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de Adam Kohlstrom

To know Him and make Him known.

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Go (Easter Sermon)

por Adam Kohlstrom

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April 4, 2010 – Matthew 28:1-20 – Easter – “Go!” It is widely known that Thomas Jefferson could not accept the miraculous elements in Scripture. With a pair of scissors Jefferson edited his own special version of the Bible in which all references to the supernatural were deleted. The closing words of his Bible were: “and [he] placed [Jesus’ body] in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Jefferson’s understanding of Jesus ended with an occupied tomb. Our understanding of Jesus BEGINS with an empty tomb! Our understanding of Jesus MUST begin where the world’s understanding of Jesus leaves off - with the Empty Tomb of Easter which we study and celebrate today. HE IS RISEN! He is Risen Indeed!

Essential

por Adam Kohlstrom

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February 21, 2010 – Essential - Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:11-16 You know the feeling, you get to the end of the driveway, or the end of your street and suddenly realize you left your cell phone in the house. So what do you do? You stop the car, turn around, run in the house and get it. Now the funny thing is that all of us just a few short years ago used to drive EVERYWHERE without a cell phone. BUT NOW? Now we can’t even run to the corner store to pick up a gallon of milk without knowing our cell phone is in the car with us in case of an emergency. What happened? Our cell phone has become ESSENTIAL to us - something we just can’t imagine being without! These things are essential to us. So why is it that church so non-essential to so many? For those who profess to be Christians, most of them count their cell phones as ESSENTIAL and yet, many of those same people treat church as NON-ESSENTIAL. Why? Because my friends, things that are USEFUL and HELPFUL we keep, we seek, we inconvenience ourselves to have in our lives. But for many church has not shown itself useful or helpful and thus has become non-essential. How might WE become an essential church?

Win

por Adam Kohlstrom

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February 7, 2010 – Matt. 7:15-23 – Win! The success or failure of a baseball team is not measured just by ACTIVITY but by achieving the GOAL - having the most players cross home plate. Did you catch that principle? Success is not measured by activity but by achieving the win. If your team’s players don’t cross home plate it doesn’t matter how beautifully the individual players played, or how hard the team worked, or how great the camaraderie on the field. Everything is measured in light of the win. So what is OUR win? What is our win here at Chestnut Street Baptist Church? How do we know we’ve been successful? Where is our home plate? What scoreboard should we be looking at to determine whether or not we’ve won? Because there is a difference between a lot of activity – no matter how good that activity is - and achieving a win. What is OUR win? The win in light of which all our other activities might be MEASURED and towards which all of our activities should MOVE us?

Simple

por Adam Kohlstrom

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January 31, 2010 – Simple – Matt 11:28-30; 22:36-40 While the skeletal system might not be the most important system, the structure that the skeleton gives to the body is necessary for the overall functioning of the Body. The structure of the skeleton allows correct functioning and growth of the other more important systems of the body Structure is NOT the most important thing, but it IS important because it allows our bodies TO DO the most important things. Why the anatomy lesson? Because what is true of the Human Body is true of the Body of Christ. Our church is engaged in a process of evaluating our church’s structures: First, HOW we are organized governmentally; Secondly, HOW we are organized for ministry. Is this because the leadership thinks structure SO important? NO! My friends, this is because what we DO is SO important that we want our structure to allow us to do it to our very best!

Defender of the Weak

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Jan. 24, 2010 – “Defender of the Weak” - Dt. 10:18; Ps. 68:5; 82:3-4; Prv. 14:31; 19:17; 31:8-9; Isa. 1:15-17,23; Jer. 22:16 We LOVE stories about “defenders of the weak” - those who defend the cause of the weak, the vulnerable, and the hurting. WHY does this idea so resonate with us? WHY is it that we seek out and retell stories about these defenders of the weak? WHY is it do you think that we find countless myths throughout human history heralding those who are defenders of the weak? My friends, I believe it is because we humans are created in the Image of God, who is revealed as a defender of the weak. As such, we unconsciously hold in high esteem those who defend the weak, for those people are reflecting God Himself. He is the “defender of the weak” and so we too are to be “defenders of the weak” There could be no more appropriate theme to discuss on this day - Sanctity of Life Sunday. Human life is sacred and precious in all its stages and conditions - and most worthy of our defense. So today you are offered the opportunity to reflect our God, becoming a “defender of the weak” – just as heroic as any superhero - and no superpowers are required.

