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, October 23, 2011

God’s Love Displayed by Chastening

(Article for publication week of 10-26-2011 AD)

“For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6).

This is a most comforting and encouraging text for the children of God. We are assured that when God lays His chastening rod upon us, that it is a mark of His everlasting, saving, and discriminating love.

I will point out first of all to you that this text is further proof that God does not love the whole world. The unsaved world, the world of the ungodly, knows nothing of chastening. Only God’s children are chastened by the Lord. The text plainly and clearly declares that God’s chastening is limited to those He loves. So take heart dear Christian- God corrects you because he loves you!

Secondly, I want you to note well that the text proves that Christians are not yet perfected. We will not attain sinless perfection until the state of glory when we will be eternally in the presence of the Lord. Christians are presently being sanctified by the Lord, and He is in the process of forming us into the likeness of Christ. We will one day be perfected and made so that we will be unable to sin, but we are not there yet. Since we still have many imperfections, and subject to many faults, the Lord chastens us for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

Thirdly, I want to emphasize that chastening is not the same as punishment, at least not in a penal sense. I have often heard God’s professed people express when they perceived they were being chastened that they were “paying” for their sins. One dear sister, who I believe is now with Christ, said to me in an affliction that she considered as the Lord’s chastening, “God is punishing me for my sins.” I want believers to know that Christ was punished for their sins and paid the penalty due for them. The unbeliever must be punished in hell eternally, for he has no sin bearer. But not so for the children of God. Christ underwent the punishment due unto us for every sin we would ever commit. Christ was set forth to be a propitiation for us (Romans 3:25), which means He was punished for our sins and turned away the Holy wrath of God from the believer. Our chastening is for our eternal profit as God makes us partakers of His holiness, but it is not punishment, again I say in a penal sense. Chastening is indeed painful, and it may be so painful that we perceive it is punishment. But be assured, Christian, Christ has borne all your sins, and underwent all the punishment due unto you.

Our Heavenly Father loves His children so much, that He will not let them go in sin. He corrects us with His chastening rod so that we might walk with Him and be obedient to Him. Dear child of God, when you are being chastened, rejoice that God loves you! Chastening, correction is a sure proof that you are an object of God’s love. Let us submit to chastening with humility, knowing that it is all for our eternal good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do you Love God or the World?

(Article for publication week of 10-19-2011 AD)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15).

We have been writing on the attributes of God for quite some time, and our most recent articles have been on the love of God. We have shown the sovereignty and efficaciousness of God’s love, and have posed the question, “do you love God?” This week we will push the question further and continue to test your profession.

It is a dangerous thing to go on in a false profession. Our Lord said in Matthew 7:21-23 that MANY will be exposed at the end as false professors and hear their awful doom from the Lord, “depart from me”! Dear reader, I beseech you to put your own profession to the test to see if you are really converted. Today there is time to repent of a false profession and come to the Dear Saviour for salvation, but if you die in your false profession, it will be eternally too late.

Now, our text here in I John exposes the false profession of multitudes. There are multitudes all around us who claim to be saved, and think they are saved, but their affections show they have never been truly saved, for their affections are all bound up in the world, rather than in Christ.

We have a generation of church members and professed believers who can get along with the world right well. They know how to “go along to get along.” They amuse themselves the same way that the world does. They dress like the world and talk like the world and think like the world and live like the world. This generation of church members thinks that the casinos are perfectly compatible with Christianity. And I could go on and on with specifics of the careless and worldly way that most professed believers live in our day.

Now there are many that are teaching that such worldly folks are just “carnal” Christians. My dear readers, there is no such thing taught in the word of God. Those who are given over to carnality are not saved. There are just two kinds of people- saved people and lost people; spiritually minded people and carnal minded people; believers and unbelievers; Christians and non- Christians. The Bible has no third category for you to try to put yourself in. You either love the Lord, or you love the world.

Then I have heard some lament over worldly church members and say, “well , they just need to be taught.” No they don’t need to be taught, they need to be saved. You don’t have to teach a saved person to love God; the Holy spirit taught him that when He converted him.

Now, be sure you get it- there is no middle ground between love for God and love for the world. My text plainly says that if you love the world, the love of God is not in you. All who do not profess Christ are indicted by my text. My exposure of false profession is no consolation to the non-professor. You who will not believe in Christ and profess Him among men are just as lost as the hypocrite in the church. But, be sure the hypocrite will be finally exposed. You may imitate some Christian virtues, but if you are unregenerate, you cannot truly love God.

Perhaps the truth has alarmed someone today. We surely hope so. Whether you are a lost church member or one who has never professed the name of Christ, the remedy is the same- repent of your sins and believe in Christ for salvation. Come to Him now, for He will in no wise cast out the repenting believer.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do You Love God?

(Article for publication week of 10-12-2011 AD)

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3).

Last week we showed how God’s love is efficacious, and how that when God sheds His love abroad in the heart of and elect sinner, that sinner will in turn love God (I John 4:19). If a person truly loves God, it is certain that person is loved of God.

