Shelby G. Floyd

Christ is the Lamb of God. The blood of Christ of the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The Roman soldiers crucified Jesus upon the cross between two thieves. These solders later confirmed he was dead. To make sure the crucified were dead the soldiers broke their legs. But they found Christ dead, so they did not break his legs. But a soldier cast a spear and pierced his side. And immediately blood and water came forth (John 19:32-34). Therefore, Christ shed his blood in his death.

Baptized Into the Benefits of Christ Death

How can one contact the blood of Christ? Paul answered: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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 6:3-4 NKJV).

On the day of Pentecost, Peter commanded repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Repentance and baptism are the conditions to receive the benefits of the blood of Christ. We learn that Christ loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood (Revelation 1:5). How does the blood of Christ wash away our sins? The sins of baptized believers are washed away by the blood of Christ. That is what Saul of Tarsus did: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16).

The Church Purchased by the Blood of Christ

Christ purchased the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Every drop of the blood of Christ went to purchase his church. How do we receive the benefits of the blood of Christ relative to the church? On the day of Pentecost, the Lord added 3000 baptized believers to the church (Acts 2:41-47). The benefits of the shed blood of Christ accrue to the person who hears the gospel, believes with all the heart, repents of sin and is baptized according to the will of God. There is power in the blood of Christ.

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


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




Shelby G. Floyd

Once Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17 NKJV). They made their living catching fish out of the Sea of Galilee. Therefore, they understood the figurative statement of Christ. He could make them fishers of men. They also knew the sea was the whole world, the fish represented all humanity, and the net was the gospel.

We Must Become Fishers of Men

Today, we also must fish for men. We like Christ, must endeavor to seek and to save the lost. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 10). We are fishers of men because the everlasting souls of men are worth more than the entire world.

We Must Lose Our Life in Service to Christ

Effective soul seekers lose their life in service to God and his kingdom. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16: 25-26).

Paradoxically, when we lose our life in service to God, we save our life. Conversely, when we save our physical life, we lose our spiritual life. Therefore, if a man saves his physical earthly life, gains the whole world and loses his own soul, he will not profit in anything.

The Soul is Worth More Than the Whole World

The soul of man, made in the image of God, is worth more than the entire world. Therefore the salvation of the souls of sinners requires us to evangelize those who are lost. The only way that a soul can be saved from death is by converting that soul from error to truth, from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. James said, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). God’s people then are the agents in converting souls from death. And the means used to accomplish this end is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sin Separates Men from God

Sinners are separated from God forever because of their sins and iniquities (Isaiah 59:1-2). The soul made in the image of God, unless converted to Christ, will be banished from God’s presence forever. This should motivate them to come to Christ, for apart from Christ there is no life.

There Are Few Laborers for the Harvest

Jesus had great compassion on the multitudes of people because he saw them scattered abroad as sheep without a shepherd. They were scattered because there were not enough workers to bring them to God. Jesus addressed his disciples, and said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).

Today the fields are white unto harvest, but there are few laborers in that harvest to bring souls to God. If we are truly wise and intelligent we will work at winning souls for Christ. We have been won to win others. We have been saved in order to bring others to salvation. Solomon said, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

Is there anything else that is better worth,
As along life’s way we plod,
Than to find some wandering soul of earth,
And bring him home to God?

I would rather find a soul that is lost,
And bring him home again,
Than to own what all earth’s acres cost,
Or all the wealth of men.

Wouldn’t I be glad when the day is done,
In breathing my latest breath,
To know some word of mine had won,
And saved a soul from death?”
–Author Unknown

Fishers of Men Teach Publicly and Privately

The New Testament church was a soul winning church. The apostles and the members of the church involved themselves in evangelism. In the book of Acts we read that Peter and John were in prison because they preached Christ and his kingdom to the population of Jerusalem. The opposition threatened and charged them not to teach or preach in his name any longer. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5: 41-42).

We note that New Testament evangelism involved teaching in houses, and preaching publicly the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church today will grow as it once did, when private and public evangelism prevail! This demands the efforts of every member of the body of Christ.

