Sept. 22, 2014
For Immediate Release
|FIRST CLASS is a weekly worship service designed for Campbellsville University’s freshmen class. From left: Back row: John Eastridge, band member; Elijah Coffey, band member; Clayton Brooks, band member; Aron Neal, band member; Chris Wright, band member; TJ Miguel, Mentor; and Mason Miniard, 3trees associate. Front row: Robert Bender, coordinator of audio/visual services; Cole Torbert, band member; Erin Johnson, band member and residence hall director; Eric Gilbert, lead pastor of 3trees Church; Mandy Gilbert, wife of Eric; Mikey Hatcher, Mentor; Debbie Carter, Carver School of Social Work director of recruitment and community relations; Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU; Dr. G. Ted Taylor, FIRST CLASS director; Emily Ramage, 3trees associate; and Jasmine Barnett, FIRST CLASS leader. (Campbellsville University Photo by Bethany Thomaston)
By Samantha Stevenson, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— Eric Gilbert, pastor at 3trees Church in Russell Springs and Campbellsville, delivered the first two messages on respect and responsibility to Campbellsville University’s freshmen in their FIRST CLASS large group session.
FIRST CLASS is a semester long class experience designed to help incoming freshmen become more acclimated with the campus amenities, faculty and upperclassmen. It’s also designed to spiritually prepare these students to become Christian servant leaders.
|Eric Gilbert, lead pastor of 3trees Church, was the
guest speaker at Campbellsville University’s FIRST
CLASS service. From left: Dr. John Hurtgen, dean
of the School of Theology; Gilbert; Dr. Michael V.
Carter, president of CU; and Dr. G. Ted Taylor,
FIRST CLASS director. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Bethany Thomaston)
Dr. G. Ted Taylor, director of FIRST CLASS, said there had been 100 decisions among freshmen in new and renewed commitments to Christ in FIRST CLASS during the first two weeks.
This bi-weekly class has weekly large group worship sessions that take place every Monday morning. Freshmen also break up into smaller groups throughout the week, where they are paired with a faculty member and current CU student who help facilitate academic, social and spiritual conversations and activities.
Each week has a word that will be presented in large group and reinforced in small group. Gilbert’s Sept. 15 message was centered around “responsibility.” Gilbert titled his message “you reap what you sow” and focused on the following passage from Galatians chapter 6, starting in verse 5:
“For each of you are responsible for your own conduct… Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoevers sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Gilbert said, “If you do the right thing, people will accuse you of having ulterior motives. Do the right thing anyway. If you try to serve people, they will kick you in the teeth. Serve them anyway. People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”
Gilbert also spoke about how Jesus had the responsibility of dying on the cross to cover the sins of mankind. He used five cups to illustrate the tradition of Passover in reference to the Last Supper.
According to Jewish tradition, each Passover season, the Israelities would celebrate their freedom from Egypt with a Passover meal. During this meal, there would be five cups that represent different things.
The first cup symbolizes God’s deliverance from Egypt. The second represents their freedom from Egypt. The third represents the redemption that God offered to them, and the fourth represents the protection that God now gives them. The first two are to be taken before the meal, the last two after the meal.
|Eric Gilbert preaching about responsibility.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Bethany
“The fifth cup, however, was never to be drank from. That cup represented the cup of wrath, which was poured outside, symbolizing that God’s wrath would come upon every sinner,” Gilbert said.
“That’s what Jesus meant when he said, ‘I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you in the new Kingdom of my Father (Matthew 26:29).’ He was referring to the Cup of Protection, which he refused in order to experience the Cup of God’s Wrath,” Gilbert said.
“Jesus took the responsibility of letting our sin be poured out onto him; now we can spiritually drink from the cups of deliverance, freedom and protection.”
“Now that you’ve heard this warning, you have the responsibility of choosing whether or not you’ll allow God into your life.”
On Sept. 8, Gilbert spoke about respect. He challenged the freshmen to think about anything that was holding them back from reaching their full potential, and to hand it over to God so they could have a fresh start in college.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.