Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The importance of 'Freedom'.

We have just started a new teaching series at The King's Church Mid-Sussex on 'Freedom'. Last week Steve Cornford kicked this off by looking at Freedom from our past.  You can hear the message here.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at 'Freedom from Unforgiveness', 'Freedom from Failure' and 'Freedom from Fear'. I believe this is going to be a really important series for many people.

The bottom line is this. Though we live in a nation that enables us to exercise our democratic vote with freedom. And though we live in a nation that enables us to express our faith with freedom. And though we have more options and choices than most other generations throughout history. And though the world is smaller and through social media our ability to communicate is much greater. And though there are more experiences and events to encounter. Though all of this is true.

Many people still live lives that are far from free.

And that's because true freedom is not the absence of restrictions nor is it the unending choices and options available to us (In fact many people suffer from a paralysis of having too much choice and the fear of making the wrong one). True freedom is not about my ability to experience all that life offers or my ability to travel wherever I want.

True freedom comes from within us not from outside of us.

True freedom comes from knowing who we are and being confident in that.
True freedom comes from knowing we don't have to compare ourselves to others.
True freedom comes from knowing that our mistakes don't need to dictate out future.
True freedom comes from knowing that other people's mistakes that have negatively impacted our lives don't need to dictate our future.
True freedom comes from knowing that worry does not add anything to us; it only robs us of something.

True freedom comes from knowing the one who is the freedom giver.

2 Corinthians 2 v 17 says this - "Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there if freedom"

That's why I am so excited by this teaching series.

Join us this Sunday as Kieran Dunne unpacks 'Freedom for Unforgiveness"

Monday, 28 April 2014

Imprisoned Spirits, Noah and Baptism


Over the last few months we have been studying the book of 1 Peter at The King's Church Mid-Sussex. It's an amazing letter written by someone who walked and talked with Jesus. 

Last Sunday (27 April) I preached from some verses in chapter 3 where Peter encourages us not to live in fear but to be prepared and ready when anyone asks us about the hope that we have in Jesus. 

If you missed that message you can listen to it here.

Those of you who have been following the series closely may have noticed that we skipped over a chunk of the third chapter that speaks about marriage. This isn't because we don't want to teach about marriage! Not at all. However, last year we spent six weeks looking at marriage, relationships and sexuality and so I would point you to those sermons for a Biblical view on marriage. Specifically, I recommend you listen to this message - 'A high view of marriage'


At the end of 1 Peter 3, we read some verses that can appear slightly confusing. They say this:

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,21 and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Michael Eaton wrote that these verses "are famous for their difficulty and famous for the strange ideas that have been read into them!" (1)  

Mark Driscoll wrote "Considering there are nearly 180 different interpretations of 1 Peter 3:18–20, we can confidently say this passage is one of the most difficult in the entire Bible. Even Martin Luther was confounded by this passage, saying “A wonderful text is this, and a more obscure passage perhaps than any other in the New Testament, so that I do not know for a certainty just what Peter means." (2)

I am glad to be in such company as Martin Luther! There a few main question that come up when people read these verses. They tend to be the following.

1. Who are the imprisoned Spirits that Peter talks about in verse 19?
2. How did he proclaim anything to them if they were from 'long ago' (verse 20)?
3. And does baptism actually save us (verse 21)?

Now there are two things I could do at this moment. The first thing is try and answer these questions myself. The second is to point you to others who have already answered some of these questions and who have done so in a more eloquent way than I could achieve.  

So, if you want to find out about Imprisoned Spirits, Noah and Baptism based on 1 Peter 3 v 18-22 I recommend you look at the following.

1. A blog post by Mark Driscoll 'Tough text Thursday'

2. An article by Wayne Grudem ' Christ preaching through Noah'

3. A sermon by John Piper 'Strengthened to Suffer: Christ, Noah, and Baptism' -

Happy reading!!

(1) Preaching through The Bible - 1 Peter (Michael Eaton) A Sovereign World International Book
(2) (Mark Driscoll)

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Father Heart of God conference - 09-11 May 2014

To know that God is our Father and that we have been adopted into His family is one of the most amazing truths we can ever grasp. It impacts how we view ourselves, it impacts how we view others and it impacts how we live out our Christian faith. As you read the pages of the New Testament we can see that the primary language to describe our relationship with God is that of a family; the pages are full of words such as Father, sonship, adoption, children of God and inheritance.

I am praying that God will continue to reveal the depths of this amazing truth to us as at The King's Church Mid-Sussex and, with that in mind, we are planning for a weekend conference to explore this wonderful subject of 'The Father Heart of God'.

I am delighted that Julian and Katia Adams (pic) will be with us from Friday 09 - Sunday 11 May as well as a team from their church, The King's Arms in Bedford. 

Julian and Katia Adams are based at The Kings Arms, Bedford, UK. Julian is an experienced prophet who travels to many churches, equipping the church in hearing God’s voice. Katie has been involved in various ministries through both her medical and theological background and is now serving God alongside her husband Julian. 

Both Julian and Katia have a passion to see the Kingdom come in great power and demonstrations of God's love.

The conference will start at 7.45pm on Friday 09 May, we will then be together from 9.00am-4.30pm on Saturday 10 May and the weekend will finish with Julian and Katia being with us for our Sunday morning meeting on 12 May at 10.30am.

Publicity and further information, including details of ticket prices and how to book in, will be available very soon. However, it would be great if you could pencil these dates in your diary.

I really believe this is a going to be hugely significant weekend for many people.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Christmas Poem

Happy New Year!

A few people have asked me to post online the poem that I read as part of my preach at our Christmas Celebration on 22nd December. So here it is….

God came from on high, born down below
God came in order that we might know
His love and his peace and his care and his joy
God himself came as a small baby boy

A shocking idea to consider as true
But what if he came for me and for you?
What if this baby born years ago
Actually came in order to show
That God was real, that God is there
That God understands the burdens we bear
That God is not distant; removed from our pain
But that he stepped in and in love bore the same
That he came to forgive the mistakes of our past
To wipe the slate clean; a brand new start

What response would you make if this were all true?
If there were a God who came just for you
What room would you make in your life for the one?
Who came as a baby, God’s only son

God came from on high, born down below
God came in order that we might know
God himself came as a small baby boy
God came that we may know true, deep, lasting joy