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, August 9, 2015

Death Abolished

(Article for publication week of 8-13- AD 2015)

"But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (II Timothy 1:10). Our text is found in one of the Apostle Paul's lengthy sentences which he wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Verses 8-11 is one sentence, punctuated with commas, colons and semi-colons. As he often does in his epistles, the apostle breaks forth in praise to our Great God for saving sinners such as he knew himself to be, and such as all the Lord's people feel themselves to be. Paul was captivated by the saving purpose of God treasured up in Christ Jesus from all eternity. Though God ordained our salvation before the world began, Christ must be manifest in perfect Human Flesh to work out the salvation purposed in and through Him from everlasting. One glorious phrase is added descriptively to another as Paul rejoices in the afflictions of the gospel. There is a sweet cordial for the saints in our text as the Apostle to the gentiles declares that Christ has abolished death. Christians can view the monster death and smile since it has been abolished by the Lord Jesus Christ.

First of all, Christ has destroyed death judicially. We miss many blessings in God's word when we fail to see the judicial aspect of our salvation. I can hear some of you saying to yourselves, "what in the world is he talking about? What does he mean by 'judicial' ?" Well, by judicial, I mean that which God has done for His elect, in and through Christ, objectively, and completely outside them as persons. The justifying righteousness of Christ is an act of God's free grace whereby an elect sinners stands legally righteous in God's court without any regard to anything in themselves. Dear believer in Christ, you can be assured that you are eternally justified, even when you do not feel justified. Even though we have many foul backslidings and struggles with sin, we are "not guilty" in God's courtroom. So Christ has abolished death judicially. Though an elect sinner is saved by grace, and Christ has abolished death for him, he must still die physically as lost men do. Though we stand righteous in Christ, we are still connected to Adam by his federal headship, and all in Adam must needs die (Romans 5:12; I Corinthians 15:22). But judicially Christ has abolished death so that it has no lasting claims on us.

Secondly, Christ has abolished death as penal judgment. Believers are chastened as God's children, but judgment was meted out on Christ as our Substitute. God does not deal with His children as criminals. God chastens us in Fatherly displeasure to make us partakers of His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). There is a vast difference in punishment of a criminal, and a father's chastening of His children. The Lord Jesus Christ by His vicarious sufferings, and His active and passive obedience has perfected forever them that are sanctified (Hebrews 10:14). When a child of God dies it is not a as penal punishment, but by God's grace is his entrance into that upper and better world with Christ.

Thirdly, Christ has abolished the second death. Revelation 20:6 tells us that the second death has no power on the saved by grace. It has been well said that "he who is born but once must die twice, but he who is born twice will only die once." The second death is the eternal vengeance of God on the unsaved, what the Bible calls the lake of fire. Christ has abolished that second death for His people and the lake of fire has no power upon them.

Fourthly, Christ has abolished death as a king of terrors. The believer in Christ has no reason to fear death. When he dies he goes immediately to be with Christ (II Corinthians 5:8). Though his body may be buried or burnt up in a fire or blown to pieces by a bomb or fed to a lion, God shall raise up our bodies in the morning of the resurrection. Christ has abolished death and will not leave our bodies in the cold, dark tomb. Christ died to save His people body, soul and spirit and He will have everything that He redeemed (Romans 8:23). God's children can look forward to death because our mighty Saviour has abolished it. Death for a believer is truly a door into heaven itself. May the Lord grant you faith to believe these things and rejoice in them.

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