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, January 30, 2011

The Holiness of God

(Article for publication week of 2-2-2011 AD)

"And one cried unto another, and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory' " (Isaiah 6:3).

The prophet Isaiah was permitted to look into the very throne room of God. And here is what he saw- a whole class of angels whose sole business is to continually worship God, falling down before Him crying, “holy, holy, holy.” God is so holy that He has created this class of angels for that purpose.

It is difficult to prioritize the attributes of God. Where should we begin and in what order should we present the High Being of God to our readers? When we began this series on God’s attributes several months ago, I agonized and prayed about the order that we would follow, and finally settled in my mind that we would first of all set before you the incommunicable attributes of God, that is the attributes of God which are eternally unique to Himself. Thus we set before you His incompressibility, His immutability, His omniscience, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, His sovereignty (which we ended up spending several months on), etc. Now we come to consider His communicable attributes, that is those attributes of God that He by His sovereign grace communicates to His people. Thus we read in I Peter 1:16, “be ye holy, for I am Holy.”

It would not have been out of order for us to have begun with the holiness of God. After all, it is the only attribute of God that is raised to the third degree (our text and Revelation 4:8). God is never said to be “sovereign, sovereign, sovereign”, or “love, love, love”, but He is said to be “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Surely, there is something very significant about this.

The holiness of God is the sum and substance of all His glorious attributes. To say that God is essentially holy (and that raised to the third degree) is to say that he is without any blemish or flaw in His character. He is all good, and can never be anything else. God is so pure that the scriptures tell us that He cannot look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). God is always right, and always does right because he is perfectly and essentially holy. I cannot emphasize this too strongly- God is holy, holy, holy.

We have available for free a small booklet by A. W. Pink entitled “The Attributes of God.” Call me this week at 601-927-5070 and I will be happy to provide you with one or more. It is an excellent little book by one of the best teachers that God has ever given His Church.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sovereignty of God in Conversion

(Article for publication week of 1-26-2011 AD)

“But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me…” (Galatians 1:15-16a).

Please note well, that Paul did not say that he “accepted Jesus as his saviour.” In fact you do not find that expression anywhere in the scriptures. That is a man made term adopted by modern day evangelism that tells sinners what they can do, rather than telling them they are ruined in Adam, and can only be recovered by Christ. As Rolfe Barnard used to say, “you don’t ‘accept’ a Lord, you bow down to Him!”

No, Paul did not say that he “accepted Jesus‘’, but rather he said that God called him by His grace, and revealed the Lord Jesus Christ in him. In other words, conversion is a powerful work performed by the Sovereign God. Biblical salvation is the Sovereign God of heaven and earth effectually calling a lost sinner out of the darkness of this world into the marvelous light of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:9). Salvation is the revelation of Christ in the soul of an elect sinner so that sinner becomes experimentally acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:3). Dear reader, has that powerful work of conversion been performed in your soul? Can you say that you are experimentally acquainted with the Son of God?

Now, note further that conversion is a work that God performs according to His sovereign will, not according to the “free’ will of sinners. Sinner, your will is not free, but it is enslaved by your corrupt and fallen nature (John 5:40; Romans 6:20; Ephesians 4:18-19). Our text says that God converted Paul “when it pleased” Him. God is under no obligation to convert any of you. You are in His sovereign hands and He can save you or He can damn you, and be certain He will do one or the other. Salvation is according to the good pleasure of God.

Finally, note well that the time of a sinner’s conversion is when it pleases God. It is popularly taught and believed in these parts that a sinner can get saved any time he wants. That is a soul-destroying lie. It is preached that God has done all He can, and now it is up to the sinner to cooperate with God and help save himself, but that is not what our text says. Salvation is when it pleases God. God has a set time that He will effectually call each of His elect and reveal Christ in them (Psalm 102:13). Salvation is all of the Lord from first to last. Praise his holy name!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Delighting in the Sovereignty of God

(Article for publication week of 1-19-2011 AD)

“At that time Jesus answered and said, 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. Even so Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matthew 11:25-26).

For several months now we have been writing on the Sovereignty of God because it is such a God-honoring doctrine and because it is such a neglected doctrine in our day. It is our goal in our little ministry to glorify God and abase man. Dear reader, what is your response to the Sovereignty of God? Some of you will reject it and rail against it, but in so doing you only rail against God and His word, for His word plainly teaches He is the Sovereign God. Some of you will accept it reluctantly, because you claim to be Bible believers and you would hate for it to get out on you that you reject Bible truth. Some of you will accept the Sovereignty of God and add it on to an empty profession. We have seen a few like this in our day. They came to an intellectual understanding of Calvinism, but they remain unconverted, and that often while being respectable little church members.

But notice our Lord’s response to the Sovereignty of God. “Even so Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” There was no reticence in our Lord regarding the Sovereignty of His Eternal Father. Our Lord Jesus Christ took great delight that His Father saves some and rejects others. It seemed good to the all wise and sovereign heavenly Father to reveal His Truth to some, and hide it from others. The Eternal Father and the Eternal Son are One (John 10: 30), and so they take delight in each Other and are in perfect agreement in all things, including whom They have united with the Holy Spirit in the everlasting covenant to save.

