Sunday, April 26, 2009

In Christ Alone...

A Righteousness Restored...

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God..."

-2 Corinthians 5 v 21

It seems we have to work in order to get a lot of what we want. We have to work for a business/company/corporation/conglomerate in order to get wages. We have to study in order to get good grades in school. We have to train in order to become better at sports. Lets face it, we as human beings work quite a lot.

And lets face it, when we work, we get into routines. And sure, routines in themselves aren't a bad thing, but as previously discussed, a) they make life less of an excitement, b) we aren't prepared for when something completely new comes along (such as a gigantic cock-roach claiming to be a mad scientist...Sorry, saw Monsters vs Aliens yesterday) and c) if they control our attitudes and beliefs, they can be corrupting.

And none is so corrupting than trying to attain righteousness. Righteousness is actually a very very good thing. Its what we all should attain to become. After all, the Bible declares that it means holy, upright, strong and just. I wouldn't mind being all those things, would you?

So where does the problem arise. Simple, like all the problems in the world, it derives from either Satan, the world itself, or ourselves. In this case, its ourselves and the world. You see, writing the last paragraph or two was very difficult to not make it seem like I'm not trying to attain it. But a lot of Christians today, and many other people believe, that you can only gain righteousness through how you live your life.

Life becomes a set of rules.

Rules that take over you, so that instead of loving God, you begin to become idolatrous. You may start worshiping control, time, safety, organisation, or even peace and quiet so much, that your life is focused on nothing more than to achieve those things. And you believe that if you achieve those things, you'll become righteous...

That my friends, is one of the greatest mistakes the world is making today.

By believing in the fact that they have to do something in order to achieve righteousness, their lives focus on achieving what has already been given to them! That's right, righteousness is already ours for the taking. How you may ask.

Through Jesus' blood.

This is the difference between religion and The Gospel. Jesus has already given us righteousness through His death on the cross. Religion focuses on working in order to achieve this righteousness.

Here, I'm going to give a list of the 10 major differences between religion and the Gospel:

1) Religion says that God will only love us if we obey His rules. The Gospel on the other hand says that He already loves me, and the evidence is through the life and work of Jesus. And because of His work on the cross, we are free to choose to obey God out of love. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins..."

-1 John 4 v 7-10

2) Religion says that the world is full of good and bad people. The Gospel says that we are all sinners, and we all have the chance to partake of Jesus' work through confession, repentance, and following Him. "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus..."

-Romans 3 v 23-24

3)Religion is about what you do. The Gospel is about what Jesus has done.

4)Religion is about getting from God. The Gospel is about getting God himself.

5)Religion sees hardship as punishment from God, and while God does discipline His children, He is a loving God, who isn't concerned with a long list of rules, but rather cares deeply if you we love Him.

6)Religion is about you. The Gospel however says that we are called to serve each other, just as Christ came to serve us.

7)Religion is focused on the outer image that you portray. The Gospel says that God is far more concerned about the state of your inner being.

8)Because religion is about what we do, there is no assurance in our standing with God come the Day of Judgement. The Gospel on the other hand says that if you believe in Jesus and His work on the cross, your assurance is guaranteed. "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us..."

-1 John 5 v 11-14

9) Religion simply doesn't work because it results in either pride or despair depending on our outlook. The Gospel on the other hand says that Jesus brings joy and salvation. It teaches us that our righteousness is not our own, which leads onto mine final point.

10) Religion is about getting your own self-righteousness. The Gospel states that through Jesus, we have been given a gift-righteousness.

You see? Jesus has already given us righteousness in full. It is gained through faith in Jesus, not through rigorous rule keeping. It gives us a new relationship with God, and it changes our character of the better.

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith..."

-Philippians 3 v 8-9

So in short, how do we gain righteousness?


Let Him be the Nexus of our lives...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nothing But The Blood...

A Covenant Complete...

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect..."

-1 Peter 1 v 18-19

Justice is a very interesting word don't you think? I mean, what is justice? Websters defines justice as " the administration of law ; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity..." And yet the Bible does not very clearly express a definition of justice. In fact, the word itself is hardly used in the New Testament. So what is justice according to God?

