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, February 28, 2016

Remember the Sabbath Day

(Article for publication week of 3-3- AD 2016)

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is in thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
The first thing that we learn from the Fourth Commandment is that our time is not our own. God created us for His glory, not for our own glory. Every man belongs to God by creation. Since we are His property He has the authority to command us in every aspect of our lives. The Christian is doubly the property of God because we have been purchased with the blood of Christ, and redeemed from the ruin of Adam's Fall (I Corinthians 6:20). This is a lesson we will do well to learn soon, and the sooner the better. It is a terrible sin to imagine that you can do whatever you want without regard to what God has commanded.  Every day, and every moment of our lives are lived under the gaze of Jehovah God who created us, and now sustains us. "In Him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Our catechism asks us the question, "what is the chief end of man?" Our prescribed answer is "the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." The Fourth Commandment teaches us to consider our purpose in life, and the proper motive for everything that we do. If you do not desire to glorify God, then I am quite certain that you do not now enjoy God. And if you do not now enjoy God, I am sure you will not enjoy Him in eternity. The Fourth Commandment requires us to seriously reflect on the very purpose of our existence. Unconverted people in reality have no real purpose in life. Dear reader if your only purpose in life is to seek temporal pleasure, then you are of all men most miserable. Right now is the beginning of forever, and it behooves us to begin right now glorifying God and enjoying Him with our time.
Note well, the Fourth Commandment not only commands us to rest one day in seven, but it also positively commands us to work six days a week. The command to work six days a week is of equal importance with the command to rest the seventh day. Our work should prepare us for our worship, and our worship should prepare us for our work. God created Man to work (Genesis 2:15), and the Fourth Commandment reminds us of our original creation and the purpose of our existence. We are to give glory to God in our earthly callings by labouring with a sense of duty to our Great God.  So , you see we may break the Fourth Commandment as much by idleness, as by unlawful labour on the Sabbath.
The inspired Psalmist, Moses, prays in Psalm 91:12, "so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." If you will learn to rightly number your days, then honour the Lord with your time, by remembering the sabbath day to keep it holy, and by being faithful in your vocation. You are not your own, and your time is not your own. Submit yourself to God and His precepts in all that you do, every moment of every day. This is the underlying principle of the Fourth Commandment.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Fourth Commandment

(Article for publication week of 2-25- AD 2016)

"Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
This week we begin a new series for the Narrow Way on the Fourth Commandment. I feel compelled to write on this subject, first, because there is much misunderstanding among professed Christians regarding the fourth commandment. This very day a precious brother approached me as to whether the Christian Church is observing the right day as the sabbath. Secondly, I am compelled to write on this subject because it is one of the most neglected duties in our generation, and in our own part of the world, and one of the sins in which the modern church is most culpable. I lay much of the blame on the ministry for not teaching these things as they should. It is my prayer that the Lord will use our upcoming articles to provoke the Lord's people to be more diligent in their remembrance of the fourth commandment, and that the local ministry will be stirred to study this subject and teach it to their people.
The root of the problem regarding the sin of sabbath breaking is the antinomian spirit of the age. Antinomian means "against the law." Again, I lay most of the blame on the professed church, and especially on the ministry. The church in your day and mine has generally set aside the law of God, in contradiction to our Lord's words in Matthew 5:17 when He said, "think not I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." The Apostle Paul taught the same thing in Romans 3:31 when he wrote, "do we then make void the law, through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." But many church members and preachers will protest, "but Romans 6:14 says we are "not under the law, but under grace." They leave out the first half of the verse which says, "sin shall not have dominion over you." You cannot define sin without the law (I John 3:4).The context of Romans 6:14 will prove that what Paul means by saying we are not under the law is that we are not under the condemnation of the law, nor are we under the law for justification. But this text does not teach, nor does any other scripture teach, that the we are released from the law as a rule of life. The modern day church has changed the words of the old hymn to "Free from the law, oh blessed condition, now I can sin with God's permission"! Dear reader, though that may be the secret thought in your heart, and your attitude toward the law of God, it is completely against the word of God. As a warning to all you antinomians I direct you to our Lord's solemn words in Matthew 7:23 that on the Day of Judgment He will say to many, "depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The word "iniquity" is translated from the Greek "anomian," which means "no law" or "lawlessness." Our Lord gave a sober warning to all who break the least of the commandments and teach others so (Matthew 7:19).
Lord willing, in the coming weeks we shall show the perpetuity of the law (including and especially the fourth commandment), the change of the Sabbath to the first day of the week since our Lord's resurrection,  the proper observance of the Sabbath, the scriptural principles of work and rest, and perhaps some other aspects of the fourth commandment. May the Lord bless all my readers.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Without Price - Part 4

(Article for publication week of 2-18- AD 2016)

