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, May 30, 2010

The Spirituality of God

(Article for publication week of 6-2-2010 AD)

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). “The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of Himself, infinite in being, and perfection, whose Essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions…” (London Confession II:1).

The God of the Bible is pure spirit. Since he is uncreated, He cannot be composed of created matter. Since He is omnipresent, He cannot be confined to any particular place. The God of the Bible is everywhere present and nowhere absent. Since God has not a material body He is able to inhabit eternity. There is nowhere in the universe that you may go to escape Him.

Since God is pure spirit He is also invisible (I Timothy 1:17). He dwells in the light that no man can approach unto. Many children have asked the question, “Why can’t I see God?” (And many of us adults have also pondered the question.) Well, here is the answer- God is a spirit. He is invisible and he cannot be seen by men’s created eyes.

It is true that the scriptures often speak of God as having eyes, ears, hands, and so forth. These are manners of speaking whereby God accommodates Himself to our finiteness that we may learn of His greatness. But such expressions in no way contradict the truth that God is pure spirit.

This Great and Almighty God Who is pure Spirit and invisible to us created mortals, has condescended to us by becoming a Man. The Second person of the Holy Trinity, according to Covenant promise, came down from heaven and joined His blessed Deity to sinless humanity that He would be the Redeemer of His people. The fullness of the infinite God Who is pure Spirit dwells bodily in the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9). The Eternal Son of God, Who is co-equal with the Father, and is verily God, was made Flesh so that he could die for the sins of His people and rise bodily from the grave and ascend back to heaven in that same body. One day we shall see Him Who died for us with our very eyes (I John 3:2). Our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and Man. In His Deity He is pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or passions. In His humanity, He is a Real Man. He is the most wonderful person in the universe!

Such a God can only be worshipped by those who are given a spiritual nature like His. “They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” The only way we can be the true worshippers of God is to be given a spiritual nature through regeneration. (John 3:3-6). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” May God bless you all and give you spiritual capacity to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Triunity of God

(Article for publication week of 5-19-2010 AD)

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word , and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (I John 5:7). Many of the modern versions have removed this verse from the text, and that is one of many reasons to not use them. The doctrine of the Triunity of God is a vital doctrine, and I greatly fear for the souls of those who reject it.

The Bible teaches that God is one and three at the same time. This is too high for our small brains, but Christians believe it nevertheless. God is one in His being (Deuteronomy 6:4), and three in personality (Matthew 28:19). There is a distinction between being and personality, but I confess it is hard for me to define. As human beings we are created as one in being and personality, and so it is difficult for our limited minds to fully grasp the truths of the infinite God. But as I say, faith lays hold of and rests in God, even though He is past finding out.

One reason the doctrine of God's Triunity is so important is that we are saved by a Trinitarian salvation. God the Father purposed and planned salvation before the foundation of the world (II Timothy 1:9), and chose a people in Christ in the everlasting covenant (Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 13:20). God the Father gave an elect people to His eternal Son and He became their Head, and Surety, and Mediator (John 6:37-39, John 17:2). At the appointed time God the Father sent His Son into the world to keep the law to a jot and tittle and provide a perfect righteousness for His elect (Galatians 4:4, II Corinthians 5:21). Christ the Son made a real atonement for all those the Father gave Him and not one shall be lost (John 10:15,28,29). At the Father's set time the Holy Spirit regenerates every one the Father elected and for whom the Son died, applying the atonement of Christ to them personally and making them new creatures in Christ, granting them repentance and giving them the gift of faith (Psalm 110:3; John 6:37; II Corinthians 5:17). So we see that salvation is of the Lord from first to last. Salvation is truly all of God's sovereign grace.

Now any theory of salvation that is not in accord with this Trinitarian salvation is not biblical. The arminian theory of salvation has the Holy Triune God divided against Himself. Those who advocate free will instead of free grace have Christ dying for the whole world, but then they say the Holy Spirit is unable to regenerate most of those for whom Christ died. Thus they have God the Son divided against God the Holy Spirit. The arminians advocate that God willed the salvation of the whole world, but God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are powerless to execute the Father's will. This theory is completely unbiblical and must be rejected by true Christians.

