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, August 26, 2012

The Passive Obedience of Christ

(Article for publication week of 8-29-2012 AD)

“And being found in fashion as a Man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

It is by the obedience of Christ that believers are constituted righteous in the sight of God (Romans 5:19). The obedience of Christ is both active and passive. Christ actively obeyed the law to a jot and a title (Matthew 5:17-18). He always did those things which pleased His Father (John 8:29). This active obedience is imputed to the believer so that God reckons the believer has actively kept His law.

The obedience of Christ is also passive, as spoken of in our text here in Philippians 2:8. Christ was obedient unto death. As our Surety, Christ had obligated Himself to stand good for all our obligations. As rational creatures, we were obligated to obey the law of God and answer to Him for every transgression thereof. By breaking the law of God we were condemned and sentenced to death, the proper punishment for sin. By His passive obedience, Christ stood in our room and stead, as our Substitute, and died for us.

He “became obedient unto death.” The sword of God’s vengeance was raised to strike the terrible blow to Christ’s people. God had pronounced death as the proper punishment for those who broke His law (Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). It was for the sins of His people that Christ died (I Corinthians 15:3). He had no sin of His Own, but it was for the sins of others that he died. He was just Himself, but He suffered for the unjust (I Peter 3:18). We were under the curse of the law, but Christ was made a curse for us, and so redeemed us from the awful curse (Galatians 3:13).

The death to which we were subject is physical, spiritual and eternal. Since sin is cosmic treason against the Infinite God, the only proper punishment is infinite death. This is the reason Hell is eternal. Eternity is not long enough to satisfy the wrath and hatred of an Infinitely Holy and Just God. After a million years in hell, the unsaved sinner is still under the penalty of the law. Hell will not purge him of his sin. And so Hell has to go on forever.

Since Christ is an Infinite Person, He was able to undergo the wrath of God and suffer eternal punishment in a moment of time. Christ is the God Man. His Manhood is joined to His Deity in such a way as it could be said that we were purchased by the very blood of God (Acts 20:28). All the sins of every elect sinner were put upon Christ and He became a sin Bearer.

Christ passively obeyed God by willingly dying for the sins of His people. No man took His Life, but He laid it down (John 10:18). He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Christ became obedient unto death, even the cruel and ignominious death of the cross. He was numbered with us transgressors. He was treated by God as if he were a sinner Himself, though He was perfectly sinless.

It is by such perfect obedience that all who trust in Christ Alone are made righteous. Believers are justified by the active and passive obedience of Christ. As dear old Isaac Watts expressed it,
“The best obedience of my hands
dares not appear before Thy throne.
But faith can answer Thy demands
by pleading what my Lord has done.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Active Obedience of Christ

(Article for publication week of 8-22-2012 AD)

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

It was by the disobedience of one man, Adam, that the entire human race was declared as sinners by God the Judge of all the earth. God imputed the sin of Adam to all his posterity because Adam was the federal head of the human race. Death reigns over all men, even though they had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression (Romans 5:14). Since all men are under the penalty of death for Adam’s transgression, it must be that they are counted as sinners by imputation. To be sure, all men are natural and practicing sinners, but all stand condemned in Adam, and that justly, for we are all in Adam seminally and representatively. All of us were involved in the Adamic Fall, and are implicated in the First Transgression. The “many” of the first clause of our text is the entire human race. God declared you were a sinner even before you were conceived because you belong to a fallen race, that is the race of Adam.

But glory be to God! He did not leave the whole human race in this fallen condition! According to His sovereign grace, God imputed the obedience of His Son to His elect people (the “many” of the second clause). Many (but not all) are saved by the obedience of Christ.

Your best obedience “dares not appear” (Isaac Watts) before God’s throne. But the obedience of Christ can and does stand before God without flaw. The Lord Jesus Christ obeyed the law of God perfectly and completely. He kept the law of God to a “jot and a tittle”. He kept the First Table of the law perfectly by loving God with all His being. He kept the Second Table of the Law perfectly by truly loving His neighbour as Himself. Christ kept the Ten Commandments in deed, thought and motive. He answered all the just demands of the Law by undergoing its full penalty. This active obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer in Christ (again, the “many” of the second clause). The believer in Christ is made, that is constituted righteous by the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ (the “one” of the second clause of out text this week).

The righteousness spoken of in our text can only be the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, for Christ is the only Man Who has ever truly obeyed God. His obedience is counted as righteousness for the elect sinner.

Now, perhaps some trembling soul is thinking, “am I one of the “many” who are made righteous by the obedience of Christ?” We can only point you to Christ for the answer to that question. Be sure the soul who quits his own righteousness, and trusts in Christ Alone for His whole and sole righteousness is among the “many” for whom Christ obeyed God and worked out a true righteousness.

It is by the obedience of Christ Alone that you are found righteous before God. It is not a matter of your imperfect obedience mixed with the perfect obedience of Christ, but it is by the obedience of ONE! I pray the Lord will bless you to believe that right now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Saints’ Righteousness

(Article for publication week of 8-15-2012 AD)

“In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby He shall be called, ‘THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ ”.  (Jeremiah 23:6). This is a wonderful prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the preceding verse will show. Even as the Lord gave dire prophecies to Israel and Judah through His prophet Jeremiah, He also gave to the true believers among them the promise of the coming of His Son Who would be their true righteousness.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the righteousness that God requires for His people. Our own righteousness will not do, but the righteousness of Christ will give us that which we need for a right standing before God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our true righteousness. Being truly God, and truly Man in One glorious Person, He was able to work out a righteousness that was acceptable to the Thrice Holy Jehovah. Since He was made of a woman, but not of a man, He was not tainted by Adam’s Fall as every other man is. His humanity was joined to His Deity in such a way as He could by His active and passive obedience obey the law of God for His elect people. Being truly God, His righteous life is properly called the righteousness of God, the righteousness that is truly imputed to His people (Romans 3:21-26).