Formed to Fit

por Adam Kohlstrom

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January 17, 2010 – Romans 12:1-8 – Formed to Fit Cal Ripken Jr. is considered to be one of the greatest individual players in baseball history. However, when interviewed about his view of success, this what he said: "I'd much rather be referred to not as an individually great player, or someone who tore up the record books, but someone who came to the ball park and said: 'Okay, I'm here. I want to play. What can I do to help us win today?'" My friends, THAT must be our attitude. What can I do to help US win today? It is not about YOU and it is not about ME. It is about US. He wants to mold us and shape us - forming us to fit perfectly as part of the Body of Christ.

Where are the other nine?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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November 22, 2009 - “Where are the other nine?” - Luke 17:17 We opened the service watching this video:

Did you hear what she said?: "I’m thankful for like the fact that God lets us live and breathe and He gives us beautiful lives and art and relationships. And even though we don’t deserve it, He showers His mercy on us year after year. Even though we ignore Him, He takes care of us. He loves us." We have many excuses for NOT thanking God, but many MORE reasons TO thank Him. Psalm 107:1:“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Nov. 15, 2009 - “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:25-34 ONLY 40 Days until Christmas! JUST 11 Days until Thanksgiving! Do you feel the anxiety rising? Worry is an uninvited guest in most of our lives. What worry really is, is a low grade FEAR. We FEAR that something will or will not happen - whether it is a promotion, a raise, an award, an invitation, a proposal, a closing, a deal, an affirmation. OR we fear that we will or will not have something we want or need - whether is money, food, clothing, health, respect, praise, relationship, love. Our fear of not having or of losing makes us afraid Our WORRY always leads directly to what we VALUE most. So today, Jesus invites us to examine our worries, our fear, and the things that we value as he asks us: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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November 8, 2009 - If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get? - Matthew 5:46 The Sermon on the Mount in many ways serves as a corrective to the interpretation and application of the law and prophets by the Pharisees. What had they done? In the words of theologian John Stott: “[The Pharisees] made the law’s demands less demanding and the law’s permissions more permissive.” So we come to the question that Jesus’ asks today: "If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get?" And we find that the demands of the law have been made less demanding. So Jesus' word to us serves as a powerful corrective to our own selfish tendencies.

Has no one condemned you?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Nov. 1, 2009 - “Has no one condemned you?” John 8:10, Matt. 7:3-4 Jesus’ questions today should and will cut us to the heart - challenging our attitudes and actions. Hear Him ask you today: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” and also “Has no one condemned you?”

If You Can? - Mark 9:23

por Adam Kohlstrom

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This is the video clip from Facing the Giants that we showed Sunday morning before the sermon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyPkUXGq1S0). October 25, 2009, Questions from Jesus: “If You Can?” Mark 9:23 The coach says, "I don’t want you giving up a certain point when you could go further." Maybe we give up too soon. Maybe we've contented ourselves with the 30-yard-line when He wants to bring us to the End Zone. Maybe we've just chosen to sit on the sidelines while He's trying to get us into the game. Today we will hear Jesus say: "'If you can'? Everything is possible for him who believes." Do we believe that? Do we live that?

Do You Believe This?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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October 4, 2009 – “Do you believe this?” - John 11:26 “Do you believe this?” This is Jesus’ question to us today The word, "believe," is a dominant word in the Gospel of John. He uses the Greek word for believe – pisteuō - 98 times. When John explains the purpose of his gospel in John 20:31 he writes: "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So belief is not passive, nor it is mere cognitive assent. Belief is dynamic, active, alive. John uses an action verb to describe belief. So Jesus’ question “Do you believe this?” is a most powerful and poignant questions for your answer and action in response will change everything.

