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Akin reminds graduates of lessons of the virgin birth

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southeastern College at Wake Forest celebrated fall commencement Dec. 16, awarding degrees to 131 graduates from seven countries and 18 states.

The total included 43 graduates from the college, which grants associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree in intercultural studies, and 88 graduates from the seminary, which grants a wide range of graduate and postgraduate degrees ranging from master of arts to doctor of ministry and doctor of philosophy.

Southeastern President Daniel Akin delivered the charge to the graduates, tailoring his address to the Christmas season and urging the graduates to focus their lives and ministries on the Savior whose birthday the world celebrates this time of year.

Specifically, Akin charged the graduates to remember the God who miraculously invaded space and time through the womb of a virgin and the lessons that miracle still carries for Christians today.

“Few teachings of Scripture have been more wonderfully adored or more fiercely disputed” than the virgin birth, Akin said. He also noted that prior to the 18th century, “the church always affirmed the historical reality of the virgin birth.”

The first lesson to remember from the virgin birth is that God still does the supernatural, but He primarily does so in the lives of servants who exhibit humility and piety, like Mary. God works in those who desire to exalt Him rather than themselves.

“God will bless you if you keep yourself pure before Him,” Akin said. “God always blesses purity.”

Akin also reminded the graduates that the virgin birth tells them that God still speaks to His children, citing Joseph as an example of a man whose plans and life radically changed because he was willing to believe God works miracles.

What the angel told Joseph to do -– marry and care for a woman who was pregnant before her marriage -– was neither logical nor culturally acceptable, but Joseph did it anyway.

“You don’t have to understand [God’s plan],” Akin said. “All you have to do is obey. If you obey, God will bless and use you for His glory.”

The third thing that Scripture teaches, Akin said, is that God still keeps His promises.

The virgin birth of the Savior is a fulfillment of prophecy from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah and the culmination of God’s promise to bless all mankind, Akin said.

“Though humans may fail, God never will,” he said. “Though others may fail you, God keeps His promises.”

The final lesson to remember from the virgin birth is that God blesses those who exalt the name of Jesus.

Akin reminded the graduates that as children of God and future leaders of the church, and particularly Southern Baptist churches and organizations, they are servants of the one who has the name above every name.

“Make sure you take with you -– proudly, humbly and believing -– that wonderful name of Jesus,” Akin said.

    About the Author

  • Jason Hall