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 29, 2012

The Whole Duty of Man

(Article for publication week of 2-1-2012 AD)

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

For well nigh two years now, we have been writing in the Narrow Way on the Attributes of God. We have shown that God is eternal, unchangeable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign, thrice holy, just, wrathful, gracious, merciful, longsuffering, and jealous. He is Triune. He is pure Spirit, without body, parts or passions. He is perfect and His ways are past finding out. This is the God Who created you and Who will judge you in the final and great day.

Now we shall consider what is our duty to Jehovah. All men (and that includes you dear reader) are duty bound to fear God and keep His commandments. Such a glorious and good God as we have seen revealed in nature and in the scriptures deserves obedience from His rational creatures. “It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100). Dear reader you are the property of Jehovah God by virtue of creation. You owe your existence to Him, and you depend upon Him for your very next heartbeat and your very next breath. You are obligated to obey God perfectly. This is you whole duty.

It is your duty to not only obey God, but it is your duty to fear God. God knows everything you have ever done and thought. He knows every sin you have committed. He has sworn that He will get vengeance on sinners. He has promised that He will pour out His just wrath on evildoers. He has appointed a Day in which He will judge the world. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” we read in the Book of Proverbs.

And all men are obligated to love God. His first Great Command to all His rational creatures is to love Him with all our being (Deuteronomy 6:5). There is no reason why you should not love God. He is absolutely perfect. There is no darkness in Him at all. He has always treated you right, and will treat you right for eternity. Everything He has ever done is right and good. You are duty bound to love such a perfectly good Being as God is.

And all men are obligated to worship God. It is your duty to worship Him because He is your rightful King. He has done all things for His Own eternal glory. He sits on a throne of glory and governs the universe for righteous ends. It is your duty to fall down before this great God and adore Him.

And, it goes without saying (or ought to), that all men are obligated to believe in God. Non but fools would try to deny His existence. The light of nature and the works of creation plainly declare that there is a God. And His word reveals to us all His perfections.

Dear reader, it is you duty to fear, obey, love, worship and believe in God, perfectly, and with your whole being. Now, if you are not doing so, and again I stress, with perfection, you have failed in your duty to God, and stand before Him as a condemned criminal. Now, what do you have to say for yourself?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Jealousy of God

(Article for publication week of 1-25-2012 AD)

“For I the Lord thy God Am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5b-6).

Our text is the reason annexed to the Second Commandment wherein Jehovah requires us to worship Him in the way that He has prescribed. The prohibition against worshipping God through the art and device of men includes a prohibition against worshipping God through any man made form. God commands us to worship Him exclusively in the First Commandment, and only as He directs in the Second Commandment. Our worship of God is regulated by the plain commandments in His Word, clear precedents in the scripture, and by necessary consequences of these. God is perfect in all His ways, and has a right to command the worship of Himself. Thus we are told that He is a “jealous” God.

Jealousy in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is right and proper for a man to be jealous of his wife’s affections and for the purity of his children. It is good and needful that free men be jealous of their liberties. There is nothing improper or sinful of jealousy when exercised in these ways. (Although we have to recognise that our best deeds are tainted by indwelling sin, and we must therefore be zealous that we avoid sin even in our righteous behaviour.)

God’s jealousy is perfectly holy and righteous as He Himself is. God has a right to demand that His intelligent creatures worship Him, and Him only, and only in the way He commands and regulates. Thus the Second Commandment gives a sober warning to all those who ignore God’s holy precepts. God is rightfully jealous of anybody or anything that competes with Him for our worship and affections. This makes idolatry in all its subtle ways to be a despicable and hell-deserving thing.

My dear friends, you had better get in dead earnest about the worship of God. If you are not worshipping God only, and only in the way He has commanded, you are in a dangerous situation. Unless you humble down, and start worshipping the only true God, you are bound for hell. You had better repent of your pride and arrogance, and quit questioning God’s right to tell you what to do.

There is a prominent celebrity from Mississippi who (I have read) said she made up her mind she would not worship a jealous God, and has (again, so I have read) started her own religion, so-called. The best I can tell it is a strange mixture of the truncated Christianity she was raised in, and eastern religion. Whatever, she has renounced Biblical Christianity and started her own cult. Now, I am going to tell you plainly that if you refuse to worship the only true God, Who is jealous, you can go on to hell with her, for that is exactly where she is going along with everybody else that refuses to worship God in His way.

God is a jealous God

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Patience of God

(Article for publication week of 1-18-2012 AD)

“Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:20).

For about one hundred and twenty years from the time He pronounced judgment on the old world, God patiently waited until Noah had built the ark for the salvation of his family. The ungodly world continued on in their rebellion against God while Noah preached righteousness and prepared the ark by faith. God was longsuffering with the world for the sake of Noah and his family. The world was ripe for judgment, but God waited to execute that judgment for Noah’s sake.

God is never in any hurry. He often waits decades and centuries to bring to pass His wise counsels. God does not have to get in any hurry because He is absolutely sovereign and no one is going to disturb His plans. The continued evil imaginations of the antediluvians did not hinder God’s purpose. He had decreed judgment on the old world, and it was certain to happen in God’s way and time. God had also purposed the salvation of Noah and his house, and nothing could hinder that either.

