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Thursday, March 5, 2015

The greatest ascension of all - Part 2 Saviour or Lord ? | Colin D' Cruz

This message was preached by Colin D' Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the March 1st 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here



Col 2:2-3
When we focus on the treasures of Jesus we get transformed from glory to glory.

Phil 2:9-11

2:6-11 The greatest declaration of Jesus’ incarnation and then the exaltation and glorification.
What was the purpose of Paul writing this? To draw out attention to unity and he was encouraging the Philippian church toward this.
James 4:10, 1Pet5:6, Matt23:12

This is a recurring theme in the New Testament that if you humble yourself God will lift you up. The gospel is full of paradoxes. You humble yourself and God will exalt you. When you give, you receive. When you lose your life it will be found by you. When we die, we live. When you serve, you are served.
The humiliation is linked to exaltation.

1. to exalt him Jesus was resurrected
2. Ascension Jesus came to earth as a spirit became a man and ascended fully God and fully man. This was very important to the Apostles. After Jesus’ ascension in the upper room in Acts 1:20 they needed to choose another apostle to take Judas’ place. The criterion was that person has to have been there right from Jesus baptism up to His ascension.
3 Coronation – Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. Eph1:20-22
Jesus is our Savior but not only on that He is ruling and reigning on high over all things.

How else was Jesus exalted?
WHAT IS JESUS DOING IN HEAVEN NOW?

4.  Heb4:14 High Priest. This is what He became. What is that? The veil was torn in two. The O.T plans of the temple, the priests clothing etc were all given by God in detail to Moses. What was on earth was a shadow of what is actually in heaven.

a) The Passover lamb is the shadow. The real sacrifice is Jesus. The blood of the sacrifice could only be taken into the Holy of Holies by the High Priest and the sacrificial Lamb.
Hebrews has 13 references to the High Priest. The High Priest stood between God and man.
Heb4:15 The High Priest who was tempted in every way is Jesus

b) Therefore he understands. Heb7:25,26 He is interceding for us. So, whatever situation he is interceding for us.

c) Heb4:16 Dispenses mercy and grace and judgment. We will never be perfect this side of eternity. We sin all the time. We can go with confidence now. WE do not need to run away. That’s the role of Jesus.

d) Acts 5:31 Salvation. Jesus dispenses salvation and forgiveness of sins.

e) He pours out the Holy Spirit upon us as a High Priest.



5) Name above every name
God gave Jesus a name. We all have a name. That name is not Jesus. Jesus was a common Hebrew name. This is a preeminent name.
Heb1:4 – Superior to the angles. It’s a divine name

The name signified his character. In the O.T names were significant – they told you the character and destiny of a person.
One day (Rev2:17) we will get a new name.
Jesus was the name given at birth. Matt1:21 IT only deals with one aspect of his character, an important one though.

At the name of Jesus – referring to another name that Jesus is known by – that is LORD
LORD . Greek = Kurios, Yhweh. The Jews would not use that word because it was so Holy.
Is 45:21

Over 700 times in the New Testament Jesus is referred to as Lord. In Acts only 2 times is Jesus referred to as Saviour and 94 times as Lord! What does that tell you?
LORD – Master, boss, ruler over ad above all.

People love a Saviour!! But do people like a boss? That’s human nature. You cannot have one without the other.
Rom 10:9 If Jesus is your Saviour  but is HE your Lord?
Rom10:10 every knee should bow in heaven. Knees are already bowed there.

Rev 4:8-11 24/7 they are worshipping Jesus
Apart from (Heb12:22) angelic beings there are those whose Spirits are with Jesus.

On Earth – True believers worshiping Jesus. One day Jesus will return.
2Thes1:7-10 the unbeliever will recognize Jesus as Lord.

Under the earth- Matt25:41, 1Pet3:18
The fallen angles, those gone to hell will one day acknowledge Jesus whether they like it or not.

What is our response to all this?
Worship
Mk16:19 We will get others to worship. We need to persuade others. Too often we stop at worship. We need to take the first step towards evangelism. Will we reach out to people?
Jesus as asked us to live for him. He commanded us to make disciples and he will take an account of that
I pray that all of us will engage in reaching out to the lost!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The greatest ascension of all - Part 1 | Colin D'Cruz


This message was preached by Colin D' Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the 22nd of Feb 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

Phil 2
We looked at how Jesus humbled himself to the point of death on a cross. Jesus on the cross is only half the story. It’s important but that is not all. He is no longer there. He obtained our salvation.