Copyright © 2023 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved

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




Shelby G. Floyd


Good morning church! It is wonderful to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will study God’s word and apply the truth to what is going on in our world.

We are glad that Ronnie Cooper is here today. Vinton and Kathy Morgan of Mount Gilead, Ohio are visiting with us today. Vinton preaches for the Perry Church of Christ that was founded in the 1800s during the Restoration Movement back to New Testament Christianity. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in that area! Please make them feel welcome.

I am speaking on “The Handwriting on the Wall!” We studied the book of Ezekiel for almost three months. So, I thought it good to present a lesson on the complete downfall of Babylon by Cyrus the Great and Darius I of the Medes.

Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of God about 586 B. C. Nebuchadnezzar carried the Jewish nobility back to Babylon. In ancient times when a nation conquered another nation, they brought the brightest and best educated back to their own country. Then they used them to enhance their own country. So, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abed-Nego were added to the wise men of Babylon. But others captured, like Ezekiel, they took in exile down by the Chebar River. Continue reading “THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL”



Shelby G. Floyd

After King David captured Jerusalem, he chose Mount Moriah as the site to build the permanent place of worship called the temple.

Solomon’s Temple
Solomon, the son of David would build this temple. David could not build it because he was a man of bloodshed! Solomon finished building the temple in 957 B. C. This building had three rooms. The Most Holy Place was where the Ark of the Covenant rested.

Babylon Destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 B. C.
The Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the city of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple in 587 to 586 B. C. (See 2 Kings 25:8-12). After Jerusalem fell, a man who escaped came to Ezekiel in Babylon and said, “The city has fallen” (Ezekiel 33:21). The Temple treasures and several detachments of Jews were taken to Babylon, including the prophets Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah. Continue reading “ISRAEL’S TEMPLE WORSHIP”



Shelby G. Floyd



Finally, I shall point out in plain language, that the Bible teaches us explicitly that we can know the truth.  Therefore, truth is attainable.


We can know the truth—we may not attain to all of God’s truth revealed to us, but it is possible for us to know the plain truth of God revealed to us in his word.  How do we know that?  We return to the words of our text:

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).

Did Jesus teach explicitly that we can know the truth?  Yes, Jesus declared very plainly that his disciples would be able to truly know the truth and be made free from sin. But that would be contingent upon continuing in his word.  If every one of us will continue in the word of God, we will be a true disciple and we will know the truth. And the truth will set us free from the power, the stain, the burden, and the guilt of our sin.  That is very plain and that is my favorite text on this subject.  Do not ever forget it and stamp it indelibly in your hearts.  The statement of Jesus is an explicit statement that man can know the truth.

But the apostle John has a statement that is almost as explicit as the words of Christ:

“I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth” (1 John 2:21 NIV).

John, why are you writing to these people?  Is it because they do not know the truth?  No, it is because they do know the truth!  Well, John, what else do they know?  They also know that no lie is of the truth.  Therefore, man can know the truth and man can know the difference between the truth and a lie.  No lie is of the truth; no truth is of a lie.  That is according to the law of contradiction.  The truth cannot be truth and a lie; and a lie cannot be a lie and the truth.  John, do these people know certain things?  Yes, they know the truth.  And they also know that no lie is of the truth.

While I do not have the time and space to refer to all of the explicit statements in the Bible that affirm that man can know the truth, I will only say that the apostle John uses the word know 24 times in his first letter (1 John).  Why did John use the word know so many times?  He did so because the Gnostics of his day claimed to know truth that others could not know. That is the reason John countered by using the same word to teach that Christian people can know the truth of God. Continue reading “YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH NO. 4”



Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). How can we know the truth through contemplation?

The Bible teaches us through contemplation in two ways. The Bible teaches us implicitly and explicitly. What does that mean? The Bible teaches truth by explicit statements that are true. That means that the Bible implies certain things. We all know and learn certain things by implication.

