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.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

That Ye Sin Not

(Article for publication week of 7-15-2009 AD)

My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1-2).

One indispensable evidence of a gracious state is that we do not sin as a habit and general course of life (I John 3:9). To such John writes seriously that we sin not. This is a command that a Christian takes seriously. If you are not taking John’s command not to sin seriously, then I doubt very seriously if you are born again. So our text gives us the goal of every heaven born soul, that is not to sin. Dear reader, have you made it your goal and purpose in life to live above sin? If not, I fear for your eternal state.

But not only does John give us the goal of the Christian, not to sin, he also gives us the reality of the Christian life, “if any man sin”. This is the reality that every believer faces that when he would do good, evil is present with him (Romans 7:21). “In many things we offend all” (James 3:2). We are always missing the mark and coming short of the glory of God. We have a plague in our heart that is continually breaking out.

In the face of this reality John gives us the remedy for sinners, Jesus Christ the Righteous. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Jesus Christ is the sinner’s remedy for his sins in two ways according to our text.

First the Lord Jesus Christ is the sinner’s Substitute. He is the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation is a word that came into use, as I am told by scholars (I am not a scholar myself, but have studied enough to know a scholar), through William Tyndale’s translation of the scriptures into English. It means that the wrath of God has been appeased by the expiation Christ made for believers when he died on the cross. Christ has fully discharged all the debts His people owed to a holy God. For every one that believes in Christ, the just wrath of God has been turned away by the offering of Christ once for all. But if you are not joined to Christ dear friend, you are as Jonathan Edwards put it, a “sinner in the hands of an angry God.”

Secondly, Christ is the believer’s remedy for sin as our Advocate with the Father. If you had to go before the Judge, would you not want a capable advocate? Well, Christ is such an advocate for His people. We have an Advocate who is the Judge’s Son! And he has already paid our fine! The Lord Jesus intercedes in heaven for all those for whom He died (Romans 8:34). Right now in the Court of heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ is reminding His Father that he died for old wretched sinners like Thomas Ray Floyd. And not for me only, but for all who will repent of their sins and believe in Him. Christ is able, willing and ready to advocate for the vilest offender who truly believes. And that my friends is the gospel truth.

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