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, July 13, 2014

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.

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