WHOLEHEARTED RELIGION NO. 2

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning. We are glad to see all of you and thank you to our visitors who have come our way. We hope that you will feel welcome and will come back and be with us again.

About three weeks ago I spoke to you on “Wholehearted Religion,” and we pointed out at that time that there are Bad Hearts, Good Hearts and Obedient Hearts. Today we want to continue our discussion of Wholehearted Religion. When God rejected King Saul, the first King of Israel, he was looking for a new king and David had a lot of brothers. And they marched each brother in front of Samuel and God said no, he is not the one. Finally they came to David who was the youngest of all of the boys and God chose him. Then God said to Samuel, “The Lord sees not as man sees for the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

And so today we want to talk about wholehearted religion. We must admit that there is a lot of halfhearted religion today! I do not believe that we will make it to heaven if we serve God in a half-hearted way. Therefore we are talking about serving God with all of our heart—with the complete heart! And the word heart, translated from the Greek word kardia is found 156 times in the New Testament. God wants us to serve him from the very center of our being. He wants us to serve him with our EGO and with our ID—with our conscious and with our subconscious heart. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and said, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30 NKJV). So today we are exploring what is wholehearted religion. It is serving God with your entire being.

WHAT IS THE BIBLE HEART?

What is the Bible heart? We have before you on the screen a chart that shows you what is the Bible Heart! The Bible heart is the Seat of the Intellect! The Bible Heart is the Seat of our Emotions. The Bible Heart is made up of my thinking process, my emotional nature, and the Bible heart is the Seat of my Willpower–what we choose and determine to do in life. And in the last place, the Bible heart is the Seat of our Conscience. Now we plan to discuss each one of those areas of the Bible heart and if we serve God with all four areas of the Bible Heart, then that is what I would call “Wholehearted Religion!”

Religion is that which binds us back to God because we been separated from God by sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). So we want to be bound back to God with “wholehearted religion!” Therefore let us examine “THE EXERCISES OF THE BIBLE HEART.” Continue reading “WHOLEHEARTED RELIGION NO. 2”

BIBLE BAPTISM

By

Shelby G. Floyd

While Paul was at Corinth on his second evangelistic journey, “… many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized” (Acts 18: 8). Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching and testifying that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:5). This account of the conversion of the Corinthians is in harmony with all the other conversions in Acts of apostles.

Before Jesus left the earth, his last instructions to the apostles were to, “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).

Later when Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthian church, he stated that he was thankful he had not personally baptized a great number of people. This was because he did not want anybody to say that he had baptized them into his name:

“I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that
you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:14-17).



We are to be baptized into the name of Christ for the forgiveness of sins: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:18-20).

Therefore, we can be called Christians and honor him who died for us (Acts 11:26).

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

THE ICON OF THE INVISIBLE GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Icons are everywhere today. They are on computers, computer tablets and smart cell phones. They are used in television and mailing advertising. They are very helpful in many ways by simplifying what we search for in the technological world of the twenty-first century. Sometimes this is not the case, because there are so many of them that it is often confusing to find them and distinguish them one from another by what they represent.

But there are some icons that are so well known that everyone can identify who or what they stand for or represent. Almost everyone can identify the icons for IBM, AT&T, GM, Apple, Microsoft, and Goggle etc. In the religious world we only have one God that everyone needs to know and identify. The one God is invisible and so we need an icon to be an exact image of God the Father. The Lord Jesus Christ is the image (icon) of the invisible God.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.                                                                                        Colossians 1:15 ESV

When Paul says that “He is the image of the invisible God” the reference is to Jesus Christ, God’s beloved and only begotten Son. The word “image” in the original Greek is [eikon], from which we derive the English word icon that is so familiar today. So Jesus Christ is the visible ICON of the invisible God who created everything.

We have no visible photos of what Jesus looked like outwardly, but we have a perfect moral image of him in his speech, attitude, worship, prayer life and the way he treated his fellow man. If we want to know what “the invisible God” is like we only need to study the perfect God-man—Jesus Christ! The word [image—eikon] used in Colossians 1:15 is applied to Christ “on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence” (Thayer, page 175).

