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 29, 2010

Sinners in the Hands of a Sovereign God

(Article for publication week of 9-1-2010 AD)

“For He saith unto Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion‘ ” (Romans 9:15). Poor sinner, you are in the hands of a Sovereign God Who can do with you as seems good to Himself. And God only does one of two things with sinners- He either has mercy on them and saves them, or He damns them and sends them to hell. One of these two things he will most certainly do with you.

Now there are three wonderful things in our text that I want you to see. First, mercy is the sovereign prerogative of God. God is not obligated to have mercy on any sinner. If God were so pleased, He could withhold His mercy from every one of us and He would be no less good and holy. If God were obligated to us, then it would cease to be mercy. God will have mercy on whom He will.

Second, our text tells us that God will have mercy. Ephesians 2:4 tells us “but God Who is rich in mercy for His great love wherewith He hath loved us.” God has been showing mercy to sinners for six thousand years now and He still is. He has extended mercy to a vast number of sinners, and He has still not run out, for He is rich in mercy. Micah 7:18 says this pardoning God “delighteth in mercy. God just gets much delight in showing mercy to sinners. Why there is joy in heaven over every sinner that repents and finds mercy with the Lord. Did you get that? God delights in mercy! Our great God is just tickled to show mercy to undeserving sinners. God will have mercy! I am about to shout while I type this out! I want you to see that God is not short on mercy. Charles Wesley wrote, “plenteous grace with Thee is found”! He has mercy enough for the vilest offender who comes to Him through His Son. God will have mercy. Heaven will be filled with a great number that no man can number who all were recipients of undeserved mercy.

But, thirdly, I will ask you, “will He have mercy on you?” Remember now, He only does one of two things to sinners. He either gives them what they deserve and sends them to hell, or He withholds what they deserve, showing mercy and takes them to heaven. Which will it be with you neighbour? Will God have mercy on you, or will he give you what you deserve? Since our text tells us that God will have mercy, you ought to apply for mercy. I have read the Bible through more times than I remember, and I have not found one sinner who came to God through His Son the sin bearer that was turned away. Poor sinner, plead with God for mercy, for He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He may have mercy on you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation

(Article for publication week of 8-25-2010 AD)

“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;) It was said unto her, ‘ the elder shall serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’” (Romans 9:11-13).

As long as Romans chapter nine is in the Bible, no one has any excuse for being an Arminian, or a Pelagian, or a humanist or a free-willer of any kind. Romans chapter nine presents a sovereign God Who does what He will with Hs Own. This chapter presents us with a God Who sovereignly chose a remnant of the Adamic race for salvation, and at the same time sovereignly left the rest of mankind as they were. This rejection of the unsaved, we call the doctrine of reprobation.

This is not the only text in the Bible that speaks of the doctrine of reprobation. In Romans 11:7 we read, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” In I Peter 2:8 we read of those who “stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto they also were appointed.” Jude 4 tells us of those “who were of old ordained to this condemnation.” Just as God in His sovereignty loved His elect from before the foundation of the world and chose them in His Son, so in His sovereignty, He rejected the rest.

Our text plainly tells us that God rejected Esau before he was ever born. God decreed form all eternity to save a definite number of the human race, and their number is so certain that they can neither be diminished or increased. God also decreed to leave the rest of mankind to fall in Adam and act in their sins to their own destruction. God chose His people for salvation to the praise of His glorious mercy, and He rejected all others to the praise of His glorious justice. God will get eternal glory for Himself in both cases.

God was not obligated to choose any of the race of man for salvation. He would have been perfectly good and holy and righteous and just had he rejected the whole human race. So none may say unto Him, “what doest Thou?” God is the potter, and we are the clay, and He may justly form some clay into vessels of mercy, and form others into vessels of wrath.

