Paul Chitwood: Why Are You Here?

Why are you here?

Paul Chitwood, President of the International Mission Board, answered this question for us at Southeastern Seminary last year when he preached on Isaiah 56:1-8. Chitwood exhorted us to remember that we are here not to serve ourselves, but to serve those enslaved to their sin and idolatry all around the world; we are here to proclaim freedom in Jesus.

You can watch the full sermon above. Keep reading below for some key excerpts.


Slaves to Sin

“The wickedness of human slavery is unspeakable. And yet, while I can’t fathom that, as I read my Bible and you read your bible, spiritually speaking, I’m told I am a slave. Or at least, I was. Because the Bible says in the New Testament the one who sins is, what? A slave to sin. And in fact, Paul goes on to say in the book of Romans that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death…

Aren’t you thankful for a Redeemer? Aren’t you thankful for a Savior? Aren’t you thankful for One who loved you enough to lay down His life to purchase your freedom, to give up His to give you yours? Aren’t you thankful for Jesus and all that He’s done for you?”

Our Purpose as believers

“Brothers and sisters, we are here not just because He has done that for us. We are here not just to because it’s time to worship as a seminary community gathers together. We are here, you are here, this seminary is here because there are still those out there who are yet enslaved. We have come to this place not to serve ourselves or to serve one another; we have come to serve them. We have come here because they’re still out there and the Lord wants them - maybe not here - but He wants them here, in His family. He wants them here in His church. He wants them here in freedom from their sin…”

God is a promise maker

“And that’s why you’re here. Because God has made beautiful promises to those who are still enslaved and to those who are still separated. And it’s not just that they just don’t know that a promise has been made to them; they don’t know that there’s a Promise Maker.”

God is a promise keeper

“All the promises of Isaiah 56, God has already kept. Did you realize that? In fact, he’s kept them all in the same way. Or, I could say it better by saying He’s kept them all through the same One. God promised the Jews salvation; what did God do? God sent a Savior. God promised a name for the one who had no name; so God allowed that One whose name is above every name to be spat upon and ridiculed and His name to be mocked so we all could have His Name. He promised acceptance; what did God do? He allowed His Son to be rejected so you and I could be accepted.”