Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Philippians Part 23: True Beauty| Chris B

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


Philippians 4: 8- 9- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Today we will take a look in context to what Paul is urging us to do. Take last week's and combine with this week.

Last week we saw that, in biblical prayer there are atleast two activities- the act of prayer, when we come together and pray for situations and things. The second is the state of prayer- this is the 2 Corinthians 5 kind of prayer- pray ceaselessly. This happens through abiding with God.

Driving a gear car and driving in India, I have learnt to cast my anxieties on the Lord. This is the state of prayer. The grace of God is sufficient to perfect my life and yours. Yet we shoot one line prayers through the day. It's being in a continual state of prayer because there are anxieties too big for me.

Sometimes people come to mind and we just shoot a prayer for them. We see prayer as seeking peace. The negative now said positively. Casting our anxieties on him and putting on the peace of Jesus, this reduces anxieties. That is a little like abiding.

It is important to take it off and then replace it. We take things off and then put something else on.

Ephesians 4: 20- 24That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” If you are a believer, you are continually recognising your sin, casting it off, and putting on the new self.
Paul starts by giving an explanation. 

Ephesians 4: 25-28Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body...  Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

It is not enough to stop stealing, you need to find honest job to do. When you stop worrying, you have some time to kill.

As a human race, we are two things. We are obsessed and awful. We are horrible at identifying what is true and noble, right, pure lovely and admirable.

In 4th century BC, Plato and Aristotle spoke about 4 transcendentals- good, beautiful, real, true. These things transcend time and space.

Envision a magazine- there is a cover girl. Now think about my 88 year old Grandma. Today the idea of beauty and attractiveness has become intertwined. Beauty is not confined by time or space. That’s why the culture worships youth. People want to look attractive forever. But the model on a magazine fails on two counts- photoshop, airbrushed and lighting. There is attractiveness, but no reality. She is not beautiful in the philosophical sense.

My grandma, on the other hand, was the kindest, gentlest and most amazing lady I have ever known. She sets the bar in the stratosphere. She’s certainly not as attractive but she’s beautiful. The lie of pornography is the same problem Paul is talking about in the previous verse.

We are not excellent at determining what is excellent.

Isaiah 53:2-3 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.“ it tells us that he

Isaiah 6: 1- 8

CS Lewis – “we as a species are far too easily pleased.” The problem with people who lust after porn or food or success, is not that they desire too much but that are easily satisfied. 

This world has been blinded so they are not able to see what is truly beautiful, the beauty of our God. We go after things that are counterfeit beautiful, counterfeit reality. If we want to change our perspective we need to look at our Beautiful King. Experiencing God in his fullness is far greater that anything we go after.

Isaiah was forever changed because of his encounter with God. We can't do this change alone. We come here each week to behold our God and be transformed forever.

Q. How will we do this?
Paul encourages people to look at him and imitate.

Q. Do I have someone who is mentoring me?
Someone I can follow. Find someone who can help you in this'd pursuit. Find a mentor.

Q. How will I take off anxiety?
Replace the content and do the exact same thing with something beautiful about our God it turns worry to worship. Definition of worry is when you think about your anxiety over and over in your mind. When you replace that with something incredible about God, it’s worship, meditation.

Eph  2:1-10 says you were dead. A dead person can't do anything for themselves. But God intervened at great personal expenses. He died in your place and ransomed you. So that he can show how much he loves you. He demonstrates that in his love for you.

That's why we can endure all things and count it as rubbish. So let us rejoice in the Lord and again rejoice!!

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. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Philippians Part 22: Prayer and Petition: What's the difference?| Chris B

This message was preached  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on September 11th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here

Phil 4:6-7- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As I was reading this I came to a revelation that I may not exactly understand the idea of Biblical prayer. This might be alarming to you because I lead you in prayer during the last 15 min. I wonder if you are not so different from me.

By prayer and supplication- This is the difficulty or confusion I fell into. What's the difference bet the two words? The two words in isolation makes sense but both the words are there.

Q. What is Paul trying to illustrate to me?

We are at the end of the letter where Paul is wrapping it up. Perhaps this confusion was already cleared in the beginning of the letter in  Phil 1:3-4. What is said in short hand here is explained in the beginning.

Phil 1:3-4I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy

So Paul is busy with life and he remembers the Philippians and thanks God for them. And this fits under Paul's paradigm of prayer. He did not stop and go into a closet to pray. There is formal prayer, acts of prayer which we just did, and a state of prayer. This is demonstrated in verse 3 and in verse 9 he is praying for their love.

In this background, chapter 4 makes sense. In the broad sense, this prayer happens in constant communion. 1 Thes 5:16 instructs us to pray without ceasing. This is the idea of abiding in Christ. This is a very parallel idea.

In John 15:4-5 Jesus explains the same idea of remaining. How important is it that we pray without ceasing and abiding in Christ!

We all have things that we critically need to function in a day. E.g., coffee! Abiding is an active and not a passive activity. This is a posture of desperation.

Q. What does it look like?

Heb 12:1-2Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

When we realize that we are desperate for this we will shed everything. We need to get rid of everything that will prevent us from abiding. We need that kind of desperation.

Q. What does it look like in our daily life?

Chapter 4:6- When I look at my family I give thanks to God. When I look at the church I give thanks to God. When we see evil etc, we need to see the sovereignty of God in that and that He can save them too. When we see a corrupt world we don't feel hopeless but see a King in control of everything! This helps is give thanks.

I don't think we think of this. We often think of prayer as an act of prayer which often leads to selfish prayer. We are not abiding when we do this.

