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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Granting of Repentance

(Article originally published the week of 8-27-2008 AD )

“…Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). Dear friends, did you know that you are helpless to repent evangelically unless the Lord grants you repentance. You cannot repent of your own “free will”, any more than you can savingly believe on Christ. Repentance unto life is a work of God’s sovereign grace as much as any other part of salvation. As further proof look at II Timothy 2:25: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God will peradventure give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” You see, God must give repentance to sinners, or they cannot truly repent, evangelically.

Oh! What a strait poor sinners are in! You are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30), and you will perish unless you repent (Luke 13:3), but you cannot repent unless God shows mercy to you and grants you repentance that you might not perish. Poor sinner you are helpless. There is only one thing for you to do and that is cry out to God Who Alone has the power to grant you repentance and give you faith (Ephesians 2:8).

Poor sinners cannot repent without a work of grace first of all because they are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Until the Holy Spirit regenerates a poor sinner, that sinner is dead spiritually. Those who are spiritually dead can do nothing of a spiritual nature. What you need my poor unconverted friend is for the Holy Spirit to regenerate you and make you alive spiritually. If that ever happens to you, you will begin to mourn before God on account of your sins. Repentance is a result of regeneration.

And sinners cannot repent of their own free will because they do not have a heart for repentance. The natural heart is hard as the millstone. When God has mercy on a poor sinner, He gives them a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). But a hard-hearted, unregenerate, unconverted sinner will never repent with Godly sorrow for his sins. He may have the sorrow of the world and a legal repentance, but is absolutely at the mercy of the Sovereign God to give him a new heart that he might repent and turn to Christ for salvation from his sins. Friend, has the Sovereign Lord given you a new heart? If he has, then you know something of repentance that only God can grant.

The fact of the matter is that God is absolutely sovereign in the salvation of sinners (Romans 9:15), as he is in all things (Ephesians 1:11). God will do with you as seems Him best (Matthew 11:25-26). If he leaves you in your sins , and in love with your sins and lets you go on to hell, He is just and holy in doing so. After all , unconverted one, you love your sins and despise holiness. You don’t want to be holy do you? No, you love the world and you have no intention to forsake your worldly ways. So if God lets you go on as you are going, He is simply leaving you to your own “free will” as you loudly insist you want. But if he shows mercy to someone else and grants them repentance, He will be doing you no injustice as He leaves you right where you want to be.

Now I have a word to you who have been granted repentance. As you mourn your wretched condition, rejoice at the same time, for it was all of God’s grace “you were brought to obey, while others were suffered to go, the road which by nature we choose as our way, which leads to the regions of woe”! And as you repent before God for your sins, look to His Son Who is the only One that can do poor sinners good. He can comfort all that mourn for their sins, and He does. Christ Alone! Christ Alone!

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