For instance, I could take a dollar bill out of my billfold and put that dollar bill in an envelope. You could see me do that. Then I could seal up the envelope and put the envelope in the trunk of an automobile. How do you know that the dollar is in the trunk of an automobile? You could not see the dollar bill when the envelope was put in the trunk. But by the process of contemplation, reflection, perception, precise reasoning, and drawing conclusions, you would know obviously that if you put a dollar bill in the envelope, and then you put the envelope in the truck of the car, the dollar bill is in the trunk of the automobile. And so we can know a lot of things in the realm of contemplation.

Now, if it be the case that the Bible teaches certain things and we can know certain things implicitly, then it is the case that we can know implicitly certain things that God has taught us. Continue reading “YOU CAN KNOW THE TRUTH NO. 3”



Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning church! We have a lot to be thankful for. Please introduce yourself to the newest person at Heartland. Baby Millie Mae is here with us today!

Today I speak on the topic, “The Traditions of Men or God.” You might ask, “Does God have traditions?” Yes he does! And he has handed them down to us. Please open your Bible to 2 Thessalonians 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” The Greek word for traditions is [paradosis]. Therefore, Paul tells the church to hold fast to the traditions they had received and were taught. So we have God’s traditions handed down to us by inspired spokesmen of God.

Now we go to a conversation Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees: “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition” (Matthew 15:1-3 NKJV)? Jesus then rebuked these people because they followed the traditions of the elders. And their traditions actually violated God’s eternal word. Here traditions is translated from the Greek word [paradosis], the same as in 2 Thessalonians 2:15!

Now we examine our main text in Mark the seventh chapter. At the close of Mark chapter 6, we see that the common people loved and followed Jesus wherever he went. But the scribes and Pharisees are quite different. They were always trying to catch him in something that they could use to condemn him. Why? Because he violated the traditions of the elders!


Once there was a story about a young rabbi who went to work at a synagogue. And he was new on the job. So he had to get acquainted with the people. But he got off to a rocky start! When the congregation had a prayer service, half the congregation would stand, and half the congregation would be seated! And the group standing while praying were saying to those seated “stand up, stand up!” And the ones who were seated while praying, said to the ones who were standing up, “sit down, sit down!”

So the young rabbi had a problem. And he said to himself, what am I going to do? All they do is fight all the time over whether to stand or sit! Someone suggested to him that he go to the nursing home and talk to an old man who was the oldest member of the synagogue congregation. So he took a representative from both groups with him to see the old man. They asked him, “Is it our tradition to stand while we pray?” He said, “That is not our tradition!” They asked, “Is it our tradition to stay seated while we pray?” He said, “That is not our tradition.” The young rabbi then asked him, “What shall I do? All they do is fight all the time.” The old man said, “That is our tradition!”


Sadly, that is the tradition of too many churches! Now Jesus Christ had to deal with situations just like that. And his conversation with the scribes and Pharisees is such an example. In Mark’s account the apostles “gathered together” and shared with Jesus what they were doing, and what they were teaching. But the enemies of Christ also “gathered together.” For in Mark 7:1 the same verb is used to describe the assembling of a delegation of scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. But they came together to discredit Jesus.

Now we see two groups who have gathered themselves together. One group wants to learn from Jesus, and the other group is made up of adversaries who want to discredit Jesus. When they observed the disciples of Christ doing something not in keeping with their tradition, “they found fault” (Mark 7:2). Their main occupation was “fault finding!” So I ask all of us, “Are we here today to worship God and to learn his word or are we here to be a nit picking, faultfinding type of person?” It all goes back to our attitude of heart!

Now these two opposing groups who came to Jesus, clash together. And what did they clash over? The adversaries saw some of Jesus disciples eating bread with unwashed hands. I think we have become too particular over this washing thing. As a child I do not remember washing my hands often before I ate. We would play all day and eat with “unwashed hands.” Remember when they criticized the disciples, Jesus said to his adversaries, “It is not what goes into your mouth that offends you, it is what comes out” (Mark 7:17-23). And so Jesus did not condemn the disciples for eating bread without washing their hands!

