WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

A man asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? Contrary to what we hear today from the popular religious teachers, there is something that man must do to have eternal life. If that question is asked today, most preachers would say, “You do not need to do anything but accept Jesus as your personal Savior.” Therefore, a subjective faith—a mental assent that Jesus is the Christ, is the only condition of salvation. But even a subjective faith is something that man does mentally. And Christ said that belief in Christ is “the work of God.” His words are explicit:

“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:28-29).

Continue reading “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?”

FAMILY TIES

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

Good morning. We hope you are adjusting to your stay at home because of Covid-19. I heard one member would go sit in a chair and ask himself a question. And then he would move to another chair and answer his question. In other words he was talking to himself. That reminds me of a story that my mom told about when she was growing up. There was a man that was always talking to himself! They would kid him about it. One day they asked him why he was talking to himself so much. His answer was classic. “I like to talk to a smart man and I like to hear a smart man talk!”

Today is Easter Sunday and we have a lot of good memories of hunting Easter eggs and family get-together on this holiday. We will have the opportunity to share the joy with little children again. Later in our service today we will remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord when we take communion as we do so each Sunday.

I am speaking to you about Family Ties. Do you miss being with your family? I miss being with my family. I miss having a cup of coffee with my son and his wife and visiting with our daughters in Florida and their families. We also miss being with our grandchildren and great grandchildren. With patience we will also be back meeting as a congregation in one place before too long. Continue reading “FAMILY TIES”

THE GREAT COMMISSION

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The greatest challenge ever committed to mortal men was couched in the words of the great commission. This commission was given by Jesus Christ to the eleven apostles on a mountain in Galilee. It is great because of the great authority which empowers it and sustains it. Jesus said,

“…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18.)

One of the many pursuits of man has been power and authority, but no one man has ever been able to achieve all the power and authority that there is in the earth. But Jesus has all power and authority not only in the earth, but also in heaven. Therefore, he is preeminently qualified to give a commission that relates both to heaven and to earth, to this life and to the life to come.

Isaiah Prophesied of Christ’s Authority

The power, all of which Jesus claimed to have, both in heaven and earth, is the power of rule or government and is generally translated authority. It is the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed. The power, or rule of government, which Jesus claims on this particular occasion is that which Isaiah predicted seven centuries before Christ claimed it. Speaking of Christ, Isaiah said that the government would be upon his shoulder, and,

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” (Isaiah 9:7).

Those Taught Are To Be Baptized

Jesus not only charged his apostles to teach all nations, but also to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20). The element in which they were baptized is not stated in this passage but can be inferred from reading the scriptures concerning this subject elsewhere. They were to be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

When Jesus saw the palsied man let down into the room where he was teaching, he said, “My son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5). Some sitting nearby were startled and in their hearts thought Jesus was guilty of blasphemy. They asked, “Who can forgive sins but God only” (Mark 2:7)?

WHICH IS EASIER TO SAY?

Christ who knows the hearts of men asked them, “Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or take up your bed and walk” (Mark 2:9)? The key word is “say.” It is definitely easier to say “your sins are forgiven.” This would be hard to verify because it would be an act that would be inward and invisible. To tell a paralytic to take up his bed and walk would be more difficult, for it could only be certified if in fact he did take up his bed and walk.

ONLY CHRIST HAS THE ABSOLUTE POWER TO FORGIVE SINS

To prove that he had the power on earth to forgive sins, Jesus told the paralytic to take up his bed and go home. This he did before them all. Therefore Christ demonstrated the ultimate purpose of all his miracles, signs and wonders. They were to confirm his identity as “the Son of Man” who also was the “Son of God.” Christ was the Son of Man according to the flesh and the Son of God according to the Spirit (Roman 1:3-4).

The miracles of Christ and the apostles confirm that Jesus was who he claimed to be and that the word of God is immutable:

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

Only God has the power to forgive sins. Christ is God in the flesh (John 1:1-3, 14), and forgives sins through his blood (Mt. 26:28; 1:21).

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

THE INDWELLING CHRIST

(Ephesians 3:14-21)

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Credit: Google Images

I love the “ancient words” from the word of God and from the song (Ancient Words) that we have just sung. The longer we live and the more we read and study God’s word, the more beautiful they become. It was good to hear the reading of the “ancient words” from Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 3:14-21).

The last time I spoke to you about three weeks ago our lesson was on “The Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart.” At that time we pointed out that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, his magicians had something to do with hardening his heart, and the Bible declares over and over again that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. As a result God brought ten plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the last of which was the death of the firstborn sons of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. It was at this point that Pharaoh urged the children of Israel to leave Egypt as rapidly as they could.

