Who Are Your Heroes?

I was convicted recently in one of my classes when posed with the question concerning life influences, in particular, influences in the Christian life, ministry, etc.  The answer that immediately came to my mind, like many would I assume, was John Piper.  Then followed a list of dead (though living) guys:  Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, etc.  Somewhere in between are men like Albert Mohler for his unswerving commitment to the truth of God’s Word and his general intimacy with the Scriptures, or John MacArthur as a defender of the faith, or the many current heroes of the doctrines of grace, etc.  Most of these men, however, I have never met.  It was never intended for men whom I have never met to be my primary spiritual mentors, leaders, champions.  Rather, shouldn’t I be looking into the local church for my heroes?  It is an indictment against me that I would not first respond with a Sunday school teacher or a youth pastor, a laymen or another elder within the body of my local church; and perhaps, depending upon one’s local church, an indictment that there are so few such people to choose from.  As I pondered this idea of the design of God in the church, specifically the local church, I came to realize that our primary heroes, leaders, and mentors must come from this arena of Christ’s reign.  This is one of the glories of the fellowship of the saints, of the gathering of believers, of the community of the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters in the faith, that we look to one another as role models in the faith, as heroes in the faith.  

Graciously, after relatively no thought, God reminded me that His design had in fact been effectual upon my life.  Two men in the local church have greatly affected my life in Christ.  For a time we lived, and breathed, and loved the Lord together in Powdersville, SC.  Roy Ellison still resides there with his precious wife Kathy, my mother in the Lord.  Since I have been in seminary these past couple of months, a particular subject has piqued my interest, namely, biblical theology – how does the Bible fit together into one unifying theme to the glory of God in Christ?  This subject has amazed me and given to me a new lens through which to view the food laws of Leviticus, etc.  But I realized that the enjoyment of biblical theology did not start here, although it has been shaped and built.  It began in Roy Ellison’s living room just a month or so before seminary began.  I do not remember the intricacies of our conversation together, but I do remember him speaking of the relationship between Adam and Christ, and how Christ was for us in the place of Adam, what neither Adam nor any human since could be – perfect humanity; and how this is essential to our understanding of many fundamental things in the Christian life.  Only the God-man was ever intended to save us from and for God.  Here, a spark first flew, and was breathed upon, I believe, by the Lord.  Thus, Roy Ellison, my Sunday school teacher, my father in the faith in many respects, my brother in Christ, in God’s providence was the first to indulge me in biblical theology.

A second hero would be Robert Hooker.  He is now the pastor at FBC Huber Heights in Huber Heights, Ohio.  He was one of the pastors at my local church in SC.  His mentoring, counseling, numerous examples of the Christian life in study, practice, and love, his love for reading good books, and preaching the word, of loving his family second only to Christ, and worshiping with them in the home in that way, was and is an influence in my life that I am continually unworthy of, but am most appreciative of to God.  

These are my heroes to date.  God raised them up in my local church.  God fostered me by them within the context of the local church.  And to God, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I am exceedingly glad and thankful for His providential hand and blessed design and administration of His body working rightly and living healthily.  So, who are your heroes – really?

One Response

  1. you are my hero…and thats why i decided to finally start a blog and follow in your footsteps!

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