What do you do with this great doctrine of reprobation? Does it make you mad to know that God is everything and you are nothing? Or does it humble you down to know that? Does this truth make you fear such a great God? Here is the application of this truth: cry unto Christ for mercy! He has promised that He will not reject any who come to Him! If you will believe in Christ, you are certainly not reprobate. But if you persist in rebellion and reject Christ, you will find that you have been rejected by Him. May God have mercy on your poor soul.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Sovereignty of God's Love

(Article for publication week of 8-18-2010 AD)

"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13b).

Contrary to popular opinion, God does not love everybody indiscriminately. Our text is clear and plain; God loved Jacob and hated Esau. If you back up to verse 11, you will see that the reason for this is, that God's purpose according to election might stand. Romans chapter nine is one of the clearest and plainest passages in the word of God concerning eternal election and reprobation. I just wish you would stop now, and go and read the ninth chapter of Romans. As long as this chapter is in the Bible, no one has any excuse for rejecting the sovereignty of God in salvation.

Nor is this the only scripture that speaks of God's hatred. For example, we read in Psalm 5:6, "the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man." Again, in Psalm 11:5, ""the Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence, His soul hateth." Also in Proverbs 6:19 we read that God hates him "that soweth discord among brethren." Now, I want you to note these texts speak of God's hatred for the persons of the wicked. It is a half-truth that is often parroted that "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner." It is true that God loves elect sinners, and sent His Son to die for them and sends His Spirit to regenerate them and make them holy people, but God hates those who are reprobate and will punish them in the lake of fire forever.

Now, there is a sense in which the Lord loves everyone, and that is that He will treat all men right. God will deal justly with every person according to His law. And this is one definition of love according to Romans 13:8 where we read that love is the fulfilling of the law. God will treat you right, stubborn sinner. If you persist in your rebellion until the bitter end, God will send you to hell for breaking His perfect law. There are countless billions already in hell, and God is treating everyone of them right. No one can say that God has not treated him or her right. In that sense, God does love everybody.

But my text this week is plain, God has not set His saving affections on the whole world. He has set His saving affections on His elect that He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. And He has loved them with an everlasting love that had no beginning and will have no end. God loved His elect so much that he sent His Son into the world to die a sustitutionary death for them. He loved them so much, that He has washed away all their sins in the blood of His Son. He loves His elect so much that he sends His Holy Spirit into their hearts to make them holy people like unto Himself. It is an amazing thing that God would love any sinners, but He sovereignly chose to set His affections on a remnant of Adam's lost race so that they might be saved. God was not obligated to love Jacob nor you nor me, but in His mercy and grace He did!

And I want to say this before I close. If you sincerely love the Lord, then you are one that He loved in eternity. We read in I John 4:19, "we love Him because He first loved us." If you love the Lord, and are trusting in His Son for justification, and mourning over your sins and turning from them, then it is evidence that you are one of His. May the Lord bless each of you, my dear readers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sovereign Election

(Article for publication week of 8-11-2010 AD)

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16a). In this text our Lord reminded His disciples that they had not chosen Him, but rather He had made choice of them. It is a good thing that God chose us, for we would never have chosen Him. Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked and we cannot know them. No man has ever sought the Lord, until the Lord sought him.

That the Bible teaches the doctrine of election, no Bible reader can deny. A few of the many passages that teach the doctrine of election are Psalm 65:4; John 6:37; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5; I Corinthians 1:27; I Thessalonians 1:4; II Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4; I Peter 1:2; and I Peter 2:9. Lord willing, we will consider these passages in coming articles, but I just ask you, if you have never heard of the doctrine of election, or if you have refused to believe it, please look up, and prayerfully read these references.

Salvation is God's choice, not man's. God is absolutely sovereign, and He has the right and the power to do with His Own as He wills. This is a fact that you need to face- you belong to a sovereign God Who is able to save and He is able to damn. You need to face the solemn fact that God is not obligated to you. You need to humble yourself under His mighty hand and acknowledge His sovereign power over you. You need to admit that you do not have any "rights". You have squandered your birthright by leaving the Father's house.