When we see and have a mental and moral picture of Christ, then we see the Father, for he is the exact “image” of the Father. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ and the harbinger of the grace and truth that Christ came to reveal. Of him John said, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18 NKJV).

After Jesus announced that he would die on the cross and go back to the Father, Philip asked him to show them the Father. That question elicited this answer from Christ: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’”(John 14:9)?

Dear friend, Christ Jesus then is our ICON of the invisible God! Learn, love, worship and serve him forever!

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved





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

ARE YOU MAD, SAD, OR GLAD?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

Psalm 122:1 | joshtinpowers | Flickr

David, the second king of Israel wrote most of the Psalms. These Psalms indicate that David was a very spiritually minded man of God. For example he wrote:

Psalms 122: 1
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
NKJV

David was glad when someone said, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Some today may be sad or even mad, instead of glad, when it is time to go into the house of the Lord.

For Christians “the house of the Lord” is “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15). We should be glad to be present with the assembled people of God. If our hearts are filled with gladness we will enthusiastically join our brothers and sisters in regularly stated worship. How can we be glad if our seat is empty at worship about half the time?

It is very difficult to build up the local congregation unless every member is interested in doing so. Today, as it always has been, some are zealous for the Lord’s cause while others are lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-16). We must encourage each other to be zealous for knowledge and the work of seeking and saving the lost:

Romans 10:1-2
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
NKJV

Zeal is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means that we are on fire for the Lord because God is in us. Nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without enthusiasm. The greatest work we can do is to work for the Lord during our short pilgrimage on the earth. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58, ESV). When we zealously devote ourselves our work will never be in vain.

The early Christians were called “devotees” because they were fully devoted to the cause of Christ: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Let us all be so devoted that we will be glad to go to the house of the Lord.



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

THE LOVE OF GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Near the close of Paul’s brief letter to the young preacher Titus, he penned these words:

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 (Titus 3:4-7; NKJV).

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 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.

Someone made the ridiculous statement that salvation is “by grace alone, through faith alone, to God alone be the glory!” If salvation is by any one of these alone, it excludes the others. Salvation “by faith alone,” as taught by the followers of John Calvin is “the doctrine of devils.” According to James the devils have “faith only” and are lost: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead” (James 2:19-20)? Furthermore, James teaches just the opposite of the “faith only” of Calvin and his “fellow travelers! After illustrating that Abraham, the father of the faithful was justified by his works growing out of his faith when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar, he declared, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Salvation from sin is “not by faith only.” I prefer James over Calvin and demons!

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Jim, thank you for the good selection of hymns today. Let us remember Mick Addington will have very serious surgery tomorrow. Pray for him that he will have a good outcome from that surgery. Be sure to sign up for the Band of Brothers Bible class this Thursday evening. I thought Damon really did a great job this morning with the adult class. I am very proud of him, and I have encouraged him to preach the gospel, but he says he did not receive the call to preach.

I am also glad to announce that Mark Webb is visiting us today from Sarasota, Florida. He is the son of Shirley and Richard Webb. Mark is here for a job interview, and I said are you coming back to Indiana if you get the job, and he said yes. It would be good to see some people coming from Florida to Indiana instead of Indiana to Florida. Mark, it is good to have you with us today.

As was announced our lesson today is “Can We Understand the Bible?” Some say that we cannot understand the Bible! But I believe the Bible can be understood or else why did God give us the Bible? I want to say right up front that I am indebted to a lot of the older preachers for the things that I am going to say today, because if we understand the Bible we all are going to say the same thing. We may not say it in the same words, but we are going to say the same thing. And so what I am going to say today really has been said by great gospel preachers most of whom have died and gone on to another world. So I make no apology for that because they presented it to the people, and I understand the Bible and you understand the Bible. So the question is can we understand the Bible alike? The answer is yes and sometimes people ask that question like this: “Can we understand the Bible alike?” Well, if we understand it we will all understand it alike! So the word “alike” is redundant! We do not need the word alike. If we understand it we will all be alike! Continue reading “UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE”

TAKE CARE OF YOUR SOUL

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The sole goal of most people today is how much profit they can accumulate of this world’s goods and riches.

