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

Monday, June 15, 2015

Colossians: Christ in you the hope of Glory

Colossians 1:27  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

There is a mystery in the work of Christ that is not revealed in nature. It must be revealed through a supernatural move of God. Paul says that he has revealed this mystery to the Gentile churches through two means: a stewardship of suffering, and fully and faithfully preaching the Gospel. In this sermon we look at Colossians 1:24-29 and see how we can reveal Christ in us, the hope of Glory.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday June 14th, 2015.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Colossians: Prominent VS Preeminent

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 

There's a big difference between someone being prominent vs being preeminent. If you say something is in your top five that's prominent. But if I were to say that about my wife...well it wouldn't go so well for me. Preeminent, first, above all others. There's an eternal difference between Jesus being prominent in your life and being preeminent. In this sermon we'll look at Colossians 1:15-20 were the Apostle Paul teaches about the preeminence of Christ. Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday May 24th, 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Colossians: Willing, Walking, and Knowing

Colossians 1:9-10  And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Who was the church in Colosse? They were a mixed bag of ethnicity, religious upbringing, conservative, liberal, and struggling group of people who desperately wanted to follow Jesus. It sounds a whole lot like the church in Galena. Maybe yours too. Join us as we begin this study into the book of Colossians and begin to see what it means to have Christ be preeminent in our affections, actions, and thought.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church by Pastor Chris Kopp, Sunday May 17th, 2015.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jesus Questions: Do you love me?

John 21:15  When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" 

I can't imagine what the the disciples must have felt when Jesus died and then came back to them. The emotional roller coaster of sorrow, grief, joy, uncertainty, doubt must have been exhausting. In that environment Jesus lovingly calls Peter back to the time when Jesus called him as a disciple. He also called him back to a coal fire where Peter cursed him. To both these memories, Jesus asks "Do you love me?" Jesus reminds us that he called us when we've gone astray, but he also reminds us that he loves us at our most unlovable moment. He asks you today, "____________, Do you love me?"
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday May 10th, 2015.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jesus Quesions: Why do you call me good?

Mark 10:18  And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Are you good? For most people this is a pretty easy questions for them to answer: "Of course I'm good." Isn't it interesting that our standard of goodness is always low enough that we manage to fit in it? Jesus' standard of goodness was God. I think we may need to raise our standard. 
Sermon delivered to the Galena Bible Church Sunday May 3rd, 2015.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What I Would Have Built For You

What would the playhouse have looked like, that you would have had from me. Was the trophy shelf big enough that I would have made, or the doll carriage fit for a queen? I would have sewn mittens, or carved a boat out of bark, but all I got to make for you is a jewel case the size of my heart. Your life it was precious. Ten weeks it was long. So suddenly you appeared to us and in that instant you were gone. A jewel case, a jewel case, until it all is new. You cannot build a thing with me, but I will come to you. 
Baby Kopp (4/27/15-4/27/15)
2 Samuel 12:23

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jesus Quesitons: What does it profit to gain the whole world?

There's a lot of "10 steps to a better you" books on the market today. So here's three steps to gain the whole world: 1. Never deny your pleasures, 2. Avoid all discomfort, 3. Follow your heart. (***Disclaimer: you will lose your soul following this***) What does Jesus mean when he says, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" The American dream continually leads us to believe that our life is all about us and our ability to have more. Yet Jesus stood in stark contrast to that reality. There was nothing that we could give in exchange for our soul. But God gave himself in exchange for our soul! Delivered by Pastor Chris Kopp to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday April 26th, 2015.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jesus Quesitons: Do you not yet understand?

Mark 8:21  And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"
Jesus had a very hard question for his disciples that started with them arguing about who was supposed to bring some bread for lunch. Why did it escalate from the disciples discussing bread to Jesus asking them if they had hard hearts? Because the sin of hypocrisy sneaks into our lives is subtle ways and we end up hiding behind a mask of self reliance or religious practice, rather than pursuing Christ for who he is. In this sermon we look at Mark 8:11-21 and ask our self the question, "Do you not yet understand?"
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday April 19th, 2015 by Pastor Chris Kopp. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When you pray.

