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

TEST THE SPIRITS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The author of the letter to the church at Ephesus is Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:1-3). This letter is a part of the Revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ gave to an Angel, and the Angel signified it to John, John wrote it down in a book and sent it to the churches (Revelation 1:1-2). A great blessing is pronounced upon those who read (aloud), hear and keep those things which are written in the last book of the Bible (Revelation 1:3). John received this wonderful disclosure while he was on the Isle of Patmos. He heard a great voice behind him as the voice of a trumpet, loud, distinct and clear. When he turned to see who was speaking, he saw seven Golden candlesticks; and in the midst of those Golden candlesticks he saw the glorified Christ, like unto the Son of Man, and he had in his right hand seven stars (Revelation 1:9-19). Continue reading “TEST THE SPIRITS”

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

By

Shelby G. Floyd

love-one-another

Credit: Google Images

God’s people must learn by practice to love one another and pray for one another. Nothing in the world will convince outsiders that we are truly the disciples of the Lord more than visible, genuine love and affection among brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). It was reported to have been said by outsiders in apostolic times, “Oh, how those Christians love one another.” Continue reading “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”

WORSHIP ON THE LORD’S DAY

By

Shelby G. Floyd

lords-day

The New Testament clearly outlines the essentials on worship. These are: the Lord’s Supper, the contribution, prayer, preaching, and singing. However, in the matters of judgment or incidentals the New Testament does not have a lot to say. This indicates that God leaves it up to our human judgment as to how we should carry out what he has commanded when he has not specifically stated how we are to carry it out!

A Window into Worship

In our text, we have a window through which to see a worship service of the New Testament church. This worship took place at Troas on Paul’s third evangelistic journey (Acts 20:1-12).

As Paul traveled around visiting the churches he encouraged them with the word of God. Comfort and encouragement mostly comes from the word of God: “He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece” (Acts 20:2).

First Day of the Week Worship

We notice that worship at Troas was on the first day of the week. This is what we call Sunday. Why was worship on Sunday and not on Saturday or any other day of the week?

“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7 NKJV).

Why did the New Testament church worship on Sunday instead of Saturday, which was the day of worship for the Jews? They worshipped on Sunday because Jesus Christ himself sanctified the first day of the week, by his own resurrection from the dead on the first day the week (Luke 24:1).

John Worshipped in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

John the apostle was exiled to the island of Patmos, probably by Domitian (84-96 A. D.). He was away from the church on the mainland of Asia Minor. But on Sunday—the first day of the week, John described himself as being in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10). This means, that he was in heart and soul with the congregation that worshipped on the first day of the week. On Sunday all Christians need to be present in body and spirit to worship the Lord.

Let us also be devoted to taking the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, to remember the salvation we have in Christ. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Copyright © 2011-2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd

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

JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)

By

Shelby G. Floyd

handshake-clipart

What a blessing it is for all of us to come together and worship God. In a congregation where I preached there was a man that visited from time to time. He would fill out a visitor’s card, and on it he would write, “I am a member of the church of Christ at large.” All of us are members of the church of Christ at large. But are we all members of the church of Christ at small? Today I am speaking on the topic of “Joining the Church.” I have never preached on this topic in over 54 years of ministry. All of my life I have heard that you do not join the church. Is it true that we do not join the church? The answer is both yes and no. There is a sense in which we do not join the church. And there is a sense in which we do join the church. Therefore we can have it both ways. Continue reading “JOINING THE DISCIPLES (CHURCH)”

WORSHIP THAT COST SOMETHING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

worship-cost-something

King David once said, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24). He then bought the threshing floor of Araunah at a price and made his offering unto the Lord:

“So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings” (2 Sam. 24:24-25).

Continue reading “WORSHIP THAT COST SOMETHING”

PETER ORDERED BAPTISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

baptism-by-immersion

In the book of Acts we have the record of Peter’s sermon which he spoke to the household of Cornelius. Cornelius was a Gentile and had invited his family and close friends to be present on this occasion.

