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 25, 2012

The Righteousness of God

(Article for publication week of 3-28-2012 AD)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’ “ (Romans 1:16-17).

These two verses are the inspired apostle Paul’s introduction to the book of Romans. The great theme introduced here is “the righteousness of God.” The gospel of Jesus Christ reveals to us the righteousness of God that is imputed to every one who believes. This phrase, “the righteousness of God”, is repeated several times in the epistle to the Romans, and is fundamental to our understanding of the gospel of Christ. The gospel is the good news of how a guilty sinner, with no righteousness of his own, has a righteous standing with God.

Righteousness is what God requires of His rational creatures. God requires a perfect righteousness for admission into His holy presence. Only those with “clean hands”, that is a righteous record shall be allowed to abide with Him in His tabernacle (Psalm 24:3-4). God’s requirement is that you must be as righteous as He is! Do I have your attention? Well, I hope so, and if you will keep reading I shall tell you the good news of the justifying righteousness of Christ.

Every one who believes in Christ for his whole and sole righteousness stands justified before God. These are “the just” of our text. The believer is just before God. He has the very “righteousness of God.” God counts the believer as righteous as Himself!” The believer in Christ has no righteousness of His own, but He has something infinitely better- the righteousness of Christ!

The book of Romans is the most theological of all the books in the Bible. This glorious inspired Book unfolds for us this theme of the righteousness of God. Martin Luther said that when he understood what the book of Romans meant by “the righteousness of God”, that is the righteousness that is imputed to the believer’s account, that is the righteousness worked out by Christ, why he said his heart was filled with such joy that it was as if the gates of heaven opened, “and I stepped in.” And so it is to every child of God that believes in Christ for salvation, and understands that God sees him not in his sins, but in Christ who is our whole and sole righteousness.

I am getting excited about this series of articles! Lord willing, we will be opening up all the precious details of this righteousness of God for the next few months.

For your information, I have been preaching through the Book of Romans for about six years now. We have come to chapter 12, verse 13. The whole series of sermons so far, including this week’s text, can be heard at Sermonaudio.com if you are interested.

Now I leave you with the gospel word. All who trust in Christ Alone for their righteous standing before God are just, and shall live by faith.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who is Going to Heaven?

(Article for publication week of 3-21-2012 AD)

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4a). In this Psalm the question is asked, “who is going to heaven?” The answer we are given is, “only those with a perfect record and a pure heart.” God will not allow anyone into heaven tainted by sin. In order to dwell in the presence of God you must be as righteous as God! Now you let that sink in neighbour. Only those with clean hands, and pure hearts will be allowed into God’s heaven.

It will not do you any good to tell God that your hands are not as dirty as your neighbor’s. It will not do you any good to claim that you have tried your best. You must have clean hands, that is a perfect record of righteousness by God’s standards. And you must have a pure heart, that is a holy nature. God requires perfection! That is His standard, and that is the only one that counts.

Now, the fact is that none of us can by our own doings attain to the standard that God requires. We all have a bad record and a bad heart. We have a bad record first of all because we were born into a fallen family, that is the family of Adam. By Adam’s disobedience all of us are constituted as sinners (Romans 5:19). The Adam family (of which we are all members) has a bad record with God. Adam is our federal head, and we all sinned representatively in him. Further, we inherited a fallen nature from Adam, and we begin to act according to that nature as soon as we have life. Unless our record is cleared, and our nature changed, we will never enter the gates of heaven and see God in peace. Friend, it looks bad for us if we have to change our own nature and clear our own record.

Thanks be unto God, He has devised means whereby His banished be not expelled! God Himself has undertaken to save rebellious man! God does two great things in fitting sinners to ascend into His holy hill. He takes care of our bad record by justification, and He takes care of our bad nature by sanctification. By His sovereign grace, God gives believers a good record (clean hands), and a good nature (pure heart). God justifies His elect, and He sanctifies His elect. These two great actions of God are to be distinguished, but never separated. Those who are justified, are further sanctified. Justification is an act of God’s free grace whereby He absolves believers of their sins for Christ’s sake alone. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace whereby He imparts a new nature to the believer. For the next several weeks we will be plumbing the depths of the first of these, that is justification. But I want you to keep in mind that sanctification always follows justification. As we take up justification, we will be focusing on how the record is cleared for believers, and that must not be confused with the impartation of the new nature. That we will take up when we come to sanctification, which I plan, Lord willing to take up after we finish justification.

Now, I don’t want some trembling soul to have to wait for all of these articles that we are planning to see how they may have a good record with God, and a pure heart. There is One Who has clean hands and a pure heart. Christ, the God-Man has a perfect record of having met God’s righteous standard. He Alone truly has a pure heart. His record is imputed to all who believe in Him. He imparts a new nature to all His people. So God, Who is rich in mercy, cleans the hands, and purifies the hearts of all who believe in His Son. But stay with me, because we will have more wonderful details!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Shall Man be Just with God?

