbs 21:17).

He also said,

Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21).

The liquor industry advertises its products in glowing terms. Strong drink is usually associated with the young and those who are successful; but such is far from being a true picture of those who are taken in by such deceitfulness. Solomon describ¬ed the humiliation brought upon those who go to wine when he said,

Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper. (Proverbs 23: 29-32 NKJV).

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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