Verses 9-11 these verses are potent, powerful. There is so much truth in them. These verses are about the exaltation of Christ. It’s God’s response to Jesus’ humiliation.
1Pet 1:1111 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

Remember why Paul is writing this letter.  Paul  wants to encourage unity and  because he wants to help them with that he writes Phil2 about how Jesus humbled himself so we can do the same.
Verse 9 Therefore God exalted him. The humiliation is linked to the exaltation. All that has happened to Jesus will happen to us as well.

The two are inseparable. There can be no exaltation without the humiliation. Greek word – huper from which we get the word, hyper. God “Highly exalted” He “hyper” exalted Him. If Jesus was God why did he need exalting? The man Jesus was exalted – the fully God fully man Jesus. The promise is that in the same way God will exalt us.
This gives us the power to live the Christian life because any sacrifice we make will be nothing compared to the reward that we will get.

Hudson Taylor went to China. His wife died at 33. She had 8 children of which 5 died. Three grew up to become missionaries. And Hudson Taylor says: I never made a sacrifice in my life”!!! What a statement!!
What will give us the motivation to keep on serving? For the joy set before me.

C. T Studd gave up everything for the King of Kings

 Today, we’ll look at 3 ways God exalted Jesus.
1. Resurrection the historical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He lived an amazing life, taught amazing things and died an amazing death.
Everybody dies. So what’s special about this? The body was not there!!! This is the core truth
Acts 2:32-33, 3God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
 Acts 5:3030 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.

God raised him bodily from the dead. What’s the difference between this and Lazarus’ death and resurrection? Lazarus died because he had the same old body.
Jesus has a new body that is incorruptible. One day we will have new bodies too.

1Cor15:4,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1 Cor. 15:2020 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Jesus is the first fruits of those who will have the resurrected body.

1Cor15:23.  But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. If we belong to Jesus we will have a new body.

1Cor 15:42-44 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

2. Ascension – That physical body of Jesus going up into heaven.
Luke 24:50-53, 5When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

 Acts 1:9-11 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Because he was raised up bodily, he will be raised up as well.
1Thes 4:15-18According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the cloudsto meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 One day when Jesus comes back it’s the end of life on earth as we know it. Those who believe in Him will be ruptured along with Jesus.
Jn14:2 Jesus is preparing a place for us many mansions. Jesus has saved us for a better place. WE have a glorious future.

3. Seated at the right hand of God. It’s a place of authority and power. It’s Jesus’ coronation.
Eph 1:19-22 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion,and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

Jesus was raised to the highest place and given the highest name
So what about us? We are seated with Him. Eph2:6 Seated with Him. That’s why was can pray and do things.

In the  resurrection he was exalted over sin, and death
In Accession he was exalted over time and space
In his coronation he is exalted over every power and authority
1Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Let nothing move you
1 Thes 4:1818 Therefore encourage one another with these words.


This should encourage us to work for the Lord because everything that happened is for the church. God has a mission and the church is a part of this. Let’s do this. WE have a great future. Amen!!


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.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

How to B.L.E.S.S | Alan Preston


This message was preached by Alan Preston at Word of Grace Church on the 15th of Feb 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here.As you read the Bible right through what’s the story being the story? Is it just fanciful stories about Abraham, David, and Paul etc or is there something deeper, fundamental going on?



God’s got a plan. Do we know what the plan is and are we tapped into it?
All scriptures point to Christ. What did Christ come to do? The pinnacle of what God was to offer us a way of salvation yet we are only scratching the surface- the tip of the iceberg. So to say Jesus came to die for our sins it’s only the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more. We need a bigger picture.

When God created man he mad man special. Why was man special and very good? Because he was made in the image of God. He was called to rule and have dominion over every thing created. Why did God ask Adam to name every living creature? Because, he was given authority. When man rebelled he didn’t lose his image of God  but lost his authority.

It got marred, messed up and man invited Satan to rule. This is why it’s called the kingdom of darkness. It was not about one man and woman serving but a change in order. Wasn’t Eve the one who sinned? Then why is it called the sin of Adam? When Satan came in and took over. God always had a plan. This happened in the sovereignty of God’s will. His plan was to restore all things to its original beauty.

So the first step to restore God’s plan was to choose Abraham. Through Abraham all the nations of the world would b blessed
Then Israel failed in its divine purpose in two ways. One, they invited a human king and they worshipped idols and pagan Gods. God was merciful and sent prophet after prophet whom they stoned and rejected.

So God send Jesus. Jesus talks to the Pharisees and Sadducees and says today the kingdom will be taken away from you i.e. the divine purpose for Israel was taken away and embodied in Jesus. Jesus sets in motion a new kingdom. The kingdoms of this world will finish. The Kingdom of God starts with Jesus and is moving on and will continue into eternity. WE live in the overlap period.