Now my friend, I want to ask you, have you been saved by the Triune God? Were you saved in such a way as all the glory is to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Or do you vainly imagine that you did part of it yourself? These are not trifling questions, but eternally relevant. God's way of salvation is to bring eternal glory to Himself, the Great One in Three.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The First and Best of Beings

(Article for publication week of 5-12-2010 AD)

The first question in the Baptist Catechism is, "Who is the first and best of beings?" And the answer is, "God is the First and Best Beings." (Yes, the Old Baptists had catechisms for instruction. Sadly most Baptists today are doctrinally challenged and a return to our old confessions and catechisms would help. Pastors and deacons, are you listening?)

Well, let us return to the subject. The Bible tells us that God is the First of Beings. Before there were any angels or men, God was. In the ninetieth Psalm, verse two, we read, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." There was a time, if it could properly be called time, when there was no one else but God. "From everlasting to everlasting to everlasting" means that God is uncreated. He had no beginning and He will have no end. I Timothy 1:17 informs us that only God is immortal. Strictly speaking, immortality means without beginning or end. Man has a kind of immortality in that we have never dying souls, but in the strictest sense of the word, only God has immortality. God is the First of Beings, for He is eternal. And I might add that when there were no other beings but God, God was perfectly happy and at rest and content with Himself. The Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost was perfectly content with His Own Glorious company and had no need of any other beings. It pleased God to display His Godhead and glory and power and all of His attributes by creating angels and men and animals. But He had no need of any of them. Friend, do you realise the reason God made you was for His Own Glory? You will glorify God eternally either in salvation or damnation. Your first duty is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. You will never really have a happy and fulfilled life until you realise that and start living for God's glory rather than your own.

And God is the best of Beings. Psalm 100:5 says simply, "the Lord is Good". Isaiah 6:3 tells us that God is Thrice Holy. Everything about God is good and holy. When He created a universe He pronounced that it was good. He does good to all His creatures. He is doing good to you. He gives you your life and breath and it is in Him that you live and move and have your being. God treats everybody right, because he deals with everyone according to His holy and righteous law. Neighbour, do you realise how good God has been to you? If you are permitted to draw one breath out of hell, God is better to you than you deserve. God lets you live in His world. He gives you air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. I wonder how many of you ever take the time to thank God for all His goodness to you. I know if you are a Christian you do. But how many plod their course through this world never mindful of the First and Best of Beings? Please consider what I have written this week and seek the Lord with all your heart.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Name of God

(Article for publication week of 5-5-2010 AD)

"And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them." (Exodus 6:2,3)

God's name of Jehovah is a most glorious name. It is a name that is it to be used with deep reverence. God has pronounced that the blaspheming of His name will be dealt with in severe judgment (Exodus 20:7). The Israelites in Old Testament times took the third commandment so seriously that they would not take that name on their sinful lips. They considered it too holy to be spoken audibly by us sinners. That sounds a little extreme to us, and they were probably somewhat superstitious in that, but it is far preferable to the lax and irreverent way people use the name of the Lord in our day. When we understand the depth and height and length and breadth of the Name of Jehovah, we will certainly be careful to use it reverently. Psalm 111:9 says, "holy and reverend is His name." (By the way this is the only time the word "reverend " is used in scripture, and it is applied to God, never to men.) Our Lord taught us to pray addressing God "hallowed be Thy name." In His high priestly prayer in John 17, our Lord Jesus Christ addressed His Father as "holy Father." The name of the Lord is to be used with much reverence.

The name Jehovah means that God is eternal. He had no beginning. This is very difficult for our small minds to grasp, but it is the truth of God that He is without beginning. One reason that is hard for us is that everything with which we are familiar has a beginning. We had a beginning ourselves, and it is a difficult truth for our minds to lay hold of, that God is without beginning. Think back as far as you can remember, and God was there. Before recorded history, God was. Before there was a material universe, there was God. It is ironic that some people who try to deny the existence of God believe that matter is eternal! It is actually much more reasonable to believe in an eternal Creator than an eternal universe, if you will just stop and think about it some.

The name of Jehovah also means that God is self-existent. That is, He is uncreated. If He were created, then there must have been one before Him, and that one would be the real God. But there was never any before Jehovah. Being self-existent, God does not depend on any of His creatures for anything. God is sustained by His Own eternal power. If He were hungry, He would ask none of us. He has no need, but if He had, He could supply it Himself. God did not create us, nor anything in His universe for any need that He had, but for His Own Eternal Glory.

Such thoughts are too high for me. Such a God is beyond my limited comprehension. And I just love a God like that! Oh! How sweet to read what God has said in His word about Himself, and to meditate upon His greatness, and to worship Him and pray to Him! I wish everyone knew this God and loved Him. Do you?