BUT TEST THE SPIRITS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Christian system is a system of faith based upon the word of God. We are taught to believe, trust and obey. But, we are also taught to not believe everything we hear. John declares that we are to have a healthy skepticism of those who claim to speak God’s word. We are to test the spirits to see if what they are teaching is from God: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).

The reason we must be somewhat skeptical is that Jesus and the apostles warned us, “Because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). These false teachers are deceived themselves and deceive those who are gullible. The classic examples in our day are Jim Jones and David Karesh who led their naive followers to an untimely death. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (Matthew 7:15). Paul advises us that even Satan masquerades as an angel of light and that we should not be surprised that his agents do the same (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

All teachers must be tested by Christ and his inspired apostles. Any teaching that denies the Biblical teaching about Christ and his church must be rejected. “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God (1 John 4:2).

Therefore, the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error can be distinguished by whether the teachers listen to the apostle’s doctrine. (1 John 4:6; Acts 2:42).

Copyright © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved



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

shelby@thefloyds.net

 

 

SATAN

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Devil and Satan are the names most often given to the arch enemy of mankind. He is identified by many other terms, but they could all be summed up by THE WRONG WAY!

Who Belongs To Satan?

The apostle John gives a test to see who our spiritual leader is. He declares that the one who keeps on living a habitual life of sin belongs to the devil: “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:8).


If such a one belongs to the devil, then the devil is that person’s spiritual father. Jesus declared that some people in his day had the devil for their father:

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The devil was the first sinner and he was and is a liar from the beginning. Do not make the devil your daddy.

Jesus Came to Destroy the Devil’s Works

Our work as children of God is both positive and negative. Jesus “appeared to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5). But John declares in this same chapter that “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8). Let us destroy his work and promote God’s work!

Copyright © 2012 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved



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

shelby@thefloyds.net

THE ICON OF THE INVISIBLE GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icons are everywhere today. They are on computers, computer tablets and smart cell phones. They are used in television and mailing advertising. They are very helpful in many ways by simplifying what we search for in the technological world of the twenty-first century. Sometimes this is not the case, because there are so many of them that it is often confusing to find them and distinguish them one from another by what they represent. Continue reading “THE ICON OF THE INVISIBLE GOD”

THE CHILDREN OF GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Everyone is born into the kingdom of nature by a natural birth—of and from the womb. Those who become Christians are born into the kingdom of God by a spiritual birth—of and from water and the Spirit (John 3:5). At the last day, those who are faithful, having been born a spiritual birth will be born of and from the grave into the eternal glory of heaven.

BORN OF GOD

The expression “born of God” is used throughout the letter of 1 John:

• Those born of God will not continue to live a life of sin (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 5:18).

• Those who love as God loves will know God and are born of him—for God is love (1 John 4:7).

• Those who by faith and baptism are born of God will be saved (1 John 5:1; Gal. 3:26-27).

• Those who are born of God overcome the world by their faith (1 John 5:4). Continue reading “THE CHILDREN OF GOD”

THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST IN ALL THINGS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

By

Shelby G. Floyd

We appreciate so very much the wonderful crowd that we have today. It is a beautiful day. It always makes us feel better after we have had a week or two of nasty weather to see some good sunshine and to see the clear skies.

THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST AS HEAD

This morning I am talking to you on the subject of the preeminence of Christ. In Colossians 1:18, the apostle Paul expressed the preeminence that Christ should have over His church when he said,

“And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence.”

We must give Christ preeminence in all things and especially we must give Him first place of importance in the church. When Paul said He is the head of the church, the word “head” means originator, source, leader and ruler. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He brought the church into being. He is the originator of the church. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the source of the life of the church. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the ruler of the church. He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He has executive authority: He proposes. He has legislative authority: He disposes. He has judicial authority: He judges. So we must give preeminence to Christ as the head of the church, the originator of the church, and the source of all life in the church, the legislator, the executor and the judge of the church. Continue reading “THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST IN ALL THINGS”

OVERWHELMING PRIDE

By

Shelby G. Floyd



Both the Old and New Testament warn against pride. Someone has 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, blasphemy, 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 © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

shelby@thefloyds.net

 

PREJUDICE AND FAVORITISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

To the Athenian philosophers Paul declared,

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26).

Therefore, all people have a common ancestor in Adam, the Federal head of the human family.

After the flood eight people survived, including Noah and his three sons—Japheth, Ham and Shem. From these three sons all people have derived. Noah had sixteen grandsons: Japheth had 7 sons—43.75 %; Ham had 4 sons—25 %; and Shem had 5 sons—31.25 %. All nations and languages fall into these three divisions. It has been said that the descendants of these three sons still comprise the same ratio in their respective lands.

God and the Bible generally do not refer to people by race, but by nations and languages. In Peter’s sermon to the Gentile Cornelius, he stated “that God does not show favoritism,” or is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). That simply means that God does not judge people by the color of their skin, wealth, position, power or looks, “but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:35). Since God accepts people on this basis, so should we.

Prejudice, bigotry and separateness, is rampant throughout the world. Christ came to bring all people into one salvation and one body—the church:

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26-28).

Let God’s people accept all people on the same basis as Christ and our heavenly Father.



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

A MOTHER’S SONG

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Lord God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to rebellious Israel and her treacherous sister Judah! God’s people had rebelled and were worshiping idols and committing the immoralities of those who did know God. It was the job of Jeremiah to call their hand. God let Jeremiah know that he and everyone is known before they are formed in the womb:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
(Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV)

Continue reading “A MOTHER’S SONG”

SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In the Bible God’s people are often compared to many different things in nature. For instance God compared his people to branches in a vine, a light on a hill, sheep, salt, soldiers, runners and many other similes and metaphors. Long ago, Isaiah compared God’s people to eagles:

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.                                                                                                                 (Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV)

Today, we want to study the nature, the character and the habits of the eagle itself. Therefore our lesson today is entitled, “Soaring on Wings like Eagles.” Of course we have all heard the cliche, “It is hard to soar with eagles when I am surrounded by a bunch of turkeys.” But according to Isaiah we all can soar on wings like an eagle. Continue reading “SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES”

CLASS DISTINCTIONS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In the latter part of the life of Christ, his disciples were concerned about the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1)? They had been discussing among themselves for some time which of them would be accounted greatest in the coming kingdom. Their conception of the kingdom was worldly in nature. Jesus had just announced to them his impending suffering and death in Jerusalem; but they could not hear and understand what he had to say because of their concern over who would be the greatest.

Jesus answered them on this occasion by calling a little child unto him, and sitting him in the midst of them, saying,

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-14).

One of the ways in which men exalted and distinguished themselves from other people in the days of Christ was by the use of honorary titles. Since the apostles were concerned about which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus warned them about wearing honorary titles to exalt and distinguish them above other men. This was clearly wrong, and Jesus condemned such in no uncertain terms. He said that they loved,

“They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ” (Matt. 23:7-10 NKJV).

Let us be content with the affectionate and simple appellate “brethren” or “Christian”:

“And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

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