Monday, April 30, 2012

Renters Responsibility

Good Monday Morning To You! How was your past week? Mine was pretty routine --- at least as routine as a preacher’s week can be. I had an interesting conversation with a Jewish friend. He rejects the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. As we talked, I could not help but think of what the Apostle Paul might have said to him if he could be standing there in conversation with us. My friend asked me why would I pray to a mere man. I told him I wouldn’t. I told him Jesus indeed was a man born of a woman, but that He is also the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that he is fully God. My friend and I disagreed, but we were able to depart still friends. I’m happy about that! Wow!!! What a fantastic service we had yesterday At Friendship Harmony. Ken and Margaret Birdsong led our song service for the final time. As you might recall, earlier this month I announced their intention to retire as our Minister of Music and pianist. The Birdsongs played a trumpet - piano duet that was absolutely spectacular. We will miss their musical leadership, and the sweet fellowship we shared. Now, for the announcement I mentioned on our Facebook page. I’m pleased to announce that Karan Barry from Cape Coral will be following Margaret at the piano. Karan is a fine keyboardist, and she loves her Lord very much. She will continue the tradition of excellent music at Friendship Harmony. I was hoping to be able to tell you that we had also secured the services of a worship leader, but it was not to be. Keep praying that the LORD will supply a minister of music for us. The LORD sent the Birdsongs, as well as Sister Barry, so I believe He will send someone to direct our music. As I’ve said so many times before, you do not attend Friendship Harmony, you experience Friendship Harmony. Our song service is the reason why. I cannot help but believe that practice will continue. I continued our series on the parables of Jesus. Yesterday we looked at the story of a man who rented his field to another, then sent his servants to collect the agreed upon payment. The renters killed the servants, so the landowner sent more. Once again the servants were killed and no rent was paid. Finally, the landlord sent his own son to collect, but he too was killed. The contract breaking murderers even believed they could steal the land. Matthew tells us in chapter 21 verse 45, “And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.” They were exactly right; He was. However, the parable also speaks to each of us. Jesus wants you to know that you are the gardeners in His field, and you are responsible for bringing forth fruit. The parable teaches us that the landowner had supplied the husbandmen (sharecroppers) with every thing they needed in order to be successful. Verse 33 tells us, “…There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:” He planted it, hedged it, installed a winepress, in it, and built security towers. Everything necessary for success was in place. God has given us all we need in order to be fruitful servants. Jesus told us in John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” My question to you is this: Are you a fruit bearing servant of Jesus Christ? I do need you to remind you that not all fruit bearers are part of the harvest. Scriptures also teach us that “…I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. [8] Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. [9] For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (1 Cor. 3:6, 8-9.) Restating my original question, “Are you using the gifts and resources God has entrusted to you to bring forth fruit for Him? Read the parable and ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance. He will be only too happy to guide you to an understanding. May the Lord bless your upcoming week, and please continue to remember Friendship Harmony in your prayers. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!! Photobucket

