Scot Loyd, assistant professor of communication studies and director of forensics and debate, delivered the OBU chapel message Wednesday, April 21, in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. He taught from Galatians 1:6-10, focusing on man’s inability to earn God’s favor and grace.
“The Christian life is seen by many as an attempt to earn the favor of a reluctant judge,” he said. “And only by doing better and trying harder will we ever earn the right to be admitted to the congregation of the saved. But no amount of good living will render any of us good enough to earn God’s favor.”
Loyd talked how the apostle Paul missed the mark in his attempts to use good works to earn his way into God’s favor.
“Paul reminds the churches he planted of the grace of God,” he said. “Paul goes on to point out that he had invested his life in religion, checking off every conceivable box of good works and religious commitment. So much so that he far exceeded everyone. He was the best of the best. He was the elite of the elite. He was the cream of the crop.
“And this pursuit of perfection led him inevitably to persecute those who believed differently than he did, and even kill them if necessary. The pursuit of perfection doesn’t make you holy, it just makes you tired. The answer isn’t in the pursuit of perfection, but in recognizing that perfection in the form of Jesus Christ relentlessly pursues us.”
He noted how many people try to change who they are by doing good works, but ultimately only Christ can transform them.
“Activity doesn’t produce a new identity; it never does. But the good news is this: a new identity will always result in transformed activities that will make a difference in the world. Activity flows out of identity.”
Loyd explained that true hope and transformation can only be achieved through God’s gift.
“The only life that pays off is the life that is submitted to Jesus Christ,” he said. “He is the only hope for the very good and the very bad and everyone in between. Stop working so hard to convince God to love you and simply accept the fact that He does love you. You are His child and you will be transformed by that relationship.”
Loyd is assistant professor of communication studies and director of forensics and debate at OBU. He earned his Master of Arts in communication studies and a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and theater from Arkansas State University. He also earned a specialist in community college education degree at ASU.
Prior to coming to OBU, he served as an instructor of communication arts at Louisiana College, as well as director of forensics, coaching the award-winning Louisiana College Debate Squad to three consecutive top five national finishes. He previously served as an adjunct professor of communication studies at Arkansas State University as well as lead pastor at Jonesboro Worship Center, where he was primarily responsible for the preaching and teaching of the Bible along with casting vision for the direction of the church.