First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin
First Baptist Church of
La Crosse, Wisconsin
1209 Main Street
La Crosse, WI
(608) 782-6553


Being Saints Together

Presented -November 2, 2014

(Gen. 12:1-3; Rev. 79-17; Mt. 5:1-12)

Yesterday was All Saints Day and today is All Saints Sunday. In the Bible (either Testament) being a saint is being “holy.” To be holy means “set apart to God’s values and service in the real world.” The last four words are crucial. God’s “saints” are never out of touch with the realities of life in the real world. God made the world. According to John 3:16, God loves the world. God puts saints in the world as a blessing to the world. The word “saint” as a noun is… Continue reading

A Community of Mission

Presented -October 26, 2014

(Dt. 6:5-9; Lev. 19:1-2, 15-18; 1 Thess. 2:1-8; Mt. 22:34-46)

As I look back over these past years, I am proud of the fact that First Baptist has been guided by a sense of mission “out there” in our community that is determined only partially by our numbers (either in terms of people or dollars), and much more by a sense of the kind of community we believe God is calling us to be, and going in the way we believe God is calling us to go. It is important that this continue into 2015 and… Continue reading

Paying God in God’s Currency

Presented -October 19, 2014

(Isa. 45:1-7; Mt. 22:15-22)

Very soon we will go to the polls and vote, which means we have endured endless rhetoric of late (as we seem to do more continuously than we used to). One of the perennial subjects of the rhetoric, political spin, and all the rest of it is taxes, who raised them (or lowered them) last time, and who will this time. A long time ago Jesus had his own debate about taxes with an unlikely coalition of religious/political leaders within his culture called the Herodians and the Pharisees. We don’t know a… Continue reading

What’s God’s Dress Code

Presented -October 12, 2014

(Isa. 25:1-10a; Phil. 4:4-9; Mt. 22:1-14)

The Old Testament Lesson pictures God’s final presence with people as a sumptuous banquet where everyone will have enough and more than enough to eat. Such an image may have limited appeal in our world where most of us have never been very hungry, but in Jesus’ world where very few of his hearers had ever been anything else, it was very attractive. Later in history than this text that is now in the Book of Isaiah, though it was probably composed as late as the 4th century, this picture… Continue reading

Two Kinds of Faith

Presented -October 5, 2014

(Ex. 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Phil. 3:4b-14; Mt. 21:33-46)

There’s a book written over 60 years ago by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber called Two Types of Faith that I first read long ago. I have almost pirated his title for this sermon. I want to acknowledge how much I have learned from him (and not only in this book), but I’ve changed the title so as not to suggest that he would have begun to agree with my conclusions, which are a bit different from his.

Through the years, I would say the vast majority of… Continue reading