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, January 26, 2014

Receiving Christ

(Article for publication week of 1-30-2014 AD)
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:" (John 1:12).
As we continue our series of articles on saving faith, we will now with the help of the Lord show you some of the principle acts of saving faith. We have shown you that there is a kind of faith that is counterfeit and cannot save (see again James 2:19; Acts 8:13-23; Luke 8:13). The faith of devils, temporary believers and false converts will not save because such "faith" is not accompanied with love and worship of Christ. Devils and temporary believers and false converts do not repent of sin, and they have not other spiritual graces. Their faith is alone, without any good works to justify their faith. Such is the "faith" of most professed Christians and church goers in our county from all outward evidence. I pray daily that the Lord will send a great revival in our county and that He would save the lost church members and lost preachers in Simpson County, along with notorious sinners, and the young and tender. I often feel like Jeremiah as I weep over my kinsmen and neighbours that I love so much, and see them sinking down to an eternal and burning hell.
Now, let us go on to consider some of the principle acts of saving faith. And the first to be considered is receiving Christ. In our text this week , in John 1:12, "receiving Christ" is practically synonymous with believing on the name of Christ. This is the reason we call it a principle act of faith. God's elect receive Christ in the same way that we receive natural life. That is we receive it passively, before we are active. Dear reader, you received the gift of natural life from God through the agency of your natural parents apart from your will. So, you see , to receive Christ is not an act of man's natural will, but it is the outworking of God's grace working in an elect sinner.
Secondly, receiving Christ is to receive the Christ of the Bible. There are many who have been deceived (often self deceived) into thinking they are saved because they "believe" in a Christ of their own imagination. True saving faith is to believe in Christ as He is revealed in the inspired word of God which testifies of Him (John 5:39). The scriptures testify that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal and Coequal Son of God. He is God manifest in the flesh. If you have not received the true Christ, you are lost world without end.
Thirdly, to receive Christ is to receive a whole Christ. That is you receive Him as Saviour and Lord. Unless you receive Christ as Lord to rule over you, you are not saved. If you are not now bowing your knee to Christ as His slave, you are not saved. You must receive Christ in all His offices. You need His priestly office to intercede for you. You need His prophetic office to teach you. You need His Kingly office to subdue your rebellion and protect you from the world, the devil and your own fallen nature. You see dear reader, salvation is not just fire insurance to keep out of hell. Salvation is to receive Christ for all that He is, and He is Lord and Saviour.
Finally, saving faith is to receive Christ with all of your being. You must receive Him with your heart, soul, mind and strength. When you receive Christ you surrender everything to Him. In reality, it is already His. But when you receive Christ , you acknowledge it. Saving faith is all of you, receiving all of Christ. Dear reader, have you received Christ?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Devilish Faith

(Article for publication week of 1-23--AD 2014)
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe and tremble" (James 2:19).
As we continue our study of the doctrine of saving faith, we see plainly that there is a faith that will not save. Just believing that there is a God will not save you.  You are terribly deceived if you think that because you are not an atheist you are right with God. You  cannot be saved just by believing in God, or by believing in what some call "a Supreme Being", or  "the Grand Architect of the Universe." There are people who believe all these things that will spend eternity in hell. Note well: "the devils also believe and tremble."
Devils believe in God. In fact the faith of devils is a better faith than many professed Christians. The devils believe and "tremble." They fear God, and rightly so, but many who profess to be Christians have no fear of God before their eyes. They wrongly imagine that God loves everybody so much that He just can't bear to send anybody to hell. The devils understand their day of doom is at hand and they "tremble" (see Matthew 8:29).
Although the devils believe in God, they are not saved, and they cannot be saved. The devils are fallen angels who kept not their first estate (Jude 6). The angels who kept their first estate did so because they were elect angels (I Timothy 5:21). Although the devils believe in God, they can never be saved because they are not elect angels. The devils can never be saved, because Christ did not die for them. Christ died for men, and elect men at  that. The devils can never be saved because the Holy Spirit does not regenerate devils, only elect sinners. The devils are not atheists, but they can never be saved.
Let us be warned by the fact that there is a faith that will not saved. Why will the faith of a devil never save a devil? What is the problem with this devilish faith? First, a devil's faith will not save him because it is only a natural or historical faith. This kind of faith may be exercised by unregenerate men (See Acts 8:13-23). On the other hand, true saving faith is a product of the quickening powers of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2: 8-9; Galatians 5:22). Secondly, a devil's faith will not save him, because it looks not to Christ. Thirdly, the faith of devils cannot save because it is not accompanied by repentance (Acts 20:21). And fourthly, the faith of devils cannot save because it is not accompanied by all other saving graces (James 2:17).
Now dear reader, I ask you, "how is your faith different from that of devils?" Be honest with yourself and with the Lord. Do you believe in God? Well that is good. It is better that being an avowed atheist. But you are not necessarily saved just because you believe in God.
Now, I have shown you the faith of God's elect (last week's Narrow Way), and the faith of devils. In the coming weeks we shall (with the help of the Lord) show you what saving faith is by its principle acts, and some notable examples. I am labouring for your eternal good. May the Lord draw you to Himself and grant you faith to believe to the saving of your soul.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Faith of God's Elect

