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. He and his wife, Brenda, and their youngest son, Daniel, live near Mendenhall , Mississippi where he serves as Pastor of Particular Baptist Fellowship. Particular Baptist Fellowship holds to the 2nd London Confession of Faith. The pulpit ministry of Particular Baptist Fellowship can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Conversion of the Dying Thief

(Article for publication week of 10-31- AD 2012)

“And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ “ (Luke 23:43).

A dear minister of old astutely and accurately commented on this text, “the Bible gives us one account of a “death bed” conversion, so that none need despair, but only one that none might presume.” When a man dies who had no visible evidence (to us) of being saved, this account gives us hope that he could have been converted in his final hour. However, this is no basis for unscriptural presumption, nor unreasonable conjecture. You who are now unconverted, flee to Christ today, for indeed today is the day of salvation. Do not vainly imagine that you may have some final opportunity to repent and believe in Christ. But I repeat, we are not without hope even when a man dies in whom we saw no evidence of his being saved. God’s surprising grace may be discovered even at the final hour. Christians have good reason to always be hopeful, but never presumptive.

The account of the conversion of the dying thief proves to us that there are none too sinful for God to save them. The Lord Jesus Christ died for the chief of sinners. Though your sins be as scarlet, they indeed shall be as white as snow. Here was a sinner as sinful as he could be, but he cried for mercy in his last hour and Jesus showed him mercy.

We also see in this account that salvation is indeed all of sovereign grace. It was too late for the dying thief to go to church. It was too late for him to get baptized. It was too late for him to amend his ways, or attempt moral reform. It was too late to “do penance” (so-called). It was too late for this man to do anything to save himself, or help save himself. But it was not too late for Christ to have mercy on his poor soul. This man was completely helpless in the matter of the salvation of his soul. But friend, that is where you and I are. We are just as sinful as the dying thief, and just as powerless to do anything to save ourselves or help Christ save us. But praise the Lord, that is the kind of folks Christ saves- those who know they are vile sinners, and know that they have no merit of their own.

But I want to show you another thing about the dying thief’s conversion. That is, that there is no prescribed prayer for a sinner to repeat, or formula for true faith in Christ, in order to be saved. The dying thief just simply pleaded, “Lord remember me”! You see salvation is not in our praying, but it is in Christ Alone, the true object of saving faith. In fact when we read the various accounts of conversion in the scriptures, we see that no two sinners said or did the same thing when they were converted. One dear sister said not a word to the Saviour but simply lay at precious feet and wept (Luke 7:38). Dear readers, salvation is not in your praying, or weeping, or raising your hand, or signing a card, or shaking the preacher’s hand, but it is Christ Alone. Saving faith is simply looking to him and coming to him by faith, however it may be expressed verbally or nonverbally.

Now get this. The converted thief has been in heaven with Christ now for two thousand years, although he was a Christian but a few hours. What a glorious gospel! What a surprising conversion (every one is)! What a wonderful Saviour! I want you to know that every one who believes in the Saviour of the dying thief will also hear those blessed words, “today shalt thou be with me in Paradise” and shall be with Him forever. Thank the Lord for sovereign grace and the Saviour of Sinners.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our Sins Purged

(Article for publication week of 10-24- AD 2012)

“Who (God the Son) being the brightness of His (God the Father‘s) glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself, purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

What can be done about your sins? This is the test of the worth of any religion, how does it teach us to deal with our sins? If your religion cannot tell you how your sins may be dealt with, it is worthless and vain.

The Bible tells us how a Christian’s sins are dealt with. They have been purged by the saving agency of Christ, and atoned for by His propitious death. Christ has made a full atonement for the believer’s sins, and they are no more charged to his account.

There is nothing else that can ever purge our sins, but the atoning death of Christ. A sinner could spend a million years in hell, and the fires of hell would never purge him from his sins. This is the reason that guilty sinners must spend eternity in hell, because their sins and the guilt incurred thereby cannot be taken away by the punishment of hell. A sinner could cry an ocean of tears of repentance, and that would not purge him from his sins. Indeed, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit are evidences of a gracious state, but sorrow for sin will not take away sin. None of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever purged one sin. Those typical sacrifices only pointed men to the True Lamb of God who would purge His people’s sins. Rites and rituals can never purge our sins. But what none of these things could ever do, Christ accomplished by His death burial and resurrection. Christ is the only One and the only Way, and the only Agency that can ever purge you of your sins. This is the reason you must look to Him Alone for your salvation.

Now notice with me that the text this week says that Christ purged our sins “by Himself.” This was a work that only Christ could perform in the way that God’s Wisdom had ordained our salvation. According to God’s will and purpose it was only the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was both God and Man, Who could take care of our sin problem. Note well that our verse this week plainly declares the Deity of Christ. He was the very brightness of the Father’s Glory, and His express Image. He as God, who created all things, upholds all things by His sovereign power. This unique Person, the Eternal and Coequal Son of God was the only Person that God’s wisdom and purpose designed to be a sin bearer, and as One Who could purge our sins. This was a work that Christ did by Himself. Man’s efforts can contribute nothing to the work that has been accomplished by Christ. Our text says that Christ “purged” our sins (past tense). Nothing can be added to the work of Christ, and praise the Lord nothing can be taken away from it!

