Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holy Spirit- The Gift of the Father: Part 1 | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on November 18th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Let’s get into the word of God this morning. As we refer to the verses, turn to them. It’s important that we check the word of God and see that everything the preacher says is in the word of God. Paul wrote many of the books of the bible. In Acts 17:11Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” So we need to receive the word of God with eagerness. And secondly, they checked Paul’s words, if they lined up with scripture. This morning, as we go through the word, that’s what I want you to do. Take down notes as well so you can meditate on it later.

Christmas is coming and one the things children associate with Christmas is gifts. We all love to get gifts. Gifts are even better when they are promised beforehand. Sometimes we get so excited that we can’t sleep! That’s in the natural. What are the gifts that have been promised to us in God’s word?

Acts 2:38When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”” These are the instructions Peter gives to the people who have first heard the gospel. The Holy Spirit is the gift that is promised to each and every one of us.

Q. Are we as eager to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit as we are to receive a natural gift?

Acts 1: 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”” This gift is a promise from God the Father himself. Let’s pray!

How many of you know that Jesus is the Lamb of God? most of us! But this is only mentioned in the gospels once. But 4 times in the gospels it is mentioned that Jesus baptises with the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11- John the Baptist talks about how Jesus will baptise us with the Holy Spirit and fire. We see the fulfilment of this promise in Acts 2. Jesus died, rose again, appeared to his disciples and before ascending to the Father, he asked them to wait for the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came over the people and all were amazed! It seemed like they were drunk, but they were not. When the Holy Spirit comes upon Christians, we have to be different.

Firstly, we have to be saved. Believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that God raised Jesus from the dead. When we do that, a miracle will take place in our life. After that we have to be baptised in water. It means being immersed in water. The next thing is that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is different from the Holy Spirit working in our lives to draw us to salvation.

Q. Were the apostles born again when Jesus was on earth? Yes!

The Holy Spirit was already working in them, but they were not yet baptised with the Holy Spirit. Even when Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were fearful. They met the risen Jesus, but they did not tell anyone about Jesus. They did not have the power to proclaim the gospel. They waited 10 days. But when the Holy Spirit came they proclaimed boldly, were to temples, healed people, cast out demons, the whole of Jerusalem had come to hear the name of Jesus. The result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is great boldness just as the disciples had.

Acts 8- 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city” When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the power and boldness to do this.

In verse 14-17When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” These were believers. But they had not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Here it happened as hands were laid on them.

Acts 10: 44- 46While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” We’ve seen 2 ways in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens. Jesus baptises us in the Holy Spirit. We are immersed in the Holy Spirit.

Q. Are you baptised in the Holy Spirit?

You’ve got to know the answer. It is either yes or no. It is not automatic. Acts 19: 1- 2 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?.” You can believe in Jesus and baptised in water and still not be baptised in the Holy Spirit.

Q. What does this do?

2 Corinthians 1:21-22Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a seal on us to mark us as authentic believers- it is a guarantee of what is to come. When the apostle Paul was talking about his ministry in Romans 15: 18-19I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” We can keep coming to church meetings but that is not enough. We need this power of God- that people will sense the holiness of God in your presence.
Paul was so anointed! Acts 14:8In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.” We want to see this happening in our lives as well!

Acts 19: 13-16 “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding”

The Father has promised us a gift and that is the power of God through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said if anyone is thirsty let him come and drink. My prayer is that we will all be filled with the Holy Spirit that we transform the world. Let’s pray.

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Encouragement through Worship | John C

Encouragement through worship 

This message was preached by John C at Word of Grace Church on  November 11th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Teaching the Church: Edification Through Praise Ephesians 1:1-14
Exhortation to live in the light of knowing who we are. Chapters 4-6
Predestined to be adopted (v 5)
Forgiven – we have this too. We are not trying to earn forgiveness or justify ourselves. Forgiveness was bought for us by Christ at the cross and is here, now and ours.
Questions Read Eph 1:1-14

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the most powerful books ever written. 
S T Coleridge called it “the most divine composition of man.” 
D M Lloyd Jones called it, “the sublime-est and most majestic expression of the gospel.” 

