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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Indwelling Sin Part II

(Article for publication week of 7-1-2009 AD)

“….. sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17b).

Last week we wrote on the Christian’s struggle with indwelling sin. All Christians know that they have a struggle against the remnants of the old nature that they received from their fallen parent, Adam. All Christians know they have a plague of the heart (I Kings 8:38). They feel themselves to be wretches (Romans 7:24) and the “chief of sinners (I Timothy 1:15). We are not yet perfected, but still have sin indwelling us (also known as the “old man”). This is the experience of every heaven born soul. The feeling of our heart is often, “I am so vile, so full of sin, I fear that I’m not born again.” Dear reader, do you know anything of such conflict in your experience?

Our text here in Romans 7 speaks of this reality. (By the way, I have just begun preaching through Romans 7 here at our church and the messages are available by cd or they may be downloaded at Sermonaudio.com.) But while our text plainly says that sin dwells in believers, it does not say that believers dwell in sin. This is a vast and important distinction. Be sure you get it straight. Sin dwells in a believer, but a believer does not dwell in sin. Multitudes I fear will stumble into perdition considering this point. Many false professors reading in Romans 7, or hearing a man of God preach on the reality of indwelling sin, or hearing some believers relate their experience of conflict of soul, wrongly conclude that since they still love sin, they must be among the elect of God. What a dangerous presumption!

I well remember in the early days of my ministry going to see a church member who was a drunkard. When I confronted him with his sin, he protested that he was saved by grace! I told him that true saving grace does not beget drunkenness. And of course he tried to argue that “well we are all sinners”, a point I never argue with, but simply remind people there are two kinds of sinners. There are sinners who have been saved from sin, hate their sins worse that the sins of others, and are actively mortifying sin. And then there are sinners who are still in their sins, still love their sins, and never fight against the plague of their heart.

You see my dear readers, the truth is like a razor’s edge. It is that narrow. You may be damned by falling off the edge on either side. There is presumption on one side, and despair on the other. You may be damned by self-righteousness, or you may be damned by saying to yourself, “well I am a sinner, but after all those Christians are sinners too, and if they can be saved, then perhaps I can too.” Either way, you will be damned in hell for all eternity unless you confess the plague of your heart and cry out to Jesus to save you from your sins and get serious about forsaking sin.

Remember dear ones, I John 3:9 says, “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” Christians do not habitually sin, even though they always struggle against sin, and find themselves losing ground in their experience. I repeat, sin dwells in believers, but believers do not dwell in sin. Such sober truth leaves us nowhere to go but to Christ, the Saviour of the chief of sinners. I pray many of you may seek and find Him today.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Indwelling Sin

(Article for publication week of 6-24-2009 AD)

“Now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17).

For the last few weeks we have been dealing with Christians and sin. We have seen from I John 3:9 that Christians do not sin as a habit and course of their lives. The believer in Christ is dead judicially to sin (Romans 6:2) and he is not under the dominion of sin (Romans 6:14). We have believed in Christ to save us from our sins, not to save us in our sins. When the Holy Spirit regenerated us, He imparted to us a new nature. We are partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). God makes His people new creatures (II Corinthians 5:17).

While we have a new nature which is holy and loves Christ and hates sin, we still have the remnants of the old nature. This is what Paul is talking about here in Romans 7 when he speaks of “sin that dwelleth in me.” At the end of Romans 7 Paul says “”O wretched man that I am” (note well, Paul says that I “am”, not “was’). Paul never thought of himself as anything but a “wretch” and the “chief of sinners” (I Timothy 1:15), nor does any other Christian. We often sing “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” This is the experience of the child of God as he traverses this low ground of sin and sorrow. The Christian finds no good thing in his flesh.

