About the Author

Thomas Ray Floyd was born in 1953 in Simpson County, Mississippi, the son of Roy Thomas Floyd and Lina Sue Shows Floyd. Thomas Ray's mother was a member of a Primitive Baptist church, and he cut his teeth on the doctrines of distinguishing grace.

When he was a small boy, his father was converted to Christ and became a member of a Missionary Baptist Church. Thomas Ray joined the church of his father when he was 13 years old, and thought of himself as a Christian. The doctrines of grace that he had heard as a child continued to be precious to him and when he became an adult, he joined a Primitive Baptist Church. When he was 27, Thomas Ray made his first effort to preach the gospel in public and was ordained to the full functions of the ministry in 1985. In 1986 he was convinced under the preaching of Rolfe Barnard (by tapes from Mt. Olive Tape Library), the written sermons of Spurgeon, and the ministry of Elder Zack Guess that he had been a false professor and cried out in agony of soul to the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy and truly save him. And He did! Floyd then began to preach the gospel as he had been taught of the Lord.

Floyd has pastored churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee and until recently was pastor of a church plant known as "Particular Baptist Fellowship." He and his wife Brenda presently attend Zion Baptist Church at Polkville, Mississippi, pastored by Elder Glen Hopkins. The pulpit ministry of Zion Baptist Church can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Monday, January 26, 2015

God's Will for You

(Article for publication week of 1-29- AD 2015)
 
"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;" (I Thessalonians 4:3-4).
 Dear Reader, do you desire to know God's will for you? Well, I can tell you what God's will is for you. God's will for you is that you be sanctified, that is that you be holy. You see, we may know the will of God without any extraordinary revelation, for He has given us a more sure word of prophecy, that is His Word ( II Peter 1:19).
God has clearly commanded us to "be ye holy", as He is Holy (I Peter 1:15-16). We are also told in Hebrews 12:14 that we shall not see God without holiness. Dear Reader, do you see something of the vital importance of sanctification, i.e., holiness? (Holiness and sanctification are virtually synonymous; both words in our Translation are translated from the same Greek word "hagiosmos.") Unless you become pure in life, including thought and deed, you will never see God in peace. Be sure the only people that God will allow into heaven are holy people, for He is of purer Eyes than to behold iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). It is God's Eternal Purpose to have a people who are "holy and without blame before Him"(Ephesians 1:4). We must be both "without blame", and "holy." "Without blame" would be our justification, which gives us a good record with God, and "holiness" is our sanctification, which gives us a nature like God.
So what does it mean to be sanctified, or holy? Well, our text this week gives us a starting point. Sanctification means purity, and the Apostle calls us to sexual purity in particular. Of course our sanctification includes much more than sexual purity, but the Apostle mentions this first because licentiousness was so rampant in the Greco-Roman culture, as it is in our American culture. Although there is much more to sanctification than sexual purity (which we will be showing in following articles), it is a vital and necessary part of our sanctification. The fact is no one will ever see God in peace without purity of life, including sexual purity. Sanctification, or holiness means to love what God loves, and hate what God hates. It means to think as He would have you think. It means to behave as He would have you behave. It means to be set apart from the world; to be radically different from the world; and not to love the world (I John 2:15). It means to be like Christ and conformed to His Image. This is God's will for you dear Reader, even your sanctification.
This truth of sanctification should influence and motivate us in every area of our lives. We should make this a vital and urgent consideration in every decision before us. When we are considering a course of action, there are two chief concerns for a Christian. The first is the glory of God. That is our chief end to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." When we are praying about God's will in a particular matter, we may first ask ourselves, "how will this promote God's Glory?" The second consideration is, "How will this promote my sanctification?" For you see dear reader, you will not enjoy God now, or forever unless you are sanctified, that is holy. This is the will of God, your sanctification.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

More on Sanctification

(Article for publication week of 1-22- AD 2015)
 
"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;" (I Thessalonians 4:3-4).
Last week we began a series of articles on the doctrine of sanctification. Sanctification means "purification." The Greek word that is translated "sanctification" (hagiasmos) is also translated "holiness" in other places in our English translations. One of the best theological definitions of sanctification is given us in our Baptist Catechism (yes, Baptists do have a catechism) in answer to question #38 , ("what is sanctification?") we read, "sanctification is the work of God's free grace whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness." Our Presbyterian brethren will find  this same definition  in the Shorter Catechism question and answer #35.
I want to give our readers another good introduction to the doctrine of sanctification from the Second London Confession of Faith, the historic creed of the Baptists. We refer you to Chapter thirteen ("Of Sanctification" ) with the scripture proofs:
"1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Acts 20:32; Romans 6:5,6; John 17:17; Ephesians 3: 16-19; I Thessalonians 5:21-23; Romans 6:14, Galatians 5:24; Colossians 1:11; II Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14).
"2. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh (I Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:17; I Peter 2:11).
"3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His word hath prescribed them (Romans 7:23; Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:15, 16; II Corinthians 3:18, 7:1)."
Lord willing we will be explaining and applying this glorious truth of sanctification in the coming weeks and probably months. If any of you would like a copy of the Baptist Catechism and the Confession of faith I will (D.V.) see that you get one. Just call me at 601-927-5070. Until next week, my prayer for all my readers is that the very God of peace may sanctify you wholly.