Do you want to be well?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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September 27, 2009 – “Do you want to be well?” – John 5:6 Change is always risky and hard - even when the prospect is of changing from something worn, old, past its prime to something new and better. It’s easier, safer, more comfortable to cling to what we know, sometimes, we just don’t want to change. And that truth is at the heart of the question that we hear Jesus asking us today. For beyond the question of our comfortable old shirts, we must examine the comfortable, yet worn out and frayed corners of our lives and hear Jesus asking us: “Do you want to change?” “Do you want to be well?”

What good will it be for a person if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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September 20, 2009 - What good will it be for a person if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? - Mark 8:31-38 The economic crisis that we now find ourselves in has brought an interesting phrase into the headlines: toxic assets. Toxic assets are a huge reason why banks are in the trouble that they are in. You see, assets are loans. Somebody owes the bank money that they pay it back with interest. However, as the economy now stands - especially with the mortgage foreclosure crisis - many of these loans have actually become liabilities. People are unable to pay back these loans and the houses that secured the loans have decreased in value - below the amount of the loan. So these loans, instead of being assets, have become liabilities. And any asset that is harmful to the bottom line is toxic. This phenomenon is not just in the banking industry, but in our own lives as well. Often, we consider things to be assets that in the end reveal themselves to be liabilities. Sometimes, like these bankers we invest our lives in things that we think will pay in the end - investments that appear valuable and trustworthy but we find ourselves in the red. We invested in toxic assets. Jesus’ question today gets to the heart of the matter. He’s asking His disciples - and asking us - to evaluate our portfolio - have we been investing in toxic assets? Has our life been given to things that in the end will actually be shown to be liabilities? This is what Jesus is getting at when he asks us today:"What good is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for his soul?"

Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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September 13, 2009 Series: Questions from Jesus Sermon: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” Scripture: Luke 13:2 Where were you on September 11, 2001?. Last Friday we paused to remember the anniversary of 9/11 – eight years ago that day. And most of us have vivid images in our minds – sights, sounds, smells - of that day. Often in the wake of tragedy, our fears blind us. We grope through darkness, grasping at answers, looking for understanding. In our desperation, we too quickly and uncritically latch on to answers without adequate reflection as to their veracity. Sadly, all too often, like this man and others like him did, point the finger in the wrong direction. Jesus was confronted with just such a situation. People, groping about in the darkness of tragedy trying to understand “why,” pointing fingers, looking for answers, and desperately latching on to wrong ideas. And so today, we hear Jesus confronting them – and confronting us - in all of our wrong ideas and wild accusations, asking pointedly: "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?" and again: "those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?"

Questions: What do you want me to do for you?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Sept. 6, 2009 - “What do you want me to do for you?” - Mark 10:36, 51 Today we turn to what may be the most frequently asked question of Jesus. It is a question that Jesus seems to ask often, to many different people, and in many different ways: "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked many variations of this question:

  • “What do you want me to do for you?” Mt. 20:32; Mk. 10:36; 10:51; Lk. 18:41
  • "What is it you want?" Matt 20:20-22
  • "What are you looking for?" John 1:38
What do we learn from this question to us today?

How many loaves do you have?

por Adam Kohlstrom

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08/23/2009 Series: Questions from Jesus Sermon: “How many loaves do you have?” Text: Mark 6:32-44 We come to God with all kinds of questions. Often we do so much asking and so much talking that rarely do we listen and consider that maybe God has some questions for us. When we read the Gospels, we find that Jesus was a master at asking questions. One scholar counted 307 questions asked by Jesus in the four gospels. So this fall, we embark on a journey – we will study together some of these Questions from Jesus. What do we learn about the questioner as we study His questions? What do we learn about ourselves as we answer His questions? For if we believe as Hebrews 4:12 declares, “The word of God is living and active,” then these questions from Jesus recorded in the living Word might become to us today questions He is asking of us as well. And so, as we have heard of what the Fall holds for our church. It is most appropriate that we also hear Jesus asking us: “How many loaves do you have?”