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Forgiven Unforgiving Man

Good Monday Morning To You! Pour yourself a cup of coffee, or a big glass of juice and lets visit a while. Do you know what else sounds good? Bacon and eggs with gravy and biscuits! When I was a kid, we often visited my mamaw and papaw, Ruby and Austin Emery down in Harlan Co. Kentucky. There was no better way to wake up than to smell bacon and eggs frying. Not only that, but my favorite smell in the whole world is coal burning. There in Shields, Kentucky, that was how folk heated their homes, and some had wood/coal burning stoves to cook with. My mamaw had an electric stove, but her house was heated with coal. To this day I love to smell coal burning. It brings back good memories, and takes me back in my mind to those carefree days of the little yellow haired five year old who was the apple of his papaw’s eyes. Maybe you don’t like the smell of coal burning, or maybe you’ve never smelled it. However, for me, there is no flower that smells any better. It is not so much the smell, but the memories it recalls. Psychologists call it a trigger; something that triggers a long buried memory. They say smells are strong triggers. I guess they are right, but for me, I’d love to smell burning coal once again and let it take me back to Harlan County Kentucky in the late fifties. Yesterday was a super day at Friendship Harmony. Attendance was good, and the service was very uplifting. I began a series of messages from the parables of our Lord Jesus Christ. Parable one, and there is no particular order, came from Matthew 18: 21-35. In it we see a man who owed his king an enormous sum of money. In fact, he owed so much he could not pay. The king decides to sell him, his wife and children, and all his possessions to settle the debt. The man pleads for more time, but the wise and compassionate king, who realized the man could never repay the debt, forgives it and declares him debt free. He had been forgiven much! Later that day, the man sees a friend who owes him a small amount of money, and in his gratitude for what the king did for him, he forgives his friend his debt. That sounds good, doesn’t it? That is exactly what should have happened but didn’t. The first man, who the Bible tells us was brought before his king, takes the man who owes him by the throat and demands payment. Did you catch that? One man is brought while the other is dragged. Not only does he take the man owing him a small amount by the throat, but he demands payment. When the second man asks exactly what the first man had previously asked the king, he has him thrown into jail. The forgiven man becomes an unforgiving man. If you are a born again believer, Christ has forgiven you much. Your sin was infinite and vast, and you could not pay. I told the folk at Friendship Harmony a theological fact that most Christians do not want to hear; sin cannot be forgiven! Does that statement bother you? It should, because it tells us the infinite and vast horror of our sin. Sin is a violation of God’s law. If sin was only a breaking of God’s heart, it could be forgiven. However God’s holiness requires restitution. Romans 3:23 tells us that all of us have violated God’s law, and it cannot be forgiven. Payment must be made. That payment for sin is a word called “atonement.” Scriptures tell us that man will pay for his sin in the lake of fire. Not only that, but a sinner stays in that fiery place of torment, until the debt is paid. The trouble is, man can never be in hell long enough to pay the debt: it is an eternal sentence. The Bible tells us in Rev. 14:10-11, “… he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night… Christian are you glad you aren’t going to hell? Your debt has been forgiven! “Hold on preacher,” you are saying, “you said sin cannot be forgiven.” That’s right, sin cannot be forgiven, but sinners can. Remember this: “All sin must be paid for. Either Jesus Christ pays for it on the cross for you, or you pay for it in Hell. Take your pick. Lots of folk don’t like that kind of preaching. I’ve been preaching forty years this month, and for the entire time I never preached according to man’s likes. I can’t see starting now. As a believer, you know about atonement. Christ has atoned for (paid for) your sin debt. If you are unsaved, you still owe God, and will until you cry out to him for mercy as the first man did to his king. Now, if Christ has forgiven you much, should you not forgive your fellow man his sin debt to you? Remember, what he owes you is paltry compared to what you owed God. The parable also teaches us that one sure sign of a grateful heart toward God is a forgiving spirit toward others. Has someone wronged you and asked your forgiveness? According to Jesus, you must forgive. Peter asked in that same chapter of Matthew how often should he forgive. Peter suggested seven times, which was four more times than the rabbis taught. Jesus told him not seven times, but seventy times seven. In other words, don’t keep score. Forgive when genuine forgiveness is sought. Scripture also tells us that when we refuse to forgive, God withholds forgiveness from us. The king in our story brought the first man back before him. Jesus concludes the parable by saying, “And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. [35] So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Matthew 18:34-35 (ESV) Are you a forgiven unforgiving person. Don’t let it be true of you! Remember, grudges hurt the one holding them more than the one they are held against. Forgiving is Biblical, but it certainly is not easy. It takes grace from God to be able to forgive. However, the kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of grace. God is a grace giving God. The theological definition of grace is receiving from God that which you do not deserve. Therefore, granting grace toward others is forgiving them when they don’t deserve it. To receive it all they must do is ask --- just like you did when you asked God to forgive you. I’ve enjoyed our visit this week. I hope you have as well. Maybe Miss Bessie will fry me up some bacon and eggs - biscuits and gravy would round out the menu quite well. If she won’t, I’ll just have to forgive her. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic! Photobucket

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thank You Ken and Margaret

Good Monday Morning To You.

