WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Newness was the theme of the day when Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s convocation service.
Wright, who planted and now pastors Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., preached on the newness of life found in Christ.
“My body is giving out,” Wright said in his message Jan. 25 at the start of Southeastern’s spring semester in Wake Forest, N.C. “God’s Word gives us a picture of the resurrected body of Jesus Christ so we can hope for the resurrected body we will have someday.”
Just as Christ had both a physical body and a physical death, each individual has a physical body and will have a physical death, Wright said. However, he noted, Christ’s resurrection is a picture of what is to come for those believe in Him, including the resurrected body they will receive.
The first people to see Christ’s resurrected body, though, often believed only with their head, but never trusted Christ with their hearts, Wright said. “Why? Because they had not had a personal encounter with the risen Lord.
“The mission of the church is found here,” Wright said. “Once a person has an encounter with the living God, he is to go and tell others that Christ died for our sins, Christ has risen from the dead and so will we.”
Wright said Christ’s resurrected body is the first fruit of the resurrection, meaning believers also will have a resurrected body, with no ability to get sick or age, and without vestiges of goodbyes.
“The important thing to share, though, is how people can receive a resurrected body like Jesus’ resurrected body,” Wright said. “Share with them the importance of being reborn spiritually so when they die, they too can have a resurrected body.
“Let us remember that we will only have a resurrected body if we have had an encounter with the living Christ,” Wright said. “Christ will be the only one without a perfect resurrected body, as He still bears the scars He took for you and me.”
Lauren Crane is a writer for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.