THE ONE CHURCH JESUS BUILT

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus promised to build one church. Contrary to the popular notion that one may join the church of his choice, the Bible teaches that there is just one church. In fact, Jesus Christ never promised to build but one church. In the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros-Greek)), and on this rock (petra-Greek) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 NKJV). Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches,” but he said, “I will build my church,” singular. Jesus built but one church, and he called it “my church.” The church was not built on Peter, a weak and wavering disciple, but on the rock like Gibraltar confession of faith that Peter made when affirmed “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16 NIV). It is not the church of Peter, but it is the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). Continue reading “THE ONE CHURCH JESUS BUILT”

BIBLICAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The church at Philippi was established on Paul’s second evangelistic journey in about 50 A D (Acts 15:41-18:22). He was very endeared to this congregation as they were to him. They contributed financial help to him several times while he was in prison at Rome. He wrote the letter to the Philippians from his prison cell in Rome. It is one of the four prison letters that he wrote while he was in custody for at least two years. In the very opening verses of this letter, the apostle Paul gave the pattern that is to govern each local congregation. Previously Jesus promised to build his church upon the confession that the apostle Peter made when he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Then Jesus promised to build his church upon the rock of his divinity (Matthew 16:18). Christ Jesus rules over the church universal through his inspired word. The Bible does not sanction any kind of church government over the universal church except Christ himself! The universal church has only one head, and that is Jesus Christ. To the Ephesian church Paul established the headship of Christ over his church: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22, 23 NKJV). Therefore we all must live and die with Christ Jesus as the head of the church. No man is head of the church Jesus purchased with his own blood. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

In the introduction to the letter to the Philippians we have the order of ecclesiastical government for each congregation of the universal church: “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:1,2 NKJV). In this text bishops (episkopois—Greek) translates to “overseers” and refers to the overseers of the local church (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7). In Paul’s speech to the “elders—presbuteros” of the local church at Ephesus the word is used interchangeably with the word bishops (episkopois–overseers): “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30 NKJV). Therefore the terms elder (older man) and overseer defined and explained what the responsibility was of those governing the local church. Their task was to make sure the plain word of God was taught and to chase the false teachers (wolves) away!

Early in the apostolic history of the New Testament church bishops-overseers or elders-presbuteros were established in every local congregation with Jesus Christ as the universal head of the church. For instance, near the end of Paul’s first evangelistic journey it is written, “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:23 NKJV). Therefore Paul and Barnabas set up the governance in each local congregation. Later Paul authorized the young evangelist Titus to also appoint elders in every church: “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—” (Titus 1:5).

THE SYNONYMS OF THE OVERSEERS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

Now let us analyze each biblical term used to identify the group of men who oversee the local church (congregation), under the Headship of Jesus Christ who rules the church through the New Testament and the group of men described by the following words:

 

 

THE UNSCRIPTURAL TITLES USED BY RULERS OF SOME CHURCHES

 

 

THE BIBLICAL WARNING TO THE  OVERSEERS

The first major departure from the biblical church was in the government of the local congregation. In the New Testament teaching a body of overseers or elders was to govern the congregation according to the inspired instruction of Christ and the apostles. The apostles taught and practiced appointing two or more qualified men over each congregation (See Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; and Acts 20:17, 28).

Jesus and Paul warned that false teachers would enter the congregations like wolves and destroy the churches: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Jesus–Matthew 7:15). The apostle Paul gave the same warning to the elders/overseers of the Ephesian church: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [a]of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). The leaders of the congregations did not take the warning seriously, and therefore over many years the government of the church was changed  from a body of men over a local congregation to one or more men in charge of all the universal church, wearing many unscriptural titles of governing prerogatives. Those titles are in the graph listed above.

BIBLICAL ELDERS/OVERSEERS ARE TO BE HONORED

In each congregation, the biblical overseers/elders are to be respected and held in the highest regard: For instance Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica: “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13). And then again Paul through the evangelist Timothy taught that the elders who both rule well over the congregation and also labor in preaching/teaching the word and doctrine, are to be worthy of double honor: “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (I Timothy 5:17). The spiritual and biblical qualifications for the overseers are listed in the word of God and are easy to understand (1 Timothy 3:1-7;Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4). 

