Archive for March, 2015
Is it possible that many people have reversed the order of grace and works? Even after hundreds of years of preaching in the United States and beyond, too many people, including people in our churches, seem to emphasize what they do as a part of salvation. Ask them how to get to heaven and some part of the answer will be, “Doing the best I can” or “Doing good to those around me.”
One result of this sad reversal is the tendency some believers have of deemphasizing works altogether. The emphasis on grace and mercy becomes so dominant that the role of works (good deeds, service) is nearly forgotten.
No Contradiction Between Grace and Works
In scripture, there is no contradiction between grace and works as long as one does not trust his or her own good deeds to bring about salvation. After receiving Christ, however, good works are expected as a fruit of the Christian life.
Writing in Bible Studies for Life, Ben Mandrell says, “The inward focus of our sin nature not only harms us, but also our relationships. If I’m focused on myself, and you’re focused on yourself, how can we ever connect on a deeper level?”1
The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Jesus considered good works part of letting our light shine. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Works are not a means of getting grace, but works are a means of showing grace. When we show grace through good works, our relationships are drawn to a deeper level than before.
Three Simple Things
When you think about sticking with service while following Jesus, remember these three simple things. Love leads to serving, serving means engaging others, and the opportunities for serving are never ending.
Paul writes to the Galatian believers, “For you were called to be free, brothers, only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13, 14). Loving each other is the basis for serving each other. If my love for my neighbor fails, so will my willingness to serve him or her.
Be on the Lookout
This means we have to be on the lookout for opportunities to engage others through good works. One day, it may be a person on our street who lost a job and needs groceries. The next day, it may be a homeless person who needs a meal. Yet another day, a senior who no longer drives may need a ride to the pharmacy. Love compels us to look for opportunities to serve. Divine appointments don’t always walk through the door; sometimes they’re on the street.
We should also remember that opportunities to serve others are never ending. When Jesus told His disciples, “You will always have the poor with you,” it wasn’t to indicate there was no need to help them. On the contrary, He was reminding them of the ongoing opportunity and responsibility to help those in need. As long as we live in this fallen world, there will be no lack of opportunities to do good works. May we stick with service so our Father in heaven will be glorified.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church General Editor, Bible Studies for Life President, Southern Baptist Convention
1- Bible Studies for Life, Like Glue, Ben Mandrell
One of my responsibilities as President of the Southern Baptist Convention is to appoint a Committee on Resolutions for our upcoming annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. This very important and strategic committee works diligently between now and when they give their report to our convention on Tuesday afternoon, June 16. In fact, they arrive in Columbus on Wednesday night prior to the convention, ready to work daily until they accomplish their task.
It is my privilege to announce that Dr. Steve Gaines will serve as Chairman of our 2015 Committee on Resolutions. Dr. Gaines serves as Senior Pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee. He is one of our great preachers in the SBC family. Dr. Gaines has an earned PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We have asked Dr. Matthew Hall to serve as our Vice-Chairman of this committee. He holds an earned PhD from the University of Kentucky and serves as the Vice-President for Academic Services at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have complete confidence in both of these men and know they will serve us in the highest manner.
With this introduction, our Committee on Resolutions for the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention will be:
- Dr. Steve Gaines – Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist, Cordova, TN; *Chairman, 2015 Committee on Resolutions
- Dr. Matthew Hall – Vice President for Academic Services, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, Clifton Baptist Church, Louisville, KY; *Vice-Chairman, 2015 Committee on Resolutions
- Dr. Stephen Rummage – Pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist, Brandon, FL
- Rev. Rolland Slade – Pastor, Meridian Southern Baptist, El Cajon, CA
- Jay Shell – Attorney, Batesville, AR, West Baptist Church, Batesville, AR
- Steven Lee – Lead Pastor, Redeemer City Church, Washington, D.C.
- Berta Delgado-Young – Communications Editor, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
- Kathy Litton – Pastor’s Wife and Leader of Ministry to Pastor’s Wives, North American Mission Board – First Baptist North Mobile, Saraland, AL
- Dr. Jason Duesing – Provost, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO – Antioch Bible Baptist Church, Gladstone, MO (in process due to ministry relocation to Kansas City from Fort Worth, TX, where his formal membership is still at the Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX)
- Dr. Eric Geiger – Vice President, Lifeway Resources Division, Nashville, TN and Teaching Pastor, New Vision Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN
We have worked very diligently to put together a well-balanced, gifted committee that will represent our convention in the highest manner.
The Process for Submitting Resolutions
The procedure for submitting resolutions is as follows according to Bylaw 20:
- Proposed resolutions may be submitted as early as April 15 but no later than 15 days prior to the SBC annual meeting, giving the Committee on Resolutions a two-week period in which to consider submissions. This year’s cut-off date is June 1. Resolutions may not be submitted during the annual meeting.
- Proposed resolutions preferably should be submitted by e-mail through the resolutions submission page at SBC.net/resolutions/submit; or they may be mailed to the Committee on Resolutions in care of the SBC Executive Committee, 901 Commerce St., Nashville, TN 37203. Proposed resolutions must be typewritten, titled, dated and include complete contact information for the person and his or her church. The web page will go live on April 15.
- Proposed resolutions must be accompanied by a Credentials for Resolutions Submittal form (downloadable from the resolutions submission web page), or by a letter on church letterhead, either of which must be signed by the pastor or other church officer from a church qualified to send a messenger to the SBC annual meeting certifying that the individual submitting the resolution is a member in good standing.
- No person will be allowed to submit more than three resolutions per year.
- The Committee on Resolutions submits to the Convention only those resolutions the committee recommends for adoption. Such resolutions may be based upon proposals received by the committee or may originate with the committee.
- If a properly submitted resolution is not presented by the Committee on Resolutions to the messengers at the SBC annual meeting, a two-thirds vote is required to bring the proposed resolution to the convention floor for consideration.
Pray for These Leaders and for Our 2015 Convention Experience Together
Please pray for these ten persons who will be serving our convention for this important purpose. Additionally, pray daily for our upcoming meeting in Columbus. Please see the 2015 Highlights so you can pray more specifically.
Registration is now open for our convention meeting. Your church can register its messengers here. All Southern Baptists can attend this meeting; however, only registered messengers have voting privileges. If your church’s slate of messengers is complete, don’t let that keep you from attending. It is our desire to have as many of our Southern Baptist family present as possible.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church President, Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is currently serving as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.7 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide.
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.