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 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.

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