Luke 11:2  And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Do we yearn for the holiness of God and the plead for his redemption of all things? When Jesus taught us to pray, he started with these two pillars of prayer. This past year Galena Bible Church has tried to be more intentional as a body in the area of prayer. We've implemented and emphasized two weekly prayer meetings (Tuesday mornings and Saturday mornings), organized a prayer chain (old school paper kind #1 calls #2 calls #3 etc), had a conference on prayer, had at least two sermons focused on the subject of prayer, and an entire service devoted to prayer, not to mention continuing to engage in corporate prayer during Sunday services weekly. Not because it's "the right thing to do", but because it's the only thing to do. We have no power to change broken people. We can't fix broken relationships. We can't heal deep multi-generational wounds. But the holiness of God can, and He has promised that He will (Your kingdom come). Do we ask for these things? Because of the very sensitive nature of conversations I've had with people I'll just be as vague as to say we have seen the spiritual fight we are in. Not just "felt it" or "perceived it", we've seen it. We've seen the harvest without the laborers. We've seen the struggle for life. We've heard the cries of hopelessness. And so what do we do?

We labor in prayer, because we know that the darkness is being pushed back.We labor in prayer, because we know that lives are being changed.We labor in prayer, because God has ransomed a people for himself by the blood of Jesus. We labor in prayer, because the Holy Spirit goes before us. We labor in prayer because it is how we can plead with the one who loved us and called us and sent us.

We don't pray perfectly, but we know God is listening.
What are we up to:
  • Easter service was rather different for us this year. The church elders decided that it would be beneficial to do things a little different this year. So we held our Easter service on frozen Lake Alexander and rented the city community hall for potluck. The congregation hauled their folding camp chairs and we brought all the folding chairs we had at church. All of this was not enough seating for the 100+ people who attended. Some of whom had never attended a GBC service before. No sound system, two small fires, a spruce pole cross, and the Good News of the resurrection of Christ. After the service we had potluck at the hall and had a couple of additional guests that stopped in for burgers. 
  • Our Wednesday night Bible studies continue to challenge us. This past week we had 20 people crammed into our downstairs living room. We're enjoying the study and conversation of Philippians and the openness that the group has.
  • Galena YoungLife held its annual Prom boutique a couple weeks ago. This year we didn't use the church building for logistics, but the men and women of the church helped out with students at the fitting event itself. What a cool thing to walk into a young persons life and affirm (maybe even for the first time) their intrinsic worth. 
  • Care for the church body has been a high priority for me in pastoral care. There are a lot of good or hard challenges that many of the believers are currently facing. What a privilege to shepherd the flock of God.
  • We are super excited to announce that GBC and Galena YL have partnered to take on Caylee Redford as YoungLife Area Director/GBC Youth Minister starting in August 2015. Caylee has lived in Galena for four years and worked at the dorms as an RA. Caylee deeply loves students and we are excited to see someone in a full time roll who can put focused effort into student disciplemaking. We have a lot of work to get done as our compensation for her will be the Northern Light House next to the church (post flood donated home that we've moved onto the church property), which is still in need of completion.

Clint (Left) in the snowshoe race at Galena Spring Carnival. Run with endurance.

Things you can be praying for:
  • Man and Woman: Made in God's Image Conference. This Thursday and Friday GBC will host Don and Brenda Ernst from Huslia to teach for a Men's night and Women's night. Be praying that community members who know Don and Brenda will be encouraged to attend and that the Ernsts will have clarity of mind as they teach. 
  • I've had several believers say "I feel spiritually attacked". I never take that lightly. Pray for fortitude, protection, energy, and endurance.
  • The Casey Family: Our partnership with SEND North has given us another opportunity to be on the front line of missions with the Casey family. Be praying that as they seek permission to move to a village down river that they would find favor within the tribal leadership. Pray for housing to become available as well. 
  • Definitive salivations: Continue to pray that "professions of faith" would translate into "actual practice of faith" and radical life transformations.
  • That God Holy Name would be held high for all to see amongst the believers of Galena, and that His kingdom would come to interior Alaska.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jesus Questions: Which is easier to say...which is easier to do?

Luke 5:23 Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? 

The scene must have been a bit comical. There Jesus sits teaching a crowded Bible study and a little plaster falls from the ceiling. Then more, and more until a ray of daylight slips through the ceiling. Does Jesus stop teaching? Do the people stair as slowly the hole gets large enough for four friends to lower their paralyzed friend before Jesus. What did they want? Physical healing for their friend. What did Jesus do? He healed his soul. "Your sins are forgiven." In less than a minute he would heal the man physically, but it is a reminder for us that the most important thing we need from Jesus is that which he could not say into existence, but that for which he had to die to purchase for us. Delivered to the Galena Bible Church by Pastor Chris Kopp, Sunday April 12th 2015.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Jesus Questions: Can I have a drink?

John 4:7  A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
How can a Jewish rabbi man, ask a social outcast Samaritan woman for a drink of water? It's because he knew she was desperately thirsty for the things of God. What do you try to satisfy your soul with that will never satisfy. When we try to satisfy our hearts with the physical, we will always be thirsty again.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday March 29th, 2015.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

God doesn't "fix" us, He transforms us.

A Bush Devotional Thought
Sno-go mechanics were not a prerequisite for the Masters of Divinity program at NOBTS, but there are times when I wish it had been. I took Shell on a beautiful Sno-go (Snowmobile for my southern readers) ride out to a place called Muller mountain a couple months ago. About 35 miles round trip. Half way there, my sno-go starts to sputter like it's getting bad gas. I gun it to try to blow through it and it seems like it cleans up and gets us there and back with no problems. About a week later while hauling some light freight down our road, it just dies on me. I mess with it and am able to limp it home. Start it up next day and runs great. This pattern of running not running goes for about a week then, nothing. Order this part...wait a week...that's not it...order that part...wait two weeks...that's not it. Finally I discover the above plug will not make a good connection. What's my "bush" solution. Put a big zip tie around the whole thing and cinch that bad boy up! Did I fix the problem? No, I fixed the symptom. The problem is going to cost me a whole lot more than I'm willing to pay right now.
Aren't you glad that's not how God works in us? Almost every government program in existence functions this way. It's reactionary. Something is already broken and we need to put structure in place to hold it together. The Gospel however is different from every other man made construct. Jesus doesn't "fix" us by His death, burial, and resurrection. He replaces us with himself! He makes all things new. He removes the "old dead man" and makes us to be "alive in Christ". It's been an incredible thing to watch God do this work in the lives of my church. We are a broken people, and I watch as God transforms what is broken and makes it new. What have you been trying to "bush fix" in your life that you need to let Christ replace?

What are we up to?
Last semester we started a mid week Bible study at our house. Every Wednesday we'll have anywhere from 3 to 12 attend. This semester we're going through the book of Philippians and have had some great discussion and open moments.

Sunday connection and outreach has been going very well. This past Sunday there were two van loads of students that came from the dorms. There's a consistent group of students that make it almost every Sunday. I'm always encouraged by these teens, because no one makes them come. They have to get themselves up, dressed, eat breakfast and be down to catch the van in time before it leaves. They come because they want to!

I had the privilege to speak at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage following SEND North's Annual Conference. ChangePoint is the largest church in the 60/70 window globally and has been a ministry partner of ours for the past 4 years. I shared the vision for church planting in the bush and the evangelistic approach to transition from the physical to the spiritual in all four of their Sunday services. It was a great privilege.

Most of our Interior Team, representing church planting in Galena, Huslia, Alakaket, and (hopefully) a down river village soon!
Our SEND North partners have been busy connecting both down river and up river. We're praying for the Casey family as they look to move down river to begin planting in a village with no evangelical church. This past month we spent half a week at the SEND North Annual Conference and reconnected with our extended team members and those in the other teams around Alaska and Canada.

Shell and I have had a lot of discipling, counseling, and coaching that we've had the privilege to walk in. Above is a dear sister who just had her first baby. We were privileged to be her pastor while she lived in Galena and have continued to try to be an encouragement from afar. It was great to get to see her and her baby boy when we visited town. In Galena God has been providing opportunities to walk with individuals and couples through growth in God's Word and in their relationships and situations.

Things you can be praying for:
  • Easter outreach - We are planning an outdoor church service for Easter and BBQ to follow. Pray for warm weather, and positive community response.
  • Men's/Women's Conference - This year we are hosting a Men's and Women's conference in the middle of April. Pray for our speakers, Don and Brenda Ernst, that they would be led by the Holy Spirit in what they bring to teach.
  • Spring Suicides - Spring always has a high suicide rate in our state. Pray that the enemy would be pushed back and that the message of the Gospel would transform lives.
  • Local village connections - We are finding open doors to come and serve in several villages. Pray that the Lord would raise up people who have a heart to move here and serve.
  • Pray for us as we labor to get seasonal needs met such as firewood and pre-river breakup preparations.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jesus Questions: Do you want to be healed?

