The only way to endure opposition to the gospel is through God’s Word, Provost Bruce Ashford of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) said in the spring semester convocation at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus.
Provost Bruce Ashford of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) addresses the spring semester convocation at SEBTS.
Ashford examined observations the apostle Paul made in regard to enduring opposition, drawing from 2 Timothy 3:10-16. (Verse 16 is Southeastern’s theme verse, which notes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” [ESV]).
“We should embrace the moment [of opposition] instead of resenting it,” Ashford told SEBTS students, as they will find themselves in a variety of ministry contexts that bring varying forms of opposition.
Opposition to the gospel can come from within the church from those who are not truly followers of Christ, Ashford said of such moments that can be 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.”
Through Christ and the power of scripture, believers can face opposition, Ashford said, closing his Jan. 23 address underscoring God’s empowering of His people. “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.’”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by Lauren Pratt of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.)