By Michael McEwen
Derwin Gray is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, SC. Gray graduated from Brigham Young University, played professional football in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers. He and his wife Vicki started One Heart At A Time Ministries, which is an itinerant speaking ministry dedicated to seeing people transformed through the love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ.
Speaking to the chapel attendees at Southeastern, Gray said, “God has a dream, and more specifically, God’s dream was and is to colonize the earth with image-bearers.”
Reading from Ephesians 3:1-4, Gray noted that the mystery Paul speaks about deals with the Gentiles being grafted into the people of God. Gray echoed Paul: “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
Being a part of the eternal purpose of God, spoke Gray, is to be the church. “The church is not a destination, but a people with a destination – all for his glory in his story.”
Recalling his professional career in football, Gray confessed to the attendees that his value came from what he did. His career depended on his body’s health. He said, “My value came from my performance on the field.” Contrary to his understanding of his performance and value in football, he said that, according to the gospel, value does not come from our performance, but His performance on our behalf.
Gray said, “The mystery of Christ is that Jews and Gentiles are heirs together in Christ through his death. We have exalted success over the gospel unification of all peoples.
“Ethnicity is a gospel issue,” added Gray. “The goal is to be faithful in the gospel, not growth. God calls us all to be a part of the mission of preaching the gospel to all ethnicities, not only our own. “
Gray noted that 95% of churches today are segregated, and they also are twenty times more segregated than America’s schools. These statistics are the status quo, of our current environment, he said. He posed the question to the chapel, “’Are you okay with the status quo?’ Or to be more emphatic, ‘Is Jesus okay with the status quo?’”
After presenting the current ecclesial and societal conditions in America, Gray concluded: “We are to have the boldness and confidence of faith in Christ that reflects the New Heavens and the New Earth. There’s not going to be factions in the New Heavens and New Earth, there will be no preferences, but it will be all about our Lord.”
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.