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, April 22, 2012

None Righteous

(Article for publication week of  4-25-2012 AD)

       “…. There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). We have seen in our previous articles that God requires a perfect righteousness to dwell in His presence. He is too holy and righteous and just to allow anything, or anyone defiled into His heaven. God also is determined to punish sinners. His law is inflexible, and God will not quit being God, so He must of a holy necessity execute his divine Justice.
      Our text this week puts us all in a terrible plight. God requires us to be righteous, but we are unrighteous. There is not one of Adam’s race that is righteous. We are all condemned by God’s law. “There is NONE righteous, no, not one.”
      Our condemnation is threefold. In the first place, we are all condemned by the Fall of Adam. In Romans 5:12 we read, “wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” Then in the 19th verse we read, “by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners.” Then in I Corinthians 15:22 we read, “in Adam all die.” God created Adam and appointed him as the federal head of the whole human race. When Adam sinned, he plunged himself and his whole race (which was in him seminally) into sin and degradation. The whole human race stands condemned and totally depraved as a result of Adam’s sin. And so our text says there is none righteous, for we lost our righteous standing before God when Adam sinned.
      Secondly, we are condemned because we are sinners by nature. The Psalmist mourned in Psalm 51:5, “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” David confesses that he had a sin nature the moment he was conceived. (By the way, this verse is solid proof that life begins at conception since David acknowledges a sinful human nature as soon as he was conceived.) When Adam sinned, he became a sinner by nature, and passed his nature on to all his descendents. You have a sin nature, because you have sinful parents, who had sinful parents all the way back to the human father of us all, Adam.
     Thirdly, we are condemned because we are sinners by practice. We come forth from the womb speaking lies (Psalm 58:3). A child does not have to be taught to do wrong- he inherently knows that, but has to be taught to do right. We are natural born sinners, so we start sinning as soon as we are born.
      This is the sad plight of all mankind, under the just condemnation of a thrice-holy God Who is determined to execute His vengeance upon cosmic criminals. Man is not basically good, he is totally depraved and lost world without end. Dear reader, you have a terrible sin problem that condemns you eternally before God unless some Way be found to justify you before God. The Way is in the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Federal head of a redeemed humanity. There is none righteous among men, but there is One Who is all righteous, the eternal and coequal Son of God Who recovers us from the ruin of Adam. May the Lord grant you faith to believe in Him for justifying righteousness.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heaven, for the Righteous Only

(Article for publication week of 4-18-2012 AD)

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:13). Dear reader, do you ever think much about your soul and where you will spend eternity? Do you realise that you are destined for heaven and immortal glory, or hell and eternal misery? The most important question for you is, “where will I be five minutes after I am dead?”

Our text this week declares that only righteous people will be permitted to dwell in the new heavens and the new earth. Only those who have the righteousness that God requires will be allowed to live with Him in eternal glory. I cannot stress too strongly that God’s standard is absolute perfection. God will not let you into His heaven unless He finds you perfectly righteous.

God will not accept you into His presence because you are not as bad as your neighbour. He will not accept you because you tried your best. He will not accept you because you have a good reputation in your community. God will only accept you into heaven if you are righteous. Revelation 21:27 tells us “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth.” If God were to allow any unrighteous people into heaven, they would defile it. And God will not have it. He is righteous Himself, and He will only allow those as righteous as Himself into heaven.

Most of you vainly imagine that you can go to heaven wedded to your sins. You think God is some kind old grandpa that wouldn’t hurt a flea. You think when it is all said and done God is just going to pat you on the head and forgive you for your sinful rebellion and welcome you into His heaven. You are dead wrong if you think that.

Heaven is for the righteous only. God is too holy to let you into His presence with your sins. He just won’t do it. He is too just to accept unjust persons into His heaven to live with Him forever. God won’t quit being God just to keep you out of hell. God is unchangeably and eternally holy and just. So please get all your imaginary ideas about God out of your head and believe what the Bible says.

You have a court date before the Judge of all the earth Who will treat everybody right. You cannot get out of it or have another date set. You must meet your Maker to be judged. Unless He finds you as perfectly righteous before His holy law, you are a goner- forever.

The precious gospel tells us how poor sinners such as you and me can stand in that awful day. It is by the righteousness of Another. It is by the Righteousness of One as righteous as God, for He is God. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. I will (DV) see you back here at the Narrow Way next week to explain to you more of how a poor sinner can be right with God. Until then, may the Lord bless you all my dear readers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Contending for the Faith

(Article for publication week of 4-11-2012 AD)

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

Last week we gave you a quote from the eleventh chapter (“Of Justification”) of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith showing how our spiritual forefathers contended for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. This chapter is identical to the Westminster Confession of Faith as believed by conservative Presbyterians. This week I have some more historical quotes from the past regarding the doctrine of justification. I give these quotes first of all as working definitions for our series we have started on justification, the very “heart of the gospel” (Elder Jimmy Barber); secondly to show the historic faith of the saints; and thirdly to issue a challenge to the modern churches to examine themselves whether they are truly contending for the faith of the scriptures to which Jude exhorts.

In 1806 the first Baptist churches in Mississippi formed the Mississippi Baptist Association. The fifth of their articles of faith states, “we believe that sinners are only justified in the sight of God, by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; which is unto all, and upon all them that believe.” These articles of faith are still the official confession of many Baptists churches in Mississippi that were organized in the nineteenth century. This article of faith on justification is a brief statement of the Biblical doctrine expressed in the earlier Confession of Faith of the Particular Baptists adopted in 1677 and circulated in 1689. The American Baptists adopted this confession of Faith, first adopted in Great Britain in 1742.

The Particular Baptists in Great Britain adopted their First London Confession of Faith in 1644. Concerning justification, they stated in article 28, “those that have union with Christ, are justified from all their sins by the blood of Christ, which justification is a gracious and full a quittance of a guilty sinner from all sin, by God, through the satisfaction that Christ hath made by His death for all their sins, and this applied (in manifestation of it) through faith.”

My final quote this week will be from the Shorter Catechism, question and answer #33. “What is justification? Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.”

I trust these quotations from historic and sound confessions of the past will be a help to you as we study the vital doctrine of justification. I have not given all the scripture references given in some of our old confessions, (and they are numerous), but will be using many of them in future articles. I exhort you my dear readers to “earnestly contend for the faith (for there is but one) that was once (that is once for all) delivered to the saints.”

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Justification and the Old Paths

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

“Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk ye therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). As we are laying the groundwork for our present series on justification, I wish to set before you some historical statements on justification, both for working definitions, and to show where our Christian forefathers have stood in the past.

I now quote from chapter 11 of the Second London Confession of Faith, the ancient confession of the Baptists, adopted in 1677. This chapter is identical to the Westminster Confession of the Presbyterians.

“Section 1. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.

“Section 2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.

“Section 3. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of Himself in the blood of His cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real and full satisfaction to God’s justice in their behalf; yet, as much as He was given by the Father for them, and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.

“Section 4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fulness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.

“Section 5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure; and in that condition they have not usually the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.

“Section 6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.”

If you will call me this week at 601-927-5070, or email me at brickfloyd@bellsouth.net, I will send you as many copies of the Old Baptist Confession of Faith that you want. Are you walking in the old paths?