Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Church of Woodstock, Ga., extolled the Word of God during chapel at Southwestern Seminary, Feb. 25.
“You are beyond capacity to change anybody,” Hunt said, “but I’ll tell you what I’ve seen: I’ve seen the Gospel, the Word of God, the revelation of the Bible change people’s lives.”
In his early years as a preacher, he said, the minister’s task was much simpler than it seems to be today: “You had a Bible, and you just felt that one day when you stood before God, that you would be judged based on the fact of your faithfulness with what He deposited with the Gospel.”
Hunt also insisted that the preacher is not responsible to change the hearts of the people in his congregation, but the preacher himself must submit humbly to the Word of God and be personally transformed by it.
“That may sound elementary, but I’m telling you, if you don’t believe (what you preach), and if it hasn’t got hold of you and, I mean, done a work in your heart, on the Lord’s day, you will not stand behind the sacred desk with patience and perseverance and believe that God is going to work in somebody else’s life.”
Opening his Bible to Psalm 19, Hunt pointed out that the first half of the Psalm shows how the “heaven’s declare God’s glory,” while the latter half focuses on the Scriptures, which “tell us what God did so we can share that glory.” God’s actions in the world and His revelation in the Word are consistent, since God created and controls the world through His Word. God’s Word also examines the heart and provides direction and the courage to follow God’s direction.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, flawless, complete. I’ve got a Bible that never needs revision or improvement,” Hunt added. The Word of God also powerfully turns “men and women from dark to light,” converting men and women.
“I have a lot of confidence in my Bible,” Hunt said. “I have a lot of confidence in the Gospel, and I am hooked on it. I am addicted to biblical preaching without apology.”
Hunt’s complete sermon can be listened to, viewed or downloaded from the Southwestern Seminary Web site at www.swbts.edu/chapelarchives.
Benjamin Hawkins is a writer for Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).