I hope this blog finds you doing well and staying healthy. It is with a twinge of sadness that I write to you today. Our music director, Ken Birdsong, and his wife and our piano player, Margaret, announced their intention to retire as active church music leaders. Their last Sunday with us will be April 29. Ken has been serving as a minister of music for the past 55 years, these past 24 with Margaret. In a prepared statement Ken said, “The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that ‘for everything there is a season…’ We now feel that our ‘season’ has come full circle and it is time for us to retire from church music. We do not know what God has in store for us, but we feel He will meet us there.” I asked Ken if he was absolutely certain this was the LORD’s will for their lives and he assured that theirs was not a snap decision, but had been prayed over for a long time. I want all of you in the center of God’s will, and that includes Ken and Margaret. If the Lord is telling them to step aside, then step aside they must. I respect their decision, but I will miss their fellowship and their music. I also believe that since God led them in their decision, He will lead someone else to us. I’m excited to see what the Lord has for us!

Yesterday’s service was another Friendship Harmony experience. We had super attendance and you could feel the Holy Spirit flowing through the crowd. I announced to the group that next Sunday I would be beginning a new sermon series on the Parables of Jesus. I have already started my sermon study, and I can’t wait to get started sharing with the congregation. The first sermon title is “The Unforgiving Forgiven Man.” It comes from Matthew 18:21-35. In his great book on Jesus’ parables, William Barclay titled it, “Even As I Had Pity On Thee.” If you would like a good study book on the parables, Mr. Barclay’s book in titled, And Jesus Said, and is published by The Westminster Press. You should be able to get it from your local Christian bookstore, or online. If your local store does not have it, I’m sure they can get it. It is a very good book and you will be blessed as you learn. Yesterday’s message was “The Blessing of the Christ.” This message was a prequel to next week’s message. Next week I’ll elaborate a bit more on some of the points made yesterday. Below are the notes. There may be a few things that are confusing to you. All points are verified by Scripture, and next week’s notes will go into more detail. When I preach, I also want to teach. My philosophy toward preaching is simple: a message should both teach and inspire. I try to avoid teaching people what they already know.

Back in 1977 I was “accosted” by two Morman missionaries. At that time I had only been preaching for five years. The Mormons soon learned that I was un-convertible, but informed me that they got many of their converts from the Baptist Church. His exact words were, “Most Baptists know just enough about their own religion to be confused.” I made God a promise that day. I told Him, “They might get their converts from the Baptist Church, but they’ll not get them from mine. At least not from a lack of teaching.” I have stuck with that plan ever since. Enjoy the notes and feel free to use them in your own Bible study, or your lesson/sermon preparation.

The Blessing Of The Christ
Various Scriptures

I. Christ came to earth to be the Saviour.
1 Tim. 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
A. The world needed a Saviour.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
B. Man could not save himself.
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
C. The law could not save man.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

II. Christ came to earth to be man’s substitute.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

For those of you who believe in physical healing as from Christ (as I do), this is not the verse to quote to validate your belief. The healing spoken of here is spiritual, not physical. There are other verses more suited to back up belief in physicial healing.

A. Sin is a breaking of God’s law.
B. God cannot forgive the breaking of His law.
It must be judged and paid for.
C. The payment must be paid in full. The penalty must be paid by one who is sinless. That is all God can accept.
1 John 2:2 with 1 John 4:10 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [4:10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1. Propitiation -- God’s satisfaction.
D. We will go into more detail next week as we begin our Parables of Christ Series.

III. Christ came to earth to become the Mediator between God and man. Hebrews 8:6-9 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. [7] For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [8] For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [9] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
A. The old covenant was flawed. v.7
B. Q. Why would God give them a flawed covenant (promise)?
A. Who said God ever gave anybody a flawed anything?
C. Man flawed the covenant, V.9
D. therefore a Mediator was needed to enact a new covenant and bring both parties (God and man) together.

