Calling on Southern Baptists to cultivate a renewed mind, Luter said, "None of us are exempt from the tactics of the enemy."
Christians often do not make a significant impact on their churches, cities or nations, despite the fact that God saves sinners to be "light in a dark world and salt in their society," said Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
A lack of renewed minds, Luter said, is a key reason.
Preaching from Philippians 2:5-8, Luter echoed the apostle Paul's exhortation to "have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus." A renewed mind, Luter said, helps Christians think biblically about Christ and the impact His sacrifice should have on the choices Christians make.
Given all that Christ has done for His people, "How can you not want to live and stand for Him?" Luter asked.
He also emphasized the cross of Jesus as the purpose for Christ's incarnation and ministry as well as the important role it plays in the Christian's life.
"Everything Jesus did, He did because of the cross. And He did it for you," Luter said. "But thank God, that's not how the story ends."
Luter closed his message at the Louisville, Ky., campus by singing the refrain of the hymn "At the Cross."
Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology and president-elect of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, introduced Luter.
"He is the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention," Moore said, "a convention formed out of two contradictory impulses: to share the Gospel throughout the world and to protect the antichrist idolatry of slavery and white supremacy. The Gospel won."
Luter congratulated Moore for his election as president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, expressing confidence that Moore will faithfully fill the role. Luter also expressed gratitude to be at Southern Seminary. "I thank God for this seminary and all it's done for the Kingdom of God," he said.
Matt Damico is a staff writer for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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