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Importance of missions task focus of SBTS commissioning service
May 07, 2003
By Jeff Robinson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Southern Baptist Theological Seminary commissioned three families for career foreign missions service and nearly two dozen others for short-term stints during chapel service in late April.

The group commissioned by seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. included a number of Southern Seminary students who will plant churches in six states and Canada through the school's "Nehemiah Project." Participating students will plant churches in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia.

Two short-term groups composed of Southern Seminary students will take the Gospel abroad this summer, with 13 going to Poland and 11 to Moscow.

"We pray God will bring glory to His name through the salvation of sinners in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ through the planting of churches and the establishment of Gospel witness," Mohler said during the commissioning prayer.

After reading from Romans 10, Mohler pointed to verse 17 as a pivotal reminder that saving faith comes by hearing the proclaimed Word of God. The verse is vital because many in the modern-day church argue that salvation comes through means other than the preaching of the Gospel, Mohler said.

"Scripture is very clear that faith comes by hearing and not just by auditory response," Mohler said.

"(Faith comes) by the hearing of the Gospel, by the hearing (of its) measured content. Thus, when we are commissioned to take the Gospel, to make disciples, to preach and to teach and to witness to all nations, we understand it is because, even as it is promised, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ."

Believers bear witness to the saving power of the Gospel and demonstrate the necessity of proclaiming it to the nations, Mohler said.

"We who are among the redeemed are living evidence of the fact that God does save," he said. "And we are about the task of faithfulness in taking the Gospel, knowing that God is mighty to save."

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