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 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!

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