Jesus taught that we should value our soul over everything else in this world: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16:26)? According to Christ there is no profit if a man [anthropos-mankind] could gain the whole world (which is impossible), and then end up losing one’s soul.

What is the soul of man that Jesus is talking about? The word “soul” is translated from [psuchen]. This word literally refers to our “breath of life” without which we would be dead. By extension it refers to “the (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life” (Thayer, p. 677). An example of this use is in the book of Hebrews where the overseers watch out for the souls in the congregation: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17 NKJV).

In many passages of scripture the soul refers to that part of man distinguished from the body which is not dissolved by death. In this sense Jesus warned, “Do not be afraid of those who
kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28, NIV).
“Hell—Greek—geenne—Gehenna—place of everlasting punishment!”

Each person had better wake up and take care of the soul. Our soul will live forever. Our soul will have no end and is either destined for eternal joy or woe.

The soul of mankind cost God the price of the life and blood of his unique Son: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

God has revealed his plan of salvation to redeem the soul of man from the ravages of Satan and sin. Sinner friend, take the time to learn the conditions of salvation and act thereupon in obedience. Trust and obey!

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

WORSHIP IN SINGING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

God is a Spirit and those who worship him must do so in spirit and truth (John 4:24). This means we must worship from the heart (Matthew 15:9) and as God directs: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17 ESV).

Singing can be used to praise God, teach, express joy, gladness, and victory over sin. Hannah sung a prayer song of joy after she gave her son to the Lord (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Mary magnified the Lord in song because he had chosen her to bring Christ into the world (Luke 1:46-55). Paul and Silas were able to sing and pray at midnight after they had been severely beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16:25). Let all of us sing unto the Lord with all our might!

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray
Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
(James 5:13 NIV).

Through Jesus therefore, let us continually
offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name (Hebrews 13:15 NIV).

Even little children can praise God with their lips:

and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (Matthew 21:16 ESV).

May the God of heaven bless our worship when we lift up our voices in praise, adoration and joy, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20 NKJV).

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

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

DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Bible declares, “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (l John 2:15). John is thought of as the apostle of love. He teaches us to love God and each other. But here, we are commanded not to love the world. This means that we are not to love the evil things of this world or set our affections on the things of this world. Continue reading “DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD?”

SING FOR JOY!

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Scriptures teach that when the New Testament church comes together to worship, it is to speak reciprocally to one another, “…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:18-19 NKJV). Many of the songs that we sing are written to teach and admonish each other of our duties to live the Christian life and to serve God with all of our being.

Teach and Admonish in Singing

For example, the apostle Paul wrote a neighboring congregation of the Ephesian church concerning their worship in song:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:16-17).

This is good lest we forget our duties to live the Christian life. We are to teach and admonish one another to do the very best that we can, but to do so in the name or by the authority of the Lord Jesus. In many churches what is going on in worship has no biblical authority of the Lord and his apostles. 

Sing in Praise and Thanksgiving

But there is also another aspect to our worship in song and that is to praise Almighty God and exalt his son Jesus Christ. King David is our best example in the Old Testament of continually praising God for all his wonderful attributes. As an example, I have taken note of several Psalms in my daily Bible reading that verifies praise and thanksgiving in our worship singing service. God is good and worthy to be exalted with all of our voices!

Sing and Shout Joyfully

For example, in Psalms 95 David pleads for God’s people to come before the Lord with joy, thanksgiving and even shouting with joy because God is so great and worthy of all our praise:

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods. (Psalms 95:1-3).

Sing To the Lord a New Song!

And in the next Psalm, David continues to plead with the people to, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; proclaim good tidings of his salvation from day to day, tell of his glory among the nations, his wonderful deeds among all the people.” (Psalms 96:1-3).

We do not want our singing to be despondent and discouraging to those who come to worship the God of heaven and earth. We want our singing to be uplifting and encouraging to every worshiper of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every old song was a new song when the people starting singing it after it was published. Everyone like some new things and both the Old and New Testaments encourages us to sing some new songs!

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory (Psalms 98:1).

We look forward in anticipation to singing with joy in the congregational worship each Lord’s day.

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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