As our Lord Jesus Christ took delight in the sovereignty of God, so must believers. Well has the hymn writer concluded, “What was there in you that could merit esteem, or give the Creator delight? ‘Twas even so Father’ you ever must sing, ‘because it seemed good in Thy sight‘. Twas all of Thy grace we were brought to obey, while others were suffered to go, the road which by nature we chose as our way, which leads to the regions of woe “ (Spurgeon’s Hymnal #219).

In heaven there will be no praise for any creature. Our eternal praise will be to the Lord who exercised His absolute sovereignty in saving our poor souls. Why don’t you start imitating Christ and start delighting in the Sovereignty of God?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Salvation Ordained and Obtained

(Article for publication week of 1-12-2011 AD)

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Jesus Christ with eternal glory” (II Timothy 2:10).

Down through history the most zealous and faithful evangelists have been men who believed in the sovereign grace of God. Such men as George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Rolfe Barnard, and the Founders of the Southern Baptist Convention all were Calvinists and took their example from the Apostle Paul who was willing to endure all things that sinners might be saved. One reason modern day evangelism has been so ineffective is that it is generally man centered and tells sinners what they can do for themselves rather than telling them they are hopelessly ruined without Christ.

This was no small statement on the part of the Apostle Paul. When he said he endured all things for the elect’s sakes, he was not just blowing smoke. He had been imprisoned, stoned, whipped and treated as the off scouring of the world for preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Church history tells us that he was at last executed for the sake of Christ, His gospel, and the elect’s sakes.

Our text tells us that salvation has been ordained by God from all eternity. The expression “the elect’s sakes” speaks of this glorious truth of predestination. I have been setting this truth before you my readers for several months now because it is such a neglected truth in our day. Not long ago I met one of our dear readers in Wal-Mart and she told me how much she enjoys the Narrow Way and said to me “you ought to be a Presbyterian!” I thanked her because I really took it as a compliment. But the fact is our Baptist forefathers believed these truths as strong as Presbyterians. In the old days the main difference between Baptists and Presbyterians concerned church government and the administration of baptism, but they were in agreement on the doctrines of election and predestination. And true Baptists in our day still hold to these truths. I challenge my Baptist readers to search your Baptist history and you will see I am telling you the truth.

Salvation has been ordained, but it must be obtained. As we have shown you in previous articles, God has ordained the end and the means of salvation. Paul was a great believer in election and predestination, but that did not keep him from calling upon all men to repent and bow to the Lordship of Christ. His confidence in the sovereignty of God was his motivation to tell sinners who would listen that Christ is able and willing to save all who will lay down their arms of rebellion and come to Him by faith.

I pray that some elect sinner might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory this very day. God bless you all my dear readers.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Much People

(Article for publication week of 1-5-2011 AD)

"Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city ’ " (Acts 18:9,10).

When the Apostle Paul first went to the city of Corinth to preach the gospel to every creature, the situation did not look very hopeful. The inhabitants of the city of Corinth were so vile and perverted that when a person was noted for his lewdness, he would be called a Corinthian. Corinth was as vile as any of the wicked cities here in Mississippi. There were only a very few that initially responded in faith to the gospel that Paul preached. But the Lord encouraged the heart of Paul with these words, “I have much people in this city.”

This is a statement that makes no sense to you unless you know and believe the Biblical doctrine of election. Even while they were in a state of unbelief and living in the grossest of sins, God declared “I have much people in this city.” They were the Lord’s people from before the foundation of the world. The sovereign decree of election had made them, and every heir of promise, the Lord’s people from all eternity. They were the Lord’s for God had justified them in eternity. And they were His for Christ stood as their Surety from all eternity and His saving work was an effective act in the mind and purpose of God eternally (I Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8).

Believer, did you know you were the Lord’s even before you believed in Christ? According to my text, you were. Even before you repented of your sins, and flew to Christ, you were one of the Lord’s. He has loved you with an everlasting love and made you His by sovereign grace.

Now, even though God confirmed to Paul that He had much people in the city of Corinth, Paul did not know who they were until they were converted. Although salvation is sure to God from all eternity, it is not sure to any of us until we have repented of our sins and believed in Christ, the Only Saviour of sinners. As we saw in last week’s message, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). Dear reader, entertain no hope of being one of God’s elect unless you are trusting in Christ Alone for your salvation. The sovereign decree of election has ordered that “They must come” (John 6:37a), but YOU MUST COME (John 6:37b).

Finally, our text teaches us to be hopeful in the day in which we live. We live in a culture as vile as Corinth. Our neighbors are, for the most part, as lost as the Corinthians. But the Lord still has His people. Let us preach and pray that God will call out His elect here in Mississippi and that it may be known that God has much people here.