Over the years I have heard the Lord’s people and their ministers speak of this reality of indwelling sin by differing words. Some call it “indwelling sin”; some “the old man”; some ‘the old nature”. There are scriptures that justify the use of either of these terms and they all refer to the same thing. That is that Christians are not yet perfected. In His wisdom and grace, God has been pleased to leave these remnants of the old nature in us when He gave us our new nature. This is the reason there is always a struggle in the breast of a believer. When we would do good, “evil is present” with us (Romans 7:21). We are painfully aware of the presence of indwelling sin, and it brings much grief to us. This is the reason God’s people are called “mourners” and “poor and afflicted people”. The new nature desires to love and obey God, but that old nature wants to have its own way. So there is always a conflict and a struggle going on within believers.

While this conflict and struggle is very grievous and painful, it always keeps us coming to Christ and His grace. Perhaps this is one reason our all-wise Father is waiting until glorification to perfect us. The Christian has nowhere to go but to Christ for help with his struggle against sin. And there is grace there to help us in our greatest need. Christ intercedes for us at His Father’s right hand. His wounds plead for us in heaven. The Eternal Son is continually reminding the Eternal Father that he died for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Christ died for every sin the believer has committed or ever will commit, and He intercedes for us in heaven itself.

There is coming a day when the Christian’s struggle with sin shall cease. It is not by a second work of grace. It is not by letting go and letting God. It is not by a program of victorious living. But it will be when we lay these bodies down and enter into the presence of Christ. And in the resurrection we shall receive new bodies, which will be rid of indwelling sin (I Corinthians 15:54; Romans 8:23). Brethren, let us flee to Christ, and wait patiently until the day of our great change.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Christians Not Under Sin's Dominion

(Article for publication week of 6-17-2009 AD)

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14).

In Romans chapter six, Paul explains why free grace does not lead to antinomianism. Christians are dead judicially to sin because they are united to Christ Who died to put away their sins and so they cannot continue in sin. In verse fourteen, he says that we are not under the dominion of sin any longer.

I will illustrate it like this. Let us go back in our minds to the time that domestic servitude was practiced in our country. Suppose a slave was owned by a very cruel master. His master overworks him, gives him scanty rations and whips him for the slightest infraction. This is a good picture of what it is like to be lost and under the dominion of sin. Sin is cruel and pays scanty rations. Now suppose this slave is purchased by a kind and good master. He works him moderately, provides for all his needs, and never would whip him. This is a picture of Christ purchasing us in salvation. Now suppose our imaginary slave goes to town and encounters his old master. The old master begins to threaten him. The slave may at first cringe at the sight of the cruel one and in his mind goes back to the days when he was under such cruel dominion. But the old master no longer has dominion over him, and our imaginary slave has every right to tell his old master that he does not belong to him any more. This is the way it is with a Christian. He no longer belongs to the devil, he now belongs to Christ. But the devil may threaten us and even try to get us back into his service. But we have every right to tell him we do not belong to him any more. This is what Paul is teaching us to do in Romans six. We are to remember that we are not under the dominion of sin, but under the dominion of Christ. We are to live like who we are.

Christians are no longer dominated by sin. Sin still vexes us and we have to mortify sin (Romans 8:13), but sin does not dominate us any longer. We are under a completely different dominion, the dominion of grace. Grace is what dominates, controls and motivates a believer. To be saved by grace is to be free from the dominion of sin. We have true liberty being under the dominion of Christ.

To be saved by grace in no way makes a person a libertine. We are under the mastery of Christ and we must do his bidding. To be a Christian is to be a slave to Christ. This is the way the Apostle Paul describes himself in the first verse of Romans, “a servant of Jesus Christ.” The Greek word that is translated “servant“ in Romans 1:1 and most places in the New Testament is “doulos” which more literally means “slave.”

The fact is, all of us are slaves. We are either slaves to sin, the world and the devil, or we are slaves of Jesus Christ. Whose slave are you?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Christians Dead to Sin

(Article for publication week of 6-10-2009 AD)

“How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2).

