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 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.

No comments: