In his Oct. 12 chapel message at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist College (TBC), Adam C. Wright, president of Dallas Baptist University (DBU) challenged the assembly to abide in Christ to fulfill their role in His Kingdom.
In his introduction of Wright, Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Seminary and TBC, acknowledged the relationship between the two Dallas-Fort Worth institutions of Christian higher education.
“Over the years, when our two institutions have been at their best, there's been a steady stream of reciprocity and blessing from ‘University Hill,’ as they call it over in Dallas County, and ‘Seminary Hill’ here in Tarrant County,” Greenway said. “We've sent a lot of folks over their way. A lot of Southwesterners are on the faculty of DBU, and vice versa. I know we have Patriots here who have come to study at Southwestern and who serve with us.”
Wright, who has served as president of DBU since 2016, directed the audience to John 15:5 and Christ’s admonishment for His disciples to abide in Him.
“Jesus says, ‘I'm the vine, and you are the branches,’” Wright said as he explained the passage of Scripture is part of Jesus’ larger discourse to His disciples before His death on the cross. “If we're to most effectively live our lives as Christians submitted to the Lordship of Christ, we must know our role well and act well our part.”
Wright challenged the gathering of students, faculty, and staff to recognize the “unique role” each believer has this side of heaven and to be “obsessed” with fulfilling those roles while abiding in Christ.
As children of God, believers should recognize “that all of the honor that God can bestow upon our lives is right there abiding in Him, trusting in Him, seeking in Him and being led by Him to act well our part,” Wright encouraged.
Wright encouraged the crowd to play the role God has for each individual and not to assume the role of someone else while also cautioning the gathering about the dangers of independence.
“Independence, left unchecked, can lead to perils of self-sufficiency,” Wright said. He explained as he desires to “do life” with his two young daughters, “God longs to do life with His children.”
Wright noted God wants to be more than the believer’s Savior, Deliverer, and Redeemer, but also wants to be Friend.
The pitfall of self-sufficiency, Wright warned, is that “it's not sudden or dramatic, but it tends to happen gradually, over time, sometimes without us even realizing that it's taking place. Before long, we look up, we realize that we've become so self-sufficient, that we fill ourselves up with the lies that the world is throwing at us.”
Wright encouraged the assembly not to rely upon self while serving the Lord, but to remember “If we’re to achieve success in God's eyes, it only comes through the powerful presence of the Lord Almighty, working to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
Passing on words a mentor previously shared with him, Wright told the audience, “Self-sufficiency is spiritual suicide.”
Wright challenged the assembly not to miss being with God in the midst of serving Him.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in the pleasure of serving God or attempting to work hard to please Him, that we miss out on the joy of just being with Him,” Wright observed. “[What] I love about the word that Jesus has given us here is that when we learn to do life with and for Him, we don't only bear fruit, but He says, we bear much fruit.”
Wright concluded his message by encouraging the congregation to examine where they are abiding.
“There’s so much great work to be done for Jesus this side of heaven, and the best place to start is in your heart,” Wright said. “So let me leave with this question, ‘Where are you abiding today?’”
The entire sermon can be viewed here.
Chapel is held every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10 a.m. (CT) in MacGorman Chapel on the campus of Southwestern Seminary. Chapel may be viewed live at swbts.edu/live.