His critics were “fault finders” and that was their tradition to wash their hands before eating bread. How does God’s word describe these traditional fault finders?

  1. “The tradition of the elders” (Mark 7: 3, 5);
  2. “The precepts (commandments) of men (Mark 7:7);
  3. “The traditions of men” (Mark 7:8);
  4. “That you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9); and
  5. “Your tradition which you have handed down” (Mark 7:13).

So do you see how that word tradition was used by those who opposed Jesus? Mark explained it in these words, “For the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders” (Mark 7:3). Now if they wanted to wash their hands every time before they ate, that was certainly all right. What made that wrong was when they wanted to bind that action on everyone else. God had not made that a law. It was their law! And the human tendency is to bind our opinions on everyone else!

And according to Mark 7:4 there were many more things which the scribes and Pharisees would do after they washed their hands:

  1. They must wash when they come from the marketplace.
  2. And they must wash cups, pots, copper vessels, and couches.

By the way “wash” [baptisontai] is translated from a form of the Greek word [baptidzo], which means to dip, plunge, and immerse. Baptism is by immersion, not sprinkling water on a person. Therefore when you wash your hands, you do not just sprinkle a little water on them, but you immerse them in a bowl of water. Hence,  even this story upholds the idea that baptism is by immersion and not sprinkling a little water on someone!

Therefore, these “fault finders” became very brave. And they finally asked Jesus this question: “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands” (Mark 7:5)? Again, they are pushing “the tradition of the elders.”


The traditionalists wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus ate bread with unwashed hands. All the scribes and Pharisees wash their hands before they eat bread. Why do you and your disciples break that tradition? So they put Jesus on the spot by firing these questions at him.

Over the years I have noticed that sometimes people will ask you a loaded question. After a little thought you realize that however you answer that question you could be in trouble. So you answer their question by asking them a question! Sometimes the best way to answer a question is by asking a question. And basically that is what Jesus did when he turned the tables on these scribes and Pharisees.

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do” (Mark 7:6-8).

Jesus basically answered their question when he charged that their doctrine of the traditions and commandments of men made hypocrites out of them all! “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honor Me with their lips. But their heart is far from Me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7). So their traditions had made hypocrites out of them all!

I have two great granddaughters that love acting in children’s plays. They perform at a little theater for children. Most of them are Disney plays for children. And our Sam Brown does good acting in some adult plays!

What does the word hypocrite mean? The word means one who acts the part of another! Biblically a hypocrite is from the Greek word [hupokrites], and means a “play actor, or pretender.” The scribes and pharisees were hypocrites that were pretending to be someone or something that they were not! So hypocrisy is “playacting!” This all goes back to the Greek and Roman times when a person would act in a play. Jesus therefore condemned the scribes and Pharisees for playing the part of someone they were not.

What are some characteristics of those who play act the hypocrite?

  1. They give lip service to God. So said Isaiah the prophet. Lip service, not heart service!
  2. Their heart is far away from God.
  3. Their worship is vain and empty.
  4. There doctrine or teaching is made up of “the commandments of men.”
  5. They lay aside the commandment of God, and replace it with “the tradition of men.”
  6. And the washing of hands, pitchers, pots, and many other things are examples of “their tradition.”
  7. They were only interested in the external compliance with tradition regardless of whether it conformed to God’s teaching or not.

In fact they were “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:13). Tradition [Grk. Paradosis] is the transmission of teaching from one to another until it becomes a way of life. Thus these traditions of men came to replace the commands of God. Then the next step in apostasy is false worship of the true God.


I remember growing up and attending a fairly large congregation. And we would have about four trays for communion on the Lord’s table, with all of those individual cups and unleavened bread. The men would line up at the back and come down front to the Lord’s table. Preparation to communion was like a beautiful ceremony. There was a beautiful linen cloth that covered the Lord’s table. And it was starched and ironed to perfection. The men presiding would carefully pick it up, fold it solemnly and lay it aside. As a little boy I was impressed by that ceremony. That was our tradition in those days.

