Monday, November 23, 2015

The Story: Hang out the Scarlet Thread of Faith

Joshua 2:21  And she said, "According to your words, so be it." Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
For the last couple hundred years there has been a tension felt in the Church between Faith and Works. On the surface the Apostle Paul seems to say that we are saved by Faith alone, while the Apostle James seems to say we are not saved by faith alone. So who's right? Both of course as we'll see in the life of Rahab the prostitute who hung the scarlet thread of faith in the window of her life. And you should too.
Sermon delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 22nd 2015 by Pastor Chris Kopp.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Story: God fights for Us

1Samuel 17:45-47  Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand.....that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,  and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand."

David fought the fight, but the battle belonged to the Lord. Keep struggling in your fight against your sin and flesh. It is God who fights for you. And wins!

Sermon delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 8th, 2015 by pastor Chris Kopp.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Story: Grace to the Undeserving

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." But Jonah rose to flee... Jonah 1:1-3a 

Jonah didn't believe that the Assyrians in Nineveh deserved grace from God. What he didn't understand was that he didn't either. And neither do you. That's what makes it Grace. The story of Jonah is the story of God's relentless pursuit of an undeserving people. And it's still the story of God today.
Sermon delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 1st, 2015 by pastor Chris Kopp.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Story: The Righteous Live by Faith

Genesis 6:8  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
The story of Noah and the Ark is classic children's church material. Who doesn't love cute little animals going on a boat ride with rainbows? But the children's books tend to miss the dead bodies of all humanity floating against the surface of the water that batters the hull of the ark. The ark didn't save Noah. God did, by giving His Son in Noah's place on the cross. Noah was a "preacher of righteousness" (2Peter 2:5) and his righteousness had come by faith.
Do you believe God like Noah?
Sermon Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday October 25th, 2015 by Pastor Chris Kopp.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Catching up

Me inside a 500gal water tank trying to fix a leak. Have I mentioned how much of my ministry involves plumbing?
I sheepishly begin with the reality that I have not done a stellar job of keeping current with our ministry blog. I want to say sorry for that. I've received several requests for updates as of late and I attribute that to the fact that...well I haven't updated. :)
Spring ans Summer were a blur of activity. Galena Bible Church sent it's first mission team to serve with Samaritans Purse down in Bethel, AK to help set the foundation for the Moravian Seminary that they were building there. This was the largest project that SP has taken on in Alaska, and was an incredible blessing for our team to be a part of. While there I had the privilege of preaching at the Moravian Church in Bethel and connected with the Dean of the Seminary. I have been given the opportunity to teach as a professor at the seminary the first two weeks of December. My class will be on the book of Isaiah, and I am humbled and excited!

Galena Bible Church Mission Team to Bethel

Triadedic foundation for the classroom building and dormitory.
Over the course of the summer we tried something new. We moved our Sunday worship times to the evening. This was to accommodate a couple of people who wanted to attend church but were unable to because of conflicting work schedules, and to just try something new. Although we did not experience a major boom of attendance, we enjoyed the relaxed nature of having service in the evening. One of my major projects over the summer was renovating a rent house. As we are supported missionaries (raising most of our support from outside of the local church) we have been looking for ways to offset the reality that missionaries lose financial support over time. From the outside it still looks like an old run down house (that's a next summer project) But the inside has been completely gutted and rebuilt. There are still a couple of small projects left on it, but the couple who will be renting it has already moved it!

In other family news, we announced that we are expecting our 5th child. After we miscarried in April Shell and I were extremely shocked and surprised to discover in mid June that we were expecting again. Our little girl is expected to make her appearance into this world sometime around mid February.
 Church life continues to be a joyous adventure. We launched the Casey family down river in August as missionaries to a nearby village. New families, and LOTS of new students have been connecting with the church through the church service, YoungLife, and Kid's Club. 
We brought on our first additional staff member. Caylee Redford is our Student minister and is also the YoungLife Area Director. We've been able to utilize the house we moved after the flood as her residence and she has made it a little home. It's been great to see students connect to her and streaming in and out of her home!
This past week we hosted three couples from FBC Ville Platte Louiaiana who came and did a weeks worth of training for Celebrate Recovery. CR is a Christ centered recovery program that isn't limited to Alcohol or substance abuse but deals with the whole sin nature. We are excited to begin the process with about a dozen members of our church as we prepare to launch the ministry in August of next school year.

Ways you can be praying:
  • Pray that the villages of Rural Alaska would awaken to the hope of Christ. Reports of suicide and death have become a weekly (sometimes daily) event. Pray for laborers to be raised up. 
  • We have heard and seen the enemy creating hostility towards God's people through various means. Pray that we would not bow out under persecution and that we would love visibly those who speak against us. 
  • Pray for a healthy pregnancy for Michelle and our baby girl.
  • Pray for wisdom for me as I seek to teach Isaiah to native pastors and church leaders in Bethel. 
  • Pray for discernment as we launch Celebrate Recovery. Currently there is no CR being done anywhere in rural Alaska.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Colossians: "Jesus and..." - Why religion cannot save.

Colossians 2:16-17  Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Every society ever discovered has some form of religious practice. The action of doing certain things, or not doing certain things in an effort to please a god or gods. If your faith is in what you do, rather than repenting in light of what Jesus did, your faith is in religion, and it will not save. In this text we look at how Paul calls the Colossian believers to fix their hope on Christ and not on any religious practice as their source of salvation security.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday June 28th, 2015.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Colossians: Beware the false gospel

Colossians 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Paul agonized for this little church because of the man centered false gospel that was being taught there. Like a salesman selling a lead vest as a life preserver, a false gospel has the trappings of what we want, but the inability to actually save. The Gospel of Jesus is our only hope.
Sermon Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday June 21st, 2014