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, August 30, 2009

The Authenticity of Scripture

(Article for publication week of 9-2-2009 AD)

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39).

It is apparent that our Lord Jesus Christ believed in the authenticity of the scriptures. He urges us to search the scriptures, for they have the message of salvation that comes through Himself. The doctrine of scripture and the doctrine of Christ cannot be separated.

We know the Bible to be the word of God for many reasons. Its majestic style, unique message, influence for good on communities, and its power to convert sinners all prove the scriptures to be the authentic word of God. We further note the agreement of all its parts and the perfect fulfillment of its prophecies as evidence for the Bible.

Added to all this is the Bible’s self-authentication. The Bible is its own witness. When we read the Bible we are aware that we are reading a very unique Book. There are no other writings that compare with the Bible. For example, I have a copy of the Koran, the supposed “holy’ book of the poor deluded Moslems. The Koran reads like a comic book compared to the word of God. When you read the Koran you can tell that your are reading the ranting of a madman, not the word of God. And this is true of every other writing of men. Men can think and write no higher than the power of their own brains, and their writings reveal themselves to be the production of fallible men. But not so with the Bible. It is evident that the Bible sprang from a Mind infinitely larger than a human mind.

Now, this is what our Lord was talking about in our text. “Search the scriptures” for it is evident they are the word of God. It is interesting that our Lord never presented a long drawn out argument for the authenticity of scriptures. He simply says if you believe in me you must of necessity believe the word of God for they testify of me and show you the way of salvation. Nor did the apostles ever make such apologies for the Bible. They simply preached the Word. Nor did the Old Testament prophets enter into such debates. They simply declared “thus saith the Lord.”

What it comes down to is, we either believe God or not .God has magnified His Word above all His Name (Psalm 138:2). God has been pleased to reveal Himself to us by His Holy Word. And if we reject that word, we reject Him. All men know there is a God. His creation and the conscience that he has given all men are undeniable evidence that He is. And since all men know there is a God, when they read His word they have all the evidence they need for its authenticity. To deny the Bible is to go against all reason in the same way as to deny God goes against all reason.

So why do so many not believe the Bible? One simple answer- they are not born again. Until the Lord regenerates them and gives them faith they will never believe the Bible. And if they persist in their unbelief they will end up in eternal hell. Do you believe the Bible?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Doctrine of Scripture

(Article for publication week of 8-26-2009 AD)

"Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).

This week we begin a new series for the Narrow Way. For the next few months we will be setting forth the doctrine of scripture. Our text this week is the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." The reason people err is because they do not know the scriptures, nor the God of scripture. The reason there is so much error in family, church and state is because people will not believe the scripture. The reason most of you are lost is because you will not believe and obey the scripture.

It is apparent that the overwhelming majority of the people here in our county do not believe the Bible, including the church members and the preachers. By the way you talk, think, behave, and dress it is apparent that most of you do not believe the Bible. And if you do not believe the Bible, you are not saved. And if you do not believe ALL the Bible, you are not saved.

There is no reason for you not to believe the Bible. We know the Bible is the word of God for many reasons. The scriptures are evidently the word of God because of its unique style and majesty. They are written in such a style as no man could have. The scriptures have the marks of God all over them. It is clearly not a human production. The scriptures are self-authenticating because they are God's words.

It is clear that the Bible is the word of God because of the unity of all its parts. The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament speak as one Word. The entire Bible points us to Christ, the Saviour of sinners. As all roads led to Rome, so all scriptures lead to Christ.

We know the Bible is the word of God because it contains no errors. The God haters have tried to attack the Bible all down through history. For instance, the infidels used to say there was never a nation known as the Hittites as the Bible says. But recent archaeological finds have proven there were a people known as Hittites and no one tries to argue that any more. There was a time when some scoffers said Isaiah chapter 53 had to have been written after the death of Christ because of its amazing accuracy regarding His sufferings. But the Dead Sea Scrolls proved the Book of Isaiah was written long before the coming of Christ.

