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, April 12, 2009

The Practice of Righteousness - Part III

(Article for publication week 04-15-09 AD)

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (I John 3:10).

In our text this week we have the negative of I John 2:29. There it is positively stated that a Christian will habitually practice righteousness. Here it is negatively stated that a person who does not habitually practice righteousness is not born again, is not saved, and is not a Christian (three ways of Biblically describing the same persons). The habitual practice of righteousness is a necessary and vital and indispensable evidence of the new birth.

Last week we emphatically stated that the practice of righteousness is dictated by the commands of God’s Word, not worldly philosophy or our own feelings (Matthew 15:9). Now we shall take up some of the things that the word of God clearly commands. And the very first thing that we are clearly commanded in scripture is to worship God. The first great command is to love God with all our being (Matthew 22:37). In the Decalogue, God states in the first commandment that we are to worship Him exclusively. In the second commandment we are commanded to worship God only as He has prescribed. One of God’s holy purposes in saving us is so that we might become His true worshippers (John 4:23). Our main business in heaven will be to eternally worship God (Revelation 5). The very beginning of the practice of righteousness is the worship of God. If you are not a worshipper of God, you simply are not saved.

When a person is regenerated by the Holy Spirit that person automatically becomes a worshipper of God. In Acts chapter nine we have the account of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Paul tells us in I Timothy 1:16 that his conversion is a prototype of every conversion. The first thing we notice in Acts 9:6 is Saul (later known as Paul) crying out “Lord , what will Thou have me to do?” He was becoming a worshipper of the true God. Later on in Acts 9:11 we read of Saul , “behold, he prayeth.” the Lord had sought out Paul and brought him by sovereign grace to become one of his true worshippers. Now, all this is very significant for all of us, especially for professors of religion. Paul had been a very religious person all his life (Philippians 3:5). But he had never truly worshipped God until he was savingly changed from nature to grace. No doubt, Paul as a good Jew had said many prayers since his childhood, but now by sovereign grace he truly prays. Do you see it? Being religious is not the same thing as worshipping God. My friend you can be as religious as all get out, and never worship God! Oh! That you could be made by Divine Grace to see that and feel that and know that! I am getting excited as I write it! It is such an eternally important point. Everybody that is religious is not a worshipper of God.

And now I have to tell you this: if you are not worshipping God’s Son, you are not worshipping God. “All men should honour the Son, as they honour the Father.” (John 5:23). Only Christians are truly worshipping God. If you have not come to the Father through his Son, you are not a worshipper of God, and you are not practicing righteousness. I don’t care how religious you are , or how many pretended good works you have, you are not practicing righteousness if you are not worshipping God the way he has prescribed, and that is through His Son. There are many great humanitarians who are already in hell because they refused to bow the knee to Christ. And my good , nice, religious, humanitarian friend, you will soon be in hell yourself, unless you bow the knee to King Jesus. I am glad you are a nice person. That makes it easier for me to get along with you in this life. It makes it easier for your kinfolks and neighbors to live with you. But unless you start the practice of true worship by bowing down to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are going to split hell wide open. May God spare you before it is too late.

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