We hope more preachers will have the courage to study the New Testament, learn the truth on the government of the church, and then courageously battle to restore the Biblical practice of a plurality of qualified men over each congregation with Jesus Christ as the Head and Overruling Monarch of the church He purchased with his precious blood.

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

*The biblical quotations are from The New King James translation

 

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

Serious Bible Study

By

Shelby G. Floyd



The apostle Paul commanded his son in the gospel, Timothy, to : “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV). From his childhood Timothy had enjoyed superior advantages, for his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, had taught him the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Paul had also imparted to Timothy a miraculous gift which he was told to stir up, or use (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). Notwithstanding all of this, however, Timothy still needed to study the Bible, God’s word.

Some critics of the Bible are deriding the use of the word study in 2 Timothy 2: 15. They say this passage does not teach that we should read, meditate upon, and examine the Holy Scriptures. But is this criticism correct? The word from which study is translated carries with it the idea of making haste, exerting oneself, endeavoring and giving diligence, which is exactly the meaning of the English word study. When one studies the Bible, one should give diligence, exert oneself and endeavor to understand what the will of God is. Therefore, the English word study in this context is an exact representation of the original language.

This is not the only passage in the Bible which emphasizes the need for children of God to apply their minds to the study of God’s word. We are told that the Bereans “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). To fulfill the noble purpose for which man was created, we, like the Bereans, must search the scriptures daily. The word study, therefore, does not mean just to read the Bible but to thoroughly search the scriptures to understand the truth.

The Psalmist described the man who is blessed: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2). When we properly study the Bible, then, the meditations of our heart will be upon the scripture day and night.


One reason so many Christians fall short in studying the Bible is because it does require effort, diligence and exertion of our energies. The Sage, Solomon, said, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). After all these years there is still no end to the making of books, but the book that demands our utmost attention is the Bible, which is still the best seller; and we should count it a joy to have the privilege to ponder God’s word. And, like Job, we should esteem it more than our necessary food (Job 23:12).

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

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

GLOBAL WARMING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning to all of you. We have had a great song service, prayer, and Bible reading. It is good to stand before you and present the word of God. Today we hear a lot about global warming! Whether it is true or false I do not know. But I know looking back when I was a child when we did not have air conditioning, there were many summers when it was so hot that my mom would make a pallet on the floor, and we would sleep there, and it would be like midnight before we could go to sleep since it was so hot. But we survived so maybe there was global warming back then. But there is one thing for sure that I do know, God has promised that there will be global warming and it is called the day of judgment and the destruction of the heavens and the earth by fire!

LONG AGO THE WORLD PERISHED BY FLOODED WATER

In the first place, I speak to you about the heavens and earth that existed long ago, when the earth was destroyed by water. There is so much evidence today that backs up the fact that there was a universal flood that interrupted time and history in the long ago. Peter wrote,
“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:3-6 NASB). Continue reading “GLOBAL WARMING”

THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

It is so good to see all of you and we have almost all of our seats filled. I am glad to be able to stand before you today and speak on one of my favorite subjects. Just a few weeks ago we spent some time in 1 Peter 2:3-8 on the topic that I am speaking today. I love to preach on things that we have just studied because it is fresh on my mind and on the minds of those of you who are in our Bible class. And so my subject is The Chief Cornerstone. It is amazing how many times that phrase is found in Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. The topic is taught in 1 Peter and in Paul’s letters, as well also by Jesus when He was on earth. And so let us zero in on this subject—The Chief Cornerstone!

On the overhead screen the founder of our country, George Washington is pictured when he laid the cornerstone of the US capitol building, September 18, 1793. You can see that he was dressed up in his Masonic uniform. Most of our Founding Fathers were Masons. It seems the Masons started in the Middle Ages. And they were kind of like when you work someplace, and you learn a trade, then later that trade is passed on to the next generation. So those Masons were the builders of big buildings and cathedrals. They had special knowledge and skills. Some even say that these skills had been passed on from the days of Solomon when God gave special skills to those workers who built the Temple in Jerusalem! I do not know if that is true. They became members of a Guild and passed that knowledge on to other generations. So George Washington laid the cornerstone of our U. S. Capital. Continue reading “THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE”

The Highway to Heaven

By

Shelby G. Floyd

road

One of the favorite figures of speech applied to the church is that of a way, a path, and a road that leads from one place to another.

