Dr. Charlie Dates, senior pastor at Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, delivered the online chapel message Nov. 4. He spoke on the chapel theme of, “Christ, the Wisdom of God,” delivering the message from the pulpit of his church.
Dates began his message by reading out of Colossians 1:15-18. He spoke on the preeminence of Christ.
“We in America today face a time where many who claim the name of Christ are graffitiing the beautiful name of Christ, with our ambitiousness, with our selfishness and with our own cultural priorities,” he said. “We have taken the beautiful face of Christ and put on it and over it an image of our own. Not only that, some of us through our own sinful proclivities, our willful rebellion and our desire to fit in with culture, have become bad advertisement for the name of He who saved us, who redeemed us, is sustaining us and will one day raise us to himself.”
He explained that God will not take second place to anyone or anything. He continued by explaining that Jesus must be first place in our lives and we must represent him well.
“Jesus deserves first place in your life, because He is the iconic expression of God,” he said.
He reminded that audience that we were created to represent God on Earth and we must reveal Him both with our actions and our words.
“If you are wondering what God looks like, all you got to do is open your Bible and read about Jesus and you will see what God is like,” he said. “He is more loving than all the affectionate hearts in the world, and he is kinder and gentler than all the kinder personalities in the human world. He is brighter than the sun that greets us every morning and he is fiercer than the lightning that strikes. He is the revelation of God, the person and the work of Jesus Christ.”
Dates earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned both a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In 2011, at the age of 30, he became the youngest senior pastor of Progressive Baptist in their distinctive 100-year history. He is frequently invited to preach at churches, conferences and universities. In addition to being a pastor, he also serves as an affiliate professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, as well as on a number of boards for Christian organizations, including “Preaching Magazine” and Together Chicago.