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, March 27, 2011

Sinners in the Hands of a Holy God

(Article for publication week of 3-30-2011 AD)

"Then said I, ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts’ " (Isaiah 6:5).

When Isaiah came in contact with the Thrice Holy God, he was overcome with a sense of fear and dread. He was permitted to have a vision of the very Throne Room of Heaven and to behold celestial beings crying continually before the LORD, “holy, holy, holy.” He realized he was in the hands of a Holy God.

Such is the experience of all those who come in contact with the One True God. “Woe is me”, cries the awakened sinner. “I am a man of unclean lips. I am thrice unholy. I am a sinner by virtue of the Fall (Romans 5:19); I am a sinner by nature (Psalm 51:5); and I am a sinner by practice (Romans 3:23).” God is Thrice Holy, and we are thrice unholy. What a dreadful thing to realise that you are a thrice-unholy sinner, in the hands of a Thrice Holy God!

Sinner, has your conscience been awakened to that solemn reality? You are an unclean person. You are loathsome and obnoxious to the LORD. You are in the hands of One Who will deal with you according to His Thrice Holy Nature. Whatever God does with you, it will be in keeping with His holiness. God won’t quit being Holy just to keep you out of hell. Now you better let that sink in neighbour.

This generation of churchgoers thinks that God is like Santa Claus. It is apparent by the irreverence in our churches that not many church - goers have ever come in contact with the same God that Isaiah came in contact with. “There is no fear of God before their eyes” is written upon the false profession of everyone who claims to be a believer, but has never cried out, “woe is me for I am undone!”

Now, I have an encouraging word for the remnant that have come in contact with God by the awakening work of the Holy Spirit. If you continue reading in Isaiah 6, you will read that one of the seraphims took a live coal form the altar, and laid it on Isaiah’s lips, and pronounced that his iniquity was taken away, and his sins were purged! My friend, that is a picture of the saving work of Christ. Christ laid down His life on an alter of sacrifice to satisfy the Holy justice and wrath of a Thrice Holy God. There it is! Salvation for the thrice unholy so they may stand before the Thrice Holy God without sin or iniquity!

Now, I have a solemn word for you who have never been awakened to your lost condition. Some of you are lost in filthy sins, and some of you are lost in self-righteousness and dead profession, but if you have never been awakened to see that you are a person of unclean lips, you are lost world without end. And you too are in the hands of a Holy God. You have never come in contact with God by the saving and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, but you will come in contact with Him when you die and stand before His judgment throne. “Woe is me “, you will cry forever as you weep and wail and gnash your teeth forever in hell. What a terrible way to come into contact with a Thrice Holy God! To have His holy justice administered to you forever! May the Thrice Holy God have mercy on thrice unholy sinners is my prayer!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Personality of the Holy Spirit

(Article for publication week of 3-23-2011 AD)

“Even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17).

We are interjecting into our series of articles on the holiness of God, some brief articles on the Holy Trinity. The Deity and Personality of the First Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son are generally perceived by Christians, but sometimes harder to perceive regarding the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Last week we showed briefly the indisputable fact of the Deity of the Holy Spirit and this week we shall briefly prove the Personality of the Holy Spirit.

Note well that in our text the personal pronoun “he” is used concerning the Holy Spirit. This in itself proves that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not some impersonal force. As we continue reading through John 14, 15, and 16, we see our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly using the personal pronoun regarding the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ is well qualified to tell us of the Holy Spirit because He and His Father are one with the Holy Spirit. (See I John 5:7). The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26). We can take our Lord Jesus’ words as solid proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit.

Not only does the use of the personal pronoun prove the personality of the Holy Spirit, but the scriptures repeatedly and continually ascribe to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of personality. For example, right here in our opening text our Lord tells us we may “know” the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but the text says that the Holy Spirit “dwells” with believers, something that is only possibility for a person. We never speak of, nor think of “knowing”, or “dwelling with” and impersonal force (for example gravity). The Holy Spirit may be known and dwelt with; therefore we understand that he is a Person.

Not only that but the scriptures tell us that believers have communion with the Holy Spirit (II Corinthians 13:14). Communion, or fellowship is only possible between persons. If you are a Christian, then you are experimentally acquainted with what that communion is. When you were born again, or regenerated, the Holy Spirit began to indwell you and supply redeeming grace to your poor soul. We who are believers have felt and known the working of the Blessed Holy Spirit testifying the truth of Christ and His gospel to us inwardly.

Further, we read that the Holy Spirit can be “grieved” (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is saddened when His people sin, and this is one reason Christians hate sin so bad and flee from it. We do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit and sadden Him so that he withdraws the light of His countenance from us. As William Cowper so wonderfully describes it in one of his hymns, “return, oh Holy Dove return, sweet messenger of rest. I hate the sins that made Thee mourn, and drove Thee from my breast.” An impersonal force cannot be grieved, but a Person can, and so we know the Holy Spirit is a Person.

The personality of the Holy Spirit is a vital doctrine of God’s word; therefore we must believe it and take it most seriously, eternally seriously. The Holy Spirit is the Representative of Christ on earth today. He is active in regenerating and sanctifying the people of God and applying the saving power of Christ’s redemptive work in our souls. We are having sweet communion with Him and delight in His Presence. May the Lord bless you all my dear readers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Deity of the Holy Spirit

(Article for publication week of 3-16-2011 AD)

Having introduced the doctrine of the Tri-unity of God in our series on the holiness of God, we shall pause to briefly address this vital doctrine. Whether or not the cultists who deny the doctrine of the Trinity are saved or not, we shall leave to our Omniscient God Who knoweth them that are His. For our part, we cannot in good conscience regard such as brethren. Again, final judgment belongs to God.