From all of this, we learn that the condition of our heart is ultimately up to each one of us. We have the final say as to how receptive our heart will be to the word of God. So today I want to continue that theme on a positive note. Our lesson today is on the indwelling of Christ in our heart. All of us desire to to think, speak and act better than we normally do. But we will never reach the fullness of faith, hope, and love until Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. In that regard I have always loved the Scripture that Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). So we want Christ to live in our hearts. But how does Christ live in our hearts? He lives in our hearts by faith! Why did he want us to let him live in our hearts? Because he loves us, he died for us and he cleanses us by his precious blood shed on Calvary. Continue reading “THE INDWELLING CHRIST”

“NOT BY FAITH ALONE”

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“The benefits of the gospel come to the person who has faith alone in Christ. The blood of Christ is applied to the sinner upon faith alone in Christ and not at baptism.” –Faith Alone Adherent and Critic

In previous essays we have amply demonstrated that the subject “faith alone” is not a biblical subject and therefore a subject not to be discussed. It has only been discussed so far because certain religious advocates vehemently insist that salvation is predicated on “faith alone!” It has been pointed out that the scriptures teach just the exact opposite. James explicitly states that salvation or justification from sin is “by works” and “not by faith alone.” James teaches the truth: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24 NKJV). Continue reading ““NOT BY FAITH ALONE””

THEWISDOM FROM ABOVE

(James 1:5; 3:13-18)
By
Shelby G. Floyd

Credit: Google Images

Previously we have studied about the wisdom that “is not from above.” In James 3:13-18, two different kinds of wisdom were contrasted—the wisdom from above and the wisdom from below. James is fond of asking questions and making contrasts. In James 1: 5 he asked, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God?” If we need wisdom we are to go to God in prayer and the word of God. That is where it is to be found. Pray and then do everything you can through the means that God has given you to acquire wisdom.

In James 3: 13 he asked, “Is there any among you who has wisdom and understanding, let him show it by his good deeds done in humility and meekness of wisdom?” Continue reading “THEWISDOM FROM ABOVE”

FAITH ALONE NO. 2

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“Faith alone” is not a subject found in the New Testament and therefore should not be considered a biblical doctrine to be discussed. And it would not be discussed were it not for some religionists who are wedded to the Calvinistic Human Creed that salvation is by “faith alone!”

For instance, one of the Calvinistic persuaders writes,

“The benefits of the gospel come to the person who has faith alone in Christ. The blood of Christ is applied to the sinner upon faith alone in Christ and not at baptism.”

The person affirming that proposition could not prove it by any evidence found in the New Testament if his life depended on it. Why? The answer is because it is not a subject found in the New Testament. In search for evidence what the Calvinist would find instead, is the subject of salvation “not by faith alone.” Continue reading “FAITH ALONE NO. 2”

NOT BY FAITH ALONE NO 1

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In almost every standard translation of the New Testament, the phrase “faith alone” or “faith only,” is “only” found one time. And in this case it is preceded by the negative “not!” James writes,

“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24 ESV).

Therefore, salvation from sin by “faith alone” is not a New Testament subject for discussion. It has been concocted and invented in the minds of those who have a human creed to uphold. Therefore, lovers of the truth must refute this false doctrine. And that is what I intend to do! But we must not take this text out of its context and make it a mere pretext. Some will deny the plain statement of scripture quoted above, and will affirm that one is justified by “faith alone!” Continue reading “NOT BY FAITH ALONE NO 1”

WORSHIP AND THE SUNDAY BIBLE CLASSES

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The religion of Jesus Christ must be taught to every person who would be a Christian. This religion is not inherited by a fleshly birth (John 1:11-12; 3:3-5), but it is obtained by faith in Christ Jesus (John 20:30-31). Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), the word must be taught. In giving the great commission, Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). A person then must enter the school of Christ to be instructed in the gospel in order to be a child of God. Jesus taught that, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45).

However, this instruction does not end with conversion, but extends throughout the Christian life. After the apostles baptized the disciples; Jesus instructed them to teach the disciples to observe all that he had commanded them (Matthew 28:20). The three thousand on the day of Pentecost who gladly received the word, and were baptized, did not stop their instruction in the knowledge of Christ: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). We have access to the grace of God through the teaching of Christ and his apostles (Titus 2:11-12).

The Sunday school with classes for every age is one of the best ways the church can obey the great commission. The Sunday school contributes largely to the number of persons who are baptized each year. The teachers of each class should realize they have a weighty responsibility to edify the body of Christ. One of the purposes of the Sunday school then is to teach the gospel to those who attend the services, but are not yet members of the church. Those who are members need to attend the classes on Sunday in order to obtain knowledge of the Christian religion:

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

Unless each Christian advances in grace and knowledge there is reason to believe that person will be carnal minded and a detriment to the church (I Corinthians 3:1-3). Each congregation needs to equip and train more teachers and evangelists to preach the word. The Sunday school classes provide an excellent means to do this. Any Christian aspiring to be a teacher of the gospel will not be absent himself from the Bible classes conducted in the church. The teachers can train other teachers by committing the gospel to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Many members of the church who should be teaching others need to be taught themselves, because they have become dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Each Christian is commanded to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible is “…given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is therefore the text book in every class in the Bible School.

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