Conclusion: Christ’s first coming was and is a blessing to all who receive His offer of grace and mercy.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

I hope you have a good, safe and healthy week. Drop me a line when you can. I love hearing from you. My e-mail is

By the way, for those of you who are still here with us, this coming Tuesday at 1:00, our Ladies Luncheon will be held at The Island Grill at the Winn Dixie Plaza. All of you ladies are invited. If you should happen to have company, that lady is welcome to come too. Later that evening at 6:30p.m. our local association of Southern Baptist Churches, The Royal Palm Baptist Association will have its semi annual meeting at the Cyprus Lake Baptist Church in Ft. Myers. Each of you is invited to attend, and I especially encourage our elected messengers to attend.

I’ll see each of you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Good Monday Morning To You!
Many of you who are winter visitors to Friendship Harmony have told me you enjoy keeping up with us through this blog. Thank you for being loyal readers and good friends. Some of you have never personally attended a service here. I hope that through these writings you can experience Friendship Harmony. Who knows, maybe someday you can come here too.

This past week was a very busy one. Several of us attended a Seder Dinner. One was in Ft. Myers, and the other was in Punta Gorda. The one I attended was hosted by the First Baptist Church Of Charlotte Harbor. It was very enjoyable and quite informative. On Friday I preached at The Sovereign Grace Church of the Brethren in North Ft. Myers. My message title was, “Jesus? Who Is Jesus?” As I promised, the notes for that message are printed below.

Easter at Friendship Harmony began with a sunrise service at 7:00 a.m. followed by a fellowship breakfast. We had Sunday School, then followed with our Easter Morning Service. It was a very good service. The Birdsongs sang a song I had never heard before. It was awesome! I hope they sing it again. My sermon title was, “What The Donkey Saw!” The notes are below for this brief look at what the little donkey saw throughout the life of Jesus. These notes, as with all the others are for your use in your personal Bible study. I hope they are of some help. You who are teachers and preachers may use them as well. They are copyrighted, so if any of you quote them in print, proper credit must be given. (Sorry, but our team of fancy Southern Baptist lawyers make me say that.) Here are both the Friday and Sunday morning notes.

Jesus? Who Is Jesus?
Mark 14:53,54; 66-72
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Remember, Mark received his account of the Gospel from Peter. How hard it must have been for Peter to have to relive this incident we will never know.

I. Verse 54
A. Peter followed close enough to see, but not close enough to stand out. (He thought!)
1. Matthew tell us he followed and was permitted entrance into the high priest’s palace to see what was happening.
2. This is the same Peter who earlier had pulled his sword planning to fight for Jesus.
B. Peter, like most Jews of his time was looking for a fighting liberator, not a suffering servant.
1. Peter had been taught better, but once again he shifted his focus off Christ.

II. Verses 66-68
A. Peter “denied,” which rhymes with “lied.”
1. He pleads ignorance - “I don’t understand;” but he understood perfectly.
B. He absolutely understood what the rooster said, but he likely didn’t think about it at that time.
1. Bible Book Commentary For most people in the ancient Mediterranean, rooster’s crowing marked daybreak. Some scholars have suggested that this reference is to an earlier Palestinian rooster crowing between 12:30 and 2:30 a.m.

III. Verses 69-70a
A. Another denial. After the first, it gets easier and easier.
B. Matthew tells us at this second denial, he is much more vehement.
1. The bad language was Peter’s attempt at manipulation. He wanted to manipulate the mob into believing he was not associated with Jesus.
2. How better to look un-Christian than to sound un-Christian?

IV. Verses 70b-71
A. His accent betrayed him as to his citizenship, while his verbalization betrayed his love for Christ.
1. John tells us that this accusation was from a man who was kin to the man whose ear Peter had cut off in the garden.
B. The cursing and swearing is not what we’d call “cussing.” That was the above “bad language.” The cursing was wishing a curse upon himself if what he said was not true. It is called “anathematization.” The swearing is to take a solemn oath.

Conclusion: Jesus had called Peter a rock. The contrast is between two rocks: Jesus the Solid Rock, and Peter, the rock who crumbled. After his repentance, Peter took hold of the Solid Rock, Jesus, and never denied Him again.

What The Donkey Saw
By Victor Cooper

Intro: In the life of Jesus, a donkey was present on many occasions. Donkeys were used for travel by all classes of people. Let’s meet one of these little ones. He is going to tells us what he saw.

