Akin charge to incoming students: Fulfill the Mission of King Jesus

Students, faculty, and staff at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) gathered in Binkley Chapel in a spirit of celebration and excitement for the upcoming semester on Aug. 19.

President Danny Akin challenged students to consider Jesus’ Great Commission to his disciples, found in Matthew 28:19-20.  

Akin quoted Hudson Taylor, saying, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered. It is a command to be obeyed.” 

He reminded students that the Great Commission gives assurance of biblical convictions and a clarity on God’s mission in the world. In Matthew 28:19-20, it’s clear that Jesus gives this command with his authority and power as God and has promised all believers that he will go with them wherever he calls them. His presence serves as a comfort to his people as they make disciples of all nations.  

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, never forget King Jesus is already there waiting on you,” said Akin.  

SEBTS seeks to incorporate a love for God, his Church, his truth, and his world into the hearts of every student. As an institution, Akin noted that SEBTS is committed to its love for God and the truth of his Word in six distinct ways. These include the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, the exclusivity of the gospel, the centrality of penal substitution, the beauty of a biblical complementarian theology, the importance of the local church, and the inherent and eternal value of every human made in the image of God.  

“When we love the truth rightly, ultimately we are loving well the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Akin.  

He has called believers to be salt and light in a lost world and has made it clear, specifically in Matthew 28, that each believer is called to make, baptize, and teach disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the world. This is the mission of every believer and it’s the mission of Southeastern to train students for this work. The outflow of that mission will involve a love for the Church and the world. Revelation 5 and 7 depict the day when every nation, tribe, and tongue will worship together in heaven. SEBTS is not only committed to training students with a global vision for the Church but is committed to training students to love and serve the Church as Christ does.  

At the beginning of this semester’s convocation service, several faculty were regconized on stage. Julia Higgins and Karen Swallow Prior, who were elected to the faculty in April, signed the Abstract of Principles and the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Higgins serves as Associate Dean of Graduate Program Administration and Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women. Prior serves as Research Professor of Christianity and Culture. In addition, Jim Shaddix was honored with the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Shaddix serves as the W.A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching and Professor of Preaching.   

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