Truth be told, I'm only writing this off the top of my head, and truth be told, I really can't find a single verse that describes justice in a Biblical sense. The closet that can be found would be Mathew 20 v 1-16. If one was to examine this passage carefully, one would be able to find some definitions as regards to justice...

But why am I talking about justice? Again, as a lot of my posts speak of, and will continue to, we have all sinned against God. If you want a definition of sin, the last post is a good place to start. But not only have we sinned, be we have been sinned against by other people. Some of you may have been bullied, betrayed, physically hurt...but later in life, it is possible that people will be abused in marriage, sexually abused, discriminated against, or just hurt emotionally...

First of all, it is one of my deepest desires that none of you reading this will be abused in anyway, shape or form. It is crime for anyone to abuse another person in any form, whether it be deliberate, or for the fun of it.

I can personally speak of betrayal in my life, because people in my primary school once betrayed me. I can clearly remember the last day of school, as I walked out the gates for the last time, I remember saying to myself in regards to the hurt that person had caused me "I want blood..."

Scary no? Humble Philip King would turn out to be a person who wished to gain revenge on that person...

And then, as I was reading this week, it turns out that the response I whispered to myself was actually one of great delight...

Philip, are you completely mad? You ask...


When I said "I wanted blood," I was saying that I wanted justice...

I'm going to say something, and you can try and tell me otherwise, but when it comes to certain situations, I'm a wimp. Its true. And its one of the reasons I couldn't kill anyone, because I would be too scared of the consequences. But wanting justice, that's something that everyone can relate to...

Going back to the issue of sin, again, we have all sinned against God, and so we deserve punishment for our crimes. We deserve justice for we have done...

And yet...

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin..."

-1 John 1 v 7

Jesus took the blame, and became our new covenant sacrifice, through the blood that was shed on the cross. Blood is a physical sign of death, a sign that we have sinned, and our fear of blood outside of the body is because it reminds us that we are human, and that we have sinned. That is why the Day of Atonement was so important in Old Testament times. Its a fascinating study, and if you wish to look into, read Leviticus 16. But in basic terms, blood would be spilled on the alter for the nations sin... But how long can the blood of a lamb cleanse us from sin? God knew that the blood of this earth would never purify us, and so God himself needed to remove the Old Covenant, and replace it with the New Covenant in Christ...

Christ's blood, the New Covenant, covers all sin, and just as it says in the verse above, cleanses us from our inequities. And not only does it cover us, but it covers those who have hurt us. Justice will be down at the end of the day. Either that person will accept Jesus and be covered by His blood, or they will stand before Him on the Day of Days and be judged...

And how do we gain this justice, this New Covenant?


Let Him be the Nexus in our lives...

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

-Romans 5 v 8-10

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Stand...

RAW 09 The Great Encounter...

People may be getting sick of me saying “such and such was the greatest camp ever…” However, I want y’all to forget whatever I said about other camps, RAW 09 was THE GREATEST EXPERIENCE OF ALL TIME…PERIOD.

I mean it, this camp had everything…Worms, games, pipes, jammies, movies, a rave, late night craic, friends, 24 hour prayer, amazing talks, astounding worship, and the most important thing of all, a real and genuine encounter with the living God.

Camp started out like any normal camp, the normal greetings, general fun, finding our rooms…the usual. Dinner came, and thanks to the amazing Susan, throughout the camp our bellies were filled to the max.

However, as soon as we stepped into the first meeting, right from the onset, we could all tell that things were going to be different. Damian Parle, who we all knew, challenged us with a question, and would continue to challenge us throughout the camp. He started the camp by asking “Why are you really here?” It became clear to me that this week was going to do something amazing, that God was really going to move throughout the weekend.