Now, the question for you is, “Do you love God?” Most of you will answer in the affirmative, I imagine, but you had better read this week’s text before you say so. Just saying you love God, does not mean that you in reality love Him. Many people have nice thoughts about God , perhaps, and may feel good feelings about God, but that does not mean that you love God. Most people who say they love God, love a god of their own imagination , rather than the true God, that is the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is thrice holy, sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and absolutely just. The God of the Bible hates sin, and will punish sinners. Unless you love the only true God (John 17:3), you do not love God, and you are not saved.

Our text this week tells us how we may prove whether we love God or not. Those who love God will keep His commandments. Unless you are sincerely and consistently keeping God’s commandments, you do not love God, no matter what gushy feelings you think you have. God’s moral law revealed in His Ten Commandments are not grievous, and the world would be heaven on earth if all men obeyed them. I emphasize, if you love God, you will be sincerely and consistently keeping God’s commandments.

Our text is not suggesting that a sinner can save himself by his own obedience. Remember last week’s text, “we love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). Obedience is not the procuring cause of salvation in any sense, but rather the indispensable evidence that one is saved.

This is where works mongers miss the boat entirely, by mistaking the evidence for the cause. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone , in Christ Alone (Romans 3:21-28). It is not by works in any sense (Ephesians 2:8-9). But the believer is the workmanship of Christ created unto good works which God has before ordained that they should walk in (Ephesians 2:10). So be sure you get it straight, obedience to God is not what saves you, but the evidence that you are saved.

Nor is our text suggesting that anyone can perfectly keep the commandments of God. Even if you do keep all the commandments outwardly (which I seriously doubt), our Lord says that if you break them in thought, or motive you are guilty (see Matthew 5:21-32 for example) of breaking God’s law. The believer keeps God’s law imperfectly, but sincerely and consistently. He is always repenting that he is coming short of what God requires, and he is continually clinging to Christ Who kept the law for His people and was punished by God in our room and stead to redeem us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).The believer delights in the law of God after the inward man (Romans 7:22). He says with the Psalmist , “O Lord how love I Thy law” (Psalm 119:97).He loves the law of God because it reveals the perfections of the God He loves. He loves the law because His Saviour satisfied all its just demands for him. His love for God is proven by his sincere and consistent, though imperfect obedience to the commandments of God.

We have plenty of “The Attributes of God” by A.W. Pink left, and if you will call me at 601-927-5070, I will get you one. I look forward to hearing from many of you this week.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

God’s Efficacious Love

(Article for publication week of 10-5-2011 AD)

“We love Him, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). It is a good thing that God first loved us, for none of us loved God by nature. By nature every one is a hater of God (Romans 1:30), not a lover of God. So dear reader, if you truly love God, it was because He first loved you.

God loved us when we were yet in our sins (Romans 5:8), and most unlovable. This is an amazing thing! That God should ever have loved any of Adam’s fallen race. We were all His sworn enemies, and at enmity with Him, yet He loved us and gave His Son to die for our sins that we might be justified in His holy sight.

God loved us when we did not even have a being in ourselves. God loved His people before they even existed, for we read in Jeremiah 31:3 that God loved us with an everlasting love. In vast eternity past God set His affections on His people and chose them in His Son. There never was a time when God did not love His people. God in His great sovereignty willed to love a people and save them with an everlasting salvation. It was His sovereign will that His coequal and eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ would be their surety and assume all their obligations and provide a perfect righteousness for them.

Now since, God loved us when we were yet sinners, and since He loved us before we loved Him, and since He loved us from before the foundation of the world, He will never cease to love us. Nothing can ever separate one loved by the Lord from His everlasting love. Remember God is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6). Having loved the believer from eternity, His love will never change, nor cease. This is the reason that it is impossible for one that is genuinely saved to ever lose his salvation, because God loved us first, and that from eternity. Perish the thought that one loved with an everlasting love could ever be lost! Now , if the Bible had said, “God loves us because we first loved Him”, then we might understand that a fickle man might change in his love for God, and thereby God cease to love him. But thank God, that is not what the Bible says! It says “we love Him because He first loved us”!

Notice carefully also that our text says that the very reason the believer loves God is because God first loved the believer. God’s love was the moving Cause of Christ making an atonement for us. And God’s love was the moving cause of Him sending His Spirit into our hearts to regenerate us and make us new creatures in Christ. Romans 5:5 says that His love has been shed abroad in the believer’s heart. When that love is shed abroad in the elect sinner’s heart, that sinner begins to love God. That sinner loves God in His Tri-Personality. That sinner loves all the attributes of God as they are discovered in the Bible. That sinner comes to love God’s law and His gospel.

Dear reader, do you love God? Well mark it down, it is because He first loved you! You would not, nor could not love God had He not put that in you by regeneration. False professors may imitate some Christian virtues, but be sure, no unconverted person can or will love God. Thank the Lord for His efficacious love!

I am really enjoying writing this series of articles on the attributes of God. If you would like to study more beyond the limits of these brief articles, I want to give you absolutely free a small booklet, “The Attributes of God” by A.W. Pink. Just call me or email this week and I will see that you get one.