Kelsey Griffin is one of the most remarkable men that I have ever met. Little did I know how much he would effect me when I first came into contact with him in August 1989. He was, at that point, an instructor at Texas Bible College and the first class that he taught me was Bible Study Methods. I had never met someone who was so consumed with the Word of God like Bro. Griffin was. I would have the joy of being a "Griffinite" for three years and he would open my soul in Old Testament Survey, Doctrine 2 & 3, Prophets 1 & 2, Typology, Pastoral Theology, and Creative Bible Study.
He was constantly encouraging us to read the Word and try to assimilate as much of it as possible into our every day lives. One of his statements that continues to remain true until this day was, "A lot of people say they cannot understand the Bible. You have to read the Bible to understand it. That is the majority of folks problem with the Bible. They don't read it."
Another time someone asked him if he was reading his Bible (it probably was the famous Paul Jacks) and Bro. Griffin told him that he had already read it through for the year. This was in March or so, then he told us that he was almost finished reading the Bible through in Moffatt's translation.
Bro. Griffin's wide-margin Bible was an incredible work of discipline and art. I always enjoyed looking at the notes in the margins that he had accumulated over the years. It was absolutely full of sermons, Bible studies, and what he called "nuggets of truth." Until this day, no one (at least that I have met) is as disiciplined with their rigorous devotion to the Word like Bro. Griffin is. He was always ready to preach. Periodically, J. R. Ensey, would tell Bro. Griffin about 30 minutes before a chapel that he wanted him to preach. Bro. Griffin never balked because he was always ready to preach.
When you try to pin down the greatest sermons that you have heard in your life, I am realizing that this is a huge challenge. Just like a lot of you, I have heard a lot of great preaching, good preaching, and terrible preaching. So trying to narrow it down to the top ten has been very difficult because so many stand out in my mind.
The number eight slot is not so much a message as it is a series of messages.
The Occasion: My junior year at Texas Bible College (1990-91). Bro. Griffin was responsible for some "long" chapels (1 1/2 hours) and then he also had some "short" chapels (25 minutes). That year during his "long" chapels, he would take that pulpit and mark me for the rest of my life. It was almost as if he were twirling a diamond in a bright spotlight and there were a thousand points of light being cast into the darkness.
The Location: Texas Bible College, 1990-91 school year. Houston, Texas.
The Preacher: Among all of the things that I have written above about Bro. Griffin another thing stands out to me about this godly man. He preached out frequently but when he was home, he would attend Life Tabernacle and Bro. James Kilgore always asked him to sit on the platform. A few times, I heard Bro. Griffin preach at Life Tabernacle. Generally, every time that Bro. Kilgore would introduce him, he would always say that Bro. Griffin was Sis. Ima Kilgore's favorite preacher.
The Message: This was not a single message but rather fourteen different messages. This was my first exposure to someone "preaching" through a series. I had heard "teaching" series before but never "preaching." Someone once asked what the difference was between preaching and teaching and it was said, one is yelling and the other is meddling.
Bro. Griffin took the phrases from Blessed Assurance and preached the following single, stand alone messages. The reason that he took this hymn was because he said it was his favorite. Blessed Assurance is full of good theology. I might add that we need to be careful about tossing all of the hymns out the window for 7-11 P/W stuff. I like both and see the necessity of both but not at the entire exclusion of the other. Most hymns stimulate my mind and most P/W stimulates my emotions.
- Jesus Is Mine (He is a Friend)
- O What A Foretaste Of Glory Divine (The Holy Ghost)
- Heir of Salvation, Purchase of God (Crucifixion)
- Born of His Spirit, Washed In His Blood (Pentecost)
- This Is My Story (Bro. Griffin's Testimony)
- Praising My Savior (The Power of Praise)
- Perfect Submission, Perfect Delight (The Sovereignty of God)
- Visions of Rapture (The Rapture)
- Angels Descending From Above (Angels and the Supernatural)
- Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love (Mercy and It's Healing Power)
- Perfect Submission, All Is At Rest (Rest in the Kingdom of God, Much on Prayer)
- Happy and Blessed (The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but . . . )
- Watching and Waiting (Preparing for the Rapture)
- Filled With Goodness, Lost In His Love (A summary of the previous 13 messages)
Bro. Griffin was one of those extraordinary "masters" who did not intimidate you into thinking that you could never do anything like this. He inspired you and made you believe enough in yourself that you could do it too! Kelsey Griffin has been a Paul to a thousand and one Timothy's and Titus'.