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 26, 2015

Ruined in Adam, Recovered in Christ

(Article for publication week of 7-30- 2015 A. D.)

 "For as in Adam, all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22). 

We presently have two series on hold. Earlier this year we had commenced a series on the doctrine of sanctification. We put that on temporary hold in the month of April to commemorate Confederate Heritage Month by writing on the Great Revival in the Confederate Armies. Some of the sensational events of late moved us to write on the Biblical teachings of domestic servitude and of Capital Punishment. We shall resume these series in due time, but again we feel moved to write a short series on the subject of a Christian View of Death. What we shall be writing for the next few weeks will be strictly for Christians. Much of our writing is calculated to call the unconverted to Christ, and warn false professors, and we shall not lose sight of that, but we know that we have in our readership a few humble, true and tried children of God to whom we desire to write words of comfort. God's servants are not only to warn the unruly, but also to comfort the children of God (Isaiah 40:1). In the next few weeks we shall, with the help of the Lord write on the subject of death itself, the state of the soul after death, and the resurrection of the body. By the way, my pastor has granted me permission to preach on this subject at our home church for the next several weeks so we will be briefly interrupting the series we have been preaching at Zion Baptist Church from the Letter to the Romans.

Now let us consider our text which is a summary statement of the gospel which may be comprehended under two general heads- Ruined in Adam and Recovered in Christ (See also Romans 5:19). Our text is found in Paul's great defense of the doctrine of the resurrection in I Corinthians Chapter 15. The reason that believers in Christ have the assurance of the resurrection of the body is because of this saving gospel that declares that Christ has recovered His people from their ruined state in Adam. So let us first of all see that all men were ruined in Adam. We do not need to try to convince true Christians that Adam was a real man. All who are truly saved believe all the Bible in all its parts including the first three chapters of Genesis. Our text declares that Adam was the Head of the human race. All men were in him representatively (see also Romans 5:12). When Adam sinned in the Garden we all sinned in him. As school children used to learn, "in Adam's fall, we sinned all." The human race was constituted as sinners when Adam reached forth his unthankful hand and plunged himself and his posterity into sin and degradation. The whole human race fell in Adam, including the elect of God. The sin of Adam resulted in the eternal ruin of all his natural descendents, which is the whole human race, for Adam is the father of all men naturally as Eve is the mother of all (Genesis 3:20). God had commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and pronounced death as the penalty for breaking His Law. When Adam transgressed he brought death upon himself and his descendents spiritually, naturally and eternally. There is nothing natural about death; it is a curse upon fallen sinners. So all mankind was ruined by Adam's fall, including the elect of God.

But now let us consider the second half of the text which tells us that the elect of God are recovered in Christ. As Adam was the federal head of the whole human race, even so Christ is the Federal Head of His elect people. Every person that would ever be saved by sovereign grace was chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Thus there was an election union between Christ and His people from all eternity. This union is so strong that nothing or nobody in heaven or hell or on earth can ever break it. Christ as our Head and Surety undertook all our obligations to God and His law and thus made satisfaction for our sins by substitutionary and vicarious sufferings. Both His active and passive obedience is imputed to the account of His people so that we have a righteous standing before our Great God. We are in Christ by eternal and sovereign election, but when the set time is come (Psalm 102:13) God sends His Blessed Holy Spirit into the hearts of every blood bought heir of promise and makes them new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17) so that our union with our living Head is vital and experimental. Our Lord Jesus Christ as our Federal Head even now represents us in heaven (Romans 8:34).

Now this recovery in Christ is at least three fold. First, Christ recovers us from spiritual death. By the agency of His Blessed Holy Spirit, and by the merits of His blood, he recovers us from spiritual death. Thus we read in Ephesians 2:1 that he hath quickened us who were dead in trespasses and sin. Secondly, Christ recovers us from the ruin of eternal death. God's holiness and justice requires that rebels doomed to die pay the eternal price of everlasting hell. But Christ suffered the vengeance of hell for us when he bore our sins on the accursed Tree. He satisfied God's justice forever. Not one charge can be laid to those for whom the dear Saviour died. God will punish the sinner, or He will punish the sinner's Substitute. Thank God the Lord Jesus Christ is the Substitute for everyone who believes in Him. But thirdly, the Lord Jesus recovers His people from the curse of natural death. This is the primary lesson of our text this week as its context in the 15th chapter of I Corinthians will show. Believers are doomed to die even as unbelievers. But we have the blessed assurance that when we die we shall immediately be with Christ beholding His glory (II Corinthians 5:8; John 17:24). And we also have the blessed assurance that when He returns He will raise our bodies from the grave. Christ was raised from the dead that He might be the First-fruit of all who die in Him. As God the Father raised up His Son, so shall He raise all His children. We shall be raised up with perfect bodies, free from sin and it effects, and capable of praising Christ for all eternity.
Dear child of God, Christ has removed the sting of death by His saving work. Christ has regained all that we lost in Adam, including natural life itself. Though we believers must die as all men because of our connection to Adam, we die not as unbelievers who have no hope. We know that our souls will go to be with Christ at the very moment of our death, and though our bodies be confined to the tomb ten thousand years, we shall be raised perfectly conformed to the image of our Covenant Head. My soul, meditate the Day and rejoice.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Eulogy for my Father

"And the king said unto his servants, 'Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?' " (II Samuel 3:38).
My Father, Roy Thomas Floyd was the best friend I will ever have and one of the most moral men that I ever knew. He was a "great man" to his family that he loved dearly and served all his days. He was a devoted husband and father and labouredtirelessly for the good of his wife and children. In his younger days, sixteen hour work days and more were normal for him. Daddy worked a fulltime job in the oilfield and farmed as much as some people who farmed fulltime. He worked fulltime until he was 73 when he had a stroke that began to disable him, but even after he was forced by poor health and a weakened body to quit working fulltime, he continued to garden and care for his yard and the church yard and the cemetery until more strokes finally disabled him. He loved his church family and neighboursand delighted in sharing fresh vegetables from his garden and patches with them.
Daddy left his family a great legacy and spiritual inheritance. He experienced a saving change and was granted faith to trust in Christ for salvation and publicly professed his faith before men.
He was baptised in Strong River and became a member of New Home Baptist Church in 1960 or '61. The church records will give the exact date. The pastor at that time, Brother Otis Swearingen had broken his leg and could not baptise at that time, so the Church agreed to let Uncle Quentin Floyd administer the ordinance. Daddy took his Christian duties seriously. He despised antinomianism and believed that saved people would live like saved people. He had no confidence in the flesh, and never professed to be anything more than a poor sinner trusting for salvation in the active and passive obedience of Christ freely imputed to all who believe in Him. Daddy believed that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is infallible and authoritative. He trusted in the once Crucified but now Risen Lord for his salvation, and his faith was in the imputed righteousness of Christ Alone, but he despised the idea that being saved by grace allowed a man to continue in sin. He believed in justification and sanctification. He took his family to church, Sunday Mornings, Sunday Nights, and Wednesday nights and all the extra meetings. He maintained family worship and was a cheerful giver to the Cause of Christ's kingdom. He was vocal in witnessing and calling his friends and family to repentance and faith. After he was converted, he became concerned about the conflict of his work in the oilfield with his duties to remember the Sabbath day. I remember him talking to Brother Swearingen about it and Brother Swearingen explaining scripturally that he was not breaking the Sabbath since his work was a work of necessity. That satisfied Daddy, but when he was able to get a work schedule that allowed him not to have to work on the Lord's Day, he jumped at the opportunity. Daddy loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was evident by his life.
My Daddy's life after he became a Christian could be illustrated by John Bunyan's character "Valiant for the Truth.That was my Daddy. He believed the Bible was the absolute Truth of God and that its truth is sufficient for all doctrine and practice and that it should be applied to every area of life. He believed that the principles of scripture should be applied not just in the Church, but in the Home and the State. His understanding of Biblical Truth caused him to despise Big Government and he was an old time Paleo -Conservative in his politics. He and my Mother came to see the evil of the government school system long before many others. When the federal government took over the local schools in the 1960's they pulled their children out and sent them to the newly formed academies. My Father rightly understood that education is a duty of the home not the state and that the "public" schools are being used to brainwash the citizenry. He was sometimes called a "right wing extremist" and delighted that it was true. He believed that "extremism in defence of liberty is no vice."
Daddy feared God, but no man. He taught us to fear God and he demanded that his children respect him and our Mother. Daddy taught us to obey all lawful authority, but he despised tyranny and considered it a man's sacred duty to oppose all tyrants whether great or petty. Two of his heroes were Patrick Henry and Captain John Birch, the Baptist missionary to China who was murdered by the Communists and for whom the great patriotic organisation was named. Daddy spent much time, energy and resources resisting tyranny and associated with like-minded citizens in groups like the John Birch Society, the Citizens Council and the League of the South. We children cut our teeth on fundamental preaching and right wing politics.
My Daddy was a man of great common sense and was unusually gifted with discernment. He was able to look at a matter and get right to the root of the thing. He was able to see where things led. He was able to see that a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Therefore, he was completely uncompromising as to truth and principles. In matters indifferent, he would let you have your way, but in principles he would not budge. Whatever he believed, he held to it tenaciously. He did not believe that "might makes right" and he never accepted the unholy practice of "going along to get along."
My Father taught us a strong work ethic, and he considered it a disgrace to willfully live off someone else's labour. He worked hard to try keep himself and his family from being beholden to man. He believed that it was thoroughly Biblical for a man to try to prosper materially, and to have something to pass on to the next generation, yet he held loosely to the things of this world, realising they are only very temporary.  He looked for that city whose builder and maker is God, that city made without hands. Our Lord's prayer for him has been answered (John 17:24)and Daddy is now with Christ beholding the full glory that he saw here dimly by faith. It was Daddy's desire that his children, grandchildren and neighbours and "whosoever will" go with him to the promised land on the other side of Jordan. May the same Holy Spirit that worked in Daddy, work in all of us to draw us savingly to Christ, and sanctify us wholly in body, soul, and spirit that we might see Daddy again, but more importantly that we might see Daddy's Saviour.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Christ Upheld Capital Punishment

(Article for publication week of 7-16- AD 2015)

"For Moses said, 'honour thy father and thy mother;' and 'whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death'; But ye say, 'if a man shall say to his father or mother, 'it is a Corban, that is to say, it is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 'he shall be free.' ' And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or mother; making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do" (Mark 7:10-13).

With the recent mass murders in Charleston, South Carolina, and some other recent happenings, the subject of capital punishment has been in the news and a subject of a number of op-ed columns. As  always I am labouring to teach the word of God and convince our readers to consider "what saith the scriptures" and apply Biblical Truth to every area of life, and to think Biblically. The Law of God commands that capital crimes be punished by execution (Exodus 21:12). Whether or not execution is a deterrent to crime is in one sense beside the point. The point is that God requires the civil magistracy to be ministers of justice, and execution is the just penalty for such crimes as murder (Exodus 21:24-25). God has ordained civil government to keep the peace and administer justice (I Timothy 2:2; Romans 13:4). On the other hand, God has not ordained the civil government to provide for people's needs and every effort to use the power of the sword for such purposes is opposed to the Law of God. A State that desires peace and the blessing of God must submit to the Law of God. Herein is the root of the troubles in our State and the Nation- we have rejected the Law of God. (I say "we" collectively, for a few true men of God continue to cry out to all who will listen to submit to the law of God.) Chaos and disorder prevail because of the rebellion of our people and our ungodly "leaders."  God's law requires that murderers, and other capital criminals be executed.

Now I refer you to our text and ask that you consider it prayerfully and carefully. I will have you to note first of all that the Lord Jesus called the words of Moses the "word of God." Our Lord accepted the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and affirmed that it is the inspired of God. In the Passage, our Lord quotes Exodus 20:12 and Exodus 21:17 saying "Moses said," and then in verse 13 he told the Pharisees that they made the "word of God" of no effect.

Secondly, note well that our Lord corrected rabbinical teaching and called the Jews back to the word of God and gave them the true meaning. Our Lord often did this, notably in Matthew 5:21-48. Our Lord never found fault with the inspired word of God in the Old Testament, nor with the moral, civil or ceremonial laws given in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The fifth commandment says, "honor thy father and thy mother," and one of the positive duties of the fifth commandment is that we care for our parents in their infirmities. The rabbis had falsely interpreted and applied the law of God by allowing a man to pretend his wealth was dedicated to some sacred use, thus relieving him of his obligation to care for his aged or infirm parents. Our Lord plainly told them that they were breaking the law of God by their false teaching and practice.

