The moderator of the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church spoke to Erskine faculty, staff, and students Jan. 15 at the first convocation of the spring semester.
Taking the pulpit in the Due West ARP Church, Dr. Leslie Holmes encouraged his listeners to persevere in proclaiming biblical truth and living for Christ in ordinary circumstances. He presented John the Baptist as an example of one who spent his life pointing to Christ and leading others to Him. He urged his listeners to emulate John’s persistence in speaking the truth.
“That’s the kind of man or woman God uses,” he said.
Quoting from John 10:41-42, which states that John the Baptist “performed no sign” or miracle and yet led many people to believe in Jesus, he stressed that Christian witness does not consist primarily of “signs and wonders” but of living for the Lord.
“Your life is not about you,” Holmes said, focusing on the importance of perseverance and persistence in the Christian life. “The chief delight of everyone [who knows] Jesus Christ is to hold the course.”
Holmes challenged unbelievers to find their purpose and meaning in living for Christ. He encouraged believers to serve as lamps for Christ and to “keep on trucking,” even when life seems mundane and there are no signs and wonders.
Faithful proclamation of the truth will always produce some result or reaction, the moderator said. The truth can lead to rejection, but it can also lead to regeneration. He asked Christians to consider how their witness could draw others to Christ.
“You will not know until you step out in faith how many might come to know Christ through you,” he said.
Worship was conducted by the Rev. Paul Patrick, who serves as Erskine’s chaplain. The Erskine Choraleers, led by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Keith Timms, presented an anthem based on Psalm 95, “Festival of Praise” by Molly Ijames. Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Sharalyn Hicks, pianist, accompanied the Choraleers.
Patrick introduced the speaker, a native of Northern Ireland who came to the United States in 1967. Holmes has served churches in six states, is the author of a number of books, and formerly served as provost of Erskine Theological Seminary.