Shelby G. Floyd
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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”
Shelby G. Floyd
Near the close of Paul’s brief letter to the young preacher Titus, he penned these words:
Titus 3: 4-7
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
SINFUL MEN NEED SALVATION
First we notice why salvation is needed by the human race. In verse three Paul describes the way people lived without God: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). That is not a pretty picture and deep down most people would not like to live like that. Sin is universal, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, every person that is accountable for their attitude and actions needs salvation from sin.
GOD’S LOVE IS THE BASIS OF SALVATION
Lost sinful man was without hope until the kindness, love, mercy and grace of God appeared to man in the person of Jesus Christ. If man is to be saved or pardoned from his sins, God must save him. When the Christ was born it was stated that his name would be JESUS—Savior, “for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). God’s part in the salvation of man is the large part: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:4-5). While no work of man’s righteousness can be the basis of salvation, this does not mean that man has no part in his salvation. Continue reading “REGENERATION AND RENEWAL”
Shelby G. Floyd
Man is Not Saved by Faith Alone
“Man is saved by faith alone,” is one of the most popular doctrines of the religious world, but it false to the core. Baptism is a condition of salvation, but the religious world largely rejects it because they say it is based on “works,” even though the plain command of Jesus before he left the earth was, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Faith and baptism stand or fall together!
Is Faith the Work of God or the Work of Man?
The question one must ask is this: Is baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), the good confession unto salvation (Romans 10:10, repentance unto life (Acts 11:18), and believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, unto righteousness (Romans 10:9)—the work of God or the work of man? Continue reading “Faith is a Work”