JACKSON, Tenn. – Sept. 27, 2012 – Christians must have renewed minds if they are to overcome temptation and live godly lives, Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter told Union University students Sept. 26.
Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., spoke in a chapel service in G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel. He said that all Christians – pastors and laypeople in every stage of life – experience temptation by Satan.
“How can we as sons and daughters of God be victorious against the tempting tactics of the enemy that come against our mind every day of our lives?” he asked. “How can we win more than we lose?”
Bible passages such as Philippians 2:1-11 and Romans 12:2 indicate that a renewed mind is the answer, Luter said, because it focuses Christians on Christ, makes them think about their life choices and reminds them of the cross.
Luter said Christians will be spurred on to live a holy life by recalling that Jesus resisted temptation, met people’s needs on earth and made a way for people to be reconciled to God.
“Even though (Jesus) was fully God, he became fully man and gave his life for you and ... me,” Luter said. “Oh, how can you not want to win for him? How can you not want to be faithful to him?”
Luter named several instances recorded in the Old Testament where God’s faithful servants failed because they made decisions without the goal of glorifying God. Unlike those men and women in the Old Testament, however, Jesus’ every decision glorified God – and Luter said a renewed mind causes Christians to reflect Jesus by carefully considering their choices, he said.
The Christ who suffered, died and rose victoriously three days later has every right to demand a devoted life from the people he redeemed, Luter said.
“It was all possible because of the cross,” he said. “That's why, ladies and gentlemen, our minds should be renewed — so we can walk right, so we can talk right, so we can live right, so we can preach right, so we can sing right.”
Following Luter’s address, Union University President David S. Dockery inducted him into Union’s R. G. Lee Society of Fellows.
The induction, one of the highest honors the university gives to pastors, acknowledges Luter’s leadership in Southern Baptist life, Dockery said. The Society of Fellows exists to enhance and encourage the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Video of Luter’s address is available at new.livestream.com/uu/chapel.
By Samantha Adams (’12)