Mohler, Scroggins exhort Boyce graduates to faithfully apply their education in ministry

Communications Staff — May 24, 2006

R. Albert Mohler Jr. and James Scroggins both used Paul’s exhortations to Timothy to challenge 83 Boyce College graduates to remain faithful to their calling at the school’s commencement, May 12 at Alumni Memorial Chapel.

Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said a graduation ceremony is an event marking great anticipation and change.

“It is one of those unusual ceremonies that marks a significant transition in life,” he said. “It is a beginning and an end. This marks one of those monumental events in the life of a young person and his or her parents and family and it brings forth a sense of joy and anticipation.”

Scroggins, Boyce College dean, called it an honor to work with young men and women who forsake other opportunities to train for Gospel ministry.

“You came to train, to study the Word of God and to develop the skills and gifts that effective ministry requires,” he said. “You came to construct and hone a distinctively Christian worldview so that you are prepared to engage the ever-changing culture with the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Seventeen women from Southern’s Seminary Wives Institute received certificates for completing the three-year program and eight women received certificates as graduates of the seminary’s Women’s Ministry Institute.

Mohler echoed Paul’s exhortation in 1 Timothy 4, challenging students not to neglect their spiritual gifts, but to pay close attention to themselves and their teaching.

“Paul’s exhortations to Timothy are precious,” Mohler said. “They are often in the form of commands. He is to pay close attention to himself and his teaching. He is to guard that which has been entrusted to him. He is to retain the standard of sound words. He is to entrust unto others that which has been entrusted to him.

“To the graduates I would simply remind you that so much has been poured into you and you have poured so much of your lives into this experience not just so that you can have a degree to hang on the wall, but so that you will be more faithful servants and ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ and of His church.”

Scroggins challenged students to heed Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 2 to suffer hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

“Students your task is not to please anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “You have been called and equipped by Him, and you have a great mission and a great task. Your calling is important. You are the soldiers of Christ in truth arrayed.”

Mohler noted two important dimensions of a Christian graduation that distinguish it from a secular ceremony.

“First, the profound truth of the Lordship of Jesus Christ,” he said. “This is an eschatological reality. With eternity in view we are here to celebrate and commemorate what God is going to do through these graduates for His kingdom that will last forever.

“Second, we are also here because we realize that these graduates are not about themselves. We live in a society that is mostly focused on the importance of self. And yet we are, as Paul said, slaves of Christ. It may be that some of you will be called upon to die for the cause of Christ and there will be glory in that because we have the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the call of Christian service and the reality of the church undergirding all that we do.”

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