God’s Word a foundation for enduring opposition, Ashford tells students

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) celebrated the start of a new semester at its spring convocation on Jan. 23.

SEBTS Provost Bruce Ashford delivered the address, reminding students that the only way to endure opposition to the gospel is through the foundation of God’s Word. Drawing from 2 Timothy 3:10-16, of which verse 16 is Southeastern’s theme verse, Ashford looked at three observations the Apostle Paul made in regards to enduring opposition.

Ashford told students that they will find themselves in a variety of ministry contexts that will bring varying forms of opposition to the gospel.

“We should embrace the moment [of opposition] instead of resenting it,” said Ashford.

He also pointed out that opposition to the gospel can come from within the church from those who are not truly followers of Christ. It is those moments, Ashford said, that are shocking but are to be expected.

“There are going to be people who seem to be inside of the circle of faith and they will try to come against you and defeat you,” he said.

Ashford reminded students that the words they read in Scripture are the words of God himself. Being saturated in Scripture, he said, is vital to enduring pushback in the Christian faith.

“If you want to be sustained, nourish yourself with Christian Scripture,” he said. “Soak yourself in it so that the narrative of the Bible is the master narrative that governs your life.”

Ashford closed out his convocation address showing students how Jesus insects with each of the points he provided during the message.

“Our God, in his goodness, took our name, Evil One or Imposter, on his shoulders on the cross and in exchange, gave us his name, Righteous One.”

It is Christ, said Ashford, who sustains believers through the power of Scripture even in the face of opposition.

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