PETER SPEAKS TO THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS

It is very interesting to read about what Peter said to Cornelius and his friends. First, Peter admitted that God had convinced him that he is no respecter of people, but will accept people from all nations who fear him and do what is right. “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right’” (Acts 10:34-35).

PETER’S SERMON WAS INTERRUPTED

Next he pointed out that Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good until the Jews killed him by hanging him on a tree. Near the conclusion Peter’s sermon was interrupted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. We notice that the last thing he said before the interruption began was that everyone who believed on Christ would receive forgiveness of sins:

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:42-43).

FAITH PLUS BAPTISM EQUALS FORGIVENESS OF SIN

After the interruption was over, the first thing that he said to them was,

“Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47-48).

Obviously, if Peter’s speech had not been interrupted, the connection between believing on Jesus and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins would also have been plain to all who love the truth of God.

THE APOSTLES OBEYED THE GREAT COMMISION

This simply is carrying out the Great Commission—the last words of Jesus before he went back to heaven: “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). Have you been baptized for the forgiveness of sins?

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd

100_1259
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

BOAST IN THE LORD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

boast-in-the-lord

It is the nature of some people to boast—about their education, their possessions, their status in life, ad nauseam: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:2). This is a good way for others to turn the other way when they see such a one coming toward them. Continue reading “BOAST IN THE LORD”

GO FORWARD IN FAITH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

forward-in-faith

As we focus on the future, God’s people must go forward with a strong faith that God will bless our efforts when we trust in him.

During the darkest hours of the Second World War, when the future of Great Britain was hanging in the balance, Winston Churchill rallied the people of Great Britain and the world when he said, “let us go forward together.”

Many centuries before when God’s people came out of Egypt to escape their bondage, while they were being pursued from behind by the Egyptian army and with the mountains on each side of them, and the Red Sea before them, the Lord admonished Moses to command the children of Israel to go forward: “and the Lord said to Moses, why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exodus 14:15).

Many congregations are spiritually asleep and not actively pursuing the work of the church. A congregation cannot go forward when it is like the church at Laodicea. They were lukewarm and the Lord said he was ready to spew them out of his mouth. They were like a warm cup of coffee that is neither hot nor cold and therefore nauseating to drink. To the church at Laodicea Jesus Christ wrote these words:

“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:14-16).

The message then to all of God’s people is to wake up out of our spiritual sleep and become active in serving the Lord. That’s the reason Paul wrote to the church Ephesus and said, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:13-14).

Almighty God has been good to all of us. He has blessed us by placing us in the most prosperous country in the world. He has blessed us with great material wealth and therefore we need to remember Solomon’s Council to his son in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:1, 9-10
My son…Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
NIV

Let us all go FORWARD IN FAITH!

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

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

MEMORIAL DAY

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Memorial Day

“Hilltops of Glory” is a beautiful song that we have just sung in a great way. We are truly blessed with good song leaders and singing because everybody joins in and sings out with some volume. That is not the case in some places today.

DECORATION DAY – MEMORIAL DAY

I was trying to think of what would be a good topic to preach on during the Memorial Day holiday. And so after some reflection I thought to myself, why not just preach on “Memorial Day.” It is wonderful to hear all of the patriotic music the past few days? It is great to see the marching bands and the marching soldiers with all of their patriotic flags. That is refreshing because it demonstrates a lot of our citizens still love our country and everything that it has stood for down through these centuries. We all appreciate the sacrifices that have been made that we might be free. Therefore we are able to enjoy all the blessings that God has showered down upon us for over 200 years.

And sometimes people do not really think about the meaning of Memorial Day. Sometimes we get so involved in family outings, going to the race and other events, and we don’t think much about the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf. But those things are also good. It is wonderful that we can combine love of family and love of country and be together and enjoy each other’s company. Continue reading “MEMORIAL DAY”