Our text this week is Paul’s answer to the question, “shall we continue in sin?” His answer is a resounding “NO!” “God forbid!” “Absolutely not!” And the first reason he gives is that Christians are dead to sin. What Paul means by being dead to sin is that Christians are “dead’ judicially, in Christ. Paul is not suggesting that Christians no longer have to fight against sin, resist it and mortify it, but rather that our position in Christ is that we are legally dead to sin. We know this for several reasons. First of all, Paul is basing his argument on everything he said in Romans 3:21-5:21 where he declares that salvation is all of free grace and justification as a forensic act declared by God Himself through His Son. Secondly, in verse 11 of chapter 6, Paul exhorts believers to “reckon” themselves “dead” unto sin. If there were not a sin nature remaining in Christians, this exhortation would be useless. Thirdly, in verse 13, he calls upon us to not “yield “ our members to unrighteousness. If we were actually dead to sin as far as it not bothering us, this would again be unneeded. Fourthly, we know that Christians can and do still sin from other scriptures. (See I John 1:8 for example.)

But Christians are judicially “dead” to sin. This means that when Christ died on the cross, we died with Him, representatively, because God’s elect are in Him by election union from eternity (Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 1:1-4). The sins of all who believe in Christ were laid on Him as our substitute and we were represented in His death. The doctrine of justification by imputation (Romans 4) shows that we are dead to sin judicially. All the sins of all God’s chosen elect were transferred to Christ and that debt is forever cancelled by God.

This is one of the most powerful motives for a holy life. In II Corinthians 5:14, we read, “the love of Christ constraineth us.” Christians are also motivated by the fear of God, but as I say the truth of free grace is one of the most powerful motives not to continue in sin. Believers love Christ so much and are so thankful to Him for salvation that they do not want to do anything that Christ finds offense with. We know that it was our sins that nailed the saviour to the tree, and we do not want anything to do with what caused Him to have to suffer and die for us. The person who continues in sin is showing that He has never really believed in Christ and that he is still in His sin. The person that is not motivated by the love of Christ and judicial death in Him is showing that he has not been saved.

Dead to sin! Oh! What a glorious position! Sin no longer has dominion over us (believers in Christ) because the Lord died and we died with him. He was raised from the dead and we were raised with Him. Divine justice has been satisfied by our Surety and our debt is satisfied. We who are dead judicially to sin cannot continue in sin. Thanks be unto God for our position in Christ.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Christians and Sin

(Article for publication week of 6-3-2009 AD)

“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1).

Last week we took up another vital and indispensable evidence of the New Birth- no habitual sinning (I John 3:9). For the next few weeks we shall consider more of this most important truth in an effort to help our readers determine if they are truly saved.

In our text this week we have a question that has been posed down through the centuries. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” In other words, if we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone as Paul so gloriously expounds in Romans 3:21-5:21, does that mean we may continue to live in sin?

First of all, we must say that this is a ridiculous question, and if we are asking the question, what is our motive? There have been and still are those among professing Christianity who are antinomian. They say that if we are saved by grace it matters not how we live. There are many in the professing church who want to know how much they can sin and still go to heaven when they die. I fear for the souls of all who think that way.

Then there are others who are opponents of free grace who charge us with being antinomians ourselves because we preach salvation by grace. These legalists say that if you preach free grace then you encourage loose living. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is exactly what Paul is dealing with in Romans chapter 6. A sinner saved by grace is not interested in continuing in sin. He has come to hate his sins and mourn over them and repent of them and he has believed in Christ for salvation from sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ saves His people FROM their sins, not in their sins. Those whom Christ saves are made new creatures in Him. The Holy Spirit has begun a good work in them. They are being sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. The blood of Christ has purged their conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

The professed Christian who continues in habitual sin is showing that his profession is false. There are multitudes all around us who are in this condition. “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him’ (Titus 1:16). There are many who profess Christ who are not possessed by Christ. There are many who have joined the church that have never been savingly joined to Christ. Neighbour, it matters not what your profession may be if you are continuing in sin.

Now, Paul answers this question in verse 2 of Romans 6, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” And that is where we shall take up next week.