And we know the Bible is the word of God of its unique message. The gospel message is one that no man could have dreamed up. The message that God became a man to live a sinless life and die vicariously to save ruined and lost sinners from their sins is a message that could only have come from the Mind of God. The good news that Christ was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification is a message too sublime to have been invented by men. The truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the willing and able Saviour of all that will believe in Him is a message that only God could have given.

But with all this clear evidence, no one will believe the Bible until they are convinced by faith. It is impossible to please God without faith. Unless the Holy Spirit gives you faith, you will go on in unbelief and deny the scriptures and spend eternity in hell. May God have mercy on you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ye Must Be Born Again

(Article for publication week of 8-19-2009 AD)

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘ Ye must be born again.’ " (John 3:7).

For over three and a half years now we have been setting forth in these weekly articles the necessity, mystery and evidences of the New Birth starting with Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus in John 3:1-8. Next week, Lord willing we will begin a new series. But before we leave our subject I want to give some concluding and challenging words.

My dear friends, the New Birth is an absolute necessity. If you miss the New Birth, you miss Christ; and if you miss Christ, you miss salvation; and if you miss salvation, you miss heaven; and if you miss all these, why you miss everything. Many of you who read this column are religious people. But I ask you my friends, are you born again? Has the Holy Spirit quickened you into spiritual life? Have you ever been miraculously and supernaturally changed by the saving power of Christ? Has Christ become precious to you? Have you become sick of your sins? Have you been granted repentance? Have you come to Christ as a lost sinner begging for His mercy? Have you been delivered from the power of darkness? Have you been translated into the kingdom of God’s Dear Son? Have you been called into the marvelous light of God? Have you passed from death unto life? Have you been given a new heart? In short, have you had a saving change? These are all scriptural questions that you must examine yourself and see if you have the answer.

The New Birth is not some mental assent to the gospel. It is not improving your morals or your ethics. It is not joining a church. It is not getting baptized. It is not accepting Jesus. It is not walking down an aisle. It is not repeating a prayer. It is not memorizing some scripture. It is not head knowledge of some scriptural truths. It is the sovereign operation of the Holy Spirit working a saving change in the heart and soul of an elect sinner. It is being made a new creature.

Now, I hope you will think about these things. There is nothing I can do for any of you, except pray the Lord will bring you to faith in His Son. There is nothing you can do for yourself, except throw yourself on the mercy of God and believe in His Son for your salvation.

Some of you will dismiss me as a crank and go on in your religion and die and go to hell. Some of you will express agreement with what I have said, and think I have been talking to others, but I have been talking to YOU. Some of you will say, “ I know I’m saved, because I joined the church “ and you will go on to hell. Some of you will continue in your sins and you will go on to hell. All through eternity you will be weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth and wishing you had listened to that fool of a preacher. But perhaps some of you will be brought to saving faith through the power of the Word and the Spirit. And Oh! What a joy that would be!

I leave you in the hands of a Sovereign God Who has power to save and power to damn. How will it be with you my friend? Will you be saved or damned? Are you born again?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Lord Knoweth His Own

(Article for publication week of 8-12-2009 AD)

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Timothy 2:19).

In our last several articles we have been showing how that love for the children of God is an indispensable evidence of regeneration. A dear sister writes this week to ask, ” How may we know the children of God?” The answer is we do not know infallibly. Only the Lord knows infallibly who is saved. We look for evidence in ourselves and in others, but only the Lord knows infallibly who is a Christian. So, we would say in the first place that we look for the same evidence in others that we look for in ourselves; that is faith in Christ, repentance from dead works, the practice of righteousness, no habitual sinning, and unfeigned love for the children of God.

