This past Sunday, I was ordained as a Baptist minister of the gospel by my sending church, Beacon Baptist Church. I have been called to serve Grace Baptist Church of Southwest Ranches, Florida, under the shepherding of Pastor Jay Hartzell. I am humbled by the seriousness of this call and the urgency of the message with which I have been entrusted. The calling I feel compelled to answer is the proclamation of this message:
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
The Son of God stands in my place! The Creator stands in the room of his creation and takes on all their sin — your sin and mine. God the Father has ordained from eternity past that his only begotten Son would become sin for those who spat in his face and spurned his blessings. To think that Jesus took all my lustful thoughts, all my foul words, all my fits of anger, all my bitter feelings — he took all that as his own and nailed it to his cross, forever removing my sin as far as the East is from the West.
Christ Jesus became the criminal so that we the criminals might be exonerated. He became the murderer, the thief, the liar, the adulterer, the drunkard, the rebel, so that you and I could become the sons and daughters of the King. This is the power of God unto salvation. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. The sum and substance of your entire Bible. This is the summit of the mountainous good news of a God who’s purpose remains delivering sinners from their self-made mess to showcase, in the grandest light, his glory and grace. And, accordingly, this is the only message I’m called to preach.
I have not been ordained to preach “me.” My aim is not to bring any attention to myself. Not my own name. Not my own fame. (2 Cor. 4:6) Rather, my soul is fixed on being the best “ambassador for Christ” I can be. (2 Cor. 5:20) My aim is to constantly and consistently bring sinners to the knowledge of Christ for them. To the knowledge of the sinless One who was condemned for them, so that the guilty could go free. To the knowledge of the Life that died for them so that the dead might live. By God’s grace, I will live my life preaching his mercy and be faithfully wrung out for his glory.