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

ALMOST PERSUADED

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Credit: Google Images

King Agrippa once replied to Paul, and said, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28). If the name Christian be not of divine origin, and be not approved by God, why then would Paul be trying to persuade King Agrippa to be a Christian? And why was Agrippa almost persuaded to be a Christian?

ISAIAH PROPHESIED A NEW NAME

A name is used to distinguish, describe or designate a person, place or thing: therefore, a name is a very important thing. Approximately 700 years before Christ came into the world, Isaiah, the Messianic prophet, spoke of the time when God would give his people a new name:

Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off (Isaiah 56:5).

THE DISCIPLES WERE CALLED CHRISTIANS

During the first century when the church spread out to the Gentiles, the Jerusalem church sent Barnabas that he should go to Antioch. And when he came to Antioch and saw God’s favor upon the Gentiles, he exhorted them all that with purpose of heart, they should cleave to the Lord. It was during this time that great numbers of Gentiles were coming into the church that Barnabas departed from Antioch to Tarsus to find Paul. And the Bible declares,

“And when he had found him, be brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Since the name “Christian” is a name of divine origin, let all of the followers of Christ pay attention to the admonition of the apostle Peter, “…if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16). We pray that many will be all together persuaded to become a Christian and glorify the Great Jehovah, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

shelby@thefloyds.net

HELLO, MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Today, I’m studying with you about the new name Christian. When God called his people Israel, he gave them a new name. He changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Down through the ages, when God has given people a new commission or a new work, many times he has changed their names and has given them a name which signified some new work upon which they were about to embark. So it seems logical and likely that God would give his people a new name when Jesus established his church, and this he actually did, and that name is Christian. Continue reading “HELLO, MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN”

BELIEF AND BAPTISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

baptized-for-forgiveness

While Paul was at Corinth on his second evangelistic journey, “…many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized” (Acts 18: 8). Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching and testifying that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:5). This account of the conversion of the Corinthians is in harmony with all the other conversions in Acts of apostles.

Christ’s Last Instruction
Before Jesus left the earth, his last instructions to the apostles were to, “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).

Later when Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church, he stated that he was thankful he had not personally baptized a great number of people. This was because he did not want anybody to say that he had baptized them into his name:

“I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:14-17).

Baptized For the Forgiveness of Sins
We are to be baptized into the name of Christ for the forgiveness of sins:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:18-20).

Therefore, we can be called Christians and honor him who died for us (Acts 11:26).

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

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

Seeking A Marriage

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Today, most young people between the ages of 18 and 25 are thinking about getting married and having a family.  It is very important for the happiness and success of a young man or young woman to make the right decision in choosing their partner for life.  Perhaps it would be good to observe a few principles by which God’s people made that choice in the Old Testament.

As you probably remember, the patriarch Isaac and his wife Rebecca, had twin boys—Jacob and Esau.  The New Testament declares that Esau was a profane man who sold his birthright for one morsel of food (Hebrews 12:16-17).  This simply means that his character was godless.  We see this demonstrated in the choice that he made when he selected his wife. Continue reading “Seeking A Marriage”