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JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-Preparing to “Anticipate” messages focused around the doctrines of justification, sanctification, glorification, and consummation—hundreds of church leaders participated in the 26th annual Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference Jan. 24-27 at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.
Mac Brunson, senior pastor of the church, presented Homer Lindsay Jr. Lifetime Ministry Awards, and preached the final sermon on the doctrine of consummation. The conference featured 16 main speakers, including the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Fred Luter; Florida pastors Ken Whitten, C.B. Charles, and Tullian Tchividjian; and Southern Baptist leaders Jerry Vines, J.D. Greear, Johnny Hunt, Al Mohler, and David Allen, among others.
A pre-conference, sponsored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, focused on expository preaching. Premium sessions by ministry and mission leaders featured question and answer sessions. Dozens of seminars, breakout sessions, ministry booths, and resources, were available at the annual conference that offered free childcare, lunch and snacks.
Luter, pastor of Franklin Ave. Baptist Church, and the first African American elected president of the SBC, preached a lively sermon from Phil. 2:5-8, pointing to the importance of the cross in the context of the doctrine of sanctification.
In remembering the cross, remembering Jesus, Luter preached passionately and repetitively, lively stirring participants to applaud.
Challenging pastors to think about and meditate on “the goodness of Jesus” and all He has done, Luter said, “he brought salvation, just for you and for me. He brought redemption, just for you and for me. He brought sanctification, just for you and for me. He brought justification, just for you and for me. And he brought regeneration.”
In remembering Jesus, we are to focus on the fullness of His sacrifice for us, and our relationship with Him, Luter said.
“He loved us, He saved us, He died for us. He redeemed us and one day He’s coming back for us! Yes, even though He was fully God, He was fully man,” Luter cried. “He gave His life for you and for me. How can you not want to stand for Him? How can you not want to live for Him? How can you not want to be victorious for Him?”
In order to dwell on the goodness of Jesus, Luter said believers should remember three things: “A renewed mind should help you think about your Christ;” “a renewed mind should help you think about your choices;” and “a renewed mind should help you think about the cross.”
Asking participants to join him in singing, “At the Cross,” Luter concluded with the challenge: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Let’s have a renewed mind so we can think about Christ, we can think about our churches, and we can think about our cross.”
Whitten, senior pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, also brought a message on the doctrine of sanctification, based on Luke 1, focusing on how the Gospel changes people’s lives.
“Nobody knows that better than a pastor,” Whitten said. “Nobody preaches that better than a pastor. Somebody can preach the Gospel better than you, but nobody can preach a better Gospel than you.
“But what happens when the pastor needs the Gospel?” he asked. “Better yet, what happens when the pastor stops believing the Gospel? None of us as pastors can take our people farther than where we are ourselves.”
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