The Lord Jesus Christ is our (when I use the pronoun “our” I am talking to believers) whole righteousness. The righteousness that Christ provides His people is in strict accordance with the law of God. God requires that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and none of us have ever done that. But Christ did love God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength, and His obedience is accounted to the credit of His people. God requires that we love our neighbour as ourselves, and none of us have ever done that. But Christ did truly love His neighbour as Himself. Christ always treated everybody right. Again, the obedience of Christ is counted as the believer’s very own. God declares that His people have perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments because Christ obeyed them, and His obedience is imputed to us.

Furthermore, Christ is our whole righteousness because He underwent the wrath of God and was punished for our sins. He was the Righteous Who bore the sins of the unrighteous (I Peter 2:24, e.g.). The believer in Christ has a righteous record with God because Christ by His death, burial and resurrection took away all our sins, and by a sinless life gave us a sinless record.

But then, Christ is our sole righteousness. Get this now- salvation is not a joint venture between God and sinners. Salvation is of the Lord! God will have none of your righteousness, for it is all filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). You must be justified by the righteousness of Christ Alone. I once heard a pretty well known preacher on the radio claim that justification was by us doing all we can, and then Christ would make up the difference. That is not the gospel. It is another gospel which is not another (Galatians 1:6-7). Sadly, this is what multitudes of professing Christians vainly imagine, that is, that their own works or merits helps save them. Christ is a true believer’s sole righteousness. Note well, our text says,” the LORD our righteousness.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the believer’s whole and sole righteousness. Look to Christ Alone for you true justifying, saving righteousness.

If you will contact me this week I will send you absolutely free a back issue of the Free Grace Broadcaster, edited by my dear friend and fellow servant, Elder Jeff Pollard, pastor of Mt. Zion Bible Church in Pensacola, Florida. This particular issue is on the theme of Imputed Righteousness and has some wonderful messages by Charles Spurgeon and others. I can be reached by phone at 601-927-5070 or by email at brickfloyd@bellsouth.net. May the Lord bless all my dear readers.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Eternally Important Question

(Article for publication week of 8-8-2012 AD)

“I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).

This week we return to the place we started when we began our series on the doctrine of justification. We began this series on March 14 of this year and we have shown that you must have a perfect record with God, that you have no righteousness of your own, and we have begun to show you the gospel of imputed righteousness. I would encourage you to visit our blogspot at matthewsevenfourteen.blogspot.com and go back and read all the articles in this series to see the progression of truth that is involved in the doctrine of justification.

There is no more serious matter for you to contemplate than the salvation of your soul, and your record before the all holy and all righteous Jehovah Who is the Judge of all the earth. The question pondered by Job in our text this week is indeed the most important question we can ask, and we had better be sure we have the Biblical answer to it. As I say in my title this week, it is the eternally important question.

You ought to be concerned about the doctrine of justification for your safety. Dear Reader, don’t you know you have a never dying soul that must live in eternity somewhere? Don’t you know you will face God on the Day of Judgment? For your eternal safety, please hear the word of the Lord! God will do one of two things with you. He will either justify you, and bring you to heaven, or He will condemn you and send you to hell. Unless God declares you “not guilty”, you’re a goner. I come to this computer every week with your eternal soul in view. I am labouring for your eternal good. Some of you do not care for your own soul, but please know that Thomas Ray Floyd does care for your soul. Unless you are justified by God you are in great danger, eternal danger. But if you are justified by God by His free and sovereign grace, you are safe eternally.

Secondly, you ought to be concerned with the doctrine of justification for your comfort. There are some of the Lord’s people who are truly saved, but not having a good understanding of how God justifies them, they are often in great distress of soul. They struggle with assurance because they do not have a clear understanding of how God imputes the righteousness of Christ to their account, and how Christ actually put away all their sins, past, present and future. The gospel is the good news of how an ungodly sinner may stand before God as if he had never sinned. Poor elect sinner who is struggling under the burden of guilt and condemnation, believe in the dear Saviour Whose righteousness is reckoned to you, and it will comfort your soul like nothing else can.

Thirdly, we ought to be concerned with the doctrine of justification for our usefulness to God. Those who rightly understand the article of faith upon which the Church stands or falls, that is, the very heart of the gospel, are the most useful to God and to His dear people. Preachers who think that the gospel is social activism are poor excuses for preachers. In fact they are generally not true preachers, but false prophets. Preachers and Sunday school teachers who just tell their hearers to be nice and polite are not giving the gospel. Religious people who do not know the gospel are a menace to society. Now let us take a short, simple test of whether we know the gospel. Suppose you were called to the bedside of a dying man who has never been to church and has lived a desperately wicked life. Now in his dying hour he becomes concerned for his soul and what can be done about his sins. It is too late for the poor wretch to amend his ways. Could you in such a case take the word of God and show this poor wretch how his sins are actually absolved, and how he can die and face God with a righteous record? If you can’t then you don’t know the gospel yourself, and you are of no use to God, or anybody, as far as anything spiritual and eternal.

If you will keep reading the Narrow Way I will (DV) keep labouring for your eternal good. Keep reading and with the help of the Lord we will learn more of the answer to Job’s great question.