About Me

Mendenhall, Mississippi, United States
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. 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.