Don't Turn Away

por Adam Kohlstrom

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C. H. Spurgeon said in one of his sermons: “NATURE is selfish, but grace is loving. He who boasts that he cares for nobody, and nobody cares for him, is the reverse of a Christian, for Jesus Christ enlarges the heart when he cleanses it. None so tender and sympathetic as our Master, and if we be truly his disciples, the same mind will be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.” NATURE is SELFISH - survival of the fittest, every man for himself. However, as Dr. Mead said, the first sign of civilization is not knowledge, not technology, not intellect – but COMPASSION. In the same way, the first sign that Jesus Christ has come into our hearts is not Bible knowledge, not wearing the right clothes or doing the right things, but rather the same HUMILITY and COMPASSION as evidenced in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. COMPASSION is a stubborn refusal to turn away - it is the humility that allows our hearts to grow. Compassion allows that other person’s needs affect me, it makes her problem my problem, it makes his burden, my burden. The Church of Jesus Christ must be marked by such Compassion For the world will not take seriously our message until we take seriously the problems of this world. Our Compassion builds a bridge across which our message might travel and testifies to the truth of our message. My friends, THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO TURN AWAY FROM OUR MESSAGE, IF WE REFUSE TO TURN AWAY FROM THEIR NEED. Don’t Turn Away

A Table for Turncoats, Traitors, and the Timid

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Thursday, April 9, 2009 - Maundy Thursday - Matthew 26 A Table for Turncoats, Traitors, and the Timid Tonight we read of the events surrounding Jesus’ final meal with His disciples as found in Matthew 26. As we reflect upon the table that Jesus prepared, consider who were the first to receive the new meal He instituted? That evening, we find that it was a Table set for Turncoats, Traitors, and the Timid. A table set for men and women like you and like me.

False Advertising

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Date: April 5, 2009; Series: At the Cross Sermon: False Advertising; Text: Mark 11:1-21 What has been termed "The Triumphal Entry" is one of the few events recorded in ALL 4 gospels - emphasizing its importance. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was a carefully orchestrated parable - in the words of theologian Robert Stein, “For Jesus the triumphal entry was a carefully orchestrated messianic act. It was a parabolic act that could be perceived by those with eyes to see but that was concealed for others.” And those with eyes to see understood the true meaning of this parable: The King is Here! Upon arriving in Kingly fashion, what are the first actions of this new King? Another parable. After His highly parabolic and symbolic entry, Jesus enacts another parable that clearly communicates His intentions of this King: He curses a fig tree and then overturns business as usual at the Temple. Jesus is clearing the way for something new, something better. He’s clearing the way so that men and women - like you and me - might truly be saved. Hosanna in the Highest!

No Condemnation

por Adam Kohlstrom

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March 22, 2009 - Series: At the Cross Sermon: No Condemnation - Luke 7:36-50; John 3:17; Romans 8:1 We’ve all seen people struggling through an airport weighed down by all the baggage they are trying to carry. People who would love to be relieved of their burden - grateful if someone removed just some of that weight from their shoulders. Today, we read the story of a woman who shows up at a dinner party carrying all sorts of baggage. The luggage of her sin weighs her down, the knowledge of what she has done bears heavily upon her heart and mind. The collective weight of her condemnation is crushing her. This morning, we sang that familiar hymn “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Some churches have sought to soften the message of those lyrics by changing “saved a wretch like me” to “saved someone like me.” One theologian, surprised at this change, muttered: “If I’m not a wretch, grace isn’t amazing.” The woman in this story understood how amazing grace was because she stumbled into dinner that night well aware of her wretchedness. She knew she came to the table with all her baggage and condemnation. So imagine how grateful she was to find that baggage lifted. Imagine the relief to find such amazing grace - that in Christ there is no condemnation. Imagine the joy that you too might now find.