We were then introduced to our speakers for the camp, Jorge and Ana, who had flown all the way from Arizona just to be there and minister to us through the theme of “encounter.” Ana lead the first talk, and taught from the Prodigal Son, and asking us to think of who in the story we most related to. She then explained because of the son’s wastefulness, that he was deceived, used up and stuck. But because he realised what he had done, he returned to his father, and gained humility and compassion. We then proceeded with some worship, and waited in anticipation for YAD SDRAWKCAB…

For those with a sharp eye, you’ll realise that YAD SDRAWKCAB is BACKWARDS DAY…well backwards! We were all asked to stay in our jammies, get supper, and head into the conference room for our next talk. Jorge led, and talked about having a face to face encounter with God. One of the objectives of the weekend he said was to have a radical change in our walk with Jesus, something that would take centre stage later. At the end of the meeting, we were given a questionnaire of sorts and asked to fill it out. I shan’t go into huge detail, but they were very personal questions.

We then huddle down, and watched our movie for the evening (it’s confusing I know), The Princess Bride! After dinner, we headed out into the forest for Damo’s version of fun, i.e. throwing eggs, tomatoes and water balloons at people. But unlike last year when we got the stuff thrown at us, it was the campers throwing the items at the leaders…Very funny stuff. We headed into lunch, after hanging out in the manor, you know, by playing Worms and what not.

The next talk was a big one. Jorge talked on the power of the cross, and what it had truly accomplished…It was one of the most moving talks ever. And if that wasn’t good enough, combined with some awesome worship and prayer time, we were given the challenge of watching clips from the Passion of the Christ. Truth be told, I had never see any part of the movie up until that point in time. In my honest opinion, I think every Christian should watch it, because although it may only be a human representation of the death of Christ, it is extremely moving. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. While the clip was still being played, we were asked to fold up the questionnaires from earlier on, and using a nail and a hammer, nail it to one of two crosses that had been made. This was extremely deep and spiritual, and I have to say whoever came up with the idea is a genius.

After the emotional meeting, it was time for breakfast, and finally it was off to bed. But before that, we were reminded that there would be a 24 prayer marathon and that we could sign up. I put myself down for 8 in the morning, and headed to sleep…

Saturday greeted us, and we returned to normal…if there is such a thing. Breakfast was back to its proper time, and then it was time for our next talk. Ana spoke on forgiveness, and what it means, not only to be forgiven, but to forgive and how to go about that.

Lunch was shortly followed by the event of the day…the infamous slippy-slide! We were absolutely blessed with the weather, and we made the most of it. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, and the slide was absolutely great craic! We then headed back up to the manor. But here I shall take a break to tell a funny moment. Myself, Cat, Jane and Mikey had arrived early at the manor. We then decided to go inside, but as Cat was trying to pull Mikey up from the bench, her grip loosened, and fell flat on her back! You had to be there for it to be funny.

The prayer marathon continued, and after trying to get a tennis ball around the manor using guttering, dinner came and went. For the next meeting, we were split up into men and women (not boys and girls), and were then given a talk on image by Jorge and Ana respectively on Image, and how we are perceived by the world, each other and God. We then headed back to the conference room, and did a very interesting exercise. We were given a list of verses proclaiming different truths about ourselves from the Bible. We were then asked to get into pairs, and taking turns, shout out each truth. It was very…manly… Worship followed, and after supper, we played some games and took part in a music quiz. Then it was off to bed…

As per usual at Easter, we all got up a half hour before sunrise and headed down to the camp site for a sunrise service. We then headed back up to bed, although some of us didn’t go back to sleep. Every got up at round 11, and we had the regular late breakfast of sausage and scrambled egg. It was sweet.

The main activity then for the day was making adverts. Sounds simple…Not when you’ve to advertise life insurance to death row inmates, or audio cassettes for deaf people. All of them turned out really well and we all laughed for several minutes.

And then it was time. Time for the final evening. If you’ve ever been to an Ovoca camp, you’ll know the last evening is particularly amazing. Jorge talked about the Holy Spirit, and how we need to just let go, and let Him flood our lives. And the worship began, and it was mighty. I say this, with my hand on my heart, that the last evening was the greatest experience of my life. Better than any other camp, better than any Beyond 48, even better than Teenstreet. Honestly, to see every single one of my friends have an encounter with the living God to such an extent that it became life changing was one of the greatest sights ever. So much so that I decided to share it with the group, when Ana called people up to share our thoughts on what had just happened. And something amazing occurred. After I had left the front started to make my way back down, both Ana and Jorge said this; “Looks like we got ourselves a pastor!” God, through Ana and Jorge, had confirmed His plan for me. It was touching. Nathan then got up, and in plain terms, prophesized that I change for Ireland is coming, and the people at RAW were to do it.

