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 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.

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