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.

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