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God’s calling is the greatest calling, Akin tells graduates

SEBTS President Danny Akin addresses graduates in December.


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern celebrated 264 graduates during Friday’s (Dec. 9) fall commencement ceremony at Binkley Chapel. President Danny Akin charged attendees to treasure the incarnate King, stewarding their gifts and training to fulfill the Great Commission of King Jesus wherever God sends them.

Mark Liederbach, senior professor of theology, ethics, and Culture; dean of students; and vice president for student services, said the day was “a day of recognition and celebration, but it is also a day of worship and of sending.”

“Behind each of these graduates and degrees is a driving mission,” Liederbach said. “Our mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”

Southeastern trains students from around the world to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission. Representing 16 countries and 28 states, the graduates were sent out not only to engage their hometowns and countries but also to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, tribe, people and language.

“We have pushed these men and women because we know that God’s calling upon their lives is the greatest calling, and that calling is to go and be servants of King Jesus, taking the Gospel to every tribe, people, and nation – whether it be here in America or around the world,” Akin said.

Akin’s commencement address centered on the good news of Christmas: God the Son became incarnate that all who believe in Him might be reconciled to God, enjoy abiding peace and have eternal life in Him. Akin explained the four names given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6, noting the uniqueness, beauty and glory of Christ in His person and work.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“He is the Wonderful Counselor because He is the Wisdom of God,” Akin said. “He is the mighty God because He saves His people. He is the Everlasting Father because He is forever fatherly in His concern and care. He is the Prince of Peace because He reconciles us to God and one another. Through these four names, Isaiah explains to us the beautiful characteristics and character traits of this great King, whose Gospel we take to the nations.”

Akin concluded his commencement address with a Gospel invitation, reminding attendees that the Christ who came is the Christ who died to save sinners. “This great King loves every single one of you and longs to be your personal Savior,” he said.” The Christ of the cradle was always destined to be the Christ of the cross. The manger and the cross should never be separated.”

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