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, May 2, 2009

When Ye Do Your Alms

(Article for publication week of 5-6-2009 AD)

“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.” (Matthew 6:2).

In Matthew 6:1-18, our Lord Jesus Christ summarizes the practice of righteousness under three general heads: doing alms, praying and fasting. These are things that hypocrites may also practice, but that does not deter the Christian. After all, our Lord says “when” ye do these things, not “if”.

A Christian will be a generous person. After all, a believer has received salvation, the greatest gift ever bestowed by the free and unmerited grace of God. Saving grace begets a gracious disposition. The person who is stingy and tight-fisted is showing that he is not acquainted with the mercy and grace of God. The Christian has freely received so he loves to freely give.

Our Lord taught us giving by His Own example. In Acts 20:35 it says the Lord taught us it is “more blessed to give than to receive.” God gave the unspeakable gift of His own Son for our salvation. Christ gave Himself for His Church. Surely we will never suppose we have ever given much in comparison to our Lord.

The Christian spirit of giving must always be voluntary. “The Lord loves a cheerful giver “ (I Corinthians 9:7). Giving that is coerced either by law or threat is not of the spirit of Christ. Giving begrudgingly is not of the spirit of Christ. Giving to be noticed by others is not of the spirit of Christ. Christians do not have to be coerced either by law, threat or any other way to give, for they feel that they have received so much from the Lord they love to share with others. God’s people just delight in giving.

Christian giving is directed in three general ways. First, we are to give to support the ministers of Christ and the advancement of the gospel and the work of the church (I Corinthians 9:1-14). No true minister of Christ views the work of the ministry as a “job” nor would he quit preaching for lack of support. The true ministers of Christ feel that necessity is laid upon them and “woe is me if I preach not the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:16), yet the Lord’s people will love their ministers and their faithful care of their souls.

Secondly, we are to give for the relief of the poor saints among us. James 1:27 tells us that pure and undefiled religion is to visit the widows and the fatherless in their affliction. The church is not to throw their poor away to be cared for by the state and its ungodly “welfare” system. We are to care for our own. On the other hand, no able bodied man should be always going to the church for help, for if any will not work, neither should he eat. (II Thessalonians 3:10).

Thirdly, we are to give for the relief of the poor the Lord may send providentially our way, even if they are not Christians. The scriptures teach us we are to even feed our enemies (Romans 12:20). Now this is a good place to make a point. “If thine enemy hunger, feed him”. The care of the poor is to give them necessities, not luxuries. There are in reality only two necessities: food to keep from starving, and clothes to hide our nakedness (I Timothy 6:8). The scriptures do not require us to “share the wealth” or to try to make everybody equal financially or to provide the “poor’” with luxuries or to give welfare “with dignity” or anything like that. We are to provide for the helpless their necessities, and do it cheerfully. With such cheerful giving the Lord is well pleased.

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