Lost men in their ignorance and blindness greatly misinterpret the patience of God. Since He delays judgment, they wrongly suppose it will not come. I am sure that Noah was made a laughingstock in his day. If they had comedians on television back then (some archaeologists believe the old world was highly advanced) I am sure they had many good laughs out of the “old fool” building and ark, warning of the judgment of God, and preaching righteousness. Since God waited, they thought it would never come. But after about one hundred and twenty years the rain began to fall and then they began to beat on the door of the ark for entrance, but it was too late! God is patient and longsuffering, but He is true to His word.

Even so, now God is longsuffering with the world of the ungodly. He has pronounced a day of final judgment. He has pronounced the end of the world when the elements shall melt with fervent heat. He has pronounced judgment on everything and everybody that is outside of Christ. Just as in the days of Noah men scoff at the threat of eternal judgment and the end of the world. But mark it down neighbors, God will be true to His word. Just because God waits does not mean He will not bring it to pass and execute judgment.

Why does God wait? Well, first of all because he is God and runs His universe as He is pleased. But then there is another scriptural answer to that question. God waits with longsuffering until all His elect are brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. When the last heir of promise is effectually called from darkness to light, then God will be through with the present order and will usher in the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. So you see, the longsuffering of God is salvation.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Longsuffering of God

(Article for publication week of 1-11-2012 AD)

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). This text has long been a favorite of Arminians, free-willers, and other works mongers to try to prove universal salvation. Upon examination we shall see that the text proves nothing of the sort, but rather proves the absolute sovereignty of God’s grace in the salvation of sinners.

First of all we need to see who it is that God is not willing should perish. We know from the rest of scripture that God is willing that the unsaved should perish. God has already sent countless numbers to hell for their sins and rebellion against Himself, and this is according to His holiness and justice and absolute sovereignty. God is of one mind and none can turn Him (Job 23:13). “Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3). God is willing that the unsaved be sent to hell, or they would not be in hell, for nothing happens apart from the sovereign decree and pleasure of God.

However God is not willing that any of His elect should perish, and none will. (The use of the word “perish” in our text has to do with perishing eternally in hell for sin.) None of God’s elect shall perish eternally, for they are saved by sovereign grace alone and kept from final falling by the power of God. The antecedent of the pronoun “us” found in our text is back in the first verse of II Peter where we find that Peter is writing to those who have “obtained like precious faith.” God is not willing that any of us who have been given the grace of faith should perish. Thus we see the true meaning of our text that God is not willing that any of His people should perish, but that they would all be brought to repentance.

God was longsuffering with us when we were in our unregenerate state. We were children of wrath even as others (Ephesians 2:3). God would have been perfectly just had He cut us down while unregenerate and sent us to hell to perish eternally. But God suffers long with us. God suffered us to go on in our sins until He regenerated us and granted us repentance and faith. And God still suffers long with us even after our conversion, continually bringing us to repentance for our continual shortcomings.

Not one that God chose in Christ from before the foundation of the world shall ever perish. It is the sovereign will of an omnipotent God that they shall be saved. Not one for whom Christ died will ever be lost, for He justified them before a holy God and their record is right in heaven. Not one effectually called by the Holy Spirit will ever perish, for He works grace in them and continually graces them with His sanctifying influence, including repentance and faith.

Thank the Lord that he is longsuffering!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Faithfulness of Christ

(Article for publication week of 1-4-2012 AD)

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all His house.” (Hebrews 3:1-2)

One of the great proofs of the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He has all the attributes of God. Here we are told that our Lord has the attribute of faithfulness, as very God of very God. By sovereign grace God communicated faithfulness to Moses, but Christ is superior to Moses in that His faithfulness is inherently His by eternal Deity, whereas Moses was faithful as he was saved and graced by the Lord.

Christ, the Eternal Son of God was, and is faithful to God the Father in all that He has been appointed. As a Boy of twelve years old, the Eternal Son of God declared that He must be about His Father’s business. He declared in John 6:38 that He came down from heaven to do His Father’s will. It was prophesied of our Lord in the fortieth Psalm, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” Our great high Priest prayed in John 17:4, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

Christ was appointed by God the Father by an eternal and unalterable decree that He would be the Surety (Hebrews 7:22) for His people. That is, that He would stand good for all their obligations to God the Judge of all men. As our Surety Christ obeyed the law of God for us, perfectly. Romans 5:19 tells us that it is by the obedience of one that many are made righteous. That One is the Lord Jesus Christ who was faithful in all that He was appointed.

No sinner can ever be saved by his own faithfulness. We have all been unfaithful to our Creator. No amendment of life, or resolution to do better will ever make up for our record of unfaithfulness. The deepest repentance will not atone for our unfaithfulness. We must be saved by the faithfulness of Another.

Our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully obeyed the law of God. He was the only Man who truly loved God with all His being and His neighbour as Himself. He kept the law of God to a jot and a tittle. This faithfulness of Christ, which we call His active obedience, is imputed to the record and person of every one who will believe in Christ (see Romans 4).

Our Lord was also faithful in putting away the sins of the believer. He redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) by being a propitiation for us (Romans 3:25). All the sins of all God’s elect were transferred to Christ Who was a sinbearer, and God the Father punished God the Son, for sins that were not His, but His people’s. This we call the passive obedience of Christ.

God the Father was well pleased with the life and death of His Son and so raised Him again for our justification (Romans 4:25). He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father as an eternal and faithful High Priest for His people.

Salvation is through the faithfulness of Christ, not the faithfulness of any sinner. The most faithful among men, as Moses all have come short in what God requires. But Christ did not come short. He was faithful in all that His Father appointed Him. Those who believe in this faithful Christ are counted faithful because of their identification with the Faithful One. Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Christ!