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, March 28, 2010

The Only True God

(Article for publication week of March 31, 2010 AD)

"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

This week we will begin a new series for the Narrow Way on the doctrine of God. Our text this week is found in our Lord's High Priestly prayer. John 17 is the true Lord's Prayer. The prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 should be called the Model prayer or the Disciples' prayer. There our Lord teaches us to pray, but here in John 17, He Himself prays as the Only Mediator between God and man. As our Great High Priest, our Lord prays for his people, His elect that His Father gave Him in the everlasting covenant from before the foundation of the world.

Our Lord prayed that His elect would all come to know the One True God. This is a prayer that we know God answered and answers, for the Father always hears the prayers of His Son. Every one of Christ's elect sheep will know God and His eternal Son in experimental salvation. Jeremiah 31:34 says "they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest."

The first thing I will point out is that there is a vast difference in knowing about someone and actually knowing them. We all know about the president of the American Empire. We know his name. We know his face. We recognize his voice. We know the names of his wife and children. But very few of us actually know the president. This is the way our Lord speaks here concerning saving knowledge of God and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know form painful experience what it is to know about God, and not know God. I was reared in a Christian home by believing parents. I was taken to the house of the Lord from infancy. I cut my teeth on the preaching of the gospel and the hymns of the faith and the prayers of the brethren. I made a profession of faith at a young age. I knew all about God. But I did not know God. But then God in His mercy and grace and kind Providence sent a faithful man of God to me to show me the way of salvation. His text was the text we are using this week, John 17:3, and he showed the difference in the true God, and the god of people's imaginations, He showed me the difference in knowing about God and actually knowing God. God took that message and sent it into my heart like a dagger and convicted me of my sins and wrought saving faith in me. And I came to know the true God, and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, I wonder if any of you are as I once was. Are you a church member, but lost? Are you a professor of Christ, but not possessed by Christ? Do you know all about God, but void of saving and experimental knowledge of Him and His eternal Son? Do you know the only true God, or are you worshipping a god of your own imagination?

These are serious and awful questions and I pray the Lord will help you to be honest with Him and yourself. Because you can fool others, and you can fool yourself, but you can't fool God. This is life eternal, to know God.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Scripture Alone

(Article for publication 3-24-2010 AD)

To the Law and to the testimony..." (Isaiah 8: 20).

As we finally conclude with our series of articles on the doctrine of scripture, I want to emphasize that the Bible is the final and infallible word for everything we believe. This was the cry of the Reformer's, "Sola Scriptura." This was the word of the old Baptists, "the Bible says." This was the cry of the Puritans and all Christians of every persuasion in every generation. Scripture alone is the final appeal on every question.

There must be a final Authority to which we appeal, otherwise it is matter of one person's opinion against another person's opinion. Man is not the final standard of all things, but God is. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, "there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death." We must have a standard higher than ourselves. That standard is God's inspired, inerrant, and infallible word.

Church councils and traditions have been proven wrong, but God's word has never been proven wrong. Our Lord told the religious leaders of His day that they made the commandments of God of none effect by their traditions. Religious leaders in our day are no better.

Our Lord quoted the scriptures alone as His authority. He asked the Pharisees in Matthew 19:4, "have ye not read?" He told the Sadducees in Matthew 22:29 " ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." Our Lord never told men to blindly accept the traditions of the religious leaders. He never told men to " let their conscience be their guide." He never told men to "follow their hearts." He never told men to do what seemed best to them. He never told anyone to go by his or her feelings. He told men to "search the scriptures " (John 5:39).

Now I want to ask you dear Reader, will your opinions and beliefs stand the test of scripture? Is your understanding of God according to thus saith the Lord? Do you know the Bible way of salvation? Are you living your life by the Bible? I call upon you to test everything by the revealed word of God.

Our world and our own culture are coming apart at the seams. Our nation is in terrible disarray, and our own state and community is not exempt from it. This is because men will not submit to the word of God. I saw in a headline today that the Congress would be voting on the socialized medicine bill on the Lord's Day. We cannot expect God to bless our nation when the leaders esteem the Lord's Day so lightly. And this is of course just one example. And the fact is it is not just the leaders, but the people as well.

I pray that our region might truly be the "Bible Belt" again, for it certainly is not now. Most of all, I pray for you my readers that the word of God might be precious to you and that you might know the God of the Bible and His Son.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Buy the Truth

(Article for publication March 17, 2010 AD)

"Buy the truth and sell it not..." (Proverbs 23:23).