I. The donkey saw the parents expectantly waiting.
A. He would have carried Mary as she and Joseph made the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:1-5)
B. The donkey might have sensed both their joy and their concern as they made the roughly eighty mile journey.
C. As Mary and Joseph took refuge in the barn, the animals would have been there too.
D. Preach The Word Commentary They [Mary and Joseph] appeared to be helpless pawns caught in the movements of secular history, but every move was under the hand of Almighty God. The Messiah would indeed be born in tiny, insignificant Bethlehem!

II. The donkey saw the Baby exceptionally born.
A. His birth was normal in every way except one: Mary was a virgin.
B. His birth was exceptional because of His Father.

III. The donkey saw the Toddler exalted by the wise.
A. The wise men were not at the manger as was the shepherds. Their visit came later.
B. Tradition tells us there were three wise men because of their three gifts. The Bible however does not give a specific number.

IV. The donkey saw the Pre-teen exclaiming in the temple. (Luke 2:46-52)
A. Here we are given a brief glance into the private family dynamics of Joseph and Mary’s home. JFB Commentary …we are here let into the holy privacies of Nazareth; for what He says they should have known, He must have given them ground to know.
B. His knowledge of the law was astounding.
1. The Jewish historian Josephus tells us, “when he was about fourteen years of age, the chief priests, and the principal men of the city, were constantly coming to him to be more accurately instructed in matters relative to the law.” If this were true, it is no wonder to find hem now listening, with the deepest attention, to such teaching as they never before heard.

V. The donkey saw the Master’s exhausting ministry.
A. Jesus kept a hectic pace.
1. His friends said it was maddening.
Mark 3:20-21 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. [21] And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
2. Jesus family attempted to slow Him down.
Mark 3:31-32 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. [32] And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

VI. The donkey saw the Lord’s exuberant entrance.
A. Prophecy spoke of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem.
Zech. 9:9 (NLT) Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—even on a donkey's colt.
B. This time the donkey had a front seat.
Bible Knowledge Commentary Jesus’ riding into the city on a young donkey was a sign of peace. He did not ride a war horse or carry a sword or wear a crown. Nor did He ride in a wheeled vehicle, as did many kings.

VII The donkey saw the Innocent excruciatingly crucified.
excruciating def. the pain of crucifixion
A. Christ had done no wrong. 2 Cor. 5:21a For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…
B. Pilate knew He’d done no wrong.
Luke 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
C. Caiaphas knew He’d done no wrong, or else he wouldn’t have had to hurriedly assemble an illegal trial.
D. The Father knew He’d done no wrong. On two different occasions God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

VIII. The donkey saw the Savior exhume Himself.
A. exhume def. The digging up of a buried body.
1. Obviously, the dead cannot do this.
Jesus claimed before His death that a self exhumation was coming.
John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. [18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
B. The angel testified to the fact.
Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. [2] And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
[3] His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: [4] And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. [5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. [6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
C. Peter saw it for himself. Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

To the men who are still here with us, don’t forget our men’s fellowship breakfast this coming Saturday Morning at the Twisted Lemon on Pine Island Road. The time will be 8:00 a.m. I trust your upcoming week is a good one, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Favirite Holiday: Easter!!

Good Monday Morning To You!
I do hope you had a wonderful week since we last met. My week was pretty much routine; nothing too exciting. For a preacher that is sometime a blessing. I did attend a very informative church planter’s meeting this past Monday. The topic was the internet video ministry. I’ve told you about that before, and I’m really excited about taking Friendship Harmony online. For those of you who have never been to our Church, or for our winter visitors who have returned north, this would give you the opportunity to experience Friendship Harmony. The cost outlay is somewhere in the $300-500 range. We could go cheaper, but the quality would be bad. I will not broadcast anything that would be an embarrassment to the Lord or the Church. We could also spend much more, but that would be overkill. You pray about this, and I’ll let you know as it develops.