Damo then took us outside, and put on a mini fireworks display for us, and then after that everyone headed down to the basement for rave that we had been promised! Then it was time to head to bed.

Morning came, and after breakfast, it was time for our final talk, this time lead by Damian. In it, he talked about the vision of a changed Ireland, and challenged us to be the people to bring about that change. And then, as we were standing, he asked me my name. “Philip…” I said. “Philip what?” he asked. “King…” “You my friend are going to go far!” I had just been complemented by Damian Parle! But you know what, it wasn’t just his words of encouragement, it was seeing the changed lives at camp that made me feel fantastic. And even more so, knowing that we had all been touched by God, and that He was forever with me, that’s what kept me going.

We said our thank you to the cook, and then to Ana and Jorge, by praying over them, and also giving them about €600 we had donated to them. We all said our final goodbyes, and made our way home…

But this time, something was different. There wasn’t the usual sadness that everyone feels, rather, there was an immense amount of joy and happiness! We felt strong leaving Ovoca, ready to head out into our homes, our schools, our communities, our towns, our cities, out nation…That’s what made camp for me. The fact that God hade touched our lives in such a way that we aren’t afraid of what’s to come. Rather, we are anticipating telling our families, friends, communities, and our nation about the encounter we had with the living God… And unlike times where we feel like they’re putting us down, we now actually have the strength to say that “We are right, because I know that God is real, that Jesus dies for my sins, and if you need proof, all you have to do is ask.” I myself can’t wait to start telling my school friends about what happened, and about what is going to happen…

And now the thank yous;

Muchos gracias to Ana and Jorge, and their incredible words of wisdom. May God forever be with you, and that He may be the cornerstone of your entire lives. We were so blessed to have you guys, and I think everyone who went to RAW will think the same.

A big thank you has to go out to the leaders, who put in so much effort into making RAW the greatest experience it was. May God continue to bless and use you for His glory. A great shout out must go to Damian, who I know from experience that he loves God in such a passionate way, and that he wants to communicate that to us. Every year, you pour your heart and soul into RAW, and the thanks you should get should be limitless…ohh, and thanks must go to Jude as well…:P

I think the previous thank yous are encompassed in this next one. A huge thank you must go to you, my friends. What I said on the last night came from my heart. It is so amazing to see the changes in your lives over the time that we have known each other through Christ Jesus. May these years be only the beginning of our friendships, that we may continue to grow in one another, that God will forever be with you, and that you may always know the He loves you…

Finally to Author and Finisher of our faith, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End. The Lion and the Lamb. No words can describe the thankfulness that I have for your provision of strength, kindness, mercy, faith, hope, friendship, grace and love to me. It is you who I live for, now and for all my days, for there is none like you, my Jesus. Let your name be exalted on high, and may your glory touch the lives of others like it has touched mine. And may your voice, word and light be my guide for all my days. Thank you for what you did 2000 years ago, and continue to do everyday of our lives. May Christ be the centre of my life, and let all of us take up His challenge…Thank You…

“In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.”-Ephesians 4v1

“The promise of being transformed and ignited to holy passion by understanding and beholding God’s glorious personality is for all believers. No matter how weak or strong we feel, regardless of our previous failures, irrespective of our natural temperaments or personalities, each of us can be set ablaze with passion for Jesus.”-Mike Bickle

“It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.”
-1 Peter 5v10

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” -John 3v16

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
-Ephesians 5v1-2

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
-Galatians 2v20

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
-2 Corinthians 4v18

“He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing…”
-Ephesians 2v10

“I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."
-Jeremiah 29v11-13

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

By His Wounds...

A Ransom Paid...

