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‘Weigh everything we say’ with God’s Word, dean urges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Worship is the only true response for the Christian toward Jesus Christ — the Lamb of God — Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Danny Akin said Aug. 31.

Akin, dean of Southern’s school of theology, preaching from Revelation 4:1-14, said the Bible teaches that Christ is the Lamb worthy of worship from Genesis through Revelation.

“If, in the next few minutes, the doors in the back of our auditorium were to open and the president of the United States walked down the aisle and stood before us, whether or not you agree with his morals and policies, because of the dignity that office rightly deserves, it would be appropriate for us to stand, and yes, even to applaud,” Akin said.

“But if in the next few minutes the incarnate Christ were suddenly standing before us, to stand would be inadequate, and to applaud would be almost arrogant. The only right response in light of who he is and what he’s done would be to do as they did [in Rev. 4:14]: They fell down and worshiped him forever and ever. Truly, the lamb is worthy.”

Akin used passages in Genesis 22, Exodus 12, Isaiah 53 and John 1 to demonstrate the consistency of the theme of the Lamb of God — that God will provide the Lamb, that the Lamb must be without blemish, that the Lamb will be slaughtered and that through his sacrifice he will take away the sin of the world.

“I do believe that when we get to heaven, we will have the privilege of seeing our Lord and likewise see the scars that do remain from his sacrifice,” Akin said. “I do believe that for all eternity, we will be reminded again and again and again of his great love and his great sacrifice he paid for each and every one of us that calls him Lord.”

Akin observed that people often become confused when attempting to interpret the book of Revelation. In the fourth chapter, the author speaks of seven horns, seven eyes and seven spirits in regard to Christ, the Lamb who is worthy to open the seven seals.

Akin said Revelation is written using apocalyptic language and much symbolism which needs to be carefully interpreted. The symbolism stands for real truths which need to be gleaned from the passages, he said.

“Horns in the Bible often stand for strength or power,” Akin said. “The number seven stands for that which is perfect or complete, so you put them together and you see that the Lamb is perfect in power. With eyes, we see and that is how we gain knowledge, so we see that he is perfect in knowledge, his omniscience. With the seven spirits, we know that we have one Holy Spirit, but seven is perfect and [this is the] full Spirit of God sent out into all the earth. It is a beautiful picture of the omnipresence of our Lord.”

From Revelation 13:11, Akin detailed “…the beast coming out of the earth who had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon” as being a picture of a counterfeit trinity that will rise at the end of time. The three will seek to counterfeit both the Word and works of God.

Akin urged students to measure against the Scriptures everything taught by their professors.

“The dragon had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon,” Akin said. “He looks like a friend, he looks like he’s on God’s side, but John says don’t simply look at him, but listen to him, for if you will be careful to weigh his message, though he looks like a friend, he speaks like the great enemy.

“What should we learn from that? Just because someone stands behind a pulpit does not mean that they are a spokesman for God,” Akin said. “Just because somebody even stands behind a Bible does not mean that they are teaching biblical truth.

“I submit myself to the same test,” Akin said. “You should not take what I or any of your professors say simply because we are professors, simply because we are standing behind a pulpit. You should always check and weigh everything we say against God’s infallible, inerrant Word.”

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  • Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson is director of news and information at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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