All I can say about our service yesterday is, “Wow!” It was a very formal service, but extremely dignified and beautiful. We departed from our “normal routine.” We had two specials from two different soloists: Wen Anderson singing “The Old Rugged Cross,” and Eleanor McDonnel singing “He Has Surely Borne Our Sorrow.” Both specials were fantastic! Normally there are two hymns that I cringe whenever our music director announces them: “Silent Night,” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” I have nothing against the words in either; they are terrific. It is the tempo. Most people drag those songs to the point of boredom. Wen sang the song at the perfect tempo; not too slow nor too hurried. It flowed smoothly, yet sounded like a victory song, not a funeral dirge. Thank you Wen and you too Margaret for your accompaniment. After a responsive reading which was the words to a song in our book, Eleanor sang a song from which I adapted the message. Normally a song is adapted from a message the writer has heard. This time the message was built around the title of the song. The hymn writer, Mosie Lister, is still living. I have sent him a message on Facebook asking what led to the writing of this lovely song. If he responds, I’ll share it with you in a future Monday Morning blog. Eleanor’s rendition of the song was tremendous. Thank you Eleanor for doing such a super job. It led into the message perfectly. The sermon notes are below. Please feel free to use them for your own Bible study. Preachers and teachers may also use them in preparation for a class or a message. I must warn you though. The message is in the Catechistic Style. Most Baptists and other evangelicals are unfamiliar with catechism. They connect it to the “high church.” Catechism is nothing more than declaring a topic, then defining it by asking a question, then answering it citing Scriptural references. Many preachers use this style in their sermonizing, but do not name it as such. I have been preaching forty years this month, and this is only the second time I have preached catechistically. Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached this way occasionally, so if it was good enough for him, then I guess it will not hurt us.

He Has Surely Borne Our Sorrow
Various in the Catechistic Style
By Victor Cooper

Intro: This message was taken from the hymn of the same name written by Mosie Lister in 1963. In the Catechistic Style, which is foreign in name to most Baptists, we look at our sorrow bearing Lord.

I. Why was a sinless Christ sorrowful.?
A. Because by Adam’s sin, God’s entire creation fell under the curse. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
B. Because Christ knew that all mankind would be born in sin, not the original righteousness He intended.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
1. The verse is not implying that David was born as a result of an adulteress affair.
2. The verse teaches us that David was a sinner because his parents were sinners, because their parents were sinners etc... linking back to Adam and Eve who were placed under the curse for their sin and rebellion.

II. What did this curse cause?
A. Many things, the worst of which was man’s separation from God.
Read Genesis 3:16-19; 23-24.
1. Note they were cast out of the garden to till the ground. The best place to till the ground is in the garden.
B. God always met them in the garden. Now they had no more access to face to face walks with God. This was to man’s shame and man’s sorrow.

III. How does this make Christ sorrowful?
A. Because the sinless Christ became sin on our behalf. He became the very thing that brought about the curse in the garden encounter with Adam.
2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1. Christ bore the sorrow to fulfill Isaiah 35:10 “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (italics mine)
2. Isaiah predicted He would bare our sorrow.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

IV. If sorrow is so prominent, should it then abound?
A. No! Because Christ was victorious and as He bore our sorrow, so to He bears our victory.
1 Cor. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before I say good bye for this week, let me make a few announcements about Easter week at Friendship Harmony. On Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. we will be distributing flyers in several neighborhoods. These flyers will promote our Easter services. We really need help, so if you can spare an hour or so, please meet at the Church. Our Good Friday service will be held jointly with the Sovereign Grace Church of the Brethren in North Ft. Myers. The service will be at their Church beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Church is located at 1691 Pacific Avenue, and is two blocks from the Wal Mart on Pine Island Road. Incidentally, my Good Friday message is, “Tried And Convicted On Trumped-Up Charges.” We begin Easter services with a traditional Sunrise Service at 7:00 a.m. The service will be outside, weather permitting. After that service is concluded, we will come back into the Church for a fellowship breakfast. If you’d like to attend the breakfast but did not sign up yesterday, you may call me at 239.283.8331 and I’ll forward that on to our kitchen committee. I hope you will be there. Our Easter morning service will begin at 10:00 a.m. The message is titled, “What The Donkey Saw.” I hope you can enjoy all of the Easter week services. A Happy Easter to each of you and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.