Mohler: Christian ministry is ‘breathtakingly uncomplicated’: ministers must open their mouths
God calls Christian ministers to open their mouths so that others can “hear his voice, believe and be saved,” president R. Albert Mohler Jr. told the 2014 graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Two hundred fifty-five students received degrees — masters’ and doctorates — during commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, May 16, 2014. A week earlier, May 9, 107 students received degrees — certificates and bachelors’ — from Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Seminary.
In an address from the Acts 10 titled, “‘So Peter Opened His Mouth’ — The Preacher’s Calling Reduced to Five Powerful Words,” Mohler explained that the “Bible presents an astonishingly simple method of preaching.”
Mohler drew from verse 34, where the text records that the apostle Peter “opened his mouth,” suggesting that these words encapsulate “the essential act of preaching reduced to five earth-shaking words. So Peter opened his mouth.” And, Mohler said, the “most clarifying way to understand the preacher’s task is to consider its most quintessential act — the opening of the mouth.”
“So Peter opened his mouth. He obeyed the call. He fulfilled his calling. He did not remain silent or hide, he opened his mouth and declared all that God had commanded him to say,” Mohler said.
God commanded Peter to declare that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ receives the forgiveness of sins, including both Jews and Gentiles, according to Mohler.
“Peter had declared the story of Jesus, who went about doing good and healing, but was put to death by hanging him on a tree,” he said. “God raised him up on the third day, and after appearing to many witnesses he commanded the apostles to preach the gospel to all people, to all nations.”
Mohler concluded by calling the graduates of Southern Seminary to follow Peter’s example.
“The Christian ministry requires courage, and we can see even more courage required in the near future,” he said. “There may well be a higher price exacted for opening our mouths. But God has called us to open our mouths so that others can hear his voice, believe, and be saved — so that his church will be fed and taught, and be matured.
“So, dear preacher, go ye into all the world, and open your mouth.”
Also at graduation, Mohler presented the annual Findley B. and Louvenia Edge Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence to Robert L. Plummer, who is professor of New Testament interpretation at the seminary. He is also the author of several books, including the popular 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible. He is an elder at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville. He and his wife, Chandi, have three daughters: Sarah Beth (11), Chloe (8) and Anabell (“Bella,” 6).
Mohler’s entire address is available in audio and video at the SBTS Resources page, www.sbts.edu/resources. A complete manuscript of the address, “‘So Peter Opened His Mouth’ — The Preacher’s Calling Reduced to Five Powerful Words,” is available at www.albertmohler.com.