Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Goal for 2017 | Colin D Cruz

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on December 18th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here


How many of us made New Year’s resolution. We all feel at the end of the year the slate, has been wiped clean, and we have a fresh start.



Some New Years’ resolutions go like this: Read more, exercise more, learn something every day, find a new hobby etc etc. Some goals are big and some small. We all have different kinds of goals.

We all have goals. I want to put a goal that is life defining for you at Word of Grace Church  . This is a biblical goal.
God has a plan for your life- to make you more like Jesus.
That we will be conformed to the image of his son.
Can that be our goal for this year?
1 Cor. 11:1 to 3
 
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.
 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
What does it mean to follow? It means we live the way he lived. We do what he did

1John 2:6.
1Pet 2:21 
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

How do we do this?
We do this through the Word.
What does the Bible say? Read, understand and obey.
We need the Holy Spirit for this.
We can also have living example in our lives and we can imitate them in how they follow Christ.

The gospels contain the life of Jesus and we shall look at it.
God plan in choosing us is to make us like Jesus.
It is not automatic but systematic.

Matt3:4-5   John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan

Read though the gospel of Matthew and write down everything Jesus did.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Jesus is just beginning his ministry. At the beginning of his ministry he got baptized.
John was baptizing people. Jn3:5
John was unique. He wore Camel's hair. Ate locust and wild honey.
Somehow people from all over came to him. His message was of repentance from sins. Baptism was a sign they were sinners.
Can you imagine John's shock when Jesus came to him?
 However, Jesus lived the life as a model for us to follow.


 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
These are Jesus last words. This is after his death. He has all authority in heaven and earth. So this command affects everyone.

So not only did Jesus do it but he also commanded us to do it.

Thirdly, we see this worked in the Bible.
What did the disciples understand?

Acts 16:13-15 Paul understood Jesus command. They did what Jesus asked them to do.

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

Acts 8:27-
Phillip talks and explains the gospel. V36.
So this command is twofold. We get baptized and we help others to get baptized like Philip and Paul did.


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 What did Jesus do next.
Matt 3:6 He was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:1
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Matt 3: 11
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit
So we see Jesus example.
Where is the command?
Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

Acts 1:8 what does the Holy Spirit do? You become bold, powerful and be able to be my witnesses.

How was it practiced by the early church
Acts 2:1-4
They got baptized in the Holy Spirit and they spoke in tongues.
Acts 8: in Samaria
Acts 10:44-47
  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message45 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[a] and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

Acts 19:1-5 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[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


Our new year’s resolution at Word of Grace Church is to become more like Jesus. We see His life , the commands and what the disciples and the early church did.

What do we need to do? If we are Christ followers, we should do the same.

Acts 16:29-33.The obedience was quick.
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he, and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Acts 9: 17 -18 Paul, got baptized immediately.
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,



If we have been baptized , it is our responsibility to make disciples and be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Are we seeing the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in our lives?

 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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Crave the Word| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on December 18th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Earlier the doctor would do a test on you, to see what was wrong with you. One of the surest sign that someone is unwell is a lack of appetite. That’s why look at their tongue. If that is ture for our physical bodies, it should also be true for the spiritual body. The lack of desire to feed on the things of God is the indicator that there is something wrong,

1 Peter 1:23- 2:3- “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”And this is the word that was preached to you.” Craving means to have a great desire.

Q. Do you crave the word of God?

John 8:47 says “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

John 8:31-32- ““If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” If you know the word and you obey it, then we are his disciples.

In Psalm 1:2 the psalmist says, blessed is he whose delight is in the law of the lord and who meditates on it day and night.

Q. Is it a delight or is it a chore?

Sometimes, it’s our flesh that wars against holy desires. We say to people, youre in my heart. It means, you’re close to me.

Think about this- you wake up late and you have to make a choice between having breakfast or read the word. What would you do? Job 23:12 says I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread! If he had the choice, he’d have read the word.

The normal is that we need to desire and delight in God’s word. 1 Peter 2:1- like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk. Babies are cuddly and lovely. But they are helpless. They can’t do anything. They are only interest in milk! Peter is giving us a strong simile. Once the baby gets hungry there is no more peace. This is the aspect of new born babies that peter wants us to imitate.

Q. How does someone come to know Jesus?

It is only through the word of God. Peter could have said, teach the word, meditate on the word, hide the word on your heart, etc. they are all important, but he says, crave for the word. The starting point is to crave it. We need to ask God to change our appetite.

Q. What do you spend more time on?

It is not what you say you crave, it is the amount of time you spend on what you’re doing.
Peter is reminding us that we are born again by the word of God and so you will crave the word of God. Then he says, rid yourself of all slander and malice,etc. If these things are in your life, you cannot crave the word of God. If a little child has had a lot of junk food, they won’t want to have milk.

