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 31, 2010

Predestinated to Sonship

(Article for publication week of 11-3-2010 AD)

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will “ (Ephesians 1:5).

For several weeks now we have been writing on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. This is part of a longer series that we are in, on the attributes of God. I have felt compelled to spend awhile on the sovereignty of God, for it is one of the most neglected doctrines in our day. Sadly, most professing Christians, including the preachers, appear to believe in the sovereignty of man, rather than the sovereignty of God. The Lord knoweth whether such are truly saved. We can only hope and expend the effort to teach the truth.

When we say “the sovereignty of God”, we simply mean that God is God. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Since He is all-powerful, He has the power to do whatever pleases Himself, and He does exactly that, and man cannot hinder His will. Our text says that God is a God of predestination. No study of the doctrine of God’s sovereignty would be complete without bringing in the doctrine of predestination.

God has predestinated from all eternity everyone that He was pleased to save. The number of God’s elect is so certain that it cannot be diminished or increased. If this is not true, then the scriptures would be meaningless. The word predestinate means to predetermine or foreordain with an unchangeable purpose (Webster’s 1828 dictionary). The Greek word translated “predestinate” in our text here is “proorizo” and it means “to limit in advance”, or to “predetermine”. It is translated in other scriptures “determine before”, and “ordain.” Now friend, you cannot make anything of this except that God has absolutely decreed from all eternity by an unalterable and unchangeable decree who would be His children and enjoy the blessing of salvation.

Notice further that that this was done by God “according to the good pleasure of His will”, not according to the good pleasure of man’s free will. My text strikes a deathblow to the heresy of “free will.” Predestination rules out man’s free will. God does not consult with you and me concerning His purposes, if He did that would make us sovereign instead of God, for the sovereign is the one who has the last word. God has the last word, not man.

Now notice what God predestinated- that we, that is His elect chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (as we saw in Ephesians one verse four), would be His children. We who believe in Christ were predestinated to sonship. That is the reason we are sons of God, and that is the reason we believe, and that is the reason we are saved. Salvation is the operation of the Sovereign Lord Who has predestinated many sons to eternal glory. See how wonderful predestination is?! It means we who are saved are in the family of God! As the hymn writer says, “Sons we are through God’s election, who in Jesus Christ believe; By eternal destination, saving grace we now receive”(Gadsby’s hymnal # 69).

May the Lord bless you all, my brethren, friends, and relations.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chosen in Christ

(Article for publication week of 10-27-2010 AD)

"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love;” (Ephesians 1:4).

What a rich and delightful text we have before us this week! The very first thing we notice is that it was God Who chose us, not that we chose Him.

Secondly, we notice that God chose His people in His Son. There is an eternal election union between Christ and His people that can never be broken. This eternal election union is made vital when the elect sinner is regenerated (II Corinthians 5:17). By virtue of this union, the believer has all covenant blessings. Christ is the Head of His body; He is the vine and His people are the branches.

Thirdly, we note the time of our election in Christ. Properly speaking, it was before time, for it was before the foundation of the world. There was a time (again, properly speaking before time) when there were none in God's universe but Himself. Before God created the angelic host, the material universe, and man, He in His glorious Triunity inhabited eternity. The great I AM chose an innumerable seed in election union with His Son before the beginning of time. It was an eternal, and sovereign act of God that marked out a people for Himself. I am thrilled to set this truth before you and I hope you are able to rejoice in it.

Fourthly, our text tells us the end that God had in view in election, that is that His people should be "holy and without blame before Him." I shall take these in reverse order, and consider first that God chose His people in Christ before the foundation of the world that they should be without blame. That is that they should be declared just in His holy Sight through the merits of their covenant Head, the Lord Jesus Christ with Whom they have eternal union. The elect of God have Christ as their whole and sole righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6), so that legally they stand before God as if they had never sinned and as if they had perfectly obeyed the law of God. This is because Christ is their surety and has stood good for all their obligations to God.

The second great end for which God chose His people in Christ was that they should be holy. God's people have a positional holiness by virtue of eternal election and eternal union with Christ (Hebrews 10:14; I Corinthians 1:30). And in due time God imparts a holy nature to His people when they are born again (I Peter 2:9). When a man is made a new creature in Christ, old things pass away, and all things become new. If a man is not a holy man, he has no reason to think he is one of God's elect, for the great end of election was that we should be sanctified as well as justified.