What Shall We Do: Baptism

por Adam Kohlstrom

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March 15, 2009 – Acts 2:37-41, 8:34-38, 16:30-33 – What shall we do? (Baptism Service) We had some problems with the recording equipment on Sunday morning so this a "re-recording" of the sermon. That Sunday evening we further discussed Baptism and I went into detail about modes (methods) of baptism and why it is we baptize adults and not infants. I included this extended discussion as part of the recording. We opened our baptism service with a clip from the movie O Brother Where Art Thou. You can watch the (unedited) clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82_bhD0_Trw (link opens in a new window). Or watch here:

Wise Investments

por Adam Kohlstrom

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March 8, 2009 – Wise Investments - Series: "Being the Church" - Matthew 25:14-30, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10-11. Today’s sermon is NOT about money. It's about something much, much more important. As we wrap up our series on “Being the Church” I’d like us to consider another type of investment. As a part of the Church - as a member of the Body of Christ - how will you invest what you’ve received? According to 1 Cor. 12:7, we who are part of the Church, have all received gifts - “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” So all of us who have been called to be a part of the Body of Christ have been filled by the Spirit of God and been given gifts by His Spirit for us to use for His glory. So the question is: “how will I make a wise investment of what I have received?” At one church’s VBS program, the kids always prayed at dismissal time: "I will do the best I can with what I have where I am for Jesus' sake today." How about you? How will you best invest what you have have for Jesus' sake today?

Loving Leaders, Faithful Followers

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Date: March 1, 2009 Series: Being the Church Sermon: Loving Leaders, Faithful Followers Text: Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1,13; 5:17 “Question Authority!” We live in a world that is inherently suspicious of authority. In our fear and suspicion, we have a tendency to throw the concept of authority completely out the window. We try to level the playing field and create a system somehow devoid of any real authority. As such, in our town governments here we have the familiar "New England town-hall" style of meeting. And somehow this "authority-less" form of government has crept its way into use in many of our New England churches. We live in a fallen world and we have seen the heinous abuse of authority. We all know well that spiritual authority is not exempt from such abuse. All one must say is “don’t drink the kool-aid” to remember how horrible and utterly tragic and abuse of spiritual authority can become. But the question with which we must wrestle this morning: is all authority truly evil or might there be such a think as Spiritual authority – beneficial to us all?

Internally Strong, Externally Focused

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Date: 02/22/2009 Series: Being the Church Sermon: Internally Strong, Externally Focused Text: Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:14-18 There is a conversation that cycles through the church community – “where should we put our attention?” Should the Church’s emphasis be on becoming internally strong - GROWING the Saints? Or should our attention be focused externally - GOING to the lost and suffering? Should we be focused on GROWING or GOING? This question gets danced around, dissected, and debated in the church today: Internally Strong or Externally Focused? And I am here this morning to tell you that the answer is YES. YES, we need to be INTERNALLY STRONG - we dare not ever forsake our fellowship or our study. YES, we need to be EXTERNALLY FOCUSED - we dare not forsake a lost and dying world. These two emphases are NOT competing interests or mutually exclusive but rather we will see that these two realities are complementary. To be INTERNALLY STRONG we must be EXTERNALLY FOCUSED. At the same time, we cannot be EXTERNALLY FOCUSED - and effective - if we are not INTERNALLY STRONG. These are two sides of the same coin. We are not free to flip the coin and merely choose a side. Rather, we will discover that as a church we GROW as we GO. These impulses are not mutually exclusive of, but rather utterly dependent upon, one another.

Defense of an Old Fashioned Idea

por Adam Kohlstrom

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Date: 02/15/2009 Series: Being the Church Sermon: Defense of an Old-Fashioned Idea Text: Acts 4:32-33 I stumbled across ARTICLE V of our church Constitution titled CHURCH COVENANT. Did you even know we have a Church Covenant? My friends, I have been in this church coming up on six years as of July. NEVER ONCE have we read this covenant together as a body. NEVER ONCE have we asked anyone to consider or affirm this as part of attaining church membership. NEVER ONCE have we referred to it as we evaluate our corporate life together. It is glued inside the back cover of most of our hymnals, but we never read it, never use it, never refer to it. It is an entire article of our church constitution, however it might as well not exist because we utterly neglect and ignore it. At this juncture, we need to do one of two things:

  1. either change our church constitution and remove this Old-Fashioned silliness about covenanting together and being members of one another
  2. or start taking it seriously
And my friends, if we choose to dismiss this idea of covenanting together - if we decide to take membership too lightly - then we will take the church too lightly, we will take our responsibility to one another too lightly, we will take our mission to this world too lightly. No, what is most needed now in the church universal - and our church in particular - is a defense of this Old-Fashioned idea of Church Membership - of Covenanting together; of becoming, like the early church – one in mind, one in heart, one in purpose.