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).
For the past three weeks we have been declaring the freeness of salvation. Salvation is without price, first because it is of such infinite value that should God require anything from the sinner, no one could ever be saved. Secondly salvation is free because all men are spiritually bankrupt. Should God require one penny (spiritually speaking) from a sinner, again, none could be saved. Salvation is of infinite value, and we have nothing to pay, so God gives it as a free gift to the glory of His grace. Then thirdly, salvation is free because Christ has paid the price in full. Ultimately, this is the main reason that salvation is free, because the infinite price was paid by the Eternal Son of God on Calvary's cross. Salvation is free to the sinner, but it was at great cost to God.
Now, fourthly, and finally, we shall (with the help of the Holy Spirit) show you that salvation is "without price" in the glorious way that it actually becomes ours, that is by faith alone. I refer you to Ephesians 2:8-9 where we read "for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Salvation is received entirely by faith alone, apart from any human effort or merit. "It is of faith, that it might be by grace" we read in Romans 4:16. Saved by faith is practically synonymous with saved by grace.
Now, I will have you to note well that faith is not your contribution to the work of salvation. Indeed we have already shown that you are ten thousand talents in debt without a farthing to pay, and Christ has already paid the price in full. Sadly, faith is generally presented as a sinner's contribution to his own salvation. Misguided (and we fear unconverted) preachers have told their hearers that God has done all He can do, and now it is up to the sinner to make the decisive move by an act of his own "free will." Thus, the sinner is erroneously told that his faith is the deciding factor in his salvation. This is patently wrong, and we fear that many will perish in their sins unless they come to a Biblical understanding of saving faith.
Faith cannot be a sinner's contribution to salvation because there is no merit in faith. The blood of Christ is the only payment that God will ever receive as payment for your sins and my sins. The greatest faith of the dearest saints cannot atone for sin. "What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus" we sometimes sing. Sinner, your faith cannot take away your sins! Your repentance cannot atone for sin. Your good works and efforts to reform cannot take away your sins. If your sins were not purged by the precious blood of Christ, you must be forever damned! There is no merit in faith, nor is there any strength in faith. Saving faith is an empty hand whereby a poor, bankrupt, quickened sinner simply receives the infinite gift of salvation. You cannot come to Christ any other way than as a bankrupt sinner. God will allow no boasting in His presence. As Isaac Watts wrote, "no more my God, I boast no more, of all the duties I have done. I quit the hopes I held before, to trust the merits of Thy Son." Or as another expressed it, "just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me; and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come"! Or as dear Joseph Hart said, "Come Ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, joined with power! Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream. All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him"! Poor sinner, do you feel your need of Christ? Then come to Him this instant, trusting not in anything you have done or felt, but trusting in Him and His righteousness alone for your salvation. He has sweetly promised that He will cast none out who come to Him!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Without Price - Part 3

(Article for publication week of 2-11- AD 2016)

"Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).
The Old Testament gospel herald proclaims that salvation is free. We see from the text that the Old Testament saints had the gospel of free grace just as we do, although it is clearer now that Christ has come and now that the New Testament has been written. Free Salvation was proclaimed to God's elect among the Jews under the Old testament just as it is to us today.
We observed in the two previous articles that salvation is free first, because it is such a valuable gift that none of us could ever pay the price, and secondly, because we are all bankrupt, ten thousand talents in debt and not a farthing to pay, What a glorious gospel we have to preach! Salvation is of infinite value, and none of us have a penny to pay, so God freely gives it "without money, and without price."
But we proceed this week to show, thirdly,that salvation is free to sinners because the Lord Jesus Christ has paid the price in full. I direct your attention to Acts 20:28 where we read that God hath purchased the Church with His blood. Redemption is spoken of here in terms of the marketplace. Certain Fullerites and Arminians have scornfully referred to this as a "commercial" view of the atonement, but that is the language of Acts 20:28. Go read it yourself. (You preachers pay special attention to your duty as given there.) The death of Christ paid for all the sins of all His elect forever. There was a debt that we owed to God because of our sins. You will remember that the Model Prayer speaks of sin in terms of indebtedness (see again Matthew 6:12 then compare Luke 7:42). When we had nothing to pay, Christ came and poured out His blood as the price of our redemption.  We have been redeemed, not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:18-19).
Now, I say unto you that God the Father was satisfied with the price that His Son paid for our redemption. Yea, not I, but the Holy Writ says it. Let us read in Isaiah 53:11, "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." God the Father is satisfied because His Son finished the work of redemption that was appointed to Him from all eternity (see John 17:4). All of our efforts and works and attempts at righteous living are nothing but filthy rags before our Holy God. Isaiah 64:6 says all our righteousnesses are but "filthy rags." What do you think the president of Trustmark or Peoples Bank would say if you went and tried to pay off your mortgage with a big pile of dirty rags? Why, he would either laugh you out of the bank, or else call the folks over at Whitfield (that is where the State insane asylum is for all my out of state readers). Why do you think God is any more impressed with your so-called righteousness?
Well, poor awakened sinner, the good news is that you don't have to pay anything for salvation because the Eternal Son of God acting, as our Substitute and Surety assumed all our obligations and has paid the price in full. Yes that old hymn is gospel truth--"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe." Poor sinner, there is nothing for you to do to help pay for your sin debt because Christ has paid it all. I pray the Holy Spirit will help you to believe that and you may rejoice in a finished salvation. Christ has paid the price of priceless salvation, so it is "without money and without price" to all who repent of their sins and come to Him by faith.