Mark Dever opened the conference with a message from Mark 4 that was encouraging and convicting. He challenged us to depend totally on the power of the Word of God and not on our own personality, creativity, or intelligence. Being dependent on God and His word leads to humility and confidence (two traits that I normally view as opposed). We have humility because we realize that God is accomplishing the growth of the Kingdom of God. We have confidence in the fact that God will accomplish what he promised. I was reminded through this exhortation not to confuse size with significance in my own ministry. Further, I am thankful that God chooses weak vessels. One memorable quote from Dr. Dever:
If you think you can be filled with the Spirit without being filled with the Word, you need to check what Spirit you are being filled with.
Dr. Akin underscored this point during the Sermon Review (an idea I wholeheartedly recommend for teachers of the Bible) by showing the connection between being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) through the word of Christ (Col. 3:16).
The Word of God is powerful because God is powerful. The Word of God will be victorious because God is the victor.
You have been born again: not originating from the mortal but from the immortal, that is through the living and permanent word of God. ‘For all flesh is like grass and all its glory is like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off but the word of the Lord endures into eternity.’ Now this is the word which was preached to you (1 Peter 1:23-25).