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Monday, July 20, 2015

Philippians Part 14 - Rejoice! | Colin D'Cruz


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on July 19th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

How many have been happy? How do you feel when the flipkart guy is at our door? 







Happiness is related to the happenings. Its event based. So when the event passes so does the happy feeling.

Joy is something different.
Phil3:1 Rejoice in the Lord. We are commanded to rejoice. What does that mean?
Joy is not an emotion. We rejoice based on our relationship with Jesus. Paul is full of joy. But what were the circumstances in which he was rejoicing or writing this letter? It was in the midst of very unhappy events.  He was in prison chained to a Roman guard. He could rejoice as it was not based on external circumstances.

You may be happy/sad this morning but you can have joy in your life that is unconnected with the current circumstance of life.
When we, reflect on the fact that we are chosen by Jesus, when we reflect on His words; that He will never leave us nor forsake us; what security that gives us. Nothing we do, nothing someone else does can affect our relationship with Jesus.

So will you rejoice in the Lord?
Here is a picture that shows you a glimpse of what it is like to be with Jesus. A baby can’t speak, walk or help in any other way. They just eat, cry and lot and poop. But the mother still oves the baby and has joy in the baby.

Rom 8:28-2928 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i]have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstbornamong many brothers and sisters. 

No matter what happens in our lives, God’s working it for our good. So rejoice!!
Why am I reading these promises? Because we can change the way we feel when we change the way we think! Imagine a man stamps your feet while you are waiting at the bus stop. Will it not upset you? But what would you feel once you realize that that man is blind? Your feels will alter because of the facts before you.

Rom 8:32 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

 As we go through life we sin. Driving in Pune is a fertile bed for sin. Every day is a wonderful opportunity to practice self control.

The devil will often remind you of your past. Well! You just remind him of his future!

It’s God who justifies. Rom8:32 Jesus is at the right hand of the father interceding for you.
Rom2:26-37
38-39No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus
All of us have come to know Jesus by
A Acknowledging that we are sinners
B Belive He is the only God who died on the cross for the sins of the world
 C Confess that you are a sinner and repent of them
D do something about it. Decide to obey His commands. Be baptized.
So no matter what the circumstance we can rejoice.

GRACE  -In school we have all encountered this phenomenon of “grace marks”. In the school of life we have all failed the exam. The passing before a Holy God is 100%.  So Jesus took our sins on the cross. Only He was perfect and could pay the price.

We might think that we are good. Imagine if I gave you a glass of water to drink on a hot summers day and I put one tiny drop of cyanide in it. Can you drink it? NO! All the water has been contaminated. So it is with our lives. Our”little sins” have contaminated our lives and it is unacceptable before a holy God. But Jesus made a way.


Grace is accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made for you and me. Today you have come here as one person and you can walk away a different person.


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.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Philippians 13: A Model to Follow-3| Colin D'cruz


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on July 12th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

In the last two weeks, we have looked at the models we can follow and emulate. We’ve looked at Timothy- highly commended by Paul; Epaphroditus- a brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier with Paul. Today, let’s look at Paul himself.



In Phil 2:17 he says, “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

What does Paul mean when he is saying that he is being poured out like a drink offering? Pagan religions and Old Testament Judaism would offer sacrifices. They would take an animal, slaughter it and on top of it they would pour a drink offering of oil or wine.

In Numbers 28:1-8 we see this command for offerings and that it is a pleasing aroma to God.  So Paul is saying to the Philippians that their troubles are the sacrifice and his suffering is a drink offering on top of it.

Q. what is your experience of Christianity?
Today we are living in an age of convenient, comfortable Christianity. We do not face persecution like what the Philippians and our other ancestors faced. Our lives are so different.

Q. Is your life a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord?
We are not talking about acceptance from God, but there is a life of sacrifice that God is looking for.

Q. Am I only going to do things in my Christian life that are convenient? Where is the sacrifice in our life?
I want to challenge us as a church that we take steps that cost us our time, energy and money. King David says, how can I sacrifice to God anything that costs me nothing?

Now, let’s look at Paul. He’s chained to a Roman soldier. How did he come into this position? Who is this Paul?

In Acts 8 Steven was stoned. He preached a sermon and the High Priest and Jewish elders decide that he needs to be stoned.

Saul was first mentioned in Acts 7:58. He witnessed Steven’s sermon and supported his stoning. After Steven’s death, a great persecution broke out in Jerusalem and Saul was on the scene from then on. As the persecution broke out, the Christians from Jerusalem were spread out in Judea and Samaria. It is interesting to note that the mandate of Acts 1:8 to take the gospel to Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth, is fulfilled in Acts 8:1 in a different way.

Saul was a Jew. The testimony of his conversion is mentioned 3 times in the New testament. He was Born in Tarsus- a  Pharisee. Around the age of 30, he moved to Jerusalem to study under a Rabbi.

At that time, a male religious Jew would pray- “I thank you that you have not made me a gentile, a woman or a slave.” God takes this orthodox Jew, converts him and uses him powerfully.

Acts 9:2- “he went to the High Priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.”

Acts 8:3- “ But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”
This was Saul.