The Bible will keep you from sin and the sin will keep you from the Bible.

Pure spiritual milk- is uncontaminated word of God. You need to be careful where you are eating from. When you have kids, you sterilize whatever goes into their mouth. In the same way, let’s start with the unadulterated word of God. Hearing from God is not a very difficult thing to do.

1.      Get a modern translation of the Bible
2.      Start with the gospels if you are reading after a long time. Don’t read sporadically but systematically. The Bible is a series of letters. If someone you love wrote a letter, how do you read it? You start at the beginning and finish at the end.
3.      Read it regularly. Feeding ourselves spiritually is similar to feeding ourselves physically. You don’t eat one big meal once a week. We feed ourselves many times a day- in bits and pieces. How can you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So also read the Bible one chapter at a time. There is so much in the Bible that great theologians can’t understand it. But so simple that even small children can get it.
4.      Keep a journal, put the date and ask God to speak to you from the word. If you skip a few days, you’ll know how often you’re reading.


Q. How do you know the Bible is true? 

Just start obeying it and you’ll see your life transform. As you keep doing it, you grow strong. 

All the babies came out small and frail, but as they craved milk and fed on it, they have grown big. The same thing will happen in our spirit. 

 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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where does the Christmas Story begin? | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on December 4th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

We know the 25th of December we celebrate the Chrismas. What is the significance of Christmas? Where was Christmas first mentioned in the Bible? The Birth of Jesus is mentioned way back in Genesis 3.

But before that, Genesis 1 and 2 is the account of the creation of the earth and everything in the world. The Bible begins with the assumption that there is God.  It doesn’t explain God. Then God said- the Father, Son and Spirit working together, and the earth was birthed. Only man and woman were created in the image of God. they are a special creation. Animals are not in the same plane as men and women. We have the ability to imagine, create and improve, and an inborn desire to worship. People, even from even the most primitive tribes have this desire, to worship a creator much bigger than them.

God’s order- God, man, and rest of the created world. The plan of God is for man to rule and subdue the earth. Work is not bad. God’s eternal purpose for us is to work. The sad thing today is, people want to work hard so they can retire and enjoy. God has called us to work and not to retire. There has to be a balance in life. And God gave them just one command.

In Gen 3:1-2- “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”When the devil wants to lead us away, he puts a doubt on what God has done. Jesus, when tempted in the wilderness, used the word of God to fight the devil.

In Gen 3: 6-When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

 This is the background. Then in Gen 3: 9- 10Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.””
Then Adam has the classic man response, blaming it on eve. In verse 15 is the first mention of Christmas- “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Now offspring could be one or many. But we know it is referring to one particular offspring because it says in the next verse, he will crush your head. God was working out the salvation of mankind already because now man was going to die. The authority and Dominion has been taken away form them and passed on to satan.
This offspring is going to save the people from eternal death and give it back to God.

Q. What is the significance of Christmas?

He is going to save each human being and give us back our right over God’s creation.
Isaiah 9: 6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This is the prophetic voice.

Gal 4: 4- 7 “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Q. What is when the time had fully come?
1.      There was pax romana- There was peace because of the strong armies of rome there was peace.
2.      There was language that was common to a lot of regions because of the roman empire.
3.      Romans built roads for the armies. But the roads made it easier for the people to travel as well.

Jesus had to be born of a human being. Adam and Eve did not keep the one command. Then Israelites were given more commands. We can’t keep the law. That’s our sinful nature. In any religion, no one has always obeyed what the religion teaches. God sent his son, born under law to redeem those under law. He was not born under man. Jesus was conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.

Q. What is it to redeem?

Imagine a small boy with a boat and one day it goes missing. He sees it in a store, with his name on it. He asks for it back since it belongs to him. But he is told that he has to pay for it. So he gathers the money and gives it to the shopkeeper to get it back legally.

Because of Adam and Eve sinned, we are in debt. Jesus came and bought us back. He died for our sins and purchased us back.

I thought earlier that God would see my good deeds and bad deeds and you go to heaven or hell depending on what is higher. But your good deeds cannot cancel your bad deeds. But if you believe in Jesus, we are saved. He gives us sonship and inheritance. God has so much in store for us. He says, one day we will judge angels! What does that look like?

Christmas is about putting right the wrong that was committed in the garden of Eden. He has an inheritance for us on earth and in heaven. It requires for me to obey what God has said. In Revelation, God says, he’s coming with his reward. What he wants for us is to joyfully obey him.

 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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  
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