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, February 20, 2011

The Holiness of God Displayed by His Law

(Article for publication week of 2-23-2011 AD)

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good" (Romans 7:12).

A holy God must, of absolute necessity have a holy law. It would be impossible for a holy God, like the God of the Bible not to maintain a rule of law in His universe. God’s law, like Himself is perfectly holy. The law of God is a reflection of the Thrice holy God of the Bible. Thus we read in Psalm 19:7, “the Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”

The basic requirement of God’s law is a command to love. In Romans 13:10b we read, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” The law of God is basically comprehended under two general heads- first to love God with all our being, and second to love our neighbour as ourselves. The first and greatest law, to love God with all of our being is briefly comprehended in the first four commandments. The love of God requires that we worship none but Him, that we worship Him only in the way He has prescribed, that we reverence His name, and that we honour him with all our time.

The love of our neighbour is comprehended in the last six commandments. The love of neighbour requires that you honour his rank, and stay in your place. The love of neighbour requires that you endeavour to preserve his life, to promote his chastity, to respect his property and his good name and refrain from coveting anything that is his.

This holy law was written in man’s heart in creation (Romans 2:15), and was written on two tables of stone by the finger of God (Exodus 20). If everyone obeyed this law, it would be a perfect world in which to live. But the sad fact is none of Adam and Eve’s natural children have ever kept this law. We are all pronounced as lawbreakers by a thrice-holy God, for sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). None of us are able to love God with all our soul, mind and strength. None of us have truly and perfectly loved our neighbour as ourselves.

But there was One Who did keep the holy Law of God perfectly. That was the Holy Son of God. He was made of a woman (but not of a man), and under the law (Galatians 4:4), and He kept the law on behalf of His people. His keeping of the law is imputed to everyone who believes in Him. By His righteousness the believer stands just before a thrice holy God (Jeremiah 23:6). And this Holy Son of God Who is coequal with the Holy Father laid down His life on Calvary’s cross to satisfy the penalty of the law. Therefore the saints of God are in right relation with the law of a holy God through the merits of the God Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Look to Him for your whole and sole righteousness. May the Lord bless all of you, my dear readers.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Be ye Holy, For God is Holy

(Article for publication week of 2-16-2011 AD)

"Because it is written, ‘ be ye holy, for I am holy’ " (I Peter 1:16).

First of all, I call your attention to the opening statement in our text this week- “because it is written.” We see two plain facts from this statement. First we see the scriptures are our whole and sole authority. Peter cites not tradition, nor human philosophy, but scripture alone. Secondly, we see the continuing validity of the Old Testament, for our text is a quotation from Leviticus 11:44. Any teaching that tries to set aside the Old Testament is erroneous. We forget sometimes that all the Church had for her first few years were the Old Testament scriptures. All the preaching in the Book of Acts was from the Old Testament, and the Apostles continually cite the Old Testament in their epistles. The authority of the scriptures and the extant validity of the Old Testament are truths which need to be emphasized in our day.

Now let us note well that the Thrice Holy God of the Bible calls us to be holy as He is holy. God Who is perfectly immaculate and complete in moral character, commands us to be pure in heart, temper, and dispositions. He commands us to be free from sin and sinful affections. This is a command that you had better be in dead earnest about, for you will not see God without holiness (Hebrews 12:14). Mark it down friends, the only people who will ever see God in peace and live in heaven with Him are people that have been made holy.

God is so holy that he will not let anyone live in heaven that is not like Himself. We read in Habakkuk 1:13, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” Unless you become a holy person, you will not be permitted into heaven and the only thing left for God to do with you if you stay unholy is to send you to hell forever and ever. Hell is for everybody that refuses to be holy.

My dear reader, do you want to be holy like God, or had you rather just stay like you are? This is a question with eternal implications, for we read in the book of Revelation 22:11, “ he that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” However you leave this world, that is the way you will stand in God’s judgment. And however you are found in the Day of Judgment is the way you will be fixed for eternity. I leave you with a quote from a sound man from the past- “no holiness, no heaven.” Let that sink in.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Thrice Holy God of the Bible

(Article for publication week of 2-9-2011 AD)

"And they rest not, day and night, saying, ‘ holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come’ " (Revelation 4:8b).

The God of the Bible is essentially holy. His holiness is His only attribute that is raised to the third degree. Noah Webster, in his original 1828 dictionary defined holiness thusly, “purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity: applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of His essential attributes.” (The original 1828 dictionary is a most useful tool in study, because Noah Webster was a Christian, and a good theologian, and also because our English language had not been corrupted so much back then.)

This generation of church goers, I fear do not know the God of the Bible. They have conjured up in their minds a god of their own imaginations who is not holy. The false god that most churchgoers worship today lets them go in their sins most comfortably. The false god of modern day so-called Christianity has never commanded “be ye holy, for I am holy.” Modern professing Christians are not holy people, and their false god is such a kind and loving old god that he wouldn’t dare disturb them in their sins. And he sure wouldn’t send anybody to hell, because after all, he is not holy and loves everybody. Like the folks in Romans 1:23, the modern day “church” has taken their engraving tools and carved themselves a god that is in their own image, and he is not holy, and certainly not thrice holy.

But my friends and neighbors and kinfolks, that is not the God of the Bible, for the God of the Bible made man in His image, not the other way around. And the God of the Bible has said to man, His creature, ‘be ye holy, for I am holy.” The God of the Bible is a God to be feared and worshipped, for He is so holy that he will not let anything with the taint of sin into His holy presence. The God of the Bible is certainly a God of love, but He is thrice holy. His holiness is the crown of all His other attributes. His love is perfectly holy. So it is with His sovereignty and His omnipotence and His grace and His justice and all His blessed attributes. God is essentially and immutably holy, holy, holy.

Now I just want you to be honest with God and with yourself. What is your conception of God? You can lie to me, but you can’t lie to God. Do you understand that God is thrice holy? Is your god like yourself, not too holy, or is He so pure that He will not look on iniquity? Do you worship the God of the Bible, or do you worship a god of your own fancy? If your ideas of God are not in accord with His revelation of Himself in His Word, then you do not know the true God. The only true God (John 17:3) is holy, holy, holy.