During his presidential address at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) fall commencement ceremony, Danny Akin exhorted graduates, faculty and guests to proclaim the gospel because of who they are in Christ.
Photo by Maria Estes
Graduates line up as the Dec. 9 fall commencement ceremony begins at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Speaking from 2 Corinthians 5:17, which he called a foundational “life verse,” Akin explained that becoming a new creation in Christ means “you are radically altered … once you were lost, now you’re found. Once you were spiritually dead, now you are spiritually alive.”
He went on to explain the difference that being a new creation makes in the lives of Christ followers. “When you come to trust in Christ as your Savior, you have a new passion to inspire you,” Akin said. “You have a new priority to guide you.”
The fall graduates of SEBTS and The College at Southeastern make up the 64th graduating class with 208 total students receiving 28 undergraduate, 131 graduate and 49 advanced degrees.
Advanced degree graduates from SEBTS included Southern Baptist leaders Edgar Aponte, International Mission Board vice president of mobilization, and Malachi O’Brien, second vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Akin reminded listeners of the double calling of 2 Corinthians 5:17. “This particular text is wrapped up in a call both to a ministry of reconciliation and a calling to proclaim a message of reconciliation,” he said. “That’s why you came to prepare. That’s why you go to serve, and that’s why many of you go to very difficult places where as of today the name of Jesus is very faint if there at all.”
As he closed, Akin expressed hope in the future ministries of the graduates. “We’re trusting that God is going to do something far more than we could ever hope or imagine or dare to think because you’re being faithful to what he has made you – new in Christ.”