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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He Cannot Sin

(Article for publication week of 5-27-2009 AD)

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remained in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3:9).

The scriptures tell us that there are certain and vital evidences of the New Birth. Faith, repentance, conversion and the practice of righteousness we have considered in previous articles. Now we come to another vital and indispensable evidence of regeneration- no habitual sinning.

First of all, we need to understand that our text is not saying that Christians are above sin. Some have erroneously interpreted this text to mean that Christians can reach sinless perfection in this life. But if we compare other texts we will see the error of this interpretation. In I John 1:8 we read, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The person who says that they have arrived at sinless perfection is simply not facing the truth of this text. They are simply self-deceived. Notice also in I Corinthians 10:31, “whatsoever ye do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.” Anything that we have done that was not solely for God’s glory was sin. Also when we read the model prayer in Matthew 6, we learn to pray, “forgive us our sins”. Christians must continually be confessing sin and begging the Lord for forgiveness. This is the reason our Lord teaches us to pray this way. Also I would set before you Hebrews 12:8, ‘if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.” Christians are oft exercised by the chastening hand of God because they are not yet perfected and their heavenly Father corrects them to make them more in His own likeness. The fact that we are chastened shows that we are still imperfect. Further, I would have you consider the way the Lord sums up the moral law in Matthew 22:37-40. There he says the law is summarized under two heads- love God with all our being and love our neighbour as ourselves. Now if we will be honest we must admit that we have not done that. We have come short of the righteousness God requires (Romans 3:23). Also in Isaiah 64:4 we read, “all our righteousness areas filthy rags.” The best you and I have done is filthy before God. So you see those who say they no longer sin are not being honest with all the scriptures say about sin.

So what does our text mean when it says, “he that is born of God doth not commit sin.” Well, first of all it means that the Christian is no longer under the power of sin (Romans 6:14). There was a time when we under the power of sin. But when the Lord saved us, he delivered us from that awful power. We were under the power of darkness, but God transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). The Christian is still plagued by indwelling sin (Romans 7:17). He still has to mortify sin with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13), but sin is not his master any more. He now belongs to a better Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, it means that the Christian has made it his goal to not sin. He is not committed to sin any more. He has made it his goal to live above sin. I John 2:1 says, my little children, these things I write unto you that ye sin not. That is a command the Christian takes seriously. If you are not trying to live above sin, it is doubtful to me whether you are saved. Somebody told Brother Rolfe Barnard once, “Brother Barnard, I can’t live above sin.” His pointed reply was, “ how would you know? You never have tried”!

Thirdly, it means the Christian does not sin as the habit and general course of his life. There was a time when he lived without any regard of what God thought of his actions. But now that he is born again, the Christian considers every action in light of God’s word. Christians often stumble and fall into sin, but they do not stay in it. A just man may fall seven times, but he shall rise again, by God’s grace.

Now my dear friends, I ask you, “are you born again?” Are you still committed to sin? Or, are you committed to holiness? May the Holy Spirit give you the answer.

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