But then as the church grew, there were eight or ten trays on the Lord’s table. And then there was no linen cloth covering the communion. And I wondered, what happened to the linen cloth? That was our tradition! So I just thought, there must be a reason for the change of habit. But later while reading some sermons I found out why we had a linen cloth covering the Lord’s table. Years ago there was no air conditioning in our church buildings, so windows were open with fresh air, and the flies would come in. The church covered the Lord’s table to keep the flies away. And that was a good thing. But thankfully “our tradition” did not become a permanent way of life. Traditions are bad when they are made “the law of God.” But suppose some “silly Pharisee” had said, “We have always covered the communion with a linen cloth, and we are going to have it that way always!” Lord deliver us from such people! That is a good example of how people can form silly traditions and bind them on everybody else.

The human tendency has always been to reduce God’s laws to certain external acts which can be obeyed without a true change of heart. About a quarter of a century ago the churches of Christ started singing some new songs. God never handed down any songs or melody, nor did he tell us to sing fast or slow or in between. But there were some who wanted to bind their tradition on everyone else! They only wanted to sing songs that were written in the 1800’s and 1900’s. Some of these people were described as “church clowns!” They wanted to be noticed like a clown, but what they were actually doing was upholding “the traditions of men.” They did not want to sing any new songs. We wonder if they will be able to “sing the new song” that God’s people will sing in heaven (Revelation 14:3).

This is simply another example of how human traditions can lead to false worship. The human tendency has always been to reduce God’s laws to certain external acts which can be obeyed without a true change of heart taking place. For example, when they saw the Pharisees wash their hands before a meal, they took it for granted that they possessed a clean heart, which was not necessarily so. When it was not so, Jesus called it hypocrisy and the outward parading of righteousness:

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6-7).


Where did the Jewish traditions originate? We did some research and found out that the Jewish rabbis accumulated them over many years. When Jesus walked upon the earth they were among the scribes and Pharisees. But it was not until the third century A.D. that some rabbis produced 613 spoken commandments. The 613 laws are actually listed on the Internet. It would deplete your paper and ink to print all these laws!

Those 613 laws are called the Mitzvot or Mitzvah. We know that a Jewish boy takes his Bar Mitzvah when he is 13 years old. The term “Mitzvah” means command or law. “Bar” means “son.” Therefore “The Bar Mitzvah” means “The Son of the Law.” This law is not God’s law, but “the law of the rabbis.”


In Exodus 20:1-12, we have the 10 Commandments catalogued. Moses received those laws on Mount Sinai by the hand of God. They were on their way to “the promised land.” Therefore by the time of Jesus  the rabbis had multiplied the Decalogue into “the traditions!” And then by the third century A.D. they had 613 commands which became their traditions – the traditions of men called the Mitzvah.


Can you visualize trying to remember all those laws, and then to keep all those traditions? It would be impossible. No one could do that! Now when Jesus came into the world, he realized that for 1500 years the Jewish people have not been able to keep the law. And the apostle Peter reminded his audience in the Council meeting in Acts 15 about this matter. He had those who wanted to bind the Jewish traditions on the Gentiles! Peter said, “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (Acts 15:10-11).

And our Lord Jesus Christ actually boiled the 10 Commandments down to just two commandments! Surely, we all can keep these two commands:  Jesus said,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Therefore if we keep these two laws to the best of our ability, we will want to keep all the instructions that God expects of us. This is a stark contrast to the Mitzvah. Ask yourself, do I love God with all of my heart—my mind, my emotion, my willpower, and my conscience? Do I love my neighbor the same way?

As we stand and sing a song of encouragement, remember the words of the apostle Peter when he said, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). *

*Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd delivered this sermon July 30, 2023, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Since we can know the truth, what are the laws of finding the truth?




There are certain laws in the philosophical world, just as there are certain laws in the scientific and physical world. 

The Law of Identity

First, there is the law of identity. “If a proposition is true then it is true.”  For example, the law of identity states that if a statement has been determined to be true, then the statement is true. In plain terms, it states that Y is Y. For example, if I make a statement that ‘It is raining,’ and it is the truth, then the statement must be true. That is the law of identity.

