By Brian Blackwell Message staff writer
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM) – God has revealed himself so others may know Him and find life in His Son, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Jamie Dew said during the recent E4 Preaching Conference.
Citing Psalm 19, Dew told a record E4 crowd of 92 pastors and 14 pastors’ wives at First Baptist Church, Pineville, that God reveals himself in creation, reveals himself in His Word and reveals himself to us in personal ways that we may know Him and be saved.
“This God wants us to worship Him,” Dew said. “This God wants us to find life and joy and richness and fulfillment in worship of him. This God wants us to find redemption. That’s something the world had never seen until Christianity.”
Dew reminded participants that of all creation, man is the most special. However, he said despite warning Adam and Eve to avoid sin, they disobeyed His command and subsequently brought a curse to all creation: death, guilt, hostility and difficulty.
“Thus, we see that there were real genuine consequences for all of mankind as a result of Adam’s sin,” he noted. “When sin entered the picture, blessing and peace began to erode. In the end, man was left in a difficult situation.”
But God provided a way to hope to mankind and that was through the birth of His Son, Jesus.
“God’s cure for our sin problem is his very Son Jesus who came to this earth to die between two thieves and give his life as a ransom for many,” Dew said.
Referencing John 11:25- 26, Dew challenged participants to share the victory found in Jesus, who died on the cross for mankind’s sins and rose from the grave three days later.
“Our faith is rooted in the history and reality of the resurrection of Christ,” he said. “Without it, we have nothing, but with it, we see much of our faith confirmed.”
The Sept. 13 E4 Preaching Conference presented a program intended to “exemplify, encourage, equip and empower our pastors to preach expositional sermons.” Past speakers include Don Wilton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC; Fred Lowery, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La.; David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla.; and Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., and a former SBC president.
The conference also featured music by the FBC Pineville praise team. Breakout sessions were led by professors from Louisiana Christian University, NOBTS and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Mississippi Pastor and former LCU professor Argile Smith. Sponsors included First Baptist Church, Pineville, The Casson Foundation, and private donors.
Holloway told the Baptist Message that the E4 Conference, now in its 14th year, began with a desire to sharpen and encourage pastors.
“This year’s conference focused on apologetic preaching. Jamie Dew and our breakout session leaders did an outstanding job of preparing our pastors to preach messages that are relevant and biblical at the same time,” he said.