Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently held a conference on the subject of sanctification and ministry, presented by Sinclair Ferguson and Paul Tripp. Tripp focused his messages on the theme of relationships and progressive sanctification. Sinclair took to the subject of sanctification in the life of pastors.
Some noteworthy quotes from Ferguson: “The single most important thing for the minister of the Gospel is that the minister of the Gospel be more and more shaped and fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the Christ the people come to believe in is not the Christ of the Scripture. Either become more like Christ or get out of the Gospel ministry because, if you don’t do the former, you will do great damage to the latter.”
“God is never afraid to test His workmanship,“ Ferguson said, noting that a believer is molded by the trials he or she endures. “What a privilege it is to be tested by the Holy Spirit.” (quotes from Baptist Press)
Both Tripp and Ferguson tackle the subject of how God uses suffering to sanctify his people, particularly his ministers of the church. Ferguson states that every single one of his Scottish minister friends, without exception, has endured unusually high degree’s of trials in their lives. And he concludes that it’s because those are the kinds of ministers who God is able to use effectively in advancing his kingdom. Both Christ and Paul lived lives of ease, so why do we think it will be much different for us? This is bitter, but needed, medicine for our age of ease in the West.
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