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.