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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thy Faith Hath Saved Thee

(Article for publication week of 7-31- AD 2014)
"And he said unto the woman, ' thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace' " (Luke 7:50). (The reader is encouraged to read Luke 7:36-50 for the whole account.)
Here we have a notable example of saving faith. Here was woman who was a great sinner, but she came into saving contact with the Great Saviour! She loved the Saviour much, for she was forgiven much.
The thing I want you to see is that this woman who received forgiveness of sins did not utter a word. She didn't repeat a prayer. She simply stooped and washed the Saviour's feet and wiped them with the hairs of her head. She apparently felt her guilt so much that she would not even face the Dear Saviour, but stood behind him weeping. But the Lord declared her sins were forgiven and told her to go in peace.
We see in this lesson that saving faith is always accompanied by a great sense of one's guilt before God. Simon the Pharisee, in whose house this event took place, did not feel himself to be a sinner. And so our Lord exposed him with a parable of a certain creditor who frankly forgave two creditors. One owed a very small debt, the other a very large one. Jesus then asked the Pharisee which of these debtors would love his creditor most. The obvious answer is the one who was forgiven most. So the Pharisee was exposed as one who did not see that he owed God a great debt. If he considered himself a sinner at all, he still deemed himself a pretty good person. However, this woman who anointed the Saviour's head with ointment and stooped to wash his feet with her tears and wipe them with the hairs of her head knew her sins were many. And so it is with every child of grace. Every child of God is brought to the place that he sees himself as the worst of sinners. Dear Reader, do you see yourself as a fifty pence sinner, or a five hundred pence sinner? Mark it well, if you still think yourself to be a pretty good person, you're are not even a candidate for salvation, much less in possession of salvation. But to you who can put yourself in this poor woman's place as a great sinner, there is hope for you in the Great Saviour.
Now let me give a cordial to the broken-hearted sinner who feels himself too sinful for Christ to save and too ignorant to know what to say in prayer to the Saviour. Note again that this dear saint did not say a word. She simply lay at the Saviour's feet weeping and mourning her lost condition. There is no account in the scriptures of any prescribed prayer that sinner must say to receive forgiveness of sins. Nor has the Lord authorised the church to invent one. But you may believe in the dear Saviour today by simply lying at His feet weeping and waiting for that precious announcement from the Lord Himself, "thy sins are forgiven, go in peace." Heed not those false prophets who claim they can grant you forgiveness of sins, but go to the Saviour in faith and wait for Him to pronounce your sins absolved. I pray that some poor weeping sinner may find that precious peace today.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Look and Live

(Article for publication week of 7-17- AD 2014)
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
 According to the Lord Himself, the brazen serpent that Moses put on a pole was a type of Himself. We read the account in Numbers 21 and the reader is invited to go and read. The Israelites sinned against God by murmuring and complaining. (You need to know that complaining is a grievous sin.) God sent fiery serpents among them to punish them, and many of them died. When they began to confess their sin and cry out for deliverance, God commanded Moses to put a brazen serpent on a pole and all who looked up to that serpent were healed from the deadly poison in their body.
Now here is a picture of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Alone. The Lord Jesus Christ said as much. The bitten Israelites are typical of us in our lost condition. We have the deadly venom  of sin in us. It has already wrought death in us, and it is only a matter of time before it will bring us down to eternal death. The brazen serpent is typical of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ says so. You may be wondering , "how can a serpent be typical of the Lovely Son of God?" Well, in this way: Christ was made sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21), and a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). When He was lifted up on the cross it was as a Substitute, and as a sin bearer for His people. Now, Christ says that the Israelites who looked to the brazen serpent and lived are typical of sinners who look to Christ and live.
There is life in a look, and nowhere else! Now you read carefully, and go back and read these two passages the Lord has given you as illustrative of saving faith. As the bitten Israelites were certain to die except they looked to the brazen serpent, so you are condemned to death unless you look to God's only remedy for your condition, His only begotten Son. The bitten Israelites were as good as dead, with poison in their veins, and so you are as good as dead and hell bound. But glory be to God, any Israelite who would look to the serpent was healed of his deadly wounds! So, any sinner feeling the poison of sin in his very soul, the moment he looks to Christ who was made a curse for us, that sinner will be healed and shall have eternal life.
Looking to Christ is a principle act of saving faith, and we see it wonderfully illustrated by the bitten Israelites looking to the brazen serpent. They didn't have to climb the pole, all they did was look to the serpent on the pole. They did not have to see the brazen serpent clearly, all they had to do was look to it. Those furthest from the pole were healed as certainly as those right beside it. Whether they understood how and why they were healed, they were still healed if they would but look. So it is with looking to the Crucified One. He asks you to do no works, just look to Himself. Even if you can't clearly see Christ, you are still saved by looking to Him. Those who are far off by their sins or their station may still look to Christ and be saved. Even if you don't understand how Christ accomplishes all this, just look to Him and live. As the Israelites who looked to the brazen serpent were instantaneously healed, so poor sinner , you will be saved the very moment you look to Christ.
There is life in a look, and nowhere else. I bid you look to Christ and be saved.