Thank the Lord for sovereign, eternal election!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Blessed Man

(Article for publication week of 10-20-2010 AD)

“Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…” (Psalm 65:4a).

The greatest of all blessings is the blessing of salvation. Nothing in this present world is even close to the blessing of eternal salvation. Everything in this world shall have its end, but salvation is forever. Truly you are blessed if you have been saved.

Our text this week traces the blessing of salvation all the way back into eternity past. “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest.” Our text tells us that it was God Who chose us for salvation, not the other way around. Before the foundation of the world, God chose, or elected an innumerable, but definite number of the human race for salvation. This is wonderful, for if the Lord had not chosen us we would never have chosen Him! If you are saved, it is because God chose you for the blessing of salvation. As the hymn writer expressed it, “My Lord I did not choose you, for that could never be. My heart would still refuse you, had you not chosen me”! (The Baptist Hymnal , #289). Sovereign election secured salvation , and nothing can alter the sovereign plan and purpose of Jehovah. Election is the first great blessing of which our text speaks.

The second great blessing we have here is the blessing of effectual calling. Blessed is the man that Jehovah “causest to approach unto” Himself. Election is a blessing pronounced upon the elect sinner before he even had an existence. Effectual calling is a blessing that the elect sinner has in this life. All that God chose in Christ before the foundation of the world, He calls them effectually by His grace , so that they actually experience this great salvation. Unless the Lord causes a person to come to Him, that person will not (John 5:40), nor cannot (John 6:44) come unto Him. The elect sinner (like reprobate sinners), is dead in sins until quickened into spiritual life by the Lord (Ephesians 2:1). When the Lord sends His Spirit from above into the heart of an elect sinner, that sinner is made sensible of his sins and begins to mourn and repent of his sins. God brings that poor sinner to the end of his way that he might see that he is an unclean thing and no good thing is in himself. Then God graciously shows that sinner that salvation is in Christ, and gives that sinner faith to come to the dear Saviour. Thus the elect sinner, who was chosen to salvation from all eternity, is caused by the Lord to approach unto Himself.

Now I ask you dear reader, “Are you a believer in the dear Saviour? Have you been brought to the end of yourself? Are you trusting in Christ Alone?” If I speak of your experience, you are the blessed man in my text. You would not, nor could not have come to Christ except the Lord drew you on. And if the Lord caused you to approach unto Himself, it is because He purposed to save you before you were born, yea even before the foundation of the world. Blessed is the man chosen for salvation and called by the effectual call of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Sovereignty of God in Hardening Sinners’ Hearts

(Article for publication week of 10-13-2010 AD)

“Therefore hath he mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardeneth” (Romans 9:18).

One of the most solemn facts that we face in all of scripture is that God is not going to save everyone. God has mercy on whom He is pleased to have mercy, and the rest he rejects and hardens their hearts. The previous verse gives as a stark illustration, Pharaoh of whom God said in Exodus 7:3, “ I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.”

The first and most obvious way that God hardens sinners’ hearts is by leaving them alone. This is a dreadful truth that God leaves some sinners alone. God gives to His elect people new hearts. He takes away their heart of stone and gives them an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). With a new heart, an elect sinner is able to repent of his sins and believe in Christ. When God takes away the heart of stone and gives an heart of flesh, that sinner is able to believe the precious gospel of Christ and understand spiritual realities. But the unregenerate, hard hearted, lost sinner cares not for the things of Christ and is unable to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). God is not obligated to give anyone a new heart. He is perfectly just in leaving sinners just as they are with a hard, unregenerate heart. It is all of His mercy that he gives any a new heart. So God hardens the reprobate’s heart by leaving him alone. And this is what you who are unconverted want; you want God to leave you alone. And so He does.

Another way God hardens sinners’ hearts is by removing providential restraints. How often we see this when children from Christian homes grow up and get on their own. Under the influence of Godly parents they were kept from much gross sins and perhaps even influenced to make a profession of faith. But then get away from home and the restraints are removed and they prove they were reprobate after all. It is a frightful thing for God to remove His restraints and let you go in the sin that you love and crave.

Also God hardens sinners’ hearts by blinding their eyes to the truth. That is right- you read right, God blinds some so they cannot see the truth. Jesus said in Matthew 11:25, “I thank Thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Romans 11:7 says, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Again there is no injustice with God in blinding reprobates, for they do not desire the Lord and His salvation anyway. God does you no wrong if He hides from you what you don’t want anyway.

Finally, God hardens hearts by causing the gospel to be a savour of death unto them (II Corinthians 2:16). The same gospel that softens the elect of God, hardens those that God leaves as they are. This is easily illustrated. The same sun that melts butter hardens clay. So it is with the Son of Righteousness Who arises with healing in His wings. When he arises on His children it softens them. But those that God has ordained to condemnation are hardened by the precious truth of Christ.

Poor sinner, your only hope is if God takes away your hard heart and gives you a new heart of flesh. It would be an awful thing if God left you alone and hardened your heart to your eternal damnation.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

God's Sovereign Restraint of Sin

(Article for publication week of 10-6-2010 AD)

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath Thou shalt restrain" (Psalm 76:10).

We saw last week how that God ordains the sinful actions of men to work for His eternal praise, yet He is not the author, nor the approver of sin. We saw that most clearly in the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:28), and the betrayal of Joseph (Genesis 50:20). God Who is the First Great Cause, causes all things to work for His glory and His people's good.

Our text this week says that God permits sin for His praise, and restrains the rest. Thank God that He is pleased to restrain sin! The world is under the curse of sin caused by the Fall. Yet, it is still a bearable place to live because God restrains sin. Men would sin much more were it not for God's restraint of sin.

One way that God restrains sin is by His good Providence. God is pleased in His Providence to situate many in families where there is discipline. To have Christian parents is a wonderful blessing from the Lord, for in such a good situation we are restrained from much evil. Even to have moral parents that are not believers is a blessing for moral unsaved parents will still restrain their children.

Another way God restrains sin is by blessing states with wholesome laws. When a commonwealth has laws that are based on God's Law, there will be much happiness in the land. When commonwealths punish murderers and require thieves to restore, it restrains much evil. When a commonwealth rewards the institution of marriage by denying divorce except for Biblical cause, it is a blessing. When a state punishes perversion, it is a blessing to the people. And when the commonwealth holds high regard for the Lord's Day, it is a great blessing. When our part of the world was the Bible Belt (it no longer is), the people were greatly blessed. It appears that God is loosening His restraint of sin in our part of the world, and that is a fearful thing.

God also restrains sin by direct intervention. In Genesis 20 we see a vivid example of this. Abraham had gone to sojourn in Gerar. In the providence of God, Sarah his wife was taken to the harem of King Abimilech. However God kept the man from violating her chastity. Verse 6 says that God "withheld" Abimilech from sinning. This is a wonderful thing, that God prevented this powerful man from touching Sarah!

But the most wonderful way that God restrains sin is by regeneration. When the Lord is pleased to quicken one who is dead in sin into spiritual life He gives that person a new nature that hates sin and loves holiness. "The grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world " (Titus 2:11-12).

But the most dreadful way that God restrains the wrath of man is when He shuts up sinners in the prison of hell. (I shudder to write it!) Dying sinner, you are presently restrained by law and God's providence from going as far into sin as you could. But unless God begins to restrain you now by regeneration, He will send you to hell forever and ever where you can't hurt the Lord's people anymore and where you can't be a menace to God's order. Hell is spoken of as a prison and a place where sinners are bound with chains. Unless God has mercy on you, you will be chained up in hell. May He have mercy on some of you this day.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Reply to a Papist Concerning Christ Being the Bread of Life, Wherein is Shown the True Meaning of John 6:48-53, Also Showing the Repulsive Teaching of Transubstantiation to be False

Dear Sir:

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have not forgotten you, though I have not replied to your rantings in several days. Be sure I have prayed for you much that God would enlighten your benighted mind to receive the truth, for except the Lord regenerate you, you cannot believe though one arose from the dead. I pray not only for you, but also for all deluded by the superstitions advocated by Rome. I am thankful that you are reading our little articles in the Narrow Way, though you appear to read only to rail against the gospel and pick a fight. What you mean for evil, the Lord may mean for good. So we encourage you to continue to read.

