SAN ANTONIO - Christians should seek unity because of their desire for and delight in the Lord, Earl Grant, pastor of Covenant Church in San Antonio, shared in the opening session of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
"Diversity is a given because diversity is the inherent mix," he said. "It is the inclusion or intentional integration that makes the mix work well."
"You need to know you are saved, and because of your salvation you can handle it," Grant explained. "You have been called and cleansed by God. You have been washed in the blood."
He went on to share that as Texas Baptists, "we come to a common ground at the cross of Christ on Calvary." Being part of the same ancestry, dating back to Adam, Christians are called to work together to advance the kingdom of God.
Grant outlined three distinctives that Texas Baptists should seek: to recognize your privilege, realize your purpose, and remember your position.
By recognizing their privilege, Christians should embrace their place as a royal priesthood of believers. "In Christ you are a chosen generation, selected by God," Grant said. "You have been picked out to be picked on. You have been divinely and sovereignly chosen to create a new character in Christ and reflect Christ." With this privilege comes a great responsibility to live a life worthy of the calling.
Grant went on to share the purpose of a child of God is to proclaim the praises of the Most High. "He did not make such a special possession of His own to be silent," Grant continued. "He called us to give Him glory. Let us exalt His name together, because this is my purpose - that I must magnify the name of Christ."
Remembering a Christian's position involves a life of dedication to God, who saved us from sin and depravity that we might know His mercy, grace and love. As it says in 1 Peter 2:10, "Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." Grant explained the mercy that we receive from our Heavenly Father is to be shared with those around us.
"He is a light to the world, and because He is a light, I have a little light, and I'm going to let my light shine," Grant said.
Ultimately, Grant told with those in attendance that, "I used to not have mercy but now I have mercy. Because of His goodness, His mercy is sufficient. It gave me life. Mercy held back justice so grace could be extended. I found it on a hill called Calvary. Mercy died for my sins and your sins. Early Sunday morning mercy got up and now my position is clear - I have light, love, and life."
Story by Kalie Lowrie