It is time to conclude our series on the Doctrine of Scripture and move on to another subject. I appreciate the comments and encouraging remarks that many of you have offered regarding these articles. We will conclude with some pointed statements regarding the truth of God's Word.

Our text here in Proverbs 23:23 tells us to "buy the truth and sell it not." The first thing we see in this is that truth is absolute and may be known. We live in a day when skeptics abound and they like Pilate are asking, "what is truth?" it is suggested that truth is relative and we really can't know anything of a certainty. This is a lie of Satan to bring men down to hell. We can know the truth for God has given it to us in His inspired, infallible word. Our Lord prayed to His Father in John 17:17, "Thy Word is truth." I have shown you in several articles that the Bible is the absolute truth of God and you are accountable to God on the basis of that truth. Every philosophy and opinion of men must be brought to the light of God's word and examined by it. Everything that cannot be proven by "thus saith the Lord is a lie and must be rejected. I urge you my readers, if you value your never dying soul, to believe the word of God and doubt not. Doubts will drag you down to hell, but faith will save your soul.

The second thing our text tells us is that effort must be made to know the truth. God has given us His word, but we must read it for ourselves. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). Paul told the younger minister Timothy to "give attendance to reading" (I Timothy 4:13). Our Lord said, "search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). The truth of salvation is worth some reading and studying and praying and searching. Dear reader, if you value your never dying soul, read, study, and search the scriptures and pray for the Lord to guide you into the truth by His Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, our text tells us that the truth must never be surrendered or compromised. "Sell it not". The truth is more valuable than silver or gold. The truth is more valuable than worldly fame. The truth is more valuable than anything of this world, for this world passeth away, but "the word of the Lord endureth forever. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away " (Matthew 24:35).

The scriptures will lead us to Christ Who is the "way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6). There is salvation nowhere else but in Christ. Dear reader, if you value your never dying soul, search the scriptures which testify of Christ Who Alone can save. "Buy the truth, and sell it not."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Conserving Influence of the King James Bible

(Article for publication March 10, 2010 AD)

"...meddle not with them that are given to change" (Proverbs 24:21).

We believe the King James Bible to be the best translation for the English-speaking people primarily because of the underlying Greek manuscripts from which it is translated, the Textus Receptus. This is not to belittle the earlier translations from those manuscripts like Tyndale's translation and the Geneva Bible, for they are also reliable translations. But we do believe the KJV to be an improvement over those works. We also recommend the KJV because of its clarity on the Deity of Christ, because of its good fruit, and its ease of memorization.

Another good reason to keep our King James Bible is for its conserving influence. Liberalism is destroying the modern church and compromising the soul saving gospel of the Bible. The proliferation of new Bible translations has encouraged liberalism and modernism, in our humble opinion. It has been my observation that churches and individuals that start using the modern translations tend to become more liberal in their beliefs and practices.

The modern day "churches" are filled with entertainment and games, but sadly deficient in preaching the gospel. Today's churches now have the super bowl in the church, dance classes, karate classes, ballgames, and everything but the gospel. No wonder the churches are filled with unconverted people. Christ established His Church to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances and maintain Godly discipline, not for entertainment and games. If our forefathers could return from their graves and witness the downgrade in the churches they would be horrified. But most importantly, we do not believe Christ is pleased with turning His Father's House into a social club and entertainment center.

There are many factors involved here and the main one is that the "churches" and "preachers" are mostly unconverted, at least by their fruits (the Lord knoweth). However, my own experience tells me that churches that hold to the Old Translation are generally more conservative, and not as likely to be tossed by every wind of doctrine and take up with every fad that gets started. Christians are to contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints, not start and follow religious fads. Fads are bad enough, but particularly detestable in the church. It appears to me that the continual changing of Bible versions is more for fad that for the sake of the Truth. I remember when the liberals were advocating the Revised Standard Version. Then they all went wild over the NIV. Then they all started following the NASV fad. Then it was the New King James Version. Now they have another faddish version and all the while the gospel and the church and vital Godliness is in decline. May the Lord have mercy upon us.

The inspired wise man, Solomon tells us not to meddle with those that are given to change. Let us heed his warning as regards Bible translations and the doctrine, practice and methods in the church.