“NOT BY FAITH ALONE”

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“The benefits of the gospel come to the person who has faith alone in Christ. The blood of Christ is applied to the sinner upon faith alone in Christ and not at baptism.” –Faith Alone Adherent and Critic

In previous essays we have amply demonstrated that the subject “faith alone” is not a biblical subject and therefore a subject not to be discussed. It has only been discussed so far because certain religious advocates vehemently insist that salvation is predicated on “faith alone!” It has been pointed out that the scriptures teach just the exact opposite. James explicitly states that salvation or justification from sin is “by works” and “not by faith alone.” James teaches the truth: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24 NKJV). Continue reading ““NOT BY FAITH ALONE””

THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In Colossians 1:18, the apostle Paul expressed the preeminence that Christ should have over His church when he said, “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence.” We must give Christ preeminence in all things and especially we must give Him first place of importance in the church.

When Paul said He is the head of the church, the word “head” means originator, source, leader and ruler. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He brought the church into being. He is the originator of the church. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the source of the life of the church.

Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the ruler of the church. He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He has executive authority: He proposes. He has legislative authority: He disposes. He has judicial authority: He judges. So we must give preeminence to Christ as the head of the church, the originator of the church, and the source of all life in the church, the legislator, the executor and the judge of the church.

Concerning Christ Paul says, “Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” The word “beginning” there does not mean that Christ had a beginning. Christ existed before the creation (John 1:1-4). Christ is the firstborn from the dead. He was not the first to rise from the dead, but the first and the highest rank to rise from the dead. This means he holds the preeminence or highest rank over the church.

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

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Matthew 3:16-17
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
NKJV

As I come before you today I recognize that there is a spirit among us of support, loyalty and joy for the hometown team. And I also believe that it is the case that we have that same loyalty and support and joy for the hometown congregation—the Heartland church of Christ. And that is why you are present today.

A few years ago, I presented the lesson that I am presenting today. And I was surprised that afterward a young man came to me and said, “I need to be baptized—I want to be immersed for the forgiveness of sins.” And I thought that this person was a member of the church already. And I learned a great lesson from this, that in almost every service that we will have like this, there are probably one or more people who need to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And so we preach on a lot of different subjects, but sometimes we assume that everybody sitting in one of the chairs has been baptized and become Christians. But that is not always the case, and therefore today I want to talk to you about the baptism of Jesus Christ. And I hope that I can make this lesson so simple that even a little child can understand it. That is my goal and that is my purpose in delivering this message. Our comments will cover the entire third chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew. Therefore you are encouraged to open up your Bibles and follow along to make sure that we faithfully present the record of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “THE BAPTISM OF JESUS”

Conversion of a Roman Jailor

By

Shelby G. Floyd

On the second evangelistic journey Paul and Silas were shamefully treated in Philippi. They were severely flogged and committed to the jailer who was commanded to keep them safely. This he did by putting them in the inner cell and fastening their feet in the stocks (Acts 16:19-24). Continue reading “Conversion of a Roman Jailor”

BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT

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: Jesus answered,

“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

Continue reading “BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT”

CHRIST, THE ETERNAL WORD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The book of 1 John was written about 85-90 A. D., at a time when false teachers were denying that Christ was divine and also that he had a fleshly body. John refutes both of these false ideas. There are some today who are still teaching these same false doctrines. Continue reading “CHRIST, THE ETERNAL WORD”

IF JESUS CAME TO YOUR HOUSE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

When Jesus lived on the earth he visited the homes of many people. Some of these people treated Jesus with kindness and hospitality while others treated him with contempt and disgrace. If Jesus were to visit your home, how would you react, and how would you receive him?

The following words by Lois Blanchard Sades entitled, “If Jesus Came to Your House” might well illustrate the predicament that many people would find themselves.

IF JESUS CAME TO YOUR HOUSE

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two –
If he came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.

Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such and honored Guest
And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best;

And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there –
That servicing Him in your home is joy beyond compare.

But, when you saw Him coming, would you meet him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in,
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’ve been?

Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard,
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

And I wonder, if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?

Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?

Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read?
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have him meet your very closest friends,
Or would you hope they’d stay away until His visit ends?

Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on,
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

It might be interesting to know the things that you would do
If Jesus Christ in person came to spend some time with you.

—Lois Blanchard Sades

Let us examine some of the records concerning the homes in which Jesus visited, and take note of the reaction of the people who were there with him.

JESUS VISITED MATTHEW LEVI’S HOUSE

First, let us notice the visit of Jesus to Matthew Levi’s house. As Jesus traveled along the Sea of Galilee, he invited Matthew Levi, a tax collector, to follow him and be his disciple. Matthew accepted this invitation, and invited Jesus into his home where he prepared a great dinner for Jesus and many other friends. Jesus accepted the invitation, and went to Matthew Levi’s house. Immediately, the Pharisees and the scribes murmured against Jesus because he would visit into the home of a man like Matthew Levi, and eat with publicans and sinners. Jesus answered their criticism by comparing himself to a physician whose work is not to go to those who are well but to those who are sick. Since Jesus was like a physician, he needed to go to those who were sick in sin and spiritually diseased. He had the only remedy to heal the sin sick soul. Therefore I’m sure that if Christ were to visit into some of the homes today, there would be some people who will be ready to criticize Him because he would not be keeping the kind of company that they would think he ought to keep.

JESUS VISITED THE HOUSE OF JAIRUS

A little later, Jesus visited the home of Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. Jairus had a little daughter about 12 years of age; she was very sick, even to the point of death, and Jairus invited Jesus to his own house in order that he might heal his young daughter. As they traveled to his house, a messenger came to say that there was no use troubling Jesus any longer, for the young girl had died. Jesus quieted their fears by advising them not to be afraid, but to believe; and then he took Peter, James and John along with the father and mother into the house, and stated to all that were there that she was not dead, but only sleeping. Their reaction to that statement was: “And they laughed him to scorn.” Nevertheless, Jesus raised the young girl from her sleep of death. Luke, in his account, tells us that her spirit came again and she rose straightway (Luke 8:55).

No one has the power to perform any kind of miracle today; but I’m sure that if Jesus were here today and performing such miracles as he did in the long ago, there would be some who would laugh him to scorn. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, which is a pledge and a promise that he will raise all the dead at the last day, but when gospel preachers talk about the resurrection of the body from the grave, there are many today who will laugh us to scorn and deny that such will ever take place.

JESUS VISITED HIS HOMETOWN CONGREGATION OF NAZARETH

Still on another occasion Jesus visited his hometown of Nazareth, and entered into one of the synagogues. As his custom was, he stood up to read, and they brought him the book of Isaiah, and he read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). Having read that great and wonderful passage describing his ministry to those who are lost in sin, he sat down. Later when they asked him some questions, and Jesus commented upon their questions, they were ready to drive them from their synagogue and destroy his life: “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust them out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill where on their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way” (Luke 4:28-30).

WHAT IF JESUS VISITED SOME CHURCHES TODAY?

This indicates that if Jesus were to visit many churches in our land today and read the Bible and make the application as pointed as he did when he lived upon the earth, many people would be ready to drive him from their midst and take his life. We need to seriously ask ourselves the question of how we would treat the Lord if he were to come to our house or to our congregation. He will not physically come to our house, but he is coming back again to judge all who have ever lived upon the earth according to the standard of God’s word (2 Corinthians 5:10).

HOW WOULD YOU TREAT JESUS?

The way we live and the way we act determine in a great way how we would treat the Lord. The way we treat the poor, the downhearted, the stranger, the sick, the thirsty and the hungry is really how we would treat the Lord. Jesus said to a certain group of people: “Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not unto me.” And he said that these people shall go away into everlasting punishment. When Saul of Tarsus traveled even unto strange cities and persecuted the church, binding men and women and putting them into prison because they were Christians; Jesus confronted Saul and said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul persecuted Jesus by persecuting the people of Christ. And so the way we treat the people of Christ is how we would treat Christ were he to visit our house, city or congregation.*

* Copyright © 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved. I originally wrote this article in July, 1974.

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

“God calls men when they are busy, and Satan calls them when they are idle.”