Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The chain reaction | Colin D'Cruz

This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the 11 th. of Jan 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here.


The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans. Rom. 1:10 that he longs to be with them and impart some spiritual gifts, His desire to go to Rome was fulfilled but as a prisoner.

Acts 21:28 is about how Paul is arrested and falsely charged. He is then in jail for 2 years and he appeals to Caesar being a Roman citizen and so he is taken there.
Phil 1:12-
This is the background. He is in prison now. But how? We will look at Paul’s attitude through this.

Bad things do happen to us – illness, tragedy, death, cancer, job loss etc.
In Rome Paul is under house arrest ( Acts28 :16-13). He is allowed to live with a soldier to guard hi. Phil 1:13 tells us that the was in chains i.e chained to his guard . These were the elite soldiers of the Palace.

How would you react if this had to happen to you? He was not in prison for a crime but for Christ.

Paul had every reason to grumble and complain. He sees his circumstances through different lenses. Verse 12 whatever happened is of no consequence because he was able to advance the gospel – that Jesus paid for our sins and if we believe this we will go to heaven.

Christians are like tea bags – you can tell what we are when we are in hot water!
Paul had a Rom8:28 attitude. Knowing that as we seek God’s kingdom ,no matter what, there is a sovereign God advancing the gospel.

What was the outcome of this?
Paul wrote letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians. Those churches do not exist anymore but the letters do and we read them till this day.
In our own lives whether we see or don’t see what is happening we need to trust Him. We need to hold on in faith and know that He will work it all out.

Verse 18 His attitude is full of joy. He rejoices because Christ is being preached. While in prison other Christians find the boldness to carry on the work. (v14.)
In our situation we may think that it’s time to pipe down a bit but we should continue to be bold to proclaim the gospel and do good.
Also Paul being chained to the guard caused him to have a captive audience. The result was all the palace guards received the gospel and they get saves. It’s called a chain reaction!!

Verse 15 – Christians were preaching some out of love and some out of selfish ambition and to stir up trouble for Paul (v17). Did not Paul have a right to get offended?
Verse 18 -  But what was Paul’s reaction ? What does it matter as long as Christ is being preached? This is a wonderful attitude to have.
Verse 19 we need to keep praying for a change in our situation when it is bad. Paul lives confidently despite the uncertainty around him. He is not afraid.
He then gives us a model of how we should live. 
Verse 20 ,Christ is  to be exalted whether by life or by death. What an attitude!!
Phil1:22 For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. This should be our attitude. If he died it would be to be with Jesus. To live would be fruitful labour.
Verse 25 To be on earth means we should be faithful and fruitful.
So there is much to learn from Paul’s attitude a Romans 8:28 one full of joy and confidence.
Verse 29: To suffer for Him. This is something we will face if we stand up for Christ. There are many who talk about “no suffering” for the Christian. That is not true. We will face opposition and rejection
Throughout church history we see great men and woman of God had to suffer great atrocities for the sake for the gospel. While we do have abundant life there is this part also that is not spoken or preached about often.
If you have been called to suffer he will also give you the grace for it.
But in all things have a Rom 8:28 attitude filled with hope, joy and confidence. 

               
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.