The True Vine and Branches

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Vine-Branches

 

At this time of the year the vineyards are fully loaded with fruit that is waiting to be harvested. This is the result of good stock, good ground, and good care. It is wonderful to see a beautiful, fruitful vineyard.

The vine and its branches was a symbol of ancient Israel just as the Eagle is the emblem of America. Over the temple of Herod was a symbolic declaration of a great Golden vine. At one time both Isaiah and Jeremiah use this allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate how God was displeased with Israel who had become spiritually unproductive. For instance, Isaiah cried out,

Isaiah 5:7
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help
NKJV

And also the weeping prophet Jeremiah uttered this rebuke to backsliding Israel,

Jeremiah 2:21
Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
NKJV

At one time our Lord Jesus Christ declared to his disciples, “I am the vine and you are the branches” (John 15:5). Jesus used the allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate the close relationship that should exist between himself and his disciples. An allegory is an extended metaphor. The culture of the vine was a very common occupation in Israel.

Teaching by figures of speech was one of our Lord’s favorite methods of imparting God’s word. The parables and this allegory of the vine and the branches are good examples of this method of teaching. Because this method was easy to understand, “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37).

Now let us take an extended view of the wonderful lesson that Jesus taught in the story of the vine and the branches as related in John 15:1-8.

THE TRUE VINE

Jesus Christ is the true vine. He claimed to be the one true stock. “I am the true vine and my father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). Jesus applied the word “true,” to himself which means that Jesus was the genuine and the one true stock. Continue reading “The True Vine and Branches”

Moses or Christ

By

Shelby G. Floyd

christ-is-the-end-of-the-law-of-moses

Many sincere but uninformed persons believe that one may be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments. One may be justified by the law of Christ, or the gospel, but not by the Law of Moses. In the Roman letter, Paul taught that,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and. death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4).

We notice in these verses that there is a contrast between the Law of Moses which could not justify because of the weakness of the flesh, and the law of Christ which makes one free from the law of sin and death. We also notice that there is no condemnation to those who abide in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. But this is predicated on three conditions: (1) that they are in Christ, (2) that they walk not after the flesh, and (3) that they walk after the Spirit.

The Law of Moses was never given to the Gentile people, but it was only given to those people who came out of Egyptian bondage, the children of Israel. In the book of Deuteronomy we read, “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, 0 Israel, the statues and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day” (Deuteronomy 5: 1-3). This law which was given to the children of Israel who came out of Egypt also included the Sabbath day (Deuteronomy 5:15).

The Law of Moses continued in effect for 1500 years, but during all those years that law could never take away sins in the absolute sense: Continue reading “Moses or Christ”

Eureka-I Have Found It!

By

Shelby G. Floyd

leaf leaves gold diamond crown diadem tiara

According to history Archimedes of Syracuse, Greece (287bc-c212bc), uttered eureka—“I have found it” when he discovered the adulteration of gold in the crown of King Hiero II.

A city in California has been named Eureka. I think someone said eureka when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848. This started the Great Gold Rush of that era. Eureka derives from the Greek heureka from heuriskein, and means “I have found it.” A form of this word was used by the disciples when they found the Christ who was more valuable than gold. All should exclaim “Eureka—I have found Him” when we become Christians!

Continue reading “Eureka-I Have Found It!”

The Pre-Existent Christ

By

Shelby G. Floyd

I Am

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3 KJV).

The fourth book of the New Testament was written by the apostle John, which the preponderance of internal and external evidence proves beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was written, from the city of Ephesus, near the end of the first century. The book is preeminently designed to produce a settled faith that Jesus is the Christ, the divine Son of God, in order that men might have everlasting life in his name (John 20: 30-31).

Christ, As the Word Has Always Existed

Matthew, Mark and Luke in their account of the gospel of Jesus Christ begin with his birth, and conclude with his death, burial, resurrection and ascension, but John goes before the birth of Christ and shows that Christ has existed forever. In the prologue of this book we read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

In this reading one will notice that the term “Word” is used three times. Therefore, it is necessary that we identify to whom or what this term applies. A word is an articulate sound or series of sounds which symbolizes and communicates an idea. A word then represents willpower, reason, logic, thought, knowledge, understanding and power; but in our text it is not used in its ordinary signification, but is used rather to refer to a person, and that person is Christ who is the very embodiment of all thought, will, reason, logic, knowledge, understanding and power.

Continue reading “The Pre-Existent Christ”

Oil Press

By

Shelby G. Floyd

old abandoned olive press - Anavargos _Large_

After our Lord ate the last Jewish Passover with his twelve apostles (Mark 14:17), established his own Memorial—the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:22-25), then they all sung a hymn (Mark 14:26). To the Mount of Olives with Peter, James and John, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33). Jesus went there to pray and to encourage his apostles to watch and pray lest they would enter into temptation (Mark 14:32, 38).

Gethsemane means “oil press,” no doubt a place where the olives were pressed out to become the oil that was a staple in that ancient economy and way of life. “Oil Press” then is symbolic of the “press” Jesus would be going through mentally, emotionally and physically in his cruel death on the cross.

We see something of the emotional press that Christ underwent on this night in Gethsemane. He took the “inner circle”—Peter, James and John deeper into the garden and said unto them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34). Mark describes his emotional state as “deeply distressed and troubled” (Mark 14:33). John describes his “oil press,”

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?’ Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27, 28).

When we are going through troubled times, let all of us trust God and always seek to do his will. As in all things, Christ is our example. That we should walk in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).

Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved

2

Shelby G. Floyd

Shelby@thefloyds.net

The Christ Cornerstone

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
—Psalms 118:22 ESV;

…Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.
—Isaiah 28:16 NKJV

Christ is a Living Stone

The apostle Peter graphically describes the great spiritual house that God is building (1 Peter 2:4-8). Christ is pictured as a Living Stone in God’s spiritual building:

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

The Church is the Spiritual Building

The church of Christ is that spiritual building or house (I Timothy 3:15). Reference to the scripture that Peter quotes is found in Isaiah 28:16, Isaiah 8:14 and Psalms 118:22.

Christ is the Chief Corner Stone

In these readings Christ is like a stone being put into a building. He is the most important stone—the preeminent stone, on which all other stones are dependent. He is what gives the building stability and strength and permanence. Accordingly Christ is,

 *A living stone

 *A tested stone

 *A precious cornerstone

 *A sure foundation stone

Christ is the Sure Foundation Stone

Paul also as well as Peter used this imagery in writing to the church at Ephesus:

having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:20-21).

Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 7:24-27). The church is built on the deity of Christ that Peter confessed and upon which Christ said he would build his church (Matthew 16:13-19).

Christ is the Rejected Stone

Unbelievers have repudiated and rejected this stone:

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:22-24).

Christ is the “Rock of Ages.” Let us trust and obey him in all things.

Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved

2

Shelby G. Floyd
shelby@thefloyds.net

The Virgin Birth

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The above title is a specific and accurate des­cription of how God brought Christ into the world to be our savior. Jesus Christ is both divine and human (cf. Romans 1:3-4).

Jesus Christ Was Human and Divine

From the divine standpoint, he has always existed and always will. Late in the first century, the apostle John spoke of the preexistence of Christ in these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the begin­ning with God” (John 1:1-2). Then, later in the chap­ter, John described the human nature of Christ when he said, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only be­gotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14). This is definitely a reference to the virgin birth of Christ. Continue reading “The Virgin Birth”