KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Hundreds of new graduates received their diplomas on Dec. 8 during the 74th commencement exercise at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College.
President Jason Allen began the ceremony by recognizing God’s continued faithfulness to His Church in providing yet another group of God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
“Today is a day of joy as we celebrate these graduates and what they represent for the Church,” Allen said. “From start to finish, our desire today is to honor Jesus Christ, celebrate the accomplishment of each graduate, and send them out equipped to serve the Church and the Kingdom.”
Following his opening remarks, Allen delivered a message from John 3:16, reminding graduates and guests of the greatest gift ever given in Jesus Christ.
From this verse, Allen addressed those in the room who may not yet believe in Christ and who may not see the significance of a life dedicated to serving the Church and the Kingdom.
“God’s gift of His Son to us was motivated by His transcendental, eternal love,” he said. “His love is unconditional and unlimited, not bound by time and extending to all who repent of their sin and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Never has a gift been given that rivals that gift of God given in John 3. In fact, all the gifts ever given could not compare to the gift of God’s Son.”
Allen went on to share how God’s gift is motivated by love, a love for His people despite their rebellion against their Maker. He also shared how God’s love is a gift without which no one would be complete or satisfied.
“You may be in a position today where you’re enjoying the best this world has to offer, yet you’re still hungry, unsatisfied, and empty,” he said. “Only Jesus quenches your thirst and satisfies your heart’s deepest desires.
“God’s gift required a sacrifice. He laid down His life for you. This gift goes far beyond what humans can imagine, but it’s a gift that requires a response to believe. We are not merely to believe in anything, but to believe in God’s Son, Jesus Christ for eternal life. Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. This Christmas, the greatest gift you can receive is the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.”
Speaking to graduates, Allen said, “Graduates, you have considered a lot in your studies. You’ve contemplated the Trinity, church history, conjugated verbs, considered ethical dilemmas, learned to preach and much more. Through all you’ve learned, I hope you leave today better knowing, loving and marveling at the love of God to us through Jesus Christ.”
Nearly 250 students received their diplomas, many of whom will begin to serve the Lord as pastors, missionaries and ministry leaders. Enrolled students at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College represent all 50 states and more than 64 countries, many of which were represented in the graduation ceremony.
The school’s continued growth is represented through an increasingly growing total enrollment, which now surpasses 5,000 students in the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs.
In a final word of encouragement to graduates, Allen delivered a charge from Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
To watch the graduation ceremony, visit here.