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, October 12, 2009

The Authority of Scripture

(Article for publication week of 10-14-2009 AD)

"For What saith the scripture?" (Romans 4:3b). When the Apostle Paul would set forth that Old Testament saints were saved exactly as New Testament saints, he cited no other authority than the scriptures. This is his method in other places as well (Romans 11:26; I Corinthians 9:9; Galatians 3:11 for example.) Our Lord also cited the Old Testament scriptures as His authority (Matthew 19:4; Matthew 22:44; Luke 4:16-21 for example.

The scriptures are the final authority for every issue. They are the final and only authority because they are the inspired words of God Himself. It matters not what I think or what you think or what some preacher said or what some church said or what grandpa said. What God has said in His inspired, inerrant, infallible Word is what counts.

The inspiration of scripture necessarily gives authority to the Bible. If someone walks up to us and gives us an order we might rightly ask, "who said?" If the reply is "the boss said so", or "Daddy said so", then that settles the question. The authority of the one who issued the word gives authority to the word given. Even so, God's Sovereign Authority requires us to hear and obey the Word He has given.

No writings or opinions of men may be accepted as final authority. Ecclesiastical councils have been wrong. Kings have been wrong. Preachers have been wrong. But the word of God has never been wrong. So the scriptures do not depend on such opinions of men for their authority. The scriptures get their authority from their Divine Author, God Himself.

Now since the scriptures are of such Divine authority, they must be obeyed. First of all they must be obeyed for salvation. The scriptures are the only writings that show us the way of salvation. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible tells us that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone. All scriptures lead us to Christ, the only Saviour of sinners (John 5:39). Our Lord says, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me." If you will find the way that leads to eternal life, read and hear the scriptures.

Also, since the scriptures are of final and Divine authority they must be obeyed in every area of human relationships. The scriptures are the final authority for matters regarding the family. You will do well to rid your house and your mind of every book written by psychologists that purports to tell you how to order your family. God ordained the family and he has given His word regarding the order of the family.

The scriptures are the final authority regarding matters of state. God has ordained the civil magistrate and has limited the authority of the civil government by His word. Our nation is becoming increasingly chaotic because our despotic governments at all levels are attempting to do what God has not equipped them to do. God's authoritative word has ordained the civil magistrate to keep the peace and that is all.

At the final and awful Day of Judgment, you will be judged by the word of God and whether you submitted yourself to it. Bow the knee to God and His word.

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