Body by the Spirit

por Adam Kohlstrom

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02/08/2009 – Series: Being the Church - Body by the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12 Nowadays we have:

  • Body by Jake
  • Body by Glamour
  • Body by Dr. Ted
  • Body by Victoria
  • and Body by Milk - because Milk does a Body good
Corporately, as the Church, we here have a Body by the Spirit. Last week, we discussed how we are a community of the Spirit. What we will see today is that the Spirit makes us even more than a community, but in a real way, a Body. As 1 Corinthians 12:13,27 says, "So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body... Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." It is a mind-blowing concept that in some very real way, we are Jesus’ Body here on earth. We are His representatives, His ambassadors, His Body. We are Jesus to this world - His Body, His Voice, His Hands and His Feet. So to be the Church - we must understand what it means to be the Body of Christ - a Body by His Spirit.

A Community of the Spirit

por Adam Kohlstrom

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02/01/2009 - Series: Being the Church, part 2 - A Community of the Spirit - Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-41 Last week we said the church is a community founded upon the Rock of the apostolic message – the divinely inspired confession of and message about Jesus Christ. The identity and message of Jesus Christ are foundational to the identity and message of the church. But while the church is gathered around the identity and message of Jesus Christ, the church is more than that. We will see today that the church is a Community of the Spirit. Remember that Matthew is the only Gospel that contains the Greek word ekklesia, that we translate as church (Matthew 16:18 and 18:17). The first occurrence of the word ekklesia after the gospels, comes at the end of Acts 2, the passage we will consider today (Acts 2:47). So while the church is a community built upon the Apostolic message about Jesus Christ, we will see today it is also a community of His Spirit. In the words of one commentator: “We must understand that the church’s nature is unique, and that this unique nature is the result of the work of God’s Spirit in the world.”

Ekklesia (The Church)

por Adam Kohlstrom

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January 25, 2009 – ekklesia – Matt, 16:13-20; 18:15-18 For what the church is will determine what it does will determine how the church is to be organized. In other words: form follows function, function follows identity. So we must be clear upon the identity - the nature - of the church. On commentator put it this way, “The interrelationship of the three aspects is clear. The church is. The church does what it is. The church organizes what it does. The nature of the church is based on God’s presence through the Spirit. The ministry of the church flows out of the church’s nature. The organization of the church is designed to support the ministry of the church.” So today we embark upon a new sermon series, “Being the Church.” We will study that we might adequately answer this question: what is the church. For in answering this foundational question, all the other pieces will fall into place.

Imago Dei (The Image of God)

por Adam Kohlstrom

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January 18, 2009 – Imago Dei - Genesis 1:27; 9:5-6; Prov. 31:8-9; Matthew 22:37-40 Imago Dei is Latin phrase used by theologians meaning "The Image of God." As Genesis 1:27 says: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." This concept of Imago Dei is an important one for us to understand for the concept possesses far reaching implications for a plethora of moral issues. Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday, a day in which we recognize that all human life is sacred - rich and poor; short and tall; sick and healthy; born and unborn; red, brown, yellow, black, and white – and all human life is precious in His sight. For ALL are created in God’s image And so we remember on this, Sanctity of Life Sunday that Imago Dei – the image of God borne by humanity - makes human life more than dignified, more than valuable, more that respectable - it makes human life sacred.

State of the Church address: Grasshoppers or Giant Slayers

por Adam Kohlstrom

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January 11, 2009 - State of the Church address: Grasshoppers or Giant Slayers, Numbers 13 & 14 Joshua and Caleb are men whose names have endured the test of time. Their deeds are NOT forgotten for they are men who never forgot God’s mighty deeds. These are men who, in faith, believed God’s unbelievable promises, trusted his unknowable strength, and knew His generous gifts. As such, these men became Giant Slayers – unstoppable, courageous, and remembered even until this day. However, the other ten men in this story, their names have been forgotten by the majority of people. Their story has been purged from our consciousness. Their existence is but the knowledge of but a few scholars. These men are forgotten for they forgot what God had done for them. These are men who, in fear, could not believe the unbelievable guidance, strength, and gifts of God. So and they became but grasshoppers – easily trampled, frightened, and forgotten. Today, Chestnut Street Baptist Church - as we face the two-hundred-and-first year of our incorporation - we, like the Israelites, face a relatively unknown land and future filled with giants and challenges. The question that faced them then, is the same question that faces us today: will we be Grasshoppers or Giant Slayers?