These six short chapters gripped me as a young Christian and became the foundation for my understanding of who I am and what God’s purposes are. 
This letter gives us wings and equips us to fly into the heavenly realms, revealing a view of the plan of salvation unequaled anywhere else in scripture. There are two main sections:

Edification through knowing who we are. Chapters 1-3

Praise (1:1-14)
Prayer (1:15-23, 3:14-21)
Preaching  (2:1-21)
Prophecy (3:1-13)

Character (4:1-6)
Charisma (4:7-16)
Conduct  - (Morally 4:17-5:20)
                  (Socially 5:21-6:9)
Combat     (6:10-20)
Conclusion (6:21-24)

We are going to spend some time working through this letter and reminding ourselves about the foundations of our faith. We will have a few weeks of edification, they move on to exhortation.

Today we are going to focus on praise: Praising God for what he has done in Christ is a great means of building ourselves and one another up.

Blessed – we mean thanked, honoured and recognised for who God is and for what He has done for us. The power of praise is this: it focuses us on the truth and lifts us from a natural perspective that tends to get bogged down, to the life of God and his view of things.

There is passion and there is theology found in these verses; hot truth, raw energy, and deep thoughts sufficient to last a lifetime. They remind us of things we are prone to forget.  “You have forgotten who you are!” Michael Griffiths spoke off the church as “Cinderella with Amnesia.” Paul wrote this letter to people who already knew these things.

Look at what Paul says and begin to rise up in your spirit.  This was probably a circular letter, true for Ephesus and true for us. You are not simply an ordinary Christian. There are so many lies that we tend to believe are the truth. This passage tells us the truth!

We have been blessed with all we need in the gospel.
Paul’s great outburst of praise begins with a general summary in v 3 which he expounds in the following verses.

Blessed us
Blessed us in the heavenly realms
Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing
Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ

1. A New History (v 4-6) – The Past
      A trip down memory lane, look back at where you have come from. God started his work in your life before the creation of the world.
     We should ground our self-image in this truth
Chosen to be holy- not to drift through life in a meaningless fashion
Not to be driven through life by the world's ambitions.

Holy indicates that we are to be different from the world outside of Christ. By becoming a disciple of Christ I have a discovered a lifestyle and a purpose that separate me from everyone else.

I did not become a Christian against the will of God. He ordered my destiny. Adoption means that we have become God’s children: taken from the destitution of our sin and added to the royal family (Eph 2:2-3 cf. Eph 4:13, Rom 8:29, Gal 3:26, 4:4f).  There may be accidental additions to natural families, but there is never an unexpected addition in the family of God.

Graced  (v 6) – all these gifts come freely to us from God not because of what we have done, but by his grace. Praise him for it and enjoy it to the full.
All this is past tense. These things are ours. They are true of every Christian no matter how weak they may look or feel. This is the truth!

2. A new identity (v 7-8) –  The Present
We are no longer under the governing power of sin, but now we belong to Christ and should think of ourselves as his.

Redeemed – we have it, and Christ has us. Redemption indicates that we were bought with a price.

All this is present, but there is more to come. A Christian is promised more than they now possess, but what we experience here is the foretaste of what is in store for us.

3. A new destiny (v 9-14) – The Future

Enlightened – we have a revelation in the scriptures and through the Spirit.
God has shown us what the world cannot know or deduce that He will make Christ supreme over all things.

Included - Paul makes it clear that God intends to gather all his people redeemed through history to praise the Lord together forever (v 11-12).
There is a place for us in the Kingdom of God. How do we know this?

a. We believe the gospel! (v 13a)
The gospel is the most important message in the universe as our response to it determines our destiny. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Have you received his forgiveness? Have you placed your confidence in his sacrifice at the cross? Then by faith you are included.

b. We were sealed when the Holy Spirit came on us – (v 13b-14)
The gift of the Spirit is given to assure us that we are saved. His ministry in our lives is a foretaste of heaven. A guarantee of what is to come.

These truths are therefore vital for us all to live on, and to be the source of our worship, identity and security.


1.    Let our praise to God be in truth as well as in Spirit.
2. Let our praise neutralize our pride
3. Let our praise be Trinitarian
4. Let our praise be passionate
5. Let our praise be joyful
6. Let our praise be full of hope and confidence.

