Shelby G. Floyd
It is a great blessing when a new birth takes place in a family. The congregation has been blessed by the birth of a new baby boy in recent weeks. We have observed the joy and happiness this brings to the family. In the same way, when one is “born again” or “born from above,” there is great joy in heaven and on earth among the people of God. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
BORN INTO THREE KINGDOMS
Have you been born into God’s kingdom? We enter every kingdom by birth. We are all now citizens of the kingdom of nature. How did we enter that kingdom? We entered the kingdom of nature by a physical birth. It made natural beings out of us because we live in a natural kingdom. The church is the kingdom of God. It’s a spiritual kingdom. How do we enter into that kingdom? We enter the spiritual kingdom of God by a spiritual birth of water and of the Spirit. What kind of beings does it make out of us? It makes beings correspondent to the constitution of that kingdom. It makes gracious beings out of us because we are saved by the grace of God. And finally, one of these days when Jesus comes back again our bodies are going to be resurrected out of the grave. Jesus, by His resurrection, is said to be the firstborn of the dead. If He’s the firstborn, then that implies that others will follow. When we’re born from the dead, it will be a birth of and from the grave. The birth from the grave will induct us into the everlasting kingdom. This will be the heavenly state. What kind of beings will it make out of us? Our nature will be correspondent to the nature of that kingdom. We will be glorious beings not subject to death. We will have a spiritual body. We will see Jesus as He really is. We’ll be like Him. We’ll share in His glory. A natural birth makes natural beings. It brings us into a natural kingdom. A spiritual birth makes us spiritual beings and brings us into a spiritual kingdom and a glorious birth will make glorious beings out of us and will conduct us into a glorious kingdom—heaven itself. The new birth into the kingdom of God is a connecting vestibule between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of glory. You need to participate in it. The new birth is not an option. Jesus also said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Continue reading “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN”
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
Credit: Google Images
A joyful congregation is made up of joyful people who have joyful homes. Most people want to have a happy home. To have a happy home is no accident. It involves work, planning and cooperation. Above all else, a happy home is a home that respects and abides by God’s instructions for each member of the family:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—”that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Continue reading “Family Responsibilities”