Do All Religious Roads Lead to Heaven?

Christianity is the definite way over which the redeemed pass from earth to heaven. In a day when highways and roads are so familiar, it is easy for some people to get the idea that there are many ways for one to reach heaven. It is a popular doctrine that we are all going to heaven in different ways. While this is popular, is it the truth?

The Highway of Holiness

 About 700 years before Christ made his advent into the world, the prophet Isaiah, looking through the tele­scope of prophecy, pointed out the way over which every child of God must pass in entering the city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God:

A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray (Isaiah 35: 8 NKJV).

The prophecy of Isaiah found its consummation in Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Is the Only Way

OIP

Jesus, in his sermons during his earthly ministry pointed the people to the only true and living way. He said that he was the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man could come unto the Father ex­cept by him (John 14:4, 6).          

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby--Pulpit 2017

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

MINISTRY

By

Shelby G. Floyd

acts6-2

The New Testament has much to say about dif­ferent ministries.

TAKE MINISTRY SERIOUSLY                                                                                                            

Ministry should be taken seriously. One needs to prepare for any ministry. Christ was thirty years old when he began his ministry (Luke 3:23).

THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRY   

acts-1-17 The apostles took their ministry seriously with the exception of Judas. Peter addressed a group of about 120, and said,

“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—he was one of our number and shared in this ministry” (Acts 1:17 NIV).

Then they appointed two men to be considered for the appointment to the ministry of the apostles. They prayed to God the “heart knower” to indicate which of these two men he had chosen to fulfill the vacated ministry of Judas:

Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs. Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26 NIV).

NEW TESTAMENT MINISTRIES

A member of the church told me one time that he did not like the term “ministry!” The term “ministry” is a biblical word that identifies different work and responsibilities.Ministry 1

The Ministry of the Word                                                              Instead of serving tables, the apostles thought it more important for them to continue steadfastly in prayer and “the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:2, 4)

The Ministry to the Saints

Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth reminded the members of the good work ministry of the house of Stephanas:  “I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—” (1 Corinthians 16:15).

The Ministry of Reconciliation

2-corinthians-5-18The apostles of Jesus revealed God’s scheme of redemption from sin. Because sin separated sinful humanity from God the gospel ministry of reconciliation was given to the apostles and preachers “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18).

The Word of Reconciliation

The instrument used in “the ministry of reconciliation” was the word of God and it is called “the word of reconciliation.” “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Fulfill Your Ministry1081337-2tim45

The evangelist is charged to carry out the great commission is to prove his ministry: “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).

Discharge the Duties of Ministry

Each Christian is to discharge the duties of his ministry: “or ministry, let us use it in our ministering” (Romans 12:7). Therefore, “ministry” is biblical and a good word and a good work.

MINISTERING TO THE FAMILY 

One of the ministries of all congregations should be to the family ministry. The family is the backbone of the congregation and the nation. Satan is assaulting the fam­ily relentlessly. Therefore, the church and the members of the family must do everything possible to bring families back to God. This involves marriages that are built upon love to God and one another. Ministering to our family is something every member of the church can be involved. We are all members of a family. This includes God’s family—the church:

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15 NKJV).

Let every member of God’s spiritual family find a ministry and serve God and one another. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 NKJV).  The ministry of Christ is our example.

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby 5-24-2020

 

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

THE CHILDREN OF GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Everyone is born into the kingdom of nature by a natural birth—of and from the womb. Those who become Christians are born into the kingdom of God by a spiritual birth—of and from water and the Spirit (John 3:5). At the last day, those who are faithful, having been born a spiritual birth will be born of and from the grave into the eternal glory of heaven.

BORN OF GOD

The expression “born of God” is used throughout the letter of 1 John:

• Those born of God will not continue to live a life of sin (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 5:18).

• Those who love as God loves will know God and are born of him—for God is love (1 John 4:7).

• Those who by faith and baptism are born of God will be saved (1 John 5:1; Gal. 3:26-27).

• Those who are born of God overcome the world by their faith (1 John 5:4). Continue reading “THE CHILDREN OF GOD”

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