God warns us about this in Phil 3:12 where our mind is focused on earthly things. We are citizen s of heaven

Phil 4:3-4 begins with negative and ends with positive. Same idea said in two ways. God's peace will guard our hearts and minds. Heart is where are affections are. Mind is where our thoughts are.

So if we relate to God in this way we will not have anxiety. Paul knows this because he is writing from a Prison cell.


So let's remain in prayer always- A state of prayer is different!

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, September 6, 2016

Philippians Part 21: Gentleness| Colin D

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

We saw how we should stand firm in the Lord. We saw why relationships are important. We saw how we should rejoice in the Lord.

Before we go into this let's look at standing firm. It's not standing still but persevering in the purposes of God. Phil 1:27 says stand firm in one spirit.

2 Thess 2:15- “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Standing firm is conducting yourself in a certain way.

Phil 3:14 is far removed from doing nothing. There is effort involved. The effort is in the Lord. We do it with the strength that God gives us.

1.      John 15:4 speaks about remaining in the Lord and in the Word. We need to be a people of his word. The practice of having a quiet time goes a long way in standing firm.

John 8:31-32To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is holding on by obeying the Word.
2.      The second is we want the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jude 1:20- “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit”. We should be a people led by the Spirit.

Phil 4: 5- “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near

Q. Can you say you are gentle?

This is a command. That word is translated differently in different translations-
·        Humility
·        Considerate
·        Gracious
·        Forbearance
·        Gentleness

Q. What is the model for this? Jesus

Matt 11:29- “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” He was gentle and humble.

Q. What was Paul like?
2 Cor 10:1- “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!

Let's look at some examples
1.      In John 8: 1-11 a woman was caught in adultery. How does Jesus deal with the situation? Jesus says I don't condemn you, sin no more.

Q. What do we do when people sin against us? How gentle are we?
We need to be gracious enough to forgive
2.      In John 13: 1-7,  Jesus before he goes to the cross, washes the feet of the disciples, even Judas. Gentleness is to love even those who are against us.

Q. How can we be gracious?

Prov 15:1A harsh word stirs up anger but a soft answer turns away wrath”. We need to do this even when there is no response.

1 Pet 3:15- “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. He says, share your faith with gentleness and respect. You can't argue anyone into believing.

Titus 3:2 says, always be gentle with everyone

1 Peter 3:3-4 says talking to wives, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” A quiet and gentle spirit, this will win their husbands over.
Standing firm includes being gracious and gentle. This is great quality.

Q. What is the reason for this?
A.     In Phil 4: 5 it says the Lord is near. The early Christians lived with the hope that Jesus would return soon.  1 Thes 4:8- do we live with that expectation? The fact is that He is coming again. If you have not put your faith in Jesus I urge you to do so. One he comes is there is no second Chance.
B.     The second reason is God is at my side. Ps 139:8 Jesus is with us every moment of the day. We can encourage ourselves that no matter what we go through know that God is with us. Sometimes we come to God with a wrong mentality that he will judge us. No. He is there for my success and well being.

So we stand firm by moving toward the things of God. It's takes effort to move the direction that God wants. It’s being gentle and gracious like Jesus. When we look to Jesus we can change.


The Lord is near. That is our encouragement.


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, August 30, 2016

Philippians Part 20: Rejoice Always| Colin D


This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on August 28th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here


Has anyone had the experience of walking on a rope bridge? It is shaky and you need something to hold on to.


Q. In your spiritual life, how can you stand firm?

In Phil 4:1-9 Paul gives us 7 things to help us stand firm.

1.      Relationships are important. In verse 1, he says that he loves and longs for them and that they are his joy and crown.  In verse 2 he is pleading with Euodia and Synteche to resolve their issues. We looked at that last week. It is important to have good relationships in the body of Christ. It is not a small thing. One infection in your toe can cause gangrene and affect the whole body. People squabbling in the church is a Big thing.

2.      Rejoice: Paul is commanding the Philippians to rejoice. He is saying it again and again. Maybe your situation is not ideal but this is not an option. It’s not rejoicing in circumstances but in the Lord. the Lord is worthy of Praise.

Happiness comes out of happenings. But Paul is talking about joy that is not determined by circumstances. This is demonstrated in Acts 5: 40-41: “His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

Joy is supernatural. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. Even when they were being flogged, they rejoiced.

2 Cor 8:1-2 is another supernatural evidence- “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” 
Grace of God was upon them. Our joy and well being is dependent on knowing who the Lord is and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Horatio- his family moved to Chicago to help those who were less fortunate. A year later, the family went on a ship and the ship sank. Hearing this, he went to see his wife who was the lone survivor. In the ship that was taking him to meet her he wrote the hymn, "It is well with my soul." He had every reason to be bitter, but he did something else.

Q. How do we rejoice?

1.      Contentment- we are incredibly blessed. We always want more and think our situation is bad. Our situation can always be worse. If you have a home, food, shelter, you are in the top 5% of the world. You are blessed and need to be content.

2.      Remembering what Jesus has done for us. We are children of God- we pass through death like a doorway to enter heaven. No matter what you’re going through, he will be with us.
Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

3.      The sovereignty of God is a truth we need to hold on to. He is all powerful. The disciples in the boat- when the storm came by, Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were screaming. Jesus was woken up. He said, be still and the storm calmed down. The disciples marvelled. Jesus then rebuked them. He is in control. That is the great assurance we have.

All the organisations in the world will come and go. The church is the only thing that will survive. God has given us something significant to do.

We rejoice in him.

Q. How can you change the way you feel?

By changing the way you think. As we read the word, it gets into our mind. And even in a bad situation, we are able to rejoice. 

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.