There’s grace in the remedy
William “Duce” Branch, aka The Ambassador, gave a biblical warning at Chapel Feb. 27. He said God is making us to be what He wants because we are no longer what He wanted us to be since we decided to take the wheel.
Branch, assistant professor of preaching and Bible and undergraduate chapel coordinator for The College at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Grammy award winning hip-hop artist, used Genesis 32 and the story of Jacob to show that we all need “a permanent and eternal change.”
Branch gave three biblical propositions:
- The current you is a true you, in other words, you are how God made you, are what God made you, and you are what God knows you to be. He made us, not we ourselves.
- Even a good you is not the best you. It’s a good you, made in the image of God. You, but not the best you. John 3:16 says we must be born again.
- The true you can be a new you. We can’t make ourselves the new ourselves. Only God can take you and make you the new you.
Branch said Jacob was a man of sufficiency. “So, God says, I have to bring you to the point where you don’t trust your sufficiency,” said Branch. “I have my purpose, and I will get my way. That’s what it means to be God.“
He said, God used pain to bring the true Jacob into the new Jacob. Branch said, “God said, I don’t want you depending on your strengths, I want you depending on Mine. God’s remedy includes pain.
“There is pain in the remedy as God changes us,” he said. “There’s also grace in God bringing the pain to change us to be the people he wants us to be.”
There was pain in the cross, which was God’s remedy to save mankind. There was also pain in Jacob’s wrestling with God. Branch said God told Jacob, “Even though there is pain, I now will give you the transformation you’ve been seeking all your life.”
Just as God gave Jacob a limp to remember his encounter with Him, Branch said God will leave us with the reminder that all of life is leaning and limping so that we will always lean on Christ.
Branch holds a BS from Lancaster Bible College, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and is in the process of obtaining his doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a founding member of The Cross Movement and is married with five children.