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, October 18, 2009

The Sufficiency of Scripture

(Article for publication week of 10-21-2009 AD)

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to the word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). The prophet Isaiah being inspired by the Holy Spirit, warns us that false prophets will arise among us. But if they speak not the truth of scripture we are to know that they have no light in them.

We live in such a day as Isaiah lived when there is much confusion and many false prophets leading men astray. In this babble of confusion we have an authoritative and sufficient guide- the verbally inspired word of God. The scriptures are sufficient as a final rule concerning the way of salvation and what God requires of men.

Since the scriptures are indeed inspired of God (that is the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write down exactly what God would have us know), they are necessarily authoritative (that is they are a rule and law for us and we will be finally judged by them). And since the Bible is inspired and authoritative, they are sufficient for our understanding of what God has revealed concerning Himself, what He is like , what He demands, and how He saves sinners.

Here in Isaiah 8:20, we are directed to the law and the testimony as the final word. (By the way, if you will go back and start at the beginning of chapter 8, you will see this is one of those portions of scripture that is mechanically inspired.) God tells us here that His inspired Word is sufficient to try every statement of men. We are not pointed to a creed or council, but to the law and the testimony.

Confessions of faith are useful, and every church should have one. But a confession of faith is to be judged by the scriptures, not the other way around. All the good confessions begin with the truth of scripture and give them for our final authority. Our church holds to the Second London Confession of Faith as a way of stating in clear terms what we believe the scriptures to teach and to identify us with faithful Christians of the past and present, but the Bible is our final authority and ultimate confession of Faith.

Church councils have been useful. There have been times in the history of the Church that councils have been necessary to oppose error and state in concise language what we believe the scriptures say. Church councils have been useful in some cases, but they are not our final authority. The scriptures are sufficient for us without any opinions of men, written or unwritten.

"Scripture alone" is the watchword of true Christianity. Christians with the Bible in their hands, and being taught by the Holy Spirit have a sufficient guide into the truth of God and the way of salvation. I would urge you dear reader to read your Bible. Open it up with the confidence that you are reading the authoritative word of God. Bring every preconceived notion you have to the law and the testimony. Everything that you may have believed that you find contrary to the word of God, cast it away and have nothing but "thus saith the Lord". "To the law and to the testimony."

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