Our subject this week is the proper Deity of the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit is God is evident by any honest reading of the Scriptures.

First of all I shall show you that the Holy Spirit is specifically called God in Acts 6:3-4. In verse three, Peter said that Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost. Then in verse four, he said that he lied to God. It is easy to see from these two verses that the Holy Spirit is God.

Secondly, note that the Holy Spirit has the attributes of God. He is called the Holy Spirit, holiness properly being an attribute of God. (Christians are holy people, but their holiness is communicated to them by God, but the Holy Spirit is inherently and essentially holy, being God.) The Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14); omnipresent (Psalm 139:7); omniscient (I Corinthians 2:10-11); and omnipotent (as we shall show from His extraordinary works).

Thirdly, the Holy Spirit has done, and does things that only God can do. Note first of all that the Holy Spirit has inspired the Holy Scriptures. In II Timothy 3:16 we read, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God.” And then in II Peter 1:21 we read, “holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” You see that by comparing these two texts that the Holy Spirit is God. The first text plainly says that God inspired the Bible; the second plainly says the Holy Ghost did.

But the most wonderful display of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit is the regeneration of an elect sinner who by nature is dead in sin and trespasses. In John 3:5 we read, “except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Regeneration, or the new birth is a monergistic work performed by God Alone (see also John 1:13). The salvation of a soul is nothing less than a miracle that God Himself must, and does perform. Until this work is done in the soul by the sovereign Spirit, a poor sinner will remain in unbelief and loathsome sin. Human effort and means and instrumentality of men will avail nothing until the Holy Spirit (Who is God) performs the glorious work of regeneration. But as soon as this glorious work is done, the sinner dead in sin is made alive in Christ. He is delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. He is thus granted repentance and enabled to believe in Christ for his eternal salvation. Dear reader, has that ever happened to you?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Holy Trinity

(Article for publication week of 3-9-2011 AD)

In our current series of articles on the holiness of God, we have pointed out that God's holiness is the only one of His attributes that is elevated to the third degree (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). We have suggested that there is something very important in this. It appears that God would have it impressed upon our minds that His holiness may be in a sense His chief attribute. Therefore all His other attributes are to be understood in light of His holiness. If God's holiness is not impressed upon our minds we are likely to conjure up in our minds unbiblical, and therefore false ideas about our Thrice Holy God.

Another thing that is readily brought to our minds by the repetition of God's holiness is that he is a Trinity of Persons. His is the Great One in Three. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One Thrice holy God. Let me show you what I mean.

In John 17:11 our Lord Jesus Christ in His High Priestly prayer prays thusly, "Holy Father, keep through Thine Own Name those whom Thou hast given me." The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father shows us that there is a plurality of Persons in the Godhead. The fact that God the Father gave an elect people to His Son further proves this. But my main point is to emphasize that the Son called the Father , "Holy Father." This is an appellation that may never be directed to any man. Only God may be addressed as "Holy Father." Though Christ was God and coequal with the Father, in the economy of redemption, the Eternal Son has subjected himself to the Father (see Philippians 2:6-8). As the Father's Divine Subordinate, Christ addresses Him as "Holy Father." If the very Son of God would be so reverent in addressing the Father, how much more should we poor sinners.

Next notice that the Son of God is also said to be holy. For example read in Hebrews 7:26, "for such an High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." You see Christ is of the same essence as the Father. Christ has all the attributes of God. His holiness is eternally inherent in Himself, which sets Him apart from His creatures. By God's sovereign grace, elect sinners are made holy, but that holiness is derived from God.

And then we have the Third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and thus he is invariably called throughout the Bible. (See for example John 14:26; II Corinthians 13:14; I John 5:7.) Thus we see the Third Person of the Holy Trinity also has the attributes of God, including holiness.

Thus we often sing with the Church, "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! .... God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity!" Don't you just love to worship this Thrice Holy God?!

The Holy Name of God

(Article for publication week of 3-2-2011 AD)

“He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name” (Psalm 111:9).

The people of God under the Old Testament so revered the Name of God that they would not take the Name “Jehovah” on their lips. They had a such perception of the holiness of God and their own sinfulness that they felt it would border on blasphemy to even take His name on their sinful lips. Some of that may have been superstition, for (as far as I know) there was no command from God to do this. However the attitude of the Israelites of old was far superior to the irreverence of our day.

The generation in which you and I live is a most irreverent lot. Sadly, even many professed Christians do not reverence the name of the Lord. I have had to rebuke church members, and even preachers for their careless use of the name of the Lord. It is hard for me to speak plainly without feeling irreverent myself, but just let me say that when you say “Lord” with any exclamatory word before it , you are using the name of the Lord in vain and committing a terrible sin. Any light or careless use of the names, personhood, titles or attributes of God is a violation of the third commandment and God says He will not hold you guiltless who take his name in vain.

Irreverence for the Persons of the Godhead and the names of the Persons of the Godhead is the fruit of an unregenerate heart. You do not love and adore God , so you do not reverence Him. You do not fear God, so you feel no compunction in using His name in careless ways. You do not know the Thrice Holy God of the Bible, so you feel quite comfortable in letting His Thrice Holy Name roll off your defiled lips in the most flippant ways.

This generation of church-goers and professed religious people have learned of a god that is not holy, and his name is not holy. This generation of professed religious people have a god of their imaginations who is their “co-pilot”, or their little friend , or perhaps something like a nice old grandfather. But my friends, that is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is described in my text. He is a sovereign God Who has commanded the redemption of His elect. He has ordered an everlasting covenant with Himself that is sure and steadfast. Holy and reverend is His name.