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" 

Jesus asks a very sick man a simple yes/no question: "Do you want to be healed?" The man's answer is: "I'm hopeless". Far to many people are paralyzed by the hopelessness that comes from living in a fallen world, and in incredibly painful, challenging circumstance. Many people live with with a misplaced hope that will never satisfy. To those people Jesus resolutely speaks hope. "Get up, take up your mat, and walk." What is paralyzing your hope today?

Sermon delivered by Pastor Chris Kopp to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday March 22nd, 2015. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jesus Questions: Where can we by buy bread that these people may eat?

“Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” John 6:5

Jesus often chose to teach deep truths by asking questions. In this series we'll explore a number of the questions Jesus asked, and mine the riches that He has to teach us today. Why would Jesus ask such an illogical, irrational question like "Where will we buy bread to feed these 5000 plus people?" It was humanly impossible. But Jesus wasn't asking a question about food. He was calling for faith. He was offering "WE". It's an incredible offer that the crowds didn't receive, but the disciples did. Jesus may very well be asking you the same question today.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: The Story of man in the Story of God

Luke 24:25-26  And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"

There are two predominant lies that our culture teaches today. The first is that you are the star in your own story. This is a man-centric view of our existence. The second lie is that your story has no eternal significance. This could be called a matter-centric view of our existence where the only thing that has significance is matter itself, and not what happens with that matter. These are polar opposites, and pull at our affections, purpose, and values. Yet the Gospel intersects our story in such a way as to answer the problems with both of these lies. It's that our story is not THE Story: The story of God. And the incredible claim of the Gospel, is that God invites us into His story. This sermon is a narrative teaching on the Doctrine of man, and the Doctrine of Sin.

Delivered by pastor Chris Kopp, Sunday March 1st 2015 at the Galena Bible Church. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: Special Revelation

2Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The reality of God's revelation is that all humanity knows just enough about God to condemn them (Romans 1). Yet there is an incredible access to the knowledge of who God is and what God is about because of what is called the doctrine of revelation. God has given us His Word through the Bible and allowed us a clear understanding of His redemptive work. In this sermon we look at a basic understanding of revelation (general vs special) and how God uses His revelation to bring us from immaturity to maturity.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday February 22nd, 2015 by pastor Chris Kopp.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: Saved by Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
How does God save us? Is it through our own striving to find the right way? Lead the kind of life that we are supposed to? Be "good people"? Thank God no! It's by grace. Undeserved, unearned, unmerited, long suffering, patient, grace. And to see salvation as anything else is to claim we saved ourselves. In this sermon we'll see how Romans 8:28-32 teach that the means of salvation is grace, the vehicle of salvation is faith, the object of salvation is us, and the end of salvation is Jesus.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday February 15th, 2015. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: How do we worship the Holy Spirit

John 16:7  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

There has not been as divisive a doctrinal disagreement over the last 100 years than the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Therefore many have failed to teach on Him, and there fore compounded the confusion. Who is the Holy Spirit? What does He do? And how are we to worship Him? John 16 teaches us more about the Holy Spirit than any other text in scripture. Join us as we walk through this passage and learn to love the Holy Spirit.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday February 1st 2015, by Pastor Chris Kopp.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Missional thoughts on the SuperBowl

We "cut the cord" on TV about two years ago and really have enjoyed not knowing what's going on in the world of sitcoms. About the only time we tend to miss having it is during football season. We're not die hard fans but we do enjoy watching the Saints play from time to time. (Don't judge cause I've read the Bible and I'm pretty sure God loves the Saints!)
We didn't catch the SuperBowl this year but with the Seahawks playing (the team geographically closest to Alaska) there was quite a buzz from the 12th man in Alaska. In the midst of doing other Sunday afternoon things around the house, I watched the game play out on people's Twitter and FaceBook feeds and I made some observations:

1. We were made to worship. I'm not saying the fans were 'worshiping" their teams but there was a deep longing and connection that expressed itself in passionate action. Their actions in no way changed the players or the game in any way, it was a receiving from the team enjoyment, and then expressing satisfaction. This is how worship of our God is always ment to be. Our worship in no way changes what God does or who He is, but rather completes our satisfaction in Him. 