Our text this week gives us some help in determining whom we address as “brother” or “sister”. We may not regard a person as a believer unless they publicly profess their faith in Christ- “every one that nameth the name of Christ.” Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:32-33, ”whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I ALSO DENY BEFORE MY Father which is in heaven.” We should not address a person as “brother” or “sister” unless they publicly avow their faith in Christ. John 12:42-43 tells us of some who would not confess Christ for the fear of men. We have no reason to regard a person as a child of God unless they openly profess the name of Christ.

Of course we also know that a profession of faith does not mean that a person is genuinely saved. At the final judgment, Christ will say to many “depart” who named the name of Christ but were in reality lawless ones (Matthew 7:21-23). The Judgment Day will be an awful day for many of you because all you have is an empty profession. So there must be something more than a profession. There must be, as our text says a departing from iniquity. If you will read the context in II Timothy 2, you will see that the iniquity under consideration is false doctrine. Contrary to what many suppose, it does matter what you believe and espouse. The person who holds to false doctrine gives the lie to his or her profession. So we see that we should not regard a person as a child of God who holds to heretical teachings.

But, please note in verse 16 of II Timothy 2 that false doctrine leads to ungodliness. So we see the next important point is that we should not regard a person as a child of God unless they are living a Godly life. The professors of Christ must maintain purity in doctrine and life. Where there is no holiness of life, we have no reason to suppose that Christ has done His saving work.

But ultimately we see that only the Lord Himself knows infallibly who are His. Many that we have addressed as brother or sister either in ignorance or in charity will be finally discovered as false professors and must hear the woeful words, “ depart from me”! (I shudder to write it.) Perhaps some of those we doubted of their salvation, we will be happy and surprised when we see them in heaven. Let us be discerning and charitable with others and ruthless with ourselves, for the great day will declare who really belongs to Christ.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Brethren

(Article for publication week of 8-5-2009 AD)

Occasionally, some of our readers ask for past articles. If any of you ever want to go back and read any of those past articles we can make them available to you, or you can find them on the Internet at matthewsevenfourteen.blogspot.com. Now to our subject.

We have been considering for several months now the evidences of the new birth, or regeneration. Some of these are faith in Christ, repentance from sin, the practice of righteousness, no habitual sinning, and the love of the brethren. We read in I John 3: 14, “we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”

The "brethren" are all of those who have been saved by grace. In Matthew 12:50 our Lord Jesus Christ said, “for whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” On this occasion our Lord’s natural mother and siblings had come to see Him. Our Lord ‘s response was that His true family are those who obey Him. Thus we learn that the disobedient are not the children of God. In Hebrews 5:9 we read, “He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY Him.” We are not saved BY our obedience, but it is the certain result of being saved. If you are not living in obedience to Christ, you are not saved.

Christ loves His brethren. They were predestinated to be conformed to His Image (Romans 8:29). Christ agreed in the everlasting covenant that he would be their Surety (Hebrews 7:22). He partook of our nature that He might be our High Priest and make reconciliation for our sins (Hebrews 2:17). He died for His brethren and was raised from the dead for our justification (Romans 4:25). Christ has taken His brethren into eternal and saving union with Himself. He has sanctified us, set us apart for His holy use and made us partakers of His Own holiness. If Christ loves His brethren, then we must love then also.

Christ is not ashamed of His brethren (Hebrew 2:11). Is that not an amazing thing? Christ is not ashamed of His elect. In and of ourselves we have much for which to be ashamed. When we think of our sins, what shame it brings to us. But Christ died for our sins and they are all taken away. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. He purged our sins by Himself. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Christ is not ashamed to call us “brethren” for we were chosen in Him in eternity, our sins have been erased from our record by His atoning death, and His Holy Spirit has applied His saving work to us.

In short, the “brethren" are all those that have been, are, or ever will be gathered into the kingdom of Christ. The brethren are all those who believe in Christ for their salvation. The brethren are all those who love Christ and give evidence of it by obedience to Him. The brethren are all the elect family of God from every “kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9). We know we are saved if we love the brethren.