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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Philippians 11- A Model to Follow| Colin D


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 28th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here



When you think of model, who or what comes to your mind? Pop stars etc. are adored but would you want their life style? As we come to God’s word this morning, let’s look at whom we can emulate.
We will be looking at Phil 2:19- 30

We have three models in the passage. Three men are mentioned. Paul, Timothy and Epaphrodites. They are worthy of imitating. They were not well known those days. Today they would not make to the Vogue Magazine.

In chapter 2: 1-16 Paul is presenting the greatest model who is Jesus. We can look at Jesus and say that it is impossible to become like Him. One day we will.

Sometimes when we read the Bible we may think it’s impossible to do. People thought the mile could not be run under 4 minutes. In 1954 Rogen Bannister did it. Once he did, people realized that it can be done and record keeps getting broken now.

So we think that a standard of Christianity mentioned in the Bible is hard to attain. But let’s look at Timothy. What can we learn from him? Who is Timothy?

Paul is writing to the Philippians under house arrest. Paul had planted this church. Now he is chained to a Roman guard. He is not concerned with this but them. He wanted Timothy to go to them and strengthen them. In that context he says about Timothy that apart from him, there is no one else who is interested in their welfare.

In Acts 14:8- Timothy is a young lad. Paul and Barnabus were out on their first missionary journey, at Lystra. There was a crippled man who was listening to Paul preach. Paul heals him in Jesus name. In verse 11, people thought they were gods and wanted to sacrifice to them. In verse 15, they had a problem stopping the crowd from doing this. Then the Jews turn the crowd against him. So from hero to fugitive, he is beaten and left before being dead. But he recovers and goes back to the city. The next day, he leaves for Derby and the same thing happens.

In Acts 16:1- this is their second missionary journey they come to Lystra again. Timothy is a convert who comes in contact with Paul. 2 Tim 1:5  I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. So Timothy comes from a believing family and in 2 Tim 3:15 it says how from childhood he had known the scriptures.

In 1 Corinthians 4:16- he will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus. This is a high commendation.

1. He modeled after Paul- Jesus is our model but do we have a flesh and blood model to emulate and be mentored? We are not perfect but we can learn things from people. My Mother in Law has qualities that I can emulate- punctuality, committed to the church prayer meetings, hospitality. My mother prays for 500 people every day. So look around for whom you can follow. When I say this, I mean godly qualities, not their personality.

2. He had a sympathetic heart. Phil 2:20- he was genuinely concerned in people. Are you genuinely concerned for people in the church? Do we invest time, money, hospitality into the church?
There are several people unwell or not in church today. Send them a message and express love.
In Phil 2:221, Paul says that people are looking out for their own interests. We have received an amazing gospel. Can we look out for others’ interests? It’s love in action.

3. Timothy was sacrificial in what he did. He left his family for the3 sake of the gospel. How many do this?
In Hebrews 13:22- we see that his sacrifice involved even going to prison. Wow! So we see the life of Timothy. His work was useful and proven. Phil 2:22- this was not for one month but 2 decades of faithful service. He was submitted and worked alongside.


Are you aiming for long term provenness? Can we serve God over the long haul? Can we devote ourselves to something? Take on something that you can do long term
We need a model to follow and also be a model. I pray that something of that spirit would come upon us. We would sacrifice and serve over the long term. May we be found running the race till we are 80+. There is no retirement in the kingdom of God.


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.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Father's Day| Colin D'cruz

This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 21st 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

Fatherhood is in the heart of God.
In Eph 3:14-15 Paul says “I kneel before the father…”

This concept of fatherhood is rooted in God. It’s biblical and Godly. Fatherhood is a part of scripture. In the gospels, Jesus says 21 times- “our father” and “your father” and 53 times, he says, “my father”.

In Exodus 20:12- God is giving Moses the 10 commandments. “Honour your mother and your father” is one of the 10! We all have different experiences with fathers. How do we relate with them? This is important to God, how we treat our parents.

Honour means to respect, love, appreciate. It begins internally and then manifests externally. This applies to all authorities. Today the world is becoming flat- where there is no destruction between boss, employee, etc.

Ephesians 6:13 says that this is one command with a promise of blessing. Honour as children is akin to obedience. Sadly today, it’s the parents who obey the children! Parents do not parent the children how to obey and honour. One way we honour people is respect. We teach our children to respect by greeting elders, look them in the eye.
When a child becomes an adult, are they required to obey? This is tricky in India because of the cultural influence. As an adult, you are no longer required to obey your parents. However, you would be wise to listen to them. But you are then responsible for your own decisions and actions.

When it comes to something unbiblical, we are not required to obey no matter whom. In Luke 2:51 it says that Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. Even Jesus was obedient to his parents.

Prisons are largely filled with men. This is often because of bad fathers or absent fathers. The big social problem in the slums is drunken men or fathers. The women are slogging away. The challenge is with the fathers.

Q. so what would God have us do as fathers?

1. Provide: for our families. This is primarily the father’s responsibility. 1 Tim 5:8- “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”. This is the father’s responsibility.

2. Faithfully instructing the children in the ways of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4- Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Spiritual instruction, discipline etc. is primarily with the father. The mother also disciplines but it is not abdication.
More is caught than is taught. So fathers need to live Godly lives.1 Cor 11:1 says follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

3. We need to affirm and love our kids. We need to hug our children- boys and girls. We have a heavenly father who affirms us. Who rejoices in us.
The blessing- what can you do to express your love to your children. Genesis 27:27-29
  • Meaningful touch- kiss and hug your children
  • Speak a message of love and affection. Sow to criticize and correct look with an eagle’s eye to appreciate
  • Assure them of their value, also by spending time with them. Love is spelled T-I-M-E
  • Hope- Speak to them of a glorious future.


