Messages From Dr. Mike Harder at First Baptist Spartanburg
The Road To Redemption
The sermon "Road to Redemption" by Dr. Mike Harder explores themes of loss, redemption, and divine providence, drawing parallels between everyday experiences and biblical narratives. Dr. Harder begins by sharing a personal anecdote about losing his debit card, using it as a metaphor for how people often feel forgotten by God, feeling that He has more interesting things to attend to. The sermon then delves into the book of Exodus, focusing on the story of Moses, illustrating how the Israelites felt abandoned and enslaved but were ultimately not forgotten by God. Dr. Harder emphasizes that, like Moses and the Israelites, individuals today may feel overlooked or forsaken, but God never forgets His promises and has a plan for redemption for everyone, reinforcing the belief in divine presence and intervention in human lives.
Confidence Over Compromise (Guest: Rev. Samuel Phipps)
The sermon "Confidence over Compromise" focuses on the importance of finding confidence in the Lord to avoid compromising one's faith. The sermon draws parallels between the biblical story of Daniel and the challenges faced by believers today. It emphasizes that, like Daniel, modern-day Christians often find themselves in situations where it's easy to compromise their faith. The key takeaway is that if one doesn't want to compromise their faith, they must find their confidence in the Lord. The sermon uses the story of Daniel to illustrate this point, highlighting how Daniel's faith was tested when he was taken to Babylon. Despite the pressures and temptations, Daniel remained steadfast, showing that confidence in the Lord can help one stand firm in their faith.
Fear Man... or Fear God?
The sermon "Fear Man...or Fear God?" by Dr. Mike Harder at First Baptist Spartanburg focuses on the theme of fear and how it shapes human behavior, particularly in the context of faith. The sermon begins with an introduction where Dr. Harder talks about the exciting things happening at First Baptist, including baptisms and people coming back to faith.
The main text for the sermon is from the book of Exodus, specifically starting from Exodus chapter 1, verse 8. Dr. Harder delves into the story of the Israelites in Egypt, where a new Pharaoh comes to power who does not know Joseph, the Israelite who had previously saved Egypt from famine. This new Pharaoh fears the growing population of Israelites and enslaves them. Despite the oppression, the Israelites continue to multiply, which leads Pharaoh to order the killing of all newborn Israelite boys.
Dr. Harder explains that the book of Exodus is not just about the Israelites escaping oppression but is fundamentally about God's redemptive plan. He emphasizes that Pharaoh serves as a proxy for Satan, who aims to thwart God's plan. The sermon also touches on the concept of "fearing God" as an antidote to worldly fears, illustrated by the Hebrew midwives who defy Pharaoh's orders because they fear God more than man.
The sermon aims to help the congregation understand that fear is a part of the human condition, but the type of fear that is encouraged in the Bible is the fear of God, which liberates rather than oppresses.
God Pursues Prodigals
The sermon "God Pursues Prodigals" by Dr. Mike Harder at First Baptist Spartanburg delves into the story of Jonah and its parallel to the New Testament story of the Prodigal Son. Dr. Harder emphasizes that the story of Jonah is not just about a man and a fish but about God's relentless pursuit of people who are far from Him. Jonah, like the Prodigal Son, runs away from God's calling and is angry when God shows grace to the people of Nineveh. Dr. Harder argues that Jonah embodies both the younger and older sons from the Prodigal Son story, illustrating how God pursues us whether we are running away from Him or are distant while staying put. The sermon concludes with the idea that God uses various means, like the fish, the plant, and the worm in Jonah's story, to bring people back to Him.
God is a God of Second Chances
In the sermon, Dr. Mike Harder emphasizes the idea that God is a God of second chances, drawing upon biblical texts like Psalm 103 and the story of Jonah. He argues that God's character is one of compassion, grace, and abounding love, always willing to give people another chance to turn their lives around. Dr. Harder challenges the congregation to seize their second chances, whether it's in their personal lives, in their relationship with God, or in their community. He warns against becoming "church connoisseurs," who are more focused on critiquing than experiencing God. The sermon encourages people to embrace the opportunities for repentance and grace that God continually offers.
The Depths of Despair
The Depths of Despair