Strong view of Christ overcomes despair, Dilbeck says at Southern Seminary chapel
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — A weak view of Christ is the result of many Christians today not thinking about theological issues, said Oklahoma Baptist leader Hance Dilbeck in a chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 17.
“The sad thing about the church today is that we don’t think much. We don’t think much about anything. And unfortunately, we don’t think much about our Christology,” said Dilbeck, president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “Most of our thoughts today about the Christ are surface and shallow and sentimental.”
Dilbeck illustrated this point by describing a real-life interaction of a mother and her daughter in Oklahoma City. After seeing a bronze statue of Jesus, the young girl rightly identified the figure. While she recognized him, her knowledge of who Jesus was came out when she added, “He died on an Easter egg hunt.”
Psalm 110 is about a “forsaken king who trusted in the Lord and was delivered and exalted,” said Dilbeck, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and a trustee of the International Mission Board. “The cross is the glory even of his exaltation. He stands forever as the lamb who was slain.”
Reading from this psalm of David, Dilbeck shared three key points from the first verse: Our Lord is exalted following his humiliation, our Lord is exalted because of his finished work, and our Lord is exalted and given all authority.
This passage is one of the most quoted passages in the New Testament, he said. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all include occasions when Jesus quotes Psalm 110 in key conversations with the religious authorities. Jesus also quotes Psalm 110 when he is before Caiaphas. In Acts, the climax of Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost was Psalm 110:1.
“This is one of the key passages of Scripture that we as followers of Christ, we who give him the name Lord, have to have it on our hearts and minds,” Dilbeck said. “If this text was so important to Jesus and to Peter and the church in the New Testament, it should be important to us, shouldn’t it?”
Dilbeck said that while he has never been faced with morality issues that would disqualify him from ministry, he has often felt despair tempting him to give up and quit. He sought to encourage students and those preparing for ministry to fix their eyes on the exalted Christ.
“The reason that the Bible so constantly challenges us to encourage one another is because discouragement is our chief foe,” he said. “Can I tell you what I’ve learned is the best medicine for discouragement? Fix your eyes on Jesus. Who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is Lord.”
Audio and video of Dilbeck’s message are available online at sbts.edu/resources.