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 27, 2014

A Great Saviour for Great Sinners

(Article for publication week of 5-1- AD 2014)
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (I Timothy 1:15).
A dear saint of God upon his dying bed, surrounded by his family and church members was asked if he were prepared to die believing the gospel he had preached, said, " I am a great sinner, but Christ is a Great Savior"! Though he had lived a holy life, his hope in his dying hour was in Christ Alone. Such is the experience of every child of Grace. Though taught of the Spirit to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we know that our best righteosnesses are filthy rags before God, and our lives cannot stand the scrutiny of God's strict justice. The believer feels himself to be the "chief of sinners", but He knows that Christ is a great Saviour.
Dear reader, do you feel yourself to be the "chief of sinners?" Have you been taught by the Word and the Spirit that you are utterly lost and ruined? Well, here is the glorious gospel of the Son of God- Christ Jesus came into the world to save the chief of sinners! The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save, and He is willing to save.
The Lord Jesus Christ is able to save because He is God. Our text says that He "came into the world." It is implicit in the text what is explicit in other scriptures, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God. He is without beginning or end and is coequal with God, because He is God. Our case is such that none less than God Himself could or would save us. We are not small sinners, but very great ones. And so the Eternal Son of God came into the world conceived in a virgin's womb by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit and became a Man Who would live a sinless life and die as a Substitute for all the Father gave Him in the Covenant of Grace. Christ accomplished redemption when He died upon the Cross and He rose again the third Day for our justification and ascended back to His rightful throne in heaven where he now pleads the cause of all for whom He died. Christ is able to save the chief of sinners!
And Christ is willing to save the chief of sinners. Why, He said in John 6:37, "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." He said in Matthew 11:28, "come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Dear reader, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, the very moment you receive Christ as your Lord and Saviour. The only people Christ ever turned away were those who were self righteous and did not want a saviour. We read in the scriptures where Christ saved thieves, murderers, prostitutes, persecutors of the Church, tax collectors, and the vilest of characters. Perhaps you feel your sins are worse than all these out together. Well I will give you the words of scripture, "the blood of Christ cleanseth from ALL sin" (I John 1:7); and "ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men" (Matthew 12:31). Perhaps you fear you have committed the "unpardonable sin." I am not sure the theologians have figured out exactly what it is, but I doubt if you are given over to a reprobate mind if you are truly repenting and seeking Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief, and He saved a wretch as vile as Thomas Ray Floyd, and I am sure that according to the scriptures He is able and willing to save you too. Come to Christ and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour and you will find Him mighty to save.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Chief of Sinners

(Article for publication week of 4-24-AD 2014)

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).The glorious gospel that we preach is worthy of all acceptation. It is the saving message of the Saviour of the chief of sinners.

However, very few are interested in the gospel, because they do not see themselves as sinners in need of a Saviour. This is the great need of the hour, for the Holy Spirit to convict men of their sins that they may be stripped of all their fancied self righteousness and flee to Christ for salvation. The Church and her preachers need to quit trying to get men saved, and start trying to get men lost. The average man today when told of the Saviour of sinners, is just not interested because he thinks all is well. “What? me the chief of sinners? Why I’ll have you to know I’m as good as the next fellow!” This appears to be the attitude of most today, and so they will not seek a Savior they don’t think they need. But if you can ever find a man that is utterly lost, well you can preach the gospel to that man.

The man who was inspired by the Holy Ghost to write our text this week confessed that he was the “chief of sinners.” As far as the Apostle Paul was concerned, there was not a worse sinner on earth than himself. He had never gotten drunk, or run off with another man’s wife or daughter, or robbed a bank, or  broken the Sabbath, or taken the name of the Lord in vain, or bowed down to an idol of wood or stone; in fact, he said once that touching the law, he was “blameless” (Philippians 3:6). Yet, he confessed he was the “chief of sinners.” In another place (Romans 7:24) he said he was a “wretch.” Here was a man who was morally pure in his outward conduct, but he called himself the “chief of sinners” and a “wretch.”  The Apostle Paul had poor self esteem! Why would the man make such statements about himself?

Well, the answer is in the convicting and converting power of the Holy Spirit. The apostle says in Romans 7:9 that he was “alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” What happened to the Apostle is the same thing that happens to every poor sinner that is quickened into spiritual life by the Holy Ghost. The Blessed Spirit teaches a sinner that he has broken the law of God and stands guilty before God, and is condemned and sentenced to death. The heaven born soul feels that there has never been a worse sinner than himself, and he begins to cry out, “Lord, have mercy upon me a poor sinner”! Now this is a painful thing for a poor sinner to have to go through, but it is the way that God leads all his little children. God always gets a man thoroughly lost before He saves him. God wounds before He heals, and He kills before He makes alive.
Dear Reader, do you feel yourself to be the “chief of sinners”? Well, if you do, I have a gospel worthy of your reception; Christ Jesus came into the world to save the chief of sinners! As dear old Joseph Hart wrote, “all the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him.” There is only one qualification for salvation- you must be a sinner! May the Holy Spirit convict some of their sins and draw you to the mercy seat.

Receiving Christ as Saviour

(Article for publication week of 4-17- AD 2014)
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (I Timothy 1:15).
We have for several weeks been writing on the subject of saving faith. We have been illustrating saving faith by its principle acts, the first of which under our consideration is receiving Christ (John 1:12). When a poor sinner receives Christ for salvation he receives Christ for all that He is. You must receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. You must receive Him as prophet, priest and King. You cannot have Christ on the installment plan. Saving faith is all of you receiving all of Christ. Having shown some of what it means to receive Christ as Lord, we now shall consider the reception of Christ as Saviour.
Some would wonder that we should not have taken this up first. It is popularly taught and believed that a sinner may accept Christ as Saviour, and at some later time receive Him as Lord. But this is completely unscriptural . Notice for example how Peter preached in Acts 5:31, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Notice also how Paul and Silas answered the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30-31. When he asked "what must I do to be saved?", they replied, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Poor sinners need a Lord to save them. We need One Who is mighty to save. The Saviour that we preach is not some helpless wimp, He is the mighty God! (Isaiah 9:6).
Now, my first question for you dear reader is, "do you feel your need of a Saviour?" Have you been convicted by the power of the Holy Ghost to understand that you are a vile sinner in need of a Saviour? Have you been brought to the place that you feel to be the chief of sinners? Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking, "well I know I am a sinner; after all I am only human; I have made some mistakes; yes I am a sinner, but I am not as bad as some people; I am actually better than most of you church people." Dear reader that is not the kind of sinner that Christ came into the world to save. Christ came into the world to save the "chief of sinners." Many of you will not accept the gospel of salvation because you really don't see your need of a Saviour.
But I have good news for those of you who know yourselves to be loathsome in the sight of God. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners! Christ came into the world to be the perfect righteousness of all who will receive Him by faith. He lived a perfect life in obedience to the law of God. He died as a substitute to satisfy the justice of God. He was raised from the dead for the justification of those who believe in Him. He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for all who receive Him by faith. Though your sins are black as hell, they shall be as white as snow the very moment you receive Christ as your Saviour. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief. And that is a gospel worthy for you to receive.