“Newness” was the theme of the day during Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Convocation service on January 25.
The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention – Bryant Wright – addressed Southeastern students at the start of the new spring semester on the newness of life found in Christ. Wright, who planted and now pastors Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., preached to the gathered students on John 20, the resurrection of Christ.
“My body is giving out,” Wright said. “God’s word gives us a picture of the resurrected body of Jesus Christ so we can hope for the resurrected body we will have someday.”
He said that just as Christ had both a physical body and a physical death, we too have a physical body and will have a physical death. However, Christ’s resurrection is a picture of what is to come for those who have believed in him, as we, too, will be given a resurrected body.
The first people to see Christ’s resurrected body, though, often believed only with their head, but never trusted Christ with their hearts, Wright said. “Why? Because they had not had a personal encounter with the risen Lord.
“The mission of the church is found here,” he said. “Once a person has an encounter with the living God he is to go and tell others that Christ died for our sins, Christ has risen from the dead and so will we.”
Wright said Christ’s resurrected body is the first fruit of the resurrection, meaning believers will also have a resurrected body, with no ability to get sick or age, and without vestiges of goodbyes.
“The important thing to share, though, is how people can receive a resurrected body like Jesus’ resurrected body,” Wright said. “Share with them the importance of being reborn spiritually so when they die, they too can have a resurrected body.
“Let us remember that we will only have a resurrected body if we have had an encounter with the living Christ,” Wright said. “Christ will be the only one without a perfect resurrected body, as his still bears the scars he took for you and me.”
In addition to hearing from Wright, the Southeastern family also witnessed two Southeastern professors sign both the Abstract of Principles and the Baptist Faith and Message. Greg Welty, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Michael E. Travers, Professor of English, both affirmed these two formative documents of Southeastern.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.