Tony is a wretched sinner saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God
I’m so blessed and thankful to the Lord that He has equipped Stephen to be preaching the Word for local churches while still in high school. I’m also very encouraged that our pastor, BJ Sanders, at Torch Community Church recognizes the hand of the Lord upon Stephen and has asked him to fill the pulpit with a message from Matthew 18:1-6 on Sunday July 18th. As Stephen wrote on a Bible college application:
“Ever since I was nine years old, I have been teaching and preaching on biblical themes. It started out with me reading sermons on the Reformation at an annual celebration of the Reformation my family holds, and that passion has been developing in me ever since.
This year I began a teaching series on the doctrine of justification at our home church meetings. The book Expository Preaching written by the faculty of The Master’s Seminary was a great help in growing my knowledge and ability in preaching the word of God exegetically.
But I don’t see teaching the word of God as an end in itself; I want to use the ability to preach and teach God’s word to minister to others, specifically those around my age.
Why those around my age? I have come to realize that our culture is in dire need of a new reformation.
There have been two major Christian reformations in the past, and both of them have to do with a question of divinity. The Arian controversy in the fourth century centered on the question of the divinity of Christ, and the 16th century reformation centered on the dispute of the divine work of justification. Today we face a similar issue that seeks to answer a similar question: is the origin of the word of God divine? In other words, is the Bible authoritative, infallible, and sufficient? I believe that since the Bible is inspired by God, it affirms its own authority and is self-authenticating, making the answer to the above questions clear. But the church has compromised on the issue of biblical creationism, the sufficiency of God’s word in mental and emotional healing, and many other issues. This has resulted in a sad neglect of the belief in, defense of, and proclamation of God’s word!
The church needs a new reformation. And what better place to start than in the hearts and minds of the next generation? It is my hope and aim to teach my generation about the authority, infallibility, and sufficiency of God’s word in everything pertaining to life and righteousness, as well as how to faithfully and responsibly exegete God’s word.
I see a direct relationship between the authority of God’s word and the study of God’s word; if one lives by an ultimate standard of truth and conduct, he must, in his pursuit of understanding it, study it.
I think that a biblically solid university will equip me with the sufficient knowledge and experience in apologetics, exegesis, and the exposition of God’s word to effectively and faithfully preach, teach, and lead the people of my own generation in a new reformation centered on affirming the divine inspiration and authority of God’s word, the Bible.”
Here is Stephen’s Reformation day message when he was 10 years old. So cute! https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ddsfqo3RRp1Dut9C9
This is Stephen’s Reformation Day sermon last year. https://photos.app.goo.gl/S19DSyrGUcudpgAB7