(Article for publication week of 3-14-2012 AD)

“I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God” (Job 9:2)? Job was made to ponder the most important question a man could consider- “how can I be just with God?” How may I , a loathsome wretch, stand justified before the Thrice Holy Judge of all the earth? This is a question that every child of grace is made by Divine grace to consider, and to which every sensible sinner desires the answer. Dear reader, have you ever considered how you may be just with God?

Today we begin a fresh series of articles for the Narrow Way in which we will expound the Biblical truth of justification. As my dear friend and Brother, and most able preacher, Elder Jimmy Barber has said, justification is the very ‘heart of the gospel”. Dear old Martin Luther said that justification is the article of faith upon which the Church stands or falls. The truth of how God declares a sinful man right with Himself, and in right relation to His holy law is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without a Biblical understanding of this fundamental doctrine, we have no gospel to preach. Justification is the foundation of every other Biblical doctrine, and without a clear Biblical understanding of it, we will be wrong on every other point.

Justification is a legal or forensic term. To justify a man is to declare that he is “not guilty”. Justification does not change a man internally, or do anything to him concerning his disposition, but finds the man in right relation to the law. In a human court, when a judge pronounces a person “not guilty”, that person is freed from the charges, and no one in the commonwealth may do anything to that person regarding that particular charge (that is in a commonwealth based on Biblical law, as ours was at one time). When God justifies a sinner, He declares that sinner “not guilty” in His Own court of law. When God justifies a sinner no one can ever bring a charge against that sinner (Romans 8:33). It matters not what anyone else says or thinks, or even what the sinner himself may think, because the Judge of all the earth has declared that person in right relation to His law. Again, using a human court as our illustration and example, consider a person standing before the judge waiting to hear the finding of the court after the presentation of all the evidence. When the judge says “not guilty”, he is saying that the jury has examined all the evidence, and the defendant is declared just in the sight of the law. You see , this is exactly what God says when He justifies a believer. He says that all the evidence is in, and He finds no sin in the person’s record.

Dear reader, would you not like to know that God has pronounced you “not guilty”? Would you not like to know that you are fully absolved of all your sins from first to last? Well, I am not going to make you wait for the whole series of articles to get the answer to Job’s question. I am going to tell you today that justification is by God’s grace alone, in Christ Alone, and that it is unto and upon every one who believes in Christ. Go right now and read Romans 3:22, and if the Holy Spirit is pleased to give you understanding, you will be rejoicing the rest of your days and for eternity! How shall man be just with God? By sovereign grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Fear of God

(Article for publication week of 3-7-2012 AD)

“But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28b). The God of the Bible is a God to be feared. When we consider that He is a sin hating and sin punishing God, we had better fear him. We had better fear the One that knows everything we have ever done and thought. When we see just a little bit of the glory of God revealed in His word, we will fear Him if we have a lick of sense.

Jehovah is to be feared because He is able to destroy you, soul and body in hell. The implication of the text is that He is not only able, but He certainly will send sinners to hell. God has the power to destroy you in hell, and it is His holy will to send His enemies to hell.

Dear reader, do you realise you have a never dying soul that will live in eternity somewhere? Do you realise that your body will be raised at the last day for everlasting joy or pain? You are comprised of body and soul. When you die, your soul will immediately be in either heaven or hell. If you are a Christian, you will go to be with Christ as soon as the soul is separated from the body, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). But if you are not a Christian, the moment you die you will lift up your eyes in hell (Luke 16:23). If you die without Christ, you will begin to suffer indescribable torments when the cord is broken and the soul is separated from the body. Your cold, lifeless body will be buried in the earth, but you will immediately be burning in hell. While your friends are standing around your casket vainly imagining you are ‘better off “, you will be weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth in the fire that is never quenched and where the worm dies not. But at the last day when Christ shall raise the just and the unjust, your body will be raised and reunited with your damned soul to stand before the final and general judgment to hear the final sentence, “depart from me ye workers of iniquity into everlasting contempt!” You will be cast body and soul into hell to be punished consciously forever and ever. FOREVER AND EVER! Oh! What a horrible future you face without Christ! Lost sinner, you had better fear God Who is able and willing to send you to hell soul and body!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you have been struck with fear by the truth you have read today, do not despair, but rather turn to Christ the Saviour of sinners. He is able and willing to send the impenitent to hell, but He is also able and willing to save the chief of sinners that will repent and believe in him. There is no sin so small that it does not deserve eternal damnation, but there is no sin so great that it will not be forgiven those who truly repent and believe in Christ for their whole and sole righteousness.

Fear God, for He is a consuming fire.