So we do our jobs in the kingdom of this world but we belong to another kingdom. We are the people of the future. What it means to repent of your sins is not just repenting for the things done but its saying I have been duped by the Kingdom of this world; I now belong to the kingdom of God which has different values. We are no longer duped by wealth or Bollywood or the powers of this world.

We have seen something better, eternal and that will last. There is a future with Jesus and what’s going on here will not last forever.
When you sin you have been deceived by the Kingdom of this world. Repentance is coming back to Jesus and to the Kingdom of God. That’s why we pray the Lord’s Prayer

So as part of God’s mission it was not to just forgive us but to restore all things to himself. Col 1:20 We are a part of the new things that will emerge and he has gathered a new community called the church. So God’s mission has a church. It’s not church on a mission so we are not isolated in Pune. We will be powerful in bringing the Kingdom of God here on earth. WE restore creation. WE are a part of creation.
Anyone who is a true believer is a missionary-whether you are a teacher, in the call center etc . We are the church gathered on Sunday and the church scattered during the week.
Missionary means more than telling people about Jesus. You‘ll work honestly, pro life,  work for cleanliness etc.

Here is a helpful way of reaching out to your non Christian friends
You B.L.E.S.S them. As a people who are a part of the future how do we bless?

B Begin with prayer. Hearts are changed through prayer not information.
L Listen to people. Ask questions. Feel their pain, identify them, feel their pain
E Eating - have meals with them.
S serve – find ways that you can serve them in a tangible way
S Share your story.

If you do the first 4 you have won the right to be heard on how Christ has made a difference to you. So pray for 5 people, bless everybody, invite 3 to Word of Grace and expect one to turn up.

We will do this because we are on God’s mission.

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, February 18, 2015

Finishing Strong | Alan Preston

This message was preached by Alan Preston at Word of Grace Church on the 15th of Feb 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here.

The Lord’s hand is on your life and mine. Psalms 38 says the steps of the righteous man are ordered by the Lord.





We are righteous not because of what we have done but because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. So this applies to us. Remember righteousness is a gift. It’s free and it’s not something you work for. It’s a grace gift.

Steps imply a destination and a journey. While you are here, God has a plan for your life.

Hebrew 11:3-40, 12:1-2
Here we are running for Jesus and to Jesus. Heb 11 is about outstanding heroes of faith who did not receive what they were promised. Puzzling isn’t it?
Heb 12 starts with “therefore”. We don’t know who wrote this book or to whom it was written apart that it was to Jewish Christians. They were in the danger of drifting and strolling about and not running for Jesus.
Heb2:3, 5 it’s a running theme.

There is a distinction between weights and sins.
If you are running with your eyes fixed on Jesus and sins come in the way your eyes will be diverted and you will run elsewhere.

Weights slow you down. It seems to me that it’s too simple a question to ask “is it sinful?”.The question is “Is it helping me runs for Jesus?” Many things are neutral but when it interferes with your running for Jesus, it will slow you done.
What’s your weight? Is it a promotion, hobby, computer game. What takes your time and energy? Sin easy to discern but weights are deceitful.
How do you plan your run? If you try running a marathon without preparing you could die. You try a little bit every day.

 Are you preparing for your run for Jesus? What would you like to achieve in 2015. Write down your impossible list for 2015. Believe that as you run for Jesus you run fervently and glorify Jesus.

Four motivation sin the passage to finish strong

1. It’s helpful to think about how you want to live for Jesus now. Decisions you make now will pan out in the next few decades.
Witnesses are of two sorts. One is where the person actually sees you doing something. The others bear witness to your character. Heb 12 is the second one. They are speaking to us. I overcame so can you? Moses- I overcame shyness, so can you. Abraham I over came all the difficulties, so can you. These are keen for you to finish the race.

2.So what have they not got? They have not yet got their resurrection bodies and the second coming of Jesus.
So it matters to these witnesses, and they are cheering you on and it matters that each one of us finishes because  its one  closer to them getting their resurrection body.

3. Jesus is the Author and perfecter of our faith. We are looking to Him and not Heb 11 saints. The saints inspire, encourage, and motivate us. Only one person can change us – Jesus.
We don’t look at our past. I’m not looking at the success of the past or its failures. We look to Jesus

4. The joy set before him endured the cross. When you live your life, the sufferings of this age in the light of  Romans 8 age are nothing compared to the glorious riches in Christ.

 So plan your run don’t let weights get you down. Don’t carry baggage and run well and finish strong. This life is the “snacks” The main course is coming.

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.