(Article for  publication week of 1-16- AD 2014)
"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;" (Titus 1:1).
There is a faith which is peculiar to the elect of God. The devils have a sort of faith (James 2:19), but they are not saved, nor can they ever be saved. There are temporary believers who have a sort of faith (Luke 8:13), but they are not saved. There are many who have a natural or historical faith but neither are they saved. We read of such an one as Simon Magus in Acts 8:13 who "believed," but was not saved. Dear reader, please understand that having a natural faith will not save you. Just saying that you believe in God, or even to say that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is not necessarily saving faith.
First of all, the faith of God's elect is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). God has chosen whom He will save from all eternity and He sovereignly and graciously bestows the gift of faith upon all those that He chose for salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). No one has saving faith by nature, and no man may just decide by his "free" will that he will exercise saving faith. A sinner must be given the gift of faith by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Thus the scriptures speak of the faith of God's elect as being the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). So Ephesians 1:19 tells us that elect sinners believe to the saving of their souls by the working of God's mighty power in them.
Secondly, the faith of God's elect is in the saving work of Christ, and in His glorious Person. True saving faith renounces all human merit and trusts in Christ Alone for righteousness. The believer who is saved by grace alone has seen his lost and ruined state and flees to Christ for his whole and sole righteousness. Faith boasts not of itself, but boasts only in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ who worked out a perfect righteousness for His people by His life and by His death and resurrection. Note well, true saving faith, that is the faith of God's elect, is not a sinner's contribution to his salvation. Here is where so many miss salvation. They have been told that Christ has done His part, and now they must do their part by believing in Christ. Poor sinner, you have no part as far as having a righteous standing before God. Your best righteousness is only filthy rags before a Thrice Holy God. I tell you, you must renounce not only your sins, but also your pretended self righteousness if you will ever be saved. I beseech you neighbours, do not trust in anything in yourself for salvation. Don't even trust in your faith. Trust in Christ Alone.
The third thing I will notice about the faith of God's elect (which is the only faith that will connect you with Christ) is that it is always accompanied by all other spiritual graces. Thus James warns us that faith alone is dead (James 2:17). God's elect are justified by faith alone, but saving faith is never alone. Saving faith is always accompanied by repentance, humility, a broken and contrite spirit, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, mourning for sin, and all other graces.
My dear readers, I urge you to examine yourselves if you have the faith of God's elect, and if you are believing to the saving of your souls.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Persevering Faith

(Article for publication week of 1-9- AD 2014)
"But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39). Our text tells us something of what saving faith is, and of what it is not.

The first thing I will have you to notice in our text is that there is no salvation apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is the only channel that God has provided to bring salvation to us (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our text plainly says that, and it is the truth of the whole Bible. Our Lord has promised in Mark 16:16, he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved", and then  He solemnly warned, "he that believeth not shall be damned." He who refuses to believe in Christ for his whole and sole righteousness must be damned by God forever.

Secondly, our text solemnly warns us that all who profess to have believed, or who think they have believed, are not necessarily saved. True salvation is not "believing" at some time in your life, and then going on and living as you please, but saving faith is persevering, that is the sinner saved by grace keeps on believing. Saving faith is not "going forward" , or "walking the aisle", or "raising your hand", or "repeating a prayer." Multitudes have done these things and perhaps more, and remain unsaved. For example, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of people who have "gone forward" in Billy Graham Crusades cannot be found in anybody's church a month later. And we personally know many who made professions of faith at one time, who no longer walk with the Lord. My personal experience is that most churches have multitudes on their church rolls whom they claim as members, but they seldom if ever attend Divine Service. Many are living in open and unrepentant sin, and there are many that no one even knows where they are. Such are not saved; they have as our text says, drawn "back unto perdition."

The scriptures give us notable examples of such temporary believers. In the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-15) our Lord illustrated temporary believers by the "rocky ground hearers." They believed for awhile, but in time of temptation, fell away. We have known multitudes like this in our sixty years of living. They walked the aisle, made a profession of faith, got baptised, joined the church, but they did not last. They have gone back to the world. The advocates of the "carnal Christian" heresy say such are still saved, they are just 'backslidden", but the scriptures will not support such. Pelagians say such lost their salvation, but the truth is they never were saved. Dear reader, if you are truly saved, you can never again be unsaved, but the question for you and me is, "are we really saved?" Now you let that sink in.

Those who are truly saved do not just believe at some time in their life, but they keep on believing. Those who are genuinely saved will persevere in their faith. They keep looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of their faith, They keep coming to Christ. They continue to trust in Him Alone for their whole and sole righteousness. Dear reader I ask you, "are you now believing in Christ?"