The Law of the Excluded Middle

Then there is the law of the excluded middle.  “Every precisely stated proposition is either true or false.”  A proposition cannot be both true and false.  For example, if I said that it is the case that today is Sunday, then it could not be the case that it is Sunday for some of you, and Saturday for others, or Monday for still others.  This proposition is either true or false.  The law of the excluded middle is that every precisely stated proposition is either true or false—one or the other. 

The Law of Contradiction

The law of contradiction is that no proposition can be both true and false in the same respect. For example, the statements: “All apples are red,” and “It is not true that all apples are red” is contradictory. This means that one of those statements must be false; they cannot both be true at the same time and in the same manner.


Finally, the law of rationality is that we ought to justify our conclusions by adequate evidence.  When there is enough credible evidence, then a conclusion must follow. Then your conclusion must be true if it is based on logical facts. For example, Alexander Campbell once said to the young students at Bethany College, “Never put more confidence in a proposition than there is evidence to back it up,” or words to that effect.




I believe that is enough preliminary background into the realm of knowledge that comes by contemplation. And even knowledge that comes by contemplation, perception, and reflection, comes by at least two of our five senses.  We cannot contemplate about something unless you have read it, and we read it by looking—using the eyesight—the optical sense.  And we can contemplate about certain things by hearing—by the auditory senses.  And therefore, even knowledge that comes by contemplation comes through at least two or more of our five senses.  Helen Keller could not see or hear, but she knew a lot of things by contemplation.  She used a third sense and that was the sense of touch—the tactile sense.  She was taught certain things by Braille.  Therefore, knowledge that comes by contemplation can come through three or more of our senses—hearing, seeing, and touch.  But it doesn’t have to be in the realm of personal experience.

Copyright © 1993, 2010, 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd delivered this portion of a sermon, November 31, 1993, at the South Central Church of Christ, 265 East Southport Road, Indianapolis, Indiana




Shelby G. Floyd


Jesus Christ said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

Many philosophers and wise man agree with what Jesus said.  “The truth is always the strongest argument,” wrote Sophocles.  Daniel Defoe penned, “He that has truth on his side is a fool if he is afraid to own it because of other men’s opinions.”  “Keep one thing forever in view—the truth, and if you do that, though it may seem to lead you away from the opinions of man, it will assuredly conduct you to the throne of God,” affirmed Horace Mann. An unknown author gave us these wonderful words: “An honest man alters his opinion to fit the truth.  A prejudiced man alters the truth to fit his opinion.”


Can man know the truth?  Can man know any truth?  That is the question we must answer.  I have a very simple proposition for you to consider.  And that proposition my friends is this: “you can know the truth.”  Everyone can know the truth; all can know the truth.  That is the proposition I will seek to uphold and prove with credible evidence.

What is Truth?

What is truth?  A philosopher wrote, “A statement is true if what it says to be the case is the case.  And it is false if what it says to be the case is not the case.”  That is a very simple definition of truth. And it is adequate for what we now present as truth. Truth is a statement that is true if what it says to be the case is actually the case.  Truth is a faithful report of what is, has been, or shall be.

Some Preliminary Matters

Before we consider the question, “Can man know the truth,” there are preliminary matters we must settle.  The problem that men have always faced is, “can we know the truth?”  Is it the case that we can know the truth?  The Greek word [ginosko] means, “I know.”  And the Greek word [aginosko] means, “I do not know.” A theist is one who says, “I believe and therefore I know that God does exist.”  And atheist is one that says, “I know that God does not exist.”  An agnostic is one that says, “I don’t know whether God exists or not.”

It is sad that many people in the church, will not talk with their neighbors and friends about the existence of God, the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the verbal inspiration of the Bible, because they take the position of the agnostic.  Their reasoning goes like this: “Well their opinion is just as good as my opinion.  And since I cannot know absolutely that God is, or that Christ is the Son of God, or that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative word of God, then why should I talk with somebody and take that position that I do know?”