This is the way that God justifies a poor guilty, bankrupt sinner. He sent His Son to make a full atonement by His death, and thereby purge our sins. They’re all taken away! The believer’s sins are all taken away! Our text declares that Christ finished this work, for He has now sat down at His Father’s right hand. Christ has left nothing incomplete in this work. There is nothing for a sinner to do, but believe this glorious gospel and rejoice in Christ who has taken away our guilt by purging our sins. That will do to ride the river with.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Uncondemnable

(Article for publication week of 10-17-2012 AD )

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

This is a gloriously strong assertion of the justification of God’s elect. The believer in Christ is not only uncondemned, he is uncondemnable! What an encouragement to the believer in Christ! What a comfort to those under a load of guilt! The child of God cannot be condemned by anyone in the universe, because he is justified by God (verse 33).

Paul issues a bold challenge to every devil in hell. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died. Paul issues this challenge with the confidence that none can be condemned for whom Christ died. By His substitutionary death, Christ fully atoned for all the sins of God’s elect. Not one for whom Christ can ever be condemned, because Divine Justice was satisfied by the dying Saviour. Our sins were charged to Christ as our vicarious substitute, and we are fully absolved from the awful penalty they so richly deserved.

I pray that you would be enabled to believe this glorious truth of the efficacy of the death of Christ. Our text this week, and the larger passage in Romans 8:28-39, boldly asserts that the Lord Jesus Christ died efficaciously- that is His death accomplished all that God intended for it to accomplish. I want you to see that the scriptures teach that Christ did not die in vain, but that He was a glorious success in dying for His people. Not one lamb in Christ’s flock can ever be lost, because Christ died for His sheep and saved them to the uttermost.

“It is Christ that DIED”! We ourselves were under the sentence of death for our sins. But Christ agreed with His Father in an everlasting Covenant of Grace to become a Man and die a torturous death to redeem all the Father gave Him in eternity. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ eternally satisfied the perfectly strict justice of God, and God the Supreme Judge of the universe is satisfied. God is determined to punish sinners, but His glorious wisdom and mercy designed that elect sinners should have Christ as a Substitute. So God punished the Substitute and declared elect sinners “not guilty”!

Now God being strictly just, will not punish sin twice. He is not such an unjust Judge as would hold men in double jeopardy. (By the way, our judicial system being rooted in the Bible upholds this principle of not trying a person twice for a crime of which he is already found innocent.) He will punish the sinner, or the sinner’s Substitute, but He will not punish both. The sentence has been fully executed upon Christ, and so not one charge can be laid to the elect, and no one anywhere can condemn them. The believer in Christ is uncondemnable.

Christ died for all the sins of all His people fully justifying us before God. Christ died for all our sins past, present and future. The believer in Christ will never be punished for his sins because Christ was punished for us. (God’s Fatherly chastisement is another matter to be considered another time, but presently we are considering our judicial and eternal standing with God.)

Dear reader, if you are trusting in Christ Alone for salvation you are uncondemned- yea uncondemnable. God does not condemn you, for all your sins are forever taken away. And if the Judge of all the earth does not condemn you, who can? May the Lord bless His dear people to understand this glorious gospel.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Propitiation

(Article for publication week of 10-10- AD 2012)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).

Fundamental to the doctrine of justification is propitiation. Propitiation means that God’s holy anger toward a believing sinner has been appeased. God’s justice has been satisfied by the death of Christ.

God is rightfully angry with sinners. Sin is an affront to His holy nature. It is nothing less than rebellion against the Ruler of the universe. Sin is treason against the Creator. In His righteous and holy anger, God is determined to punish sinners. Mark it down, God will punish you, poor sinner, unless His anger is turned away. The sharp sword of God’s justice hangs over you and will eternally and infinitely cut you down, unless God be reconciled.

Our text tells us that God’s love for His people moved Him to make a Covenant of Grace, whereby His Eternal Son agreed to be a propitiation for all the elect of God. It is not that we loved God, but rather that He loved us. Indeed, His love was set upon His elect from all eternity. God loved us before He ever created us. Though God loved His people unchangeably and eternally, He would not relax His Holy standard. God MUST punish sin. God is too holy not to punish sin. He is too just not to punish sin. Sin must be dealt with, and God’s holy justice must be satisfied.

So, our text says, the Eternal Father sent His Eternal Son to satisfy the justice of His broken Law. Christ was sent, because He eternally agreed with the Father about the matter of the eternal redemption of His elect. Christ said in John 6:38-39, “I came down from heaven, not to mine Own will, but the will of Him that sent me, and this is the Father’s will that hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day.”

God hath devised means whereby His banished be not expelled. He appointed His Son to be a Substitute for all that He purposed to save. God will either punish the sinner, or He will punish the sinner’s Substitute. The believer has Christ for His substitute! “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ suffered in His soul. This was the beginning of His sufferings, which would end in His death on the cross. God dealt with Christ as a sinner, because He was bearing the sins of His people. Divine justice was satisfied by the propitiation made by Christ as blow after blow of God’s justice was dealt to Him. God poured out His wrath upon His Own dear Son. Christ is an Infinite Person, so in a moment of time, he suffered infinitely for all who would ever look to Him by faith.

Since Christ was made a propitiation, God’s anger is eternally appeased regarding His people. The believer is at peace with God, because His justice has been satisfied by Christ. This is a wonderful Gospel indeed! Our God is reconciled! When you are able by grace to believe that, you will be the happiest person on earth. May the Lord give you faith to believe that today.