Have Yourself a Money Little Christmas

por Adam Kohlstrom

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11/30/08 - 1 Tim. 6:3-10, 17-19 - Have Yourself a Money Little Christmas. Financial matters are mentioned more often in the Bible than prayer, healing, or mercy. Why? Because our pursuit of money always threatens to derail our pursuit of God. That’s exactly what had happened in the Church at Ephesus. In today’s passage, we will hear Paul condemn "men...who think that godliness is a means to financial gain" (6:4) and in 6:10, those "eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs..." It should cause us to rethink everything, even how we celebrate Christmas. For at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, so shouldn’t we reflect upon how our celebrations might better honor Him? Gift giving is in no way evil or bad. I love giving gifts to my kids and seeing their faces light up. But at the same time we must remember that in America, $457.4 billion was the total expected holiday sales in 2006. In 2007, shoppers around the country spent and average of $859 on gifts for the holiday season. All the while, half of the 6 billion people on this planet live on less than $2 a day. Spending money is not bad. Giving gifts is not bad. But have we stopped and given honest consideration to how we live and how we give? Have we reflected upon how our use of money affects the world?

Thanksgiving (1 Timothy 1:17, 6:15-16)

por Adam Kohlstrom

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November 23, 2008 – 1 Tim 1:17; 6:15-16 – Thanksgiving As often happens in Paul's writings, when he begins to dwell upon God and re-tells the story of Grace – the story of Jesus Christ - he often breaks into doxology and thanksgiving (cf. Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 16:27; Gal. 1:3-5; Eph 3:20-21; Phil. 4:20; 2 Tim. 4:18) Good theology should always lead us to doxology. Theology (theo - God & logos - words) words about God. Doxology (doxo - glory & logos - words) words of Glory. Right words about God should always lead to praise and giving glory to God. Twice in the short letter of First Timothy, Paul breaks into hymns of praise - both times, these hymns of ecstasy praise pour out as he reflects upon Jesus Christ. And so today - this Thanksgiving Season - we reflect upon what God has done, how he as provided, all that He has given and we too give thanks. Most importantly we, like Paul, remember what God has done for us in Jesus Christ – and we are eternally grateful.

House Rules

por Adam Kohlstrom

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November 16, 2008 – 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2 – House Rules - from the series: "Watch Your Step: A Study in First Timothy." In chapter Five of First Timothy, Paul reminds the church at Ephesus of the House Rules. As Paul wrote in 3:15 - the church is God’s Household. So when you're in God house - in His family - you play by His rules. We remember that the household at Ephesus was in disorder, wrought by the false teachers and the wayward leaders whom Timothy had been left to silence. For Timothy must help the church at Ephesus "Watch Its Step." For many have already been spiritually, theologically, emotionally injured by the landmines of falsehood laid by these false teachers. In God’s Household we play by House Rules - and here we learn that House Rules say: show RESPECT to all.

Leaders Worth Following (part 2) - Deacons

por Adam Kohlstrom

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11/09/2008 – 1 Timothy 3:8-16 – "Leaders Worth Following - Deacons (part 2) - Deacons." From the series: "Watch Your Step: A Study through First Timothy." In the New Testament - and here in the letter of 1 Timothy - we see alongside the Elder another official role of church leadership. A role of equal importance but different function - the role of Deacon. The Greek diakonos that we translate here as Deacon is translated elsewhere in the New Testament literally as servant or minister. So who are these servant leaders? What is their role in the church? How do they function alongside the elders? And most personally, how should they all function today in 2008, here at Chestnut Street Baptist Church?