No one has any reason to be opposed to the truth of election. Christians have no reason to oppose this Biblical truth, for it was God's choice that made you one of His Own. You would never have chosen the Lord, had He not first chosen you. It is grace alone that causes the Christian to differ from other sinners. Each of us who now believe in Christ for our salvation was once lost, and we could never have found our way to God had He not rescued us by marvelous grace. We once were blind, but God opened our eyes to behold the King in His beauty and see the land that is very far off. And why did God open your eyes and not the eyes of others who are yet in spiritual blindness? Why, the only answer is, it was His sovereign pleasure so to do! God could have left you lost and blind, but by sovereign grace He sought you out, for He had from the beginning chosen you to salvation and ordained all the means to bring you to faith in His Son. If you are a Christian, it is all of grace.

Nor do the unsaved have any reason to oppose the truth of election. You say yourself that you do not want Christ. You love your sin and do not want to be holy. It is your own depravity and rebellion that keeps you from repenting of your sins and fleeing to Christ. You want God to leave you as you are, and that is exactly what He has done. So you who are lost have no reason to complain if God has not chosen you, for you do not want to be chosen of Him.

The doctrine of election exalts God and abases man. The doctrine of election is a Biblical truth that cannot be denied. The doctrine of election should be embraced by all, and should be preached from every pulpit. Thank God for His sovereign election.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Sovereignty of God in Salvation

(Article for publication week of 8-4-2010 AD)

"Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).

The salvation of certain sinners to grace and glory is all of the Lord from first to last. Salvation is not, I repeat, salvation is NOT a joint effort between God and sinners. The natural state of man is such that he is powerless to do one thing to help the Lord in his salvation. We have not one thing that we can contribute to our salvation. The only thing we can bring to Christ is our sins. But thanks be to God! He is the Saviour of sinners.

Salvation is of the Lord in its inception.

Such a wondrous thing is beyond the comprehension of the natural mind of man. The truth that the thrice holy and sovereign God, would condescend to save poor sinners is a truth that could only have been conceived in the mind of God. That God would become a Man to die a substitutionary death that vile sinners might rise was never thought of by philosophers and poets. It is one of the great proofs of the veracity of God in His written word that such holy and lofty subjects could never have been thought up by the smartest of men. Only God could have even conceived such a thing.

Salvation is of the Lord in its planning.

It was God who purposed and planned salvation before the foundation of the world. Salvation was no afterthought or reaction with God. But He Who decreed all things in eternity planned salvation. God the Father chose a number that no man can number in His Son in eternal election before He framed the worlds (Ephesians 1:4). None of us would ever have chosen the Lord had He not first chosen us.

Salvation is of the Lord in its execution.

None of us would ever have thought of Christ, the Eternal Son of God coming into a sin-cursed world to work out a perfect righteousness for the elect of God, but that is the way that God executed His plan of salvation. Christ did not come into the world to try to save sinners, but He came into the world to save every one of His elect sheep that the Father gave Him in the everlasting covenant (Matthew 1:21). Not one for whom Christ died can ever be lost, for His blood has washed away ALL their sins and not one charge can be laid upon them (Romans 8:33). Every one for whom Christ died shall be saved without the loss of one.

Salvation is of the Lord in its application.

He sends His Spirit from above to quicken and call every one for whom Christ died (John 6:37). Every chosen vessel of God's mercy shall hear the glorious sound and be effectually called into salvation by the Holy Spirit Who, like the wind, blows when and where He please. The work of regeneration cannot be stopped by men. None can resist the Sovereign workings of the Holy Spirit. There has never been a sinner so stubborn , that God the Holy Spirit could not humble him down and bring him to the foot of the cross, pleading for mercy. There has never been one of Christ's sheep that was so far away, that the Holy Spirit could not draw him back to the sheep fold.

God is absolutely sovereign in salvation, from first to last. Thanks be to our Great God, salvation is of Him!