Sermons by Chuck Webster

At Mary and Martha’s House

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

By This All People Will Know

Have you noticed rising levels of fear and anxiety in recent times? The stock market is way down (a bear market?), inflation is way up (an impending recession?), and the price of gas is ridiculous. Political polarization feels worse than in the past, so many people–especially teens and young adults–are struggling with mental and emotional health, the war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, and our culture seems to have lost its mind (one of many examples: gender and…

The Cities We Build

In our text the people decided to build a city and a tower, but that wasn’t the problem. There’s nothing wrong with building, per se . . . the problems come from the reasons we build. The end of chapter 10 tells us that the “nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood,” but then immediately we’re told that the people decided to settle down in one place. It seems they wanted to maintain linguistic, cultural, and ethnic homogeneity…

God’s Bow in the Clouds

What kind of deity is Yahweh? In so many ways, that’s the question of the early chapters of Genesis. Is he angry? Is he harsh? Is he implacable? Does he care about his creation? It comes to a head in the Flood story of Genesis 6-9, and it’s interesting to compare the biblical account to other ancient near Eastern flood narratives. One of the most interesting is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic Mesopotamian poem that predates the…

The Beast That Crouches at the Door

What happens when we try to redefine good and evil on our own . . . when we live our lives “east of Eden”? After observing the Fall of humanity in Genesis 3, we don’t have to wait long to see the effects on the human race. Cain–motivated by anger, jealousy, and fear–murders his brother Abel, and a disheartening trajectory is established. When you read the story carefully, you’ll notice quite a few parallels with the Fall narrative (God’s questioning,…

The Lion Who is a Lamb

Most of us appreciate power . . . geopolitically, we want our country to be strong; in our work life, we want our opinions and decisions to matter; even in something as trivial as sports, we want our team to dominate others–usually through some combination of strength, speed, and agility. In other words, we like power, because power gets things done. Israel, as you know, was looking for a powerful Messiah, a Davidic King who would follow in the footsteps…

Spiritual Growth: Your Life in Christ

I think most of the people who will worship with us want to grow closer to Christ, but this growth seems so elusive for most of us, doesn’t it? There’s no magic pill, no magic formula, no five-step list to somehow force this to happen, but there are things we can emphasize in our lives to create an environment that’s conducive to spiritual growth. Last week we talked about repentance, and tomorrow we’ll emphasize faith–these are, as one writer puts…

Where Spiritual Growth Begins

This is a second message in a short series on spiritual growth, and what I’d like to communicate in this sermon is the importance of recognizing what sin does to us. Notice the evocative images Paul uses in the text above: “you have died,” “put to death,” “the wrath of God is coming,” “put them all away,” etc. In other words, don’t play around with this stuff. One reason we don’t grow as we should is that we let sin…