Graham Staines came to India to serve the poorest of the poor. One day, a mob attacked him and hi 2 children. The three of them were burnt to death in his car. Saul was the kind of person who would have done set the car on fire. He wasn’t satisfied with Jerusalem and wanted to go to Damascus and imprison the Christians there.

But in Acts 9:3-4, he has an amazing divine encounter with the living God. A light flashed on him that was brighter than the middle-eastern sun. It blinded him.

We can think that there is no hope for such people. Then, we see God’s sovereign intervention in his conversion. It was initiated by God. He sent us the Holy Spirit and led us to repentance. He chose us.

Saul, in persecuting the church, knew about Jesus. He heard Steven. He was also a contemporary of Jesus. He must have been aware of Jesus. He is led to Damascus where he meets Ananias. In Acts 9:10, God tells Ananias to go to Saul.

Saul, who is Paul, is our model.

In Acts 9:11- we see that Saul was praying. There is a desire of communion with God.   
 Q. Are you having that communion with God?
The flesh is weak and life is busy, but let’s make this sacrifice and commune with Him.
What are the other things we can emulate from Paul’s life?
1.       Paul heard the Gospel and was Born Again.
2.       He was communing with God
3.      He was Baptized in water. Baptism identifies you with Jesus. It is not needed for salvation, but it is the very first command Jesus gives you as a believer.
4.       He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul was a believer when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
5.       He had fellowship. In Act 9:19, he spent several days with the believers in Damascus.
6.       He began to preach. When we are a part of a body we have a function in the church.


This is the model for us to follow in the life of Paul. Are you living your life in service to the Lord? We have an opportunity to offer a sweet smelling aroma to God. It may mean giving, serving, preaching the gospel, etc. It is sacrificial and is pleasing to 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.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Philippians 12: A model to follow-2| Colin D'cruz



This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on July 5th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

What’s your favourite verse in the Bible?

For many, it is Phil 4:19- “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” it is important that we understand the context in which this was written. 

This was written by Paul when he was in prison and the Philippians had sent him a gift. The Philippians church loved Paul and sent him a gift with a trustworthy person. It is in this context he says that he is amply supplied and that will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Last week, we looked at different models of Christian living- Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus. Today we will look at the life of Epaphroditus. Jesus is perfect and you could be saying, I can’t be there. Paul was an amazing apostle, had an amazing encounter with Jesus, that’s not me. Timothy was an apostolic delegate and was with Paul wherever he went, that isn’t me either.

Epaphroditus, as far as we know is an ordinary church member but he finds mention- to give the gift but also to care for Paul and look after him. When we come to the Word of God, we are standing in front of a mirror. We can things are not quite right with us. James 1:23-24 says, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like”

As we look at the model of Epaphroditus let’s look at what we can emulate. Now our performance doesn’t increase or decrease his love. John 14:15 says, “if you love me…”. We are not trying to get God to love us but demonstrating our love for Him.

Phil 2:25-30

  But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
What are some of the qualities we can pick up about Epaphroditus from this passage?

1.      His name- Epaphroditus means belonging to Aphrodite who is a pagan God. He came from a pagan background and one day he met Jesus.

2.      My Brother- Paul used these words to describe him. He is not just a believer but Paul had a deep love for the Philippians. Epaphroditus was dear to Paul.
Paul was chained to a Roman guard and would have had so many needs. Ephaproditus provided and served Paul in whatever he needed. They were not blood brothers but because of their common relationship with Christ, they were brothers. When God is our Father, we are all brothers and sisters.

The world has a culture of division. Unity is only possible in Christ. Galatians 3:26- “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith”. When Paul refers to Epaphroditus as brother, it’s because they have a deep love for one another. 

3.      My fellow worker- this describes someone walking alongside Paul in his work for the Gospel. This refers to Synergy- when the sum of the parts is lesser than the sum of the whole. Epaphroditus was a fellow worker together with him in the Gospel. This word has been used to describe other men and women in the New Testament.

Q. Are you a fellow worker? If Paul was writing from our church would we be fellow workers, bringing people to the knowledge of God?

God wants us to have that relationship with one another.

4.      Fellow soldier- not only is he a brother and a fellow worker, but a soldier in the battle. Some Christians like loving but are not interested in working together and fighting for Christ. Epaphroditus was a soldier advancing God’s kingdom.

In Luke, Jesus did 3 things;
·         He healed the sick
·         Cast out demons and evil spirits. You need power from above.
·         Proclaimed the Gospel.
We need to engage in this spiritual warfare.
Q. do you feel you are a soldier?
We are all called to be soldiers. Epaphroditus risked his life for the sake of the Gospel.
5.      He was a messenger- in doing the ordinary he became extraordinary. He showed great humility in ministering and meeting Paul’s needs.

6.     Today there’s a lot of teaching going around about healing. God had mercy on him and he was healed. And the Philippians loved him so much that they were distressed hearing that he was sick. But even in his sickness, he is concerned about the church.

7.      God’s qualifications for honouring men and women were found in Epaphroditus. What an amazing model!

As we put up the mirror of God’s word, let it stir our hearts. And remember, this is not because we are trying to win God’s love, but we are demonstrating our love for Jesus.



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, 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.