2. There's enough expendable money to end global poverty and world hunger. It's not a sin to spend money on things we enjoy. The point is as we see how much money is disposable (the SuperBowl does become a god if we think we could not live without it) entertainment we realize that Global challenges that can be fixed with money are not insurmountable.
3. We were made for a community on mission. It's not good that man should be alone, is what God had to say about our condition. When you watch football fans from every socioeconomic, regional, and ethnic starta unite around a common goal of victory it should be a reminder to followers of Jesus that salvation was a community creating event with a clear mission given. Christ glorified and disciples made from all the ends of the earth. You may not like a coach or prefer to watch from a box suite rather than don body paint but the mission is the same. Cheer the team on. 

4. As Christians none of us are called to "watch the game". We are called to be IN the game. Run with endurance, Paul tells us. Leave it all on the field. Press on to take hold of the upward call of God. This isn't a game. This isn't practice. This is the one brief life we were given. Get in the game for the Gospel's sake. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: Trinity

Probably, no aspect of the nature of God is more misunderstood than the nature of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three in one. What is the practical implications of the doctrine of the Trinity. How does it effect our daily activity? What does it mean in Romans 8 that God the Holy Spirit prays for us to God the Father over us on the basis of the finished work of God the Son in us?
These are questions we'll deal with today as pastor Chris walks through the doctrine of the Trinity. Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday January 25th, 2015.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sometimes you sprint in a marathon

The heavens declare the Glory of God...
When it comes to ministry the old clique is still true overall: "It's a marathon, not a sprint." But there are times in the marathon that you had better sprint. I know that's really bad runners logic, but in ministry it's absolutely essential. The cost of not accomplishing the tasks and goals that we work on are too high. Lives are literally at stake. Obviously we seek to never get ahead of the Holy Spirit in His work of drawing men and women to Jesus, but we also do not stand idly by and wait for something to happen. That's not what Jesus told us to do. (Matthew 28:19-20) Day after day I read the news around Alaska and hear of another suicide, another murder, another "accidental death", another rape, another teen pregnancy, and on and on the heartbreak continues. Student after student pours their heart out to me, their YoungLife leader, their coach, their teacher of the heartbreak of their world. Meanwhile 80% of villages continue to exist with no Gospel influence or witness at all.
It's time to sprint.
Recently I was talking to a native leader from a village we pray for regularly. They shared with me that in the last 7 months there have been 7 forcible rapes, no arrests, and no convictions. They were either too drunk or too beat up to remember who did it. One young man I mentor has lost two family members in the past three weeks. Another lady I was talking with was preparing to attend or assist 4 funerals in 5 days. During the first 7 weeks of school this year there was not a single day that some student did not experience loss from their home village.

It's time to sprint.

We have a calling to bring the Gospel to the world. That's you included. And God ordained that He would use His church to accomplish that task. Are you burdened with the world around you? Does your neighbor who doesn't know Jesus and doesn't love and cherish Him break your heart? Do you long for there to be strong healthy vibrant Gospel centered churches in every place where there isn't one?

It's time to sprint.

I'm praying diligently that the Lord would raise up laborers for the fields of Alaska. They're cold, hard, and isolated fields, but they belong to the Lord. He has a harvest of men and women who desire to break the bondage of sin and death and walk in Christ. But how will they hear unless someone tells them? How will they grow without believers walking with them. No less than an awakening is what we are pleading God for. 

It's time to sprint.

Things you can be praying for:
  • State YoungLife gathering happening in Galena next week. Pray that God would use youth ministry as an avenue to plant gospel centered churches in every community in Alaska.
  • Casey family (SEND North Missionaries partnering with Galena Bible Church) as we continue to look down river for open doors for ministry and church planting.
  • An awakening of hearts toward the message of the Gospel.
  • Galena Bible Church as we go through a teaching on Doctrine. Pray that the messages would be solidified in the minds of students so that they can walk in the truth. 

Baptizing a young brother in Christ!

How my wife dresses up for a date! (Snogo date that is)

One of our students leading worship for GBC. Uber-proud of this brother.

That's Chris on top the ladder trying to fight the fire at the school dining hall.

Volunteer fire department! (Me and my brother Jason)

Well at least it's gonna be sunny.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Doctrine to Doxology: Rightly Ascribing Greatness to Our God

Deuteronomy 32:3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! 

Everyone worships. But not everyone worships the God of scripture. Even some people who profess to be “Christians” believe in a god that can be found nowhere within the revelation of scripture. Therefore doctrine (What we believe) always effects our doxology (praise of God). In this sermon series Pastor Chris Kopp will teach on the major Doctrines of the Christian faith and how they affect our worship to God. This sermon introduces the subject and asks the question, “Who are you really worshiping?” 
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday January 11th, 2014.