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, November 28, 2010

Elect According to the Foreknowledge of God

(Article for publication week of 12-1-2010 AD)

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you , and peace be multiplied” (I Peter 1:2).

The doctrine of election is not an obscure doctrine in the Bible, but is found throughout the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and is a foundational truth of the gospel. God’s chosen people were known and loved by Him from all eternity. In II Timothy 2: 19 we read, “the Lord knoweth them that are His.” Again , in John 10:27 our Lord said, “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The Lord’s knowledge of His people, that is His elect, is not just a knowledge of their existence. The Lord knows about all men, but He knows His people. When the Bible says that the Lord knows His people, it means that God knows His people in the way that a man knows His wife, or in the way a father knows his children. In other words, God loves His people specially, intimately, and savingly.

God loved His people and knew them before He made the world. This is the sense of our text. God’s election of a definite number of the Adamic race unto grace and glory was according to His everlasting love for them. From before the foundation of the world , God marked out a people to be His Own. He set His affections on them from all eternity. Thus we read in Jeremiah 31:3, “yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Well has the hymn writer expressed it, “‘twas with an everlasting love, that God His Own elect embraced, before He made the worlds above, or earth on her huge columns placed” (hymn #417 Old School Hymnal #11). This is a most comforting and delightful truth for the believer to lay hold on. There never was a time when God did not love the believer! The hymn writer continues, “ believer here thy comfort stands, from first to last salvation’s free. And everlasting love demands an everlasting song from thee”!

Since God’s love for His elect had no beginning it will never have any end. God’s people are eternally secure in the hands of Him Who chose us in His Son from before the foundation of the world. He has made all the arrangements necessary to bring us to grace and glory. Our text goes on to say that God’s elect are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and sprinkled with the cleansing blood of the Son. The Triune God is bound and determined to save the objects of Divine foreknowledge and electing love. This is a little measure of what our text means. May our little column this week be a blessing to God’s elect.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Foreknown and Predestinated

(Article for publication week of 11-17-2010 AD)

“For whom He foreknew, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Some who deny the absolute sovereignty of God have tried to explain away predestination by saying that predestination is simply God foreknowing all things. It is amazing what lengths to which some will go to try to deny the sovereignty of God! Man just cannot have it that God is sovereign instead of himself!

All Bible believers will acknowledge the foreknowledge of God. That God is omniscient is a truth that no one can deny. In Acts 15:18 we read, “known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” The reason God foreknows all things is that he has predestinated all things. If God foreknows all His works, it is apparent that he foreknows them because he had already decreed them. To acknowledge the foreknowledge of God is to acknowledge also His predestination. Since God foreknows all things, it follows that what He foreknows is certain to occur. Now if a thing is certain, then what is it that makes it certain? It is either certain because man wills it, or because God wills it. No reasonable person could have it that anything is certain because of the will of man. Even an unbeliever knows that man cannot ordain anything with absolute certainty. Only God has that kind of power. So why argue against predestination? If you believe in an omniscient God, you must also believe in an absolutely sovereign God Who has decreed all things from before the foundation of the world.

Now the wonderful thing about our text this week is the particular foreknowledge and predestination which is under consideration here. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image” of Christ. The word “for” indicates that verse 29 is an explanation of verse 28 where we read “we know that all things work together to good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”, and then follows our text explaining it. God is working all things for good to them who love Him. And those who love Him have Him have been called according to His purpose. And these were foreknown and predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ.

The reason that any sinner ever comes to love God is because God’s saving purpose has been set upon that sinner from all eternity and the Sovereign Lord has decreed the end of His purpose is that His elect people would be restored to the image of Christ. Man was made to be the image bearer of God, and that image was shattered when we fell in Adam. God’s sovereign grace restores elect sinners to be image bearers of God’s Son. Through the justifying righteousness of Christ, God’s elect people have a good record before God. Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, God’s elect have a new nature that is now being conformed to the image of Christ. Finally, God will glorify all those He foreknew and predestinated to be like His Son for eternity. The final happiness of God’s people rests not on their own fickle will, but on the sovereign purpose of God Who has decreed salvation as an absolute certainty.

If you love God and believe in His Son, it is because God foreknew you and predestinated you to be saved. Such a wonderful God ought to be loved and worshipped.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Predestinated According to God’s Purpose

(Article for publication week of 11-10-2010 AD)

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will” (Ephesians 1:11). According to this text there is no limit to God’s predestination. God has absolutely predestinated all things.

The absolute predestination of all things is easily shown by the scriptures. Our text this week says that God works all things (all things without exception) after His Own counsel (or purpose). The end that God has in view is that His elect people should obtain an inheritance. God’s elect have an inheritance reserved in heaven (I Peter 1:4), and they are joint heirs with their Elder Brother, Christ (Romans 8:17). Note well that our text here in Ephesians 1:11 speaks of God’s people as having obtained (past tense) an inheritance. The reason it is in the past tense is that since God has foreordained our inheritance, it is as good as done! It cannot fail for God has predestinated it. Some other passages that plainly show God’s absolute predestination of all things are Isaiah 46:9-11; Daniel 4:35; Romans 8:28-30; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 45:3; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28; and Ephesians 3:11. I urge you to go read these passages and see if they do not show the absolute sovereignty of God.

Now I am going to ask you to think with me a little and reason from the scriptures. If God has an elect people, (and He certainly does, as we have well shown in our last several articles), is it not true that they were foreordained to be born? Is it not reasonable, in light of the scriptures, that God predestinated that each of His elect people would be conceived and born? Now think a little more with me: if God predestinated the final end of His elect (their eternal inheritance), and their natural lives, did He not also predestinate the conception and life of each of their ancestors. It took all of our ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve to get each of us here as the unique individuals that each of us are. That should be plain from scriptural truth. Now if God predestinated the natural lives of His people and their natural ancestors, is it not plain and clear that he predestinated the birth and life of every one who has ever lived. In other words, there is not a misplaced atom, or misplaced atomic particle in the universe, for everything is exactly where God has ordained that it should be.

This is a little of what is conveyed in my text this week. God works all things after the counsel of His Own will. God has left no small detail to chance. He has decreed from all eternity all things whatsoever comes to pass by an unalterable, and immutable decree. That is what it means for Him to be God!