“We should live like that while we wait for our great hope and the coming of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us so he might pay the price to free us from all evil and to make us pure people who belong only to him—people who are always wanting to do good deeds…”

-Titus 2 v 13-14

Those of you who are reading are alive…at least I hope you’re alive, otherwise I’m gonna be totally freaked out that zombies are even bothered to read my blog…Sorry, thought I’d open with a slight joke, and from the deafening silence I’m hearing, you all think I’m not funny… We’ll see…

But yes, we are all alive. We all go about our daily lives. I don’t know about you, but I think that everyone follows a routine. People who are spontaneous like to think they’re just that, spontaneous…but they to follow a routine. Do you wake up every morning? Yep. And do you go to sleep every evening? Yes sir. Then there you go, that’s a routine of sorts. You get up and go to sleep just like a lot of people.

We all have routines, whether we like to think it or not. And even more basic is the routine which cripples each and every one of us…


Now is the time when I ask quite a large question…

What is Sin?

Webster’s dictionary defines sin as “an offense against religious or moral law.” And yes, this is a very good description of sin. But the Bible gives a clearer, and maybe even simpler definition;

“Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard…”

-Romans 3 v 23

To explain that, it is what separates us from God. Anything that we do in which we turn our backs on Him is a sin. I know this is only a brief look at what sin is, but there’s more to come.

Sin is a routine for us. We are naturally born into sin, and so it is our very nature to sin, seen as we inherited this curse from our first father Adam. However, unlike most routines, it is extremely hard to break away from the routine of sin. And Jesus sums up the next point quite nicely here;

“I tell you the truth, everyone who lives in sin is a slave to sin…”

-John 8 v 34

It’s a hard thing to swallow, but in essence, we are all slaves to sin. There are people who say, and I think a lot of us would agree at first, that we are free human beings, free to do whatever we want. However, if we are truly free, surely we than have the freedom to reject sin… Unfortunately, we are not free from sin.

In “Death By Love” Driscoll uses the Exodus story to describe the state we are in, and points out that our hearts can be harden, just as Pharaohs’ was. And we all know what happened to him, don’t we…?

Paul sums up how sin affects us in our daily lives and further agrees with us being a slave to sin;

“I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate… But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner… So in my mind I am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin…”

-Romans 7 v 15, 23, 24

What Paul says here is what differentiates what is said in the book. In “Death By Love” Driscoll is writing to someone who does not hate his sin. What Paul is saying here is, despite the fact that he does sin, he hates what he does, and wishes to do what is right.

Much like “A Demon Conquered,” this post shares a very common theme, in that through Jesus’ death on the cross, we are redeemed. That is the second outcome of His death.

To be redeemed is to have a ransom paid for. As it says in Romans;

“The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord…”

-Romans 6 v 23

Jesus paid our debt. I think out of all the outcomes of the Cross, this is probably the one that people most align with, that the fact that Jesus took the blame for something that I didn’t do. By doing this, He showed His perfect, unconditional love for us, going to the greatest length to rescue us from sin, so that we would no longer need to bow down to sin, nor take heed of any of its commands;

“We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. Anyone who has died is made free from sin's control…”

-Romans 6 v 6-7

It’s sometimes hard to imagine the scale of what happened on the Cross. I mean, even in terms of redemption, there is so much that we could never grasp. I think what baffles me most of all is that Jesus took, not just my sin, but the whole world’s sin, and then going beyond that, He took all sin and placed it on himself, all sin throughout time and space… Come to think of it, the thing that baffles me most is the fact that Jesus would want to take any of our sin in the first place. That is the extent of His love, it’s a love which transcends understanding, and that is something amazing.

Conviction, Confession, Repentance, Restitution, Reconciliation… This is what Driscoll says is needed to be done in order to be forgiven, to be redeemed. But to put it another way...

Let Him be the Nexus in Your Life.

Everything after that will be done through your relationship with God. Truly, a ransom has been paid…

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed…”

-Isaiah 53 v 5

Idea taken from "Death By Love; Letters From The Cross" by Mark Driscoll. Bible Translation NCV

Monday, April 6, 2009

Further Postponement

Sorry guys,

I just found out that I'm going to be out for a big portion of the day at the dentists. Have to get a tooth filled, so I probably won't feel up to writing anything after I get back...

Post will definitely be up tomorrow.


Sunday, April 5, 2009


I seem to be making a habit of this...

Post will be up tomorrow.