Student preacher exhorts chapel audience to live by the truths of Scripture
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s final chapel service for the spring 2019 semester featured student preacher Jeffrey Chapman, Master of Divinity student and recipient of the Al and Beverly Fasol Preaching Award. Chapman also serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Ponder, Texas.
Chapman opened his time in the chapel service with a reflection on his own life and testimony of how God led him to Southwestern Seminary. He described a Wednesday evening nearly 24 years ago when a group of people from a nearby Baptist church in Arizona came to his home. They shared the Gospel with him and his wife, who both ultimately prayed together to place their faith in Christ. In the years that followed, God led his family to Texas and ultimately to Southwestern Seminary, where Chapman has earned a Master of Theological Studies and is now completing his Master of Divinity with hopes to continue in pursuit of a Ph.D. in preaching.
“If you would have asked me then, ‘Where do you see yourself in 24 years?’” Chapman reflected, “never in my wildest dreams would I have said here on the campus of Southwestern Seminary, much less preaching His Word.”
“But we all have stories like this,” Chapman continued. “We all have stories that have led us here to Southwestern Seminary and demonstrate God’s control and sovereignty in leading us here. This is where He is shaping us. This is where He is molding us and equipping us to be servants of Christ, wherever He sends us.”
Chapman then preached from Genesis 4, examining what he described as the “evolution and the implications” of sin as illustrated in the story of Cain and Abel. In his message, Chapman urged chapel attendees to consider their own offerings to God and how their offerings reflect their attitudes and motivations.
Chapman concluded that there is an evident theme in the passage: “God desires a pure heart,” he said. “We have to probe our hearts; we have to purge our hearts of impurities and examine ourselves and get rid of things that don’t belong. [We have to] reflect on how our lives line up to the truths of Scripture.”
Whereas sin wants to take authority of one’s life, Chapman said, one must probe the heart for what does not honor God and purge that which is not of a desire to surrender to God’s will. However, he continued, one cannot truly purge from the heart these things until they have “first been purified by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
Reconciliation is available, Chapman concluded, to all who will “bow their knee at the foot of the cross” and repent of their sin and therefore be transformed by the Word of God.
“The truths that we see today from this Scripture—they are not meant simply to be learned; they are meant to be lived,” Chapman said. “May God find us faithful.”