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

Mourners Comforted

(Article submitted for publication the week of 10-29-2008 AD)

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). Last week we pointed out that the mourning described here by our Lord Jesus Christ has nothing to do with mourning at a funeral or mourning because you lost your stock investment or anything like that. Our Lord is describing those who have been regenerated and granted repentance . They have been taught by the Holy Spirit that they are great sinners . They have come to love the precious Redeemer, and have seen that He was pierced for their sins (Zechariah 12:10). It is a blessing to be such a mourner for it is the evidence that one is a child of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ promises that these mourners shall be truly comforted.

First of all, the Lord Himself is their Comforter. We read in Luke chapter four an occasion when our Lord was preaching in the synagogue and He read from Isaiah 61 and said the passage was about Himself . He said He was sent “to heal the broken hearted.” Our Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) and when a poor sinner is enabled to believe in the Dear Saviour slain for sinners, oh! What a comfort it is! Trusting in Christ Alone for your salvation is true comfort for those who have seen what terrible sinners they indeed are. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the sinners Friend, and he can comfort your soul as no other. Do I write to one whose heart is broken for sin! Look to Christ Alone poor sinner and He shall wipe your weeping eyes. “Weeping sinners, dry your tears; Jesus on the throne appears. Can you slight such heavenly charms? Flee, Oh! Flee to Jesus’ arms!

And then the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. In John 14:16 when our Lord was telling His disciples that he was going away, He promised them He would pray His Father Who would give then Another Comforter, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit , who is the Third Person of the holy Trinity and Who is One with the Father and the Son, and co-equal with the Father and the Son (I John 5:7), is our Blessed Paraclete Who comes along beside us to comfort us. The Holy Spirit comforts God’s people by indwelling them (John 16:17). He is our Comforter because He teaches us and guides us into the truth of God’s word (John14:26; John 16:13). The Holy spirit is our Comforter because he testifies of Christ (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit is our Comforter for He pours the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5). “The Blessed Spirit like the wind moves when and where He please…. He sheds abroad the Father’s love, applies redeeming love.” The blessed Holy Spirit teaches the children of God that their Heavenly Father loves them with an everlasting love which had no beginning and shall have no end. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). Only the Holy Spirit can give true assurance to us. In fact, it is wrong for us to try to assure any they are the children of God. Only the Holy Spirit can do this blessed work of assuring God’s elect experimentally that they are truly His. I pray the Holy Spirit by His indwelling and teaching and witness may give to some poor mourner blessed assurance this week.

And then the Lord has appointed the means of the gospel to give comfort to His mourning people. In Isaiah 40:1, we read, “Comfort ye , comfort ye my people saith the Lord.” It is only the Lord’s people who will derive any comfort from the gospel. The unregenerate worldling has never had his heart broken in repentance and the gospel of our Lord’s saving work is of no interest to him. And then I will tell you that only the true gospel will be of any comfort to heaven born souls. Works religion, and exhortations to human effort and lectures on sinners’ ability and psychology will never bring any comfort to those who mourn in Zion. But the good news that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification is a message that heals the wounds of those who have been pricked in their hearts by conviction. The true gospel is a comfort and blessing to those who have been born again, because it declares that Christ was a great success in the work of redemption and that He finished the work the Father gave Him. The true gospel is a comfort to mourners for it tells them not what they can do, but rather what Christ has done. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

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