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, September 9, 2012

The Great Substitution

(Article for publication week of 9-12-2012 AD)

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).

Our text this week tells us that believers in Christ are justified by a great work of substitution. Christ is the Substitute for His elect people.

Let us begin by being sure we understand the use of the pronouns in our text. “He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son) to be sin for us (believers in Christ), Who (Christ the Son) knew no sin; that we (God’s elect) might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).” God has made His Dear Son to be sin for His elect people (that is all those who are graced by God to believe in Christ). Christ is the believer’s Substitute.

Now I want you to see that there is no way this could be true except for imputation. The Lord Jesus Christ was made sin by imputation. He Himself was personally and actually without sin. He was holy, harmless, and undefiled and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). There was no deceit in His mouth, and He never did any violence (Isaiah 53:9). No man could convince Him of sin (John 8:46). Our Lord was impeccable, and to even suggest that He could have sinned is the blackest of blasphemies. Our text proclaims that Christ was made to be sin, because all the sins of all His elect people were imputed to Him. That is, God the Father by a judicial act, reckoned His Son as a sinner, because He willingly and gladly agreed to be a Surety and Substitute for His people. I repeat for emphasis, there is no way this could be true except by imputation. Works- mongers who deny imputation would have to twist this text to say that Christ was actually a sinner Himself, again a most vile blasphemy. Imputation is required for Christ to be sinless Himself, and yet be made sin for His people. Our text today is absolute proof of the wholesome Protestant doctrine of imputation. Those who deny imputation deny the very gospel, and it is most questionable if they are Christians (God knoweth infallibly, not us). I am trying to stress how important the doctrine of imputation is to our understanding of the gospel. Imputation must be made clear, and cannot be emphasized too strongly.

Our text says that all the sins of all God’s people were transferred to Christ. And so He was made to be sin. God the Father treated His Son as sinners should be treated, that is He poured out His wrath upon Him! He was just Himself, but He suffered for the unjust, because our sins were counted as His! Oh! My soul behold and wonder! God is determined to punish sin, and He will either punish the sinner, or He will punish the sinner’s Substitute.

Since Christ took our sins as His Own, and truly suffered for them, we (that is believers in Christ) are made the righteousness of God. God by a judicial act regards us in right relation to His law because Christ has fully atoned for all our sins. Note well, it is by imputation that we are made the righteousness of God, for none of us are actually and personally righteous in and of ourselves. God justifies the “ungodly” (Romans 4:5). The believer is not actually righteous any more than Christ is actually a sinner. We are made the righteousness of God because God imputed our sins to Christ, and imputed His righteousness to us. That is the greatest transfer that has ever been!

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