CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In Ephesians 5:22-33, the apostle Paul sets forth the nature of the church and its relationship to Christ. He says in one place,

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

What did Paul mean when he said, “I speak concerning Christ and the church”? Continue reading “CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH”

TEST THE SPIRITS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The author of the letter to the church at Ephesus is Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:1-3). This letter is a part of the Revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ gave to an Angel, and the Angel signified it to John, John wrote it down in a book and sent it to the churches (Revelation 1:1-2). A great blessing is pronounced upon those who read (aloud), hear and keep those things which are written in the last book of the Bible (Revelation 1:3). John received this wonderful disclosure while he was on the Isle of Patmos. He heard a great voice behind him as the voice of a trumpet, loud, distinct and clear. When he turned to see who was speaking, he saw seven Golden candlesticks; and in the midst of those Golden candlesticks he saw the glorified Christ, like unto the Son of Man, and he had in his right hand seven stars (Revelation 1:9-19). Continue reading “TEST THE SPIRITS”

JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)

By

Shelby G. Floyd

handshake-clipart

What a blessing it is for all of us to come together and worship God. In a congregation where I preached there was a man that visited from time to time. He would fill out a visitor’s card, and on it he would write, “I am a member of the church of Christ at large.” All of us are members of the church of Christ at large. But are we all members of the church of Christ at small? Today I am speaking on the topic of “Joining the Church.” I have never preached on this topic in over 54 years of ministry. All of my life I have heard that you do not join the church. Is it true that we do not join the church? The answer is both yes and no. There is a sense in which we do not join the church. And there is a sense in which we do join the church. Therefore we can have it both ways. Continue reading “JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)”

SOWING AND REAPING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Wheat ears in the hands. Harvest concept

In the beginning, when the Almighty created the heavens and the earth, he established a rule or principle of life which is absolute, and which still holds true to this day; it is the law of sowing and reaping. God ordained that each species of the fauna and flora would always reproduce after their kind. For instance, in connection with the grass and herbs of the field, God said,

“Let the earth bring forth grass, The herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11-12).

Continue reading “SOWING AND REAPING”

NOT ASHAMED CHRISTIANS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

not-ashamed

The church that Jesus promised to build started in Jerusalem. The gospel was to be preached first in Jerusalem, then in Judea and Samaria. Finally it was to be taken to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Later we have the record of Cornelius the Gentile being converted (Acts 10:1-48). From there the disciples preached in Phoenicia, the island of Cyprus and Antioch in Syria (Acts 11:19).

When the church in Jerusalem heard about the wonderful results, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. He did a great work, but realized he needed some help. So he went to Tarsus in Celica and brought Paul back to the church at Antioch. The hand of God was with the disciples in Antioch in Syria.

FIRST CALLED CHRISTIANS IN ANTIOCH

According to Acts 11:26, Barnabas and Saul assembled themselves with the church for a year. These two men also taught a great many people. “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Who called them Christians? The same people who assembled with the church for a year and taught much people, were the ones who called the disciples Christians first in Antioch.

THE NAME CHRISTIAN IS NEW NAME OF ISAIAH

The name Christian is of divine origin. God gave this name through the inspired apostle Paul and Barnabas. It is the new name promised by Isaiah the prophet:

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:1-4).

CHRISTIAN = OF OR BELONGING TO CHRIST

The word Christian means one who is of or belongs to the Lord. Whenever the suffix “ian” is added to a noun in connotes “of or belonging to.” For example an American is one who is of or belonging to America! Therefore a “Christian” is one who is “of or belonging” to Christ. It is a name that we should wear proudly.

Christian people today are being persecuted and put to death in many parts of the world. This also happened shortly after the first century in the Pagan Roman Empire. In many ways the nations today are becoming paganist and hostile to Christians. But the apostle Peter addressed the suffering people of God in the first century:

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Pet. 4:16 NKJV).

Let us all glorify our God as a “Christian!”

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

heartland-church-assembly

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

PETER ORDERED BAPTISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

baptism-by-immersion

In the book of Acts we have the record of Peter’s sermon which he spoke to the household of Cornelius. Cornelius was a Gentile and had invited his family and close friends to be present on this occasion.

PETER SPEAKS TO THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS

It is very interesting to read about what Peter said to Cornelius and his friends. First, Peter admitted that God had convinced him that he is no respecter of people, but will accept people from all nations who fear him and do what is right. “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right’” (Acts 10:34-35).

PETER’S SERMON WAS INTERRUPTED

Next he pointed out that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good until the Jews killed him by hanging him on a tree. Near the conclusion Peter’s sermon was interrupted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. We notice that the last thing he said before the interruption began was that everyone who believed on Christ would receive forgiveness of sins:

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:42-43).

FAITH PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS FORGIVENESS OF SIN

After the interruption was over, the first thing that he said to them was,

“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47-48).

Obviously, if Peter’s speech had not been interrupted, the connection between believing on Jesus and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins would also have been plain to all who love the truth of God.

THE APOSTLES OBEYED THE GREAT COMMISION

This simply is carrying out the Great Commission—the last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Have you been baptized for the forgiveness of sins?

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd

100_1259
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

GO FORWARD IN FAITH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

forward-in-faith

As we focus on the future, God’s people must go forward with a strong faith that God will bless our efforts when we trust in him.

During the darkest hours of the Second World War, when the future of Great Britain was hanging in the balance, Winston Churchill rallied the people of Great Britain and the world when he said, “let us go forward together.”

Many centuries before when God’s people came out of Egypt to escape their bondage, while they were being pursued from behind by the Egyptian army and with the mountains on each side of them, and the Red Sea before them, the Lord admonished Moses to command the children of Israel to go forward: “and the Lord said to Moses, why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15).

Many congregations are spiritually asleep and not actively pursuing the work of the church. A congregation cannot go forward when it is like the church at Laodicea. They were lukewarm and the Lord said he was ready to spew them out of his mouth. They were like a warm cup of coffee that is neither hot nor cold and therefore nauseating to drink. To the church at Laodicea Jesus Christ wrote these words:

“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:14-16).

The message then to all of God’s people is to wake up out of our spiritual sleep and become active in serving the Lord. That’s the reason Paul wrote to the church Ephesus and said, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:13-14).

Almighty God has been good to all of us. He has blessed us by placing us in the most prosperous country in the world. He has blessed us with great material wealth and therefore we need to remember Solomon’s Council to his son in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:1, 9-10
My son…Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
NIV

Let us all go FORWARD IN FAITH!

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

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