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.  


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How then shall we live? Phillipians Part 10| Colin D'Cruz


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 14th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here


Salvation is free. Then what’s with the praying, giving, serving etc.?
Philippians 2:12-18

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Verse 12 is in the context of verse 1-11. Because of what Jesus has done there needs to be an appropriate response. Religion looks for salvation in different ways- different kinds of penance, good works, etc. what can give us salvation? Salvation is found only in Jesus. Only Jesus died for the sins of the world.

Salvation is simple. Others say you need to work for your salvation. Jesus says that it is done. All we need to do is believe. So we don’t work for our salvation but we work it out. We work on it. This is key. Instead of counting the cost, we just coast along. Paul says ‘no’, this is not how it is to be.

It is like having a gold mine and not mining it. Paul is pointing to Jesus’ example. Paul says fear and trembling? Is the Old Testament and New Testament God different? Is the Old Testament God fearsome and the New Testament God a buddy?

What was John’s response to Jesus at the Island of Patmos? He fell face down as though dead. The glory of Jesus is an awesome thing. So when He says something we need to listen. The Christian life is a struggle- there is effort and agony.

Luke 13: 24- “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door…
Colossians 1:29- To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
In Colossians 4:12 Paul says that Epaphras wrestled in prayer. So it is not, let go and let God. You are being deceived. We fight the good fight of faith. We wrestle in prayer.

1. Struggle- are we putting effort into our Christian life? If you are coasting through something is wrong. We don’t struggle on our own. God enables as well. He gives us the strength.
Jesus says, make effort to enter through the narrow gate. You won’t find many people there. It is a partnership. Jesus by His Spirit energizes us.

2. From verse 14-16- Speech- in general, we can complain and grumble about so many things. Sociologists have found that the earlier generation complained less. Today’s families have fewer children, but the needs and wants are more.
What should flow out of our mouth should be the Word of God. Ephesians encourages us to speak wholesome things. Talk about what God has done. When we do that, we will shine like stars.

Colossians 3:16- Let the Word of God dwell in you richly. The Christian life is a battle. Paul pressed on to take hold of that for which God took hold of 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.  


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Work for or work out?| Colin D Cruz


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 7th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

The Bible is full of truth about what God has done for us. So God works might things for us. However there are verses that also talk about “make every effort” “put to death”/. These  may  seem confusing and contradictory terms.



History there are 2 views : “Let go and let God” “God is sovereign just trust him” the others puts emphasis on  is all about effort.

Phil 2:12-18

Paul is writing in chains. There is no gross immorality in the Philippians church , neither is there heresy. But we can see that they had some issues with unity. Earlier in chapter 2 he talks about humility and serving. He shows as Jesus as the ultimate model of humility and serving and how He demonstrated this in his own life.

He is now continuing with “therefore” i.e in view of Jesus’ example of humility and sacrifice he is appealing to them to work it out.
V12-13 Continue to work out your salvation…
When we read this w could be taken aback. Isn’t salvation free? It’s not work FOR your salvation but work OUT your salvation.

We are saved buy faith alone. No question! Sin separated us from God. But God sent his son Jesus to die for us. He rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God. He offers forgiveness and membership into His family. He gives us a purpose in life.
We appropriate salvation by faith and repentance. We demonstrate our faith through baptism.
Eph2:8-9 not by works.

But here it says work out your salvation!
Word = produce. HE wants us to do something with we God has given us. There is an attitude and a warning. This is serious and not to be taken lightly.
V13 God is at work in you. It seems like a paradox but it’s a combination of two glorious truths.

How does this apply to us? Salvation is secure. The word is used in three ways
a )When we were not saved – justification.
 b) When then being saved – sanctification Rom 8”29 We are a work in progress. One day we will be like Jesus
c) When we will be saved – glorification. When we die we will be like Him

So what is Paul referring to here?  Paul is referring to Sanctification.

What does this mean? Practically, if I look at my life, is my salvation producing fruit?
Acts 2:36 what is the evidence of these people being saved. Three thousand of them were saved. What changed happened in them?

1. THE WORD  v42 they devoted themselves . Devote indicated passion. They were not casual about it. It involves time and energy. Are we passionate about the things of God.
Where do we get the apostles teachings? The Word of God. Do we read, study, and memorize scripture. Do we read the Bible regularly? Sunday morning, do we come to church to listen to the Word?

Acts 17:11 The Bereans were nobler in character because they checked everything.
IDT Attend this for your spiritual growth. Listen to men preach. There are [plenty resources available on the net, but be careful what you listen to?

2. PRAYER  We want to be a people of prayer. Last week we as a city prayed for 24 hours. Thirty churches participated I this. We want to do this more regularly. Let’s give ourselves to prayer.
Do we pray daily? As a church we will meet fortnightly for prayer. Then we also have the men’s prayer breakfast. We can also meet in smaller groups.

3. FELLOWSHIP
From next week we will be having lunch together after the meeting. Can we make this a priority for the next couple of weeks? There is something about having a meal together – it bonds us together.

Will this take effort? 1 Cor. 9:24-25  IT will take effort, endurance, and perseverance. It’s not let go and let God. There is effort but it’s His grace and His strength at work in us.

Paul said I have fought the good fight.

God is at work in us but we also have to work it out.
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.