That is a false idea.  We can know that God exists.  We can know the truth that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God.  We can know that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and authoritative word of God.


What do we mean when we say, “I know?”  Can one know anything?  Can one know everything?  Is it possible for one to come to the knowledge of what knowing means?  After all, if we cannot know anything, can I even come to the knowledge of knowing what knowing means?  Yes, we can know the truth of what it means to know something.  Would it be possible for one to know that it is impossible to know?  Some say that one cannot know anything!  And yet they seem to know that one thing, that they cannot know anything!  They know one thing.  What is the one thing they know?  The one thing they know—is that it is impossible to know anything.  But if it is possible to know that you cannot know anything, then it just might be possible to know that you can know some more things.  I will be the first to admit that man cannot know everything.  I insist I do not know everything.  And I think most of you would agree that you do not know everything.  I do not know everything about God, but because I cannot know everything about God’s existence, does it follow logically and rationally and intellectually, that I cannot know that God does exist.  No, that does not follow.

We Know by Experience

When we start to talk about the realm of knowledge, we enter into the field that we call epistemology.  Epistemology is that branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge.  Human beings come to have knowledge, basically and fundamentally in two ways.  We know certain things today by experience.  That knowledge which comes to us by experience comes through our sense perception—the five senses of man.  And this is what we categorize as science.  A lot of the things we know today are scientific by nature—they came by our sense perception and our experience.  Man knows many things in that way.

We Know by Contemplation

In the second place, man also knows things through contemplation.  We contemplate or reflect in our minds through observation, through perception, and through precise reasoning.  And that is what we call the branch of learning known as philosophy.  So philosophy deals with knowledge that comes by contemplation.  Science deals with knowledge that comes by experience.

If we contemplate about the universe, that is what we call metaphysics.  If we contemplate about human conduct, that is what we call ethics or morality.  If we contemplate about the beauty of our world, that is what we call aesthetics.  And if we contemplate about correct reasoning, that is what we call logic—both inductive and deductive logic and reasoning.

Is there evidence that we can know something—either through sense perception, and therefore experience, or is there evidence also that we can know something by contemplation, reflection, perception, and reasoning? I believe there is such evidence.  The empirical philosophers insist that we can only know something by means of our five senses.  If you cannot hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, or touch it, they say you cannot know anything!  That is what the empirical philosophers teach and affirm.

The existential philosophers say and insist that there is really no way that we can know anything for sure or absolutely.  They say that the best we can do is to come to an accommodative knowledge of truth, or a high degree of probability of truth.  But to know something for sure and absolutely, the existential philosopher says that we cannot know anything.  But they are in a self-defeating and a self-contradictory position, for they seem to know that one thing for sure and absolutely and that is that you cannot know anything for sure or absolutely. But the divine philosophers that gave us divine revelation insist that we can know things by our physical, mental and moral senses.  They also teach that we can know the truth through contemplation based on adequate evidence.

Copyright © 1993, 2010, 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


This is a portion of a sermon presented by Shelby G. Floyd, November 21, 1993, at the South Central Church of Christ, 265 East Southport Road, Indianapolis, Indiana.



Shelby G. Floyd

It is a beautiful morning! And it is good to stand before you and present the word of God. I have decided to speak on the subject, “Watchmen on the Wall!”

We do not usually hear many sermons from the book of Ezekiel. But over the past six months, I have presented at least two lessons from Ezekiel. I spoke to you about those Dry Bones representing Israel who was dead spiritually. Then not long ago I spoke to you that Ezekiel was looking for someone to “Stand in the Gap!” And he found no one.

Today, we study “Watchmen on the Wall.” We all need watchmen. We do not have walls to watch out for invaders to come as far as nations are concerned. The Great Wall of China is probably the last example where nations tried to protect themselves by building a big high wall. But we do hear a lot about we need a wall on our southern border to protect from illegal invaders! So we still see the need for some kind of walls. Continue reading “WATCHMAN ON THE WALL”