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, September 7, 2014

Lord Help My Unbelief

(Article for publication week of 9-11- AD 2014)

"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, 'Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief.' " (Mark 9:24)

Here we have a marvelous account of our Lord casting a foul spirit out of a youngster, for whom the father pled. When the Lord told the anxious father that his son would be healed if he believed, the man cried, "Lord I believe; help Thou mine unbelief"!

We learn from this passage that true faith is often mixed with doubts and fears. None of a Christian's graces are perfected in this life, including faith. True believers are not cock-sure like false professors. True believers struggle with remaining corruptions within themselves, including the awful sin of unbelief. The believer in Christ looks forward to the Great Day of the Resurrection when he will be perfected in glorification in soul and body. Then he will be perfected. As long as we are in this flesh we will struggle with sin, including unbelief as the dear saint in our text this week.

Now, believers have no doubt as to Christ (although the world and the devil will tempt us so to do), but our doubts are concerning ourselves. We often doubt as to the genuineness of our  faith. After all, the Lord often exposed many who claimed to believe as imposters. And we know that at the Final Judgment many who profess to believe in Christ will be cast into hell. Sometimes dear children of God fear that they have deceived themselves and the Church and are not truly saved. Now again, false professors seldom have such doubts and fears. They will tell you quick ,"I know I am saved." So I want to comfort the struggling child of God who is painfully aware of the corruption within himself. If you are trusting in Christ alone for salvation you are truly saved, though your faith be mixed with unbelief. Faith in Christ will save even if it is mixed with doubts and fears.

But note well, a true child of God hates the sin remaining in him, including (maybe I ought to say 'especially') the sin of unbelief. As the man in our lesson this week, we cry out in tears when we detect unbelief mixed with our faith. A child of God is always repenting of his prayers, and praying over his repentance. The children of God have a strange course. Though their faith is mixed with doubts and fears, they keep on trusting in Christ, and doubting themselves.

What should we do in such a case? First of all keep trusting Christ and keep clinging to Him by faith. Never think of giving up your hope though it be small and mixed with unbelief. Cry out to the Lord to increase your faith. He Himself has said though it be small as a mustard seed, it will move mountains, if it be true faith. Secondly, despise the sin of unbelief. Resist it and cry to Christ for help to be rid of it. That is what the man in our lesson did.

Finally, we can rejoice that Christ does not despise us nor reject us when are guilty of unbelief. The man's son was healed though the father's faith was imperfect. And we may learn from this that saving faith mixed with unbelief still joins us to Christ. May the Lord help our unbelief.


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