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, March 1, 2015

Chosen to be Holy

(Article for publication week of 3-5- AD 2015)

"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:" (Ephesians 1:4).
Our text takes us all the way back to the very fountainhead of our salvation- eternal, free and sovereign election. Before the foundation of the world God the Father chose a people in His Eternal Son to be saved and predestinated them unto eternal glory. Salvation sprang from the Wisdom of God. Salvation is of the Lord! God from all eternity made a covenant with Himself whereby He gave a people to His Son. At the appointed time the Son of God came into the world to make a real atonement for all His sheep. The Holy Spirit comes with all His quickening powers and effectually calls every heir of promise from death in trespasses and sin and translates them into the kingdom of Christ. Believer, here is a truth in which you will eternally rejoice, salvation is all of the Lord! You are saved not because of anything that you did or earned, but because of gracious election.
Now let us see unto what we have been chosen. God has chosen His people to be righteous ("without blame") and sanctified ("holy"). First of all God has chosen His people to be righteous. That is , in His eternal decree, God saw His people in their covenant Head, the Lord Jesus Christ Who is all their righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). God has imputed the righteousness of His Own Eternal Son to the account of His people therefore they can never be condemned, for Christ has died for them and it is God Who justifies (Romans 8:32-34). If I could introduce a new word into our Mother Tongue it would be the word "uncondemnable." That is the glorious state of God's elect, they are not only un-condemned, they are "uncondemnable." God's Holy law cannot condemn them, for Christ has kept the law for us and His obedience is imputed to us as if it were out very own. Further, Christ has suffered the proper penalty for our law-breaking by His vicarious sufferings and He is raised from the dead for our justification. All the devils in hell can never condemn one of God's chosen ones , though they try. God chose us to be without blame and by His sovereign grace we are eternally justified.
But please notice further that God has chosen His people to be holy. Thus we see that justification and sanctification are always found in the same characters. There is no such thing as a person being justified without also being sanctified. Nor can a person ever live a holy life without the foundation of being justified by imputed righteousness. Our text is one of many where justification and sanctification are put together. Justification and sanctification are to be distinguished, but never to be separated. Every one that God has chosen in Christ to be saved has the imputed righteousness of Christ, and the Holy Spirit by His regenerating Power imparts the holy nature of God to them also (II Peter 1:4). Being made a partaker of the divine nature, with the Holy Spirit working in us both to will and to do of God's good pleasure, we are enabled to pursue holiness, and imperfectly but truly be holy as God is holy. Righteousness and holiness are the result of God's eternal election as our text plainly shows. Therefore, to preach election without also preaching holiness is only part of the gospel. Let no one imagine themselves to be among God's elect who is not in pursuit of holiness (Hebrews 12:14) for He has chosen His people to be holy and without blame.

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