THE WORK OF GOD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

These words were written to the church at Philippi by the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).

CONTINUE TO WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION…

Our salvation from sin is both man’s work and God’s work. Man’s work is to appropriate the salvation offered by God to man through faith and obedience to the gospel. Notice that Paul exhorts them to “continue to work out your salvation…” This implies that they were working out their salvation when they believed and were baptized to be saved from their past sins (Mark 16:15-16). Now they are to continue to work out their salvation!

FAITH IS A WORK OF MAN AND GOD

To believe that Jesus is the Son of God is a work of man. But it is also the work of God. Some Jews asked Christ,

“What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29).

Just as faith in Jesus is the work of God, so also is repentance and baptism. However, these acts of obedience are a work that man does in receiving the gift of salvation. The Roman Christians were baptized into Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-3). They were promised the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). And three times their justification from sin is said to be the “free gift” (Romans 5:15-18). Therefore, when man obeys the Lord’s commands to believe and be baptized, he receives the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life and it is the “free gift!” Redeemed, we do not earn the gift!

WATER BAPTISM IS THE WORK OF GOD AND MAN

The Philippians had also believed and been baptized (Acts 16: 14-15, 30-34). Now in his letter to them, Paul commands them to continue to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). He then assigns the reason they are to do this:

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

When we do what God has told us to do (work), God is working in us through his word to bring about our salvation now and at the last day. That is the reason Paul said,

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Copyright © 2011 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

THE GODHEAD

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Bible teaches that there is just one God or Godhead, but this one Godhead involves three distinct persons. In a discussion with a Jewish scribe, Jesus referred to the Old Testament Scriptures which taught that God is one Lord. The scribe had asked, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Mark 12:29). Jesus here referred to the statement of Moses as found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

The Jews worshiped just one God in contrast to the polytheism of the pagan nations surrounding them. We are to worship and serve one God, and yet, God is not one person. The New Testament teaches that Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, which simply means that he possesses all the powers and attributes of the deity. Paul said, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Continue reading “THE GODHEAD”

CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

By

Shelby G. Floyd

In Ephesians 5:22-33, the apostle Paul sets forth the nature of the church and its relationship to Christ. He says in one place,

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

What did Paul mean when he said, “I speak concerning Christ and the church”? Continue reading “CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH”

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Let us trust God to strengthen us in doing his work. This is biblical from the statements of the inspired writers:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:29).

“And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might” (Ephesians 1:19).

As Jesus left the earth to go back to heaven he said to his disciples and also to us: “And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20). This is a wonderful promise that every child of God who is faithful in serving the Lord should claim.

When Jesus was on the earth he went about teaching in the synagogues of the Jews, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and serving suffering humanity. But he said to his disciples: “The harvest truly is plenteous but the labors are few. Pray therefore the Lord of harvest that he will send laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:36-38). This statement indicates that God is not going to do all the work. His plan is for his people to go and get involved in the work of saving souls, strengthening the saved and serving the suffering.

However, while we are doing all that we can we must still trust God to be with us, to strengthen us and in his providence to open up doors for us to advance the gospel. We must cooperate with the ruler of the universe in order to be successful.

Let all of us in the Lord’s church trust in the mighty hand of God instead of the weak hand of man!

Copyright © 2017 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”

THE MINDSET OF CHRIST

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus Christ is the perfect model of humbling ourselves before God Almighty: “He humbled himself” (Philippians 2:8). He took three big steps to do this.

1. He gave up his right to glory, his prerogative of equality with the Father: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (Philippians 2:6-7).

2. He became a human in the very nature of a servant: “…rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself…” (Philippians 2:7-8).

3. He the perfect man voluntarily died a heinous death as a felon on the cruel cross of Calvary: “…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8).

Those who have given their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ are commanded to imitate his humble attitude: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

We will have the mind of Christ when we seek the unity of the congregation with one mind and purpose, out of a heart of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ,

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2).

The only way we can do this is by thinking of other people as being better than ourselves:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

When we imitate Christ, God raises us up to sit with him in the heavenly places, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). To live with Christ forever in the heavenly home, we must have the mindset of Christ while we are here in our earthly home.

Copyright © 2011 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

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

LIVING FOR CHRIST

By

Shelby G. Floyd

to-live-is-christ

The apostle Paul was arrested at Jerusalem and he was sent by the governing authorities on a dangerous sea voyage to Rome. The author of the Acts said,

“When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier to guard him” (Acts 28: 16).

What was going on during Paul’s two years of imprisonment in Rome? “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28: 30-31). Basically, Paul was preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ to a captive audience.

A LETTER FROM PRISON

Paul wrote Philippians from his prison cell. From a strictly worldly viewpoint, being in prison for no crime seemed to be a bad thing. When Christ is our life, God can take a bad thing and make it a good thing, and can even make it a God thing. Paul had a positive spirit. Because of the prayers of the Philippians for him and the power of the Spirit of Christ that was within him, he believed, “What has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).

DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF CHRIST

Paul confessed that he eagerly expected, and hoped that he would not be ashamed of Christ and the gospel of Christ. He intended to be bold and courageous in exalting and magnifying Christ, whether it was by life or death (Philippians 1:20). He declared, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is again” (Philippians 1:21). If Christ is not our life, we are not ready to die. Paul had already died to sin and now Christ was living in him. To the Galatians he said,

“I have been crucified with Christ and 1 no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Let all who have been baptized into Christ rise to walk a new life of joy, and focus on living for Christ.

Copyright © 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

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