As I have pointed out in earlier replies, better men than I have answered all the false claims of Rome with such skill that any with a spiritual mind can see the soul damning errors still advocated by the pope. The fact that otherwise intelligent people still hold to these repulsive doctrines shows the hardness of the human heart and the blindness of the unregenerate mind. Popery is a testimony to the truth of total depravity. You and your blind guides continue to hold stubbornly to ridiculous lies though the scriptures plainly indict you, and the Lord has sent multitudes of faithful men to you to show you of your errors. But as the Lord plainly said in the chapter we are about to consider, “no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” You and all other deluded papists, including the pope himself are hopeless and helpless except the Lord is pleased to regenerate you. But since we know that God’s grace is amazing indeed, I will give you the truth, praying that the Lord may use my small efforts. Though, as I say better men than I have answered all these errors, the Lord in His good and wise providence has brought you to me by means of electronic mail that you may hear the truth. Eternity will declare whether my words shall be savour of life or of death.

In the passage you so wrongly interpret (John 6:48-53) our Lord calls Himself the Bread of Life that gives life to those who eat. The true sense of our Lord’s words is clearly and easily understood by the context in which they were stated. In the beginning of the chapter our Lord performed a notable miracle of feeding the multitude with a few fishes and loaves. Most of this multitude proved themselves to be unregenerate persons for they sought more of natural bread, rather than Christ Himself. And this is the way with unregenerate souls. They are interested in everything but Christ Himself. They can be satisfied with the things of this world, which are all perishing, but they are not satisfied with Christ. Christ warns such in verse 27, “labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.” This verse shows us that Christ is not talking about literal, natural, physical bread in this chapter when He calls Himself the bread of Life. It is clear that our Lord has a spiritual lesson here. As he says in verse 63, “it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."                                                                                                                                                      
In verse 35 our Lord says, “I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Thus we see that coming to Christ and believing on Christ is the same thing. (Or as some would say, coming to Christ is one of the principle acts of faith.) In verse 37 our Lord says, “all that the father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” All of God’s elect, who were given to Christ in the everlasting covenant before the foundation of the world, shall be given the gift of faith and shall believe in Christ to the saving of their souls. As it says in Acts 13:48, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Thus we see that coming to the bread of life is the same thing as eating the Bread of life as spoken of as he continues His discourse with the Jews. It is clear that our Lord means by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, believing in Him.

In verse 54 where the Lord says “whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life” is a synonymous statement with John 5:24 where we read, “he that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life.” Please note well that the text in John 5:24 says hath everlasting life. The believer is already in possession of everlasting life. The same is true in John 6:54, "whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life." We do not receive life by believing in Christ (symbolized by eating His flesh and drinking His blood), but rather believing in Christ is the result of God regenerating us (see John 1:13). Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ is the same as believing on Christ. Let us see how.

Believing on Christ is the act of faith, the same as receiving Christ. So our Lord says in John 1:12, “but as many as received Him gave He power to become the sons of God, even them which believe on His name.” Also in Colossians 1:6, “as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Eating well illustrates the act of faith, for in eating natural bread, we receive it into our bodies. So believing in Christ, a poor sinner receives Him into his soul. So you see our Lord is illustrating the act of faith by eating.

But not only is the act of faith illustrated by eating and drinking, but the Object of our faith is well illustrated in the passage under consideration. Note well our Lord speaks of His flesh and His blood as being separate. Thus our Lord declares Himself the Object of saving faith as one whose blood was separated from His flesh. He died for our sins. His blood was poured out for our cleansing and for our salvation.

Also this is an apt illustration of the sufficiency of our Lord’s atonement. By using the term bread, our Lord speaks of that which is sufficient for us naturally. So Christ is sufficient for our salvation. This passage most forcefully declares that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone. These are three ways of saying the same thing. Christ Alone saves His people. As it says in Hebrews 1:3, “when he had by Himself purged our sins.” The atonement made by Christ is sufficient for our salvation. Rites and rituals will add nothing to the finished work of Christ. Our good works and our religion will add nothing to what Christ has done. Christ Alone could redeem. If good works would save, there would have been no point in the Father putting His Son to grief. Christ has fought the battle and won. The angel said in Matthew 1:21, “He shall save His people from their sin", and He did! Also we read in Hebrews 10:14, “by ONE offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” This is the reason the so-called “mass” is blasphemy, for they who claim to perform it claim that Christ is offered again. What heresy! What blasphemy! What a lie out of the pit of hell! Christ will never have to be offered again for He finished the work He came to do. As bread is sufficient for natural life, so Christ is sufficient for spiritual life.

Thus we see the true meaning of John 6:48-53. Christ illustrates saving faith in Himself by eating and drinking Hid blood.

That our Lord was not speaking here of the Lord’s Supper is also easily shown by these facts:

First, the Lord’s Supper was not yet instituted when our Lord spake these words. Our Lord was speaking of something here that His people were at that time able to do. He speaks here of Himself metaphorically as the Bread of Life which at that present time His people were enjoying.

Secondly, our Lord speaks here of something in which all of His people are able to participate. The dying thief never received the elements of bread and wine as a remembrance of our Lord, but he had eternal life and is in heaven with Christ right now. Multitudes of the Lord’s people have been unable to come to the Lord’s Table because of banishment and imprisonment. The Apostle Paul himself died in prison and was not able to be with the church for the ordinance the last part of his life, but he is with Christ now. Many of the Lord’s people have been physically and mentally unable to receive the ordinance for long periods of time, but they still had eternal life.

Thirdly, this passage cannot refer to the Lord’s Supper for many receive the outward elements who have not the inward reality and therefore are not saved. Those who receive the supper unworthily are guilty of the Lord’s blood and body and are not saved (I Corinthians 11:29).

Fourthly, if this passage refers to the Lord’s Supper it proves more than the pope will allow, for our Lord says that they who eat His flesh and drink His blood have eternal life. This passage teaches the final perseverance of the saints, something the pope will not have, for he still pronounces anathema (in the Council of Trent) on us who hold this scriptural truth. Now, believers have eternal life and cannot lose their salvation. Thus we see that those who truly eat the flesh of Christ and truly drink His blood by believing on Him have eternal life and cannot fall finally away.

Fifthly, if this passage refers to the Lord’s Supper then it puts all papists except for the priests in hell, for only the priests eat the bread and drink the wine. The people only eat the bread for the cup is withheld from the people, therefore the people do not drink His blood and cannot abide in Christ!

Having proven the true meaning of John 6:48-53, and shown that the Lord’s Supper is not under consideration in the passage, I shall now show you how repulsive is the heresy of transubstantiation. The papists appeal to the words of our Lord, “this is my body” as being literal. That our Lord speaks not literally is easily shown by His words following in (for example) Luke 22:20, “this cup is the new testament in my blood.” Anyone with enough sense to lick a postage stamp can see that our Lord by saying “the cup”, He meant what was in the cup. So it is apparent that our Lord was speaking of His body and blood represented by the elements of bread and wine.

The very idea that Christ would have us become cannibals is repulsive to anyone who believes the Bible. The very idea that anyone could be so stupid as to miss the plain sense of our Lord’s words “remember me” and to think He meant for us to become cannibals! Yet you Romanists are so blinded in ignorance that you have killed thousands who refused to confess this abominable lie. Herein we see the difference in the true Church and the Roman cult. If you are stupid enough and superstitious enough to believe that your “priest” is a magician who can change bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Christ, we will not try to kill you for it. We will plead with you and show you the scriptures, but we are not trying to be lords of your consciences. If you reject the gospel for superstition, we are grieved for you, but we will not try to kill you. But you are so blinded in your false zeal as to use the stake and the rack to torture people into confessing what they know is a lie. The gospel does not need torture to support it. The truth accompanied by the Holy Spirit is sufficient. We have a holy zeal for your salvation, but a holy contentment that God has not purposed to save everybody and that He hides the truth from the wise and prudent.

Christ is spiritually present with His people (Matthew 18:20; John 14:16-17), but He is bodily seated on His rightful throne in heaven. The scriptures do not insinuate, must less directly say that a so-called “priest” can chant hocus-pocus and bring part of the Lord’s body down from heaven or create more of His flesh and blood for us to cannibalize.

But the most repulsive thing is the teaching that the Roman ‘priest” sacrifices the body and blood again in the “mass”. As we have shown from Hebrews 10:14 our Lord was ONCE offered. (By the way I know of a former Romish priest who was converted by that very text. I pray the Lord may use it to save many more papists.) Hebrews 9:28 says Christ was ONCE offered. What is there about “once” the pope does not understand?!

May the Lord have mercy on you. I have given you the truth. If you reject it, you do so the peril of your soul. Repent of your superstition and come to Christ. You have His word that He will not cast you out.