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, December 19, 2010

Election Known by Calling

(Article for publication week of 12-22-2010 AD)

“Wherefore, the rather brethren give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (II Peter 1:10).

Quite frequently when we have preached the doctrine of election, we have had those who have inquired, “How may I know if I am among the elect of God?” This is a good question, and our text tells us something of how we may have the answer. Our text tells us that assurance is attainable, and that we must give diligence to obtain it. We may have assurance of our election, by making sure of our effectual calling.

Effectual calling is that inward, special and irresistible calling of the Holy Spirit whereby an elect sinner is called out of the darkness of this world into the glorious kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostles spoke of this calling in Acts 2:39 saying, “for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord thy God shall call.” Paul spoke of this calling in Romans 8:28 when he wrote, “them who are the called according to His purpose.” Also in I Corinthians 1:26, “not many mighty, not many noble are called.” Again, in II Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His Own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” The Lord spoke of this calling in John 6:37 when he said, “all that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.”

When the Holy Spirit effectually calls one that was given to Christ in the everlasting covenant, that sinner quits the hateful ways of sin and comes by faith to the Saviour for salvation. Coming to Christ is the same as believing in Christ (John 6:35), so we may safely say to you that if you have repented of your sins and come to Christ as a lost sinner to be saved by His grace alone, you have been effectually called by the Lord. You could not have come to the Saviour except the Lord had drawn you (John 6:44). So if you have come to Christ for salvation it was because He drew you to Himself.

Now if you have been effectually called, be sure you are among the elect of God, for God will certainly call all of His elect to faith in His Son. This is what our Lord is talking about when he says, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Every elect child of God will be brought to faith and will be saved. And so Peter puts it in our text, ‘make your calling and election sure. Calling is first in the text, not because it precedes election in the order of salvation, but because it is first in our experience and is that which we can make sure of. We are not permitted to look on the Lamb’s Book of Life (the book of God’s eternal decrees) to see if our name was recorded there before the foundation of the world (which it was if we are saved), but we can look by faith on the Lamb who saves His people from their sins.

In a nutshell, we may have assurance through faith. If you believe in Christ for salvation, you are certainly saved and you were chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Make your election sure by believing in Christ.

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