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, July 18, 2009

Because We Love the Brethren

(Article for publication week of 7-22-2009 AD)

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (I John 3:14).

We come now to consider another indispensable and certain evidence of the new birth, that is love for the Lord’s people. A sinner saved by grace is bound to love other sinners that are saved by grace.

The first thing to which I call your attention is that we may have assurance of our salvation. John says, “we know”. Certain modern day Pharisees teach that no one may have assurance of grace and teach their adherents that all they can do is try to obey the law and “church rules” and do penance and go to confession and a thousand other things and hope, they may one day get out of purgatory. Other false teachers advocate that the best you can do is just “hope” you might be one of God’s elect. On the other hand the proponents of easy believism tell their followers that if they ever “made a decision for Christ” then they need never doubt their salvation. We have known not a few that have imbibed this dangerous doctrine that were living in gross and scandalous sin who had no doubts of their salvation because they had “decided for Christ” or “accepted Jesus”. To all such we give the words of Christ in John 10:27, “my sheep hear my voice and they FOLLOW me.“ The truth is that believers in Christ can have a solid assurance, as our text tells us. We are exhorted in II Peter 1:10 to “give diligence to make our calling and election sure.” II Thessalonians 2:16 tells us we have “a good hope through grace.” We may not be completely delivered from doubts and fears, but we can have a firm assurance of our standing in grace.

Secondly our text speaks of the great drama of salvation. Salvation is passing from “death unto life.” Salvation is nothing less than miraculous. It is so miraculous that its recipients are always amazed that they are Christians. Salvation is a powerful work. It is passing from death unto life. Unconverted persons are like so many walking corpses as dead as a valley of dry bones. (Read Ezekiel 37.) How many suppose themselves Christians who have never had anything happen to them like passing from death unto life. How many we hear who say things like “well I just always loved the Lord” but they can’t relate anything like passing from death unto life. Or how many say they have “accepted Jesus”, but have had no real change in their soul. How many are there who have given some mental assent to the gospel but can relate nothing like passing from death unto life. To all such careless souls we say, “Have you passed from death unto life”?Has salvation come to you in this profound way?

Now my dear ones, if you have passed from death unto life, one way you and others will know it is by your love for others who have passed from death unto life. I will have more on this subject next week, Lord willing.

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