Why do you think Paul started his letter with a paragraph like this (v 3-14)? How would you summarise the main point in a short sentence?
What does this tell us about how God has changed our past?
What difference does this make to our outlook on ourselves?
How does praise neutralize pride?
In what way does worship in truth feature in your devotional life?
Pray for one another that your lives may express more substantial, Spirit-filled, Trinitarian, joyful, passionate and confident praise.

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Intimacy Not Information - Abiding in Jesus | Navaz DCruz

Intimacy not Information - Abiding in Jesus |Navaz DCruz

This message was preached by Navaz Dcruz at Word of Grace Church on  November 4th , 2018. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.


 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

In Part 1 we looked at the fact that there can be many vines that we could be a part of but Jesus is the true vine. We saw that if we are to be fruitful we would be pruned. Pruning is not punishment but a process toward more fruitfulness. Jesus wants us to be fruity Christians.

Many things are grabbing our attention each day and the immediacy of everything is to the point of being ridiculous. The pressures of work are real, – long hours, long commutes to and from office, deadlines etc.etc.

Our relationship with Jesus cannot and should not be another pressure point; rather he should be the place where all pressure is released.

He said 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11:28-30)

Jesus does not come to add to your burdens but he is our burden bearer, He is the lifter of our heads.

When you love someone you want to spend time with them. You are not timing it or clocking in.  That is what Jesus is calling us into – a restful abiding in His presence – out of joy and not duty.

VERSE 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I.                 WHAT DOES ABIDE MEAN?
 So while our relationship with Jesus is eternal. No one can pluck you from His hand, what quality of relationship you enjoy is up to you.

The word abide/remain is repeated 10 times in a span of 4 verses. Repetition for emphasis is a style of a good teacher and Jesus certainly was that.  We would be wise to pay attention to what Jesus puts an emphasizes on.

The Word Abide/remain is also translated “to stay/to dwell”. To make your dwelling place. This is reflected in the Old Testament very well in Psalm 91, Ps 84. It is about taking up residence. It’s where you feel secure, relaxed “at home” and have your most intimate relationships.

 In the Old Testament, God’s presence was confined to a geographical space. His death on the cross put an end to that. Today, his presence is not confined to a box behind a thick curtain. 
He has now made is dwelling among us. He now has taken up residence in our hearts. He also says when 2 or  or more gathered I am there among them. 

So we have God’s indwelling presence and his manifest presence in a group of people.

 No branch can bear fruit by itself;
No branch can have life, without it being connected to the main branch. All the branches draw their sap, sustenance from the main branch.


This requires commitment and covenant. It’s not transactional or conditional.

Another way to say abide/remain is to stay stuck in. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not being distracted by anything else or anyone else.
Jesus is unconditionally faithful, committed to us. Are we unconditionally faithful and committed to him? Is it a relationship of convenience?

 To be disconnect would mean to get dismembered from the Vine.  The analogy is two fold, individual and corporate. Rom 12 This not only affects your relationship with Jesus but with one another as well.

This abiding is 24/7. It is not something we can or should turn on and off.
There is no religious-secular divide in our lives. We can learn to practice the presence of God in our everyday lives.

Jesus lived in a constant commune with His Father. Then He tells us to abide in Him in the same manner and tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing!! In Acts 17:28 we are reminded that it is in Him we live, move, and have our being!  

Its about being God conscious. He becomes our frame of reference for everything we do – in our families, at school, work, in our socializing; in everything.

God desires so much more for us but we often settle for just getting our foot into the Kingdom and not fully enjoying all that we can because of being in the Kingdom.

When we pray His kingdom come on earth. We don’t pray His kingdom come to church!! The church is the display and reign of the kingdom of God gathered. In the week the Kingdom is like salt and light scattered on the Earth.

Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

The branches get its nourishment, strength, fruit-bearing ability, it’s very DNA from the main vine.
We get saved when we believe in Jesus but we get sanctified when we believe like Jesus.

What is the DNA of Jesus?  All the qualities of God that we love. God is love, kind, gracious, slow to anger, forgiving, wise, giving, gentle, gracious, righteous holy and so on.