Thirdly, notice that our Lord taught that the civil code that God gave Israel as a State was in perfect harmony with the Moral law encoded in the Ten Commandments. The moral principle is "honour thy parents." The application is, "whoso curseth his parents, let him die the death," which is part of the civil law. The civil law of Israel was grounded in the moral law. It is the application of the moral law to civil jurisprudence. While modern States are not obligated to the civil laws of Israel in the same way as the now defunct nation of Israel, their general equity should be the basis of all civil codes (that is if a nation desires the blessing of God).

Finally, (and note very well) the Lord Jesus Christ gave His full approbation of the death penalty. I refer to this text because when we advocate capital punishment not a few will claim that it was allowed by the Old Testament, but not the New. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nowhere will you ever read where Christ or His Apostles condemned the death penalty. And in this text Christ gave His full endorsement of the death penalty for a capital crime, in this case cursing your parents. Read the passage again. The Lord quoted Moses (as an inspired oracle of God), upholding God's words, but condemning rabbinical tradition.

It is time for the LORD to work, for they have made His law void.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hate Crimes

(Article for publication week of 7-9- AD 2015)
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another" (Titus 3:4).
Our text tells us the awful condition of humanity. The text describes us who are saved before we were regenerated by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. And our text perfectly describes everyone of you who are unsaved. We are not basically good, we are basically evil, and only the sovereign grace of God that comes to us through the saving work of Christ will ever change us. We are by nature "hateful and hating one another." We have all come short of the glory of God and have failed miserably in loving Him with all our being and in loving our neighbour as ourselves. All of us, including you dear reader, and me have hateful hearts by nature. Thanks be unto God for the washing of regeneration that renews our hearts. And thanks be unto God that in His goodness, God restrains the hatred in the hearts of unconverted people. Were it not for God's restraints of the government of the home and the civil magistrate, and the common operations of the Holy Spirit, the world would be unbearable. By such external influences the hatred in the human heart of all of us is restrained so that the world is at least bearable. But again I emphasize that only God can change a sinner inwardly so that he can quit hating and being hateful.
Now this is the reason that it is unreasonable and actually an evil thing for the civil government to try to enact "hate crime" laws. The fact is that all sin is hateful. People do not murder, fornicate, steal and lie out of love, but out of hate. Note well, I said fornication is hateful. Men seduce other men's wives and daughters because of base lust, not because they love the objects of their lusts. Sexual sins are not acts of love, but acts of hatred, as are murder and theft and lying. Now in the case of murder, the wretched murderer is to be put to death (Exodus 21:12; Mark 7:9-13; etc.). It matters not if he murders a person of his own race, or a person of another race, the murderer is to be put to death. God's law recognises all sin as criminal, and establishes just penalties for such criminal acts. The murderer does not owe his victim life in prison, he owes his life. (Note well, God did not establish prisons in His law; capital crimes were punished by death and property crimes required restitution.) This is the reason that it is an evil act for a civil government to try to enact and enforce "hate crimes" because it insinuates that some crimes are not hateful. It also insinuates that some human lives are more important than others. (By the way, this is the reason that it is also wicked for the State to enact harsher penalties for killing policemen, or for committing murder with certain weapons.) Murder is to be punished by the execution of the murderer, regardless of the victim's race or station, and regardless of the weapon used to kill.
When the State seeks to make "hate" criminal, it sets itself up as God by claiming omniscience. The truth is, only God can rightfully judge a person's heart, for only He knows infallibly the human heart within us. "Hate crime" legislation seeks to govern the heart of man which only God can do. Thus the government seeks to declare itself as omnipotent, another attribute exclusively God's. The civil laws of a commonwealth must be in accord with God's law, or there can be no true justice. Our civil law must always be objective, not subjective, for such subjectivity can be swayed back and forth by popular whim usually excited by demagogues. It is time for the Lord to work, for they have made His law void.