Baptist official leads first sermon of series

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Revealing a way to a cleansed conscience and a step-by-step,life changing process to worship, the Rev. Johnny Hunt, presidentof the Southern Baptist Convention, enlightened a crowd with theBible’s how-to’s Monday evening at Easthaven Baptist Church.

Hunt served as the keynote speaker for the first of the fiveMonday-night events series leading up to Easter at Easthaven knownas “People Get Ready.”

Hunt with 32 years of ministry experience under his belt warnedthe crowd that the conscience will not necessarily serve as adirector, but rather as a controlling mechanism using guilt as anintricate vice.

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“The Spirit is your guide. And the word is your guide,” he said,”Your conscience is a governor.”

Hunt preached from Hebrews 10: 19-21, unleashing the first truthof necessities for worship by pointing out God’s desire for asincere heart.

“God knows if we are the real deal or not,” Hunt said.

And He won’t accept pretense, he pointed out, “He wants genuineworship.”

Once presenting a sincere heart God draws them near as theypresent full assurance of faith.

“Glutted in faith,” Hunt called it.

And through fervent faith, believers’ hearts are then sprinkledwith the blood of Christ, which is the secret to a cleanconscience.

A perfect sacrifice covering people’s sins forever whencontrasted to the Old Testament’s coverage for a year – it is as ifbeing cleansed with pure water through His word, Hunt describedit.

An exhilarating confidence is then born through the process andfuels the need to reach others for Christ. The third developmentbecomes a contagious spirit and creates a congregation ready tospread the keys to freedom in Christ.

Church is the only “organism in this community to get the wordout,” he said.

Hunt dared Easthaven and guests to use this freshly administeredpassion to reach others who would otherwise be lost or untouchedusing his early years in the ministry as an example.

His desire to reach others grew a church from three acres and138 parking spaces to a congregation running on thousands and in 78churches.

Hunt also hopes his audience will take on a new perspective ofdaily worship coming out of private worship to go to corporateworship just out of due respect for what Christ did.

“I want to wake up to spend it (time) with Jesus,” he said, “Toshow him how grateful I am for what He has done.”

Hunt was heading to Kansas City, Mo., to Midwestern BaptistTheological Seminary after the service, if weather permitted tospeak before another body Tuesday. Despite a busy schedule, Huntstill finds time for other priorities like family with intentionsto date his wife of 38 years Janet on Tuesday night.

The Rev. Ed Litton, senior pastor of First Baptist Church inNorth Mobile, will be the next keynote speaker at Easthaven onMarch 16 with services beginning at 6:30 p.m.