Fred Luter calls Southern Baptists to a renewed mind in chapel service

Communications Staff — April 11, 2013

“The enemy will do all that he can to attack the minds of the sons and daughters of God,” said Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in a chapel service at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, April 11, as he called Southern Baptists to cultivate a renewed mind.

“None of us are exempt from the tactics of the enemy,” Luter said.

Luter, who is also senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., observed that, despite the fact that God saves sinners so that they might “be light in a dark world and salt in their society,” Christians often do not make a significant impact on their churches, cities or nations. One reason for this, according to Luter, is a lack of renewed minds.

Preaching from Philippians 2:5-8, Luter echoed the exhortation of the apostle Paul to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” A renewed mind helps Christians to think biblically about Christ and the impact his sacrifice should have on the choices of Christians.

Given all that Christ has done for his people, “How can you not want to live and stand for him?” Luter asked.

He also emphasized the cross of Jesus as the purpose for Christ’s incarnation and ministry, as well as the important role it plays in the Christian’s life.

“Everything Jesus did, he did because of the cross. And he did it for you,” Luter said. “But thank God, that’s not how the story ends.”

He closed his message by singing the refrain of the hymn, “At the Cross.”

Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and president-elect of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, introduced Luter.

“He is the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Moore said, “a convention formed out of two contradictory impulses: to share the gospel throughout the world and to protect the antichrist idolatry of slavery and white supremacy. The gospel won.”

Luter also congratulated Moore for his election as president of the ERLC, expressing confidence that Moore would capably and faithfully fill the role. Luter expressed gratitude to be at Southern Seminary.

“I thank God for this seminary and all it’s done for the kingdom of God,” he said.

Luter’s sermon is available here.

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