I will have God thoughts, Christ-like thought patterns that think more about others than myself.

II.              RESULT OF ABIDING

We will be fruity.
Fruitfulness is linked to my relationship with Jesus.  It is not about how well I administer or create programs.

It’s so simple to the point that we actually ignore it or miss it altogether. It’s about me “being” and not “doing”. The focus is on BEING to begin with and then the BECOMING will follow

Fruitfulness comes from intimacy and heart connection. Transformation comes from intimacy and heart connection.

Intimacy with Jesus not information about Jesus leads to transformation.

Abiding will make us live from His presence and not just principles.

John 5:39-40 
 39 You study[a] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

When we come into his presence, we get a deeper revelation of who He is. Revelation transforms us, not information.

Knowledge of His word is only the gateway. Then we want a deeper understanding and communion with Him.

Today is an invitation to go deeper with Jesus

Obedience alone is cold, dry and faithless. It will not produce healthy fruit.  The Pharisees did that and it only made them blind to their sin and judgmental of everyone else.

·       Living to please me
·       Distracted
·       Religious duty
·       Not committed to things that matter to Jesus viz: Time with Him, how we interact with our family, our personal private holiness, our love quotient for other Christians, our diligence at work, faithful in giving, serving.
·       Attracted to worldly pleasures and self-indulgence.

·       The Bible will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from the bible.
·       Anxiety and fear cloud our thinking and clogs our hearts. Fear and love cannot co-exist. His perfect love will drive away fear and anxiety.

He gives us his perfect peace. Do you know what that is? It is himself – his presence. Peace is a person. Jesus is the prince of peace.

·       Unforgiveness and offense – This not only builds walls towards the people you are offended with, but it also affects your relationship with God.
How do I know that?

1Jn 2:11
  But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

 We cannot love God and hate our brother. If I dismember myself from one part of the body, I also disengage with the Head i.e Jesus.
Are there people you are avoiding? Here at Word of Grace. You say I love Jesus, I love the worship and the word at this church but I’ll keep my distance from so and so or I’ll only interact with these people, but those people I don’t want to talk to. My friends, you are kidding yourself. Get it sorted because you will hit a heart block in your relationship with God.
Church is messy. Its made up of imperfect people like you and I. Jesus has shown us much grace.  Let us extend lavish grace as well.

·       IT gives us Identity. We are called sons. We are no longer orphans. We are chosen by God (v16), we are called his friends (v.15). It will give you rest and you wont strive to prove anything to God or anyone.

·       This gives us security because you know Who you are and whose you are.

·       It gives us purpose and perspective. We will be clear on our calling and we will get committed out of joy and not duty.

·       Joy (v11). If your joy quotient is low, check your abiding quotient. They are directly proportional. The more you abide the more joy you will experience and vice versa.

·       Answered prayer ( v.7)

Eg) I have a gift for painting, but if I don’t exercise that gift I won’t get good it and people won’t be able to say that is my gift unless they see proof of that.

In Acts 4:13 – They recognized that the disciples were men who has been with Jesus Therefore staying in connection is crucial.

Colin covered this two weeks ( Click here for the message) ago in his message so I will mention it briefly.

·       Have a time alone with God every day.  

Your reputation is your reputation. As you do this every day you will build a strong relationship with God. How can you know God better? 

Read his Word. It has everything you need to know about him, his ways and his thoughts about you.

·       Pray in tongues. If you have not yet received this wonderful gift, ask one of us to pray for you.

·       Worship – put on some of our worship or go to YouTube and worship along with some of the songs you are familiar with. Let your heart become open and transparent before Jesus. Practice being 100%  with him.

·       Write down what he says to you.

As you do this every day. If you do this for 20 min each day you would have spent approximately 10 hours in the Word each month. You will see the difference in your life.

The word will transform you. The Word is Jesus. His presence and His word are a powerful combination that will transform you from inside out.

         Stay committed, stay focused, stay persistent.
        Do not give up. Do not get distracted.
        Yield to the loving pruning of God
         Stay in fellowship, in connection, in communion in covenant with Jesus.
        When we live like this there is bound to be fruit that counts.

To listen/read Part 1  click here

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto