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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Repent and be Converted

(Article for publication week of 11-19-2008 AD )

“Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord “ (Acts 3:19). In previous articles we have been showing forth the evidences of regeneration. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught in John 3:8 that when a person is born again you will see the evidence for “the wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof.” We set forth that the first and indispensable evidence of the new birth is faith in Christ (I John 5:1). Then we set forth another indispensable evidence is repentance (II Corinthians 7:10; Matthew 5:4; Luke 13:5). Now we come to consider another vital evidence of regeneration, and that is conversion. Our text says that the repentant person is a converted person.

Now we live in a generation that is so dead spiritually that few ever have heard of true conversion, much less have experienced it. We hear a little bit about people “accepting” Jesus or “deciding” for Jesus, but we seldom hear of any who have been converted to Christ, and even more seldom do we find any who give evidence that they have been genuinely converted.

By conversion we mean the inevitable turning of one who has been regenerated by the sovereign , irresistible, immediate work of the Holy Spirit. In my text this week here in Acts 3:19, the Apostle Peter was preaching and calling on sinners to repent and be converted. He was calling on them to turn from their sins and bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ Whom they had killed , but He was now risen and was at the right hand of God. The Greek word translated “converted’ in my text this week is translated “turned” in I Thessalonians 1:9 where Paul said he knew the Thessalonians to be of the elect for they had “turned from idols to serve the living and true God.” conversion is the turning of a sinner from his sins , renouncing his sins and embracing the Lord Jesus Christ as the rightful owner of himself and all that is his.

Now, no person ever turns to Christ of his own free will, but mark it down friend, when the Lord turns a sinner that sinner surely turns (Jeremiah 31:18). Conversion is the certain and inevitable turning of an elect sinner that has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. In regeneration the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life; In conversion the elect sinner lives. In regeneration the Holy Spirit gives faith; in conversion the elect sinner believes in Christ. In regeneration the Holy Spirit grants repentance; in conversion, the elect sinner repents. In regeneration the Holy Spirit draws an elect sinner to Christ; in conversion that sinner comes to Christ. The Lord turns, and we turn. That is conversion concisely stated.

Regeneration and conversion are two sides of the same coin. Where there is one, there will of necessity be the other. The scriptures speak nowhere of a person being regenerated without also being converted. By the same token, the scriptures speak nowhere of sinners being converted unless the Holy Spirit works antecedently in them. We may think of regeneration as the Divine side of salvation and conversion as the human side of salvation. No sinner is ever saved apart from the Sovereign power of God. But be sure you understand, the sinner who has that great power wrought in him will inevitably be converted.

Friend, have you been converted? I am not asking you if you ever decided for Jesus . I am asking you has the Lord turned you so that you were turned to Him? I as the Apostle Peter call on you today to repent and be converted. Turn from your idols and serve the Living God. May the Lord turn some of you today.

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