Looking Unto Christ

(Article for publication week of 7-10- AD 2014)

"Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith," (Hebrews 12:2a). It would do the reader good to go back and read the preceding chapter and the last two verses of Hebrews chapter 10 to get the full impact of our text today, and see the context. Hebrews chapter 11 tells us of justified men and women under the Old Dispensation who lived by faith, believing to the saving of their souls. And so we are exhorted to live the life of faith with this cloud of witnesses as our example. Thus we are urged to look to Jesus, Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Here we have another principle act of faith, looking unto Jesus.
First of all, we will make it clear that looking unto Jesus is a spiritual act, not a physical act. A man who is naturally blind may look unto Christ and be saved. However, the vast majority of people are blind spiritually and cannot look to Christ (see Romans 11:7; II Corinthians 4:4, e.g.). What you need dear reader is for the Holy Spirit to quicken you into spiritual life, and give you spiritual sight so you can look to Christ and be saved. Looking unto Christ is a spiritual act, for faith is to the soul what the eye is to the body. I pray for many of you by name each day that the Lord will heal your spiritual blindness and that you will look unto Christ and be saved.
Secondly, looking unto Christ means to look unto him Alone. True saving faith looks spiritually away from everything and everybody, including one's self, and looks to Christ Alone for salvation. We are not to look to other saints, like the Great Cloud of witnesses. Other believers may be an example and encouragement to us, but we are not to look to them for any help. Nor, are we to look to ourselves, nor within ourselves. We have no goodness nor merit in ourselves. We cannot contribute anything to our salvation, nor assist the Lord in saving us. We are not to be looking to our feelings or frames, but we are to be looking to Christ Alone. We are not to be looking to the Church and her ordinances. All that is well and good in its proper place, but salvation is in Christ, not in the Church , nor her ordinances, nor in any rites or ceremonies. Saving faith is looking away from everything and looking to the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Saviour of Sinners.
Thirdly, we see from our text today that salvation is not in our faith, but in the Object of saving Faith, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a place we must be clear and careful, for it is a place where multitudes make shipwreck of their souls. Looking unto Christ means that we look to Him Alone and nothing else, including our faith. faith is the proper and exclusive instrument of justification, but it is Christ, the Object of faith that actually and vitally justifies us. There are multitudes of church goers that if you ask them what reason they have to believe they are saved, who will reply, "because I believe." That is all well and good, but Christ is the only reason that any sinner has to believe he is saved.
Fourthly, I want you to see that our text does not say that you have to have a clear or perfect sight of Christ to be saved, it just calls upon us to look to Him. Trembling child of God, be encouraged by our text. Though your spiritual vision may be dim, and you may not have a feeling sense of Christ, keep looking unto Him. All those who are looking to Christ Alone are saved, even if they do not have a full assurance of it. Dear readers, I urge all of you to look to Christ Alone for your whole and sole righteousness.