Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Salvation- An event? A process?| Colin D'cruz


This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on the September 20th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

What do we understand about being saved? We think we chose Jesus, then we realise he chose us.


Ephesians 2 highlights 6 aspects of salvation that Paul outlines. Ephesians 1 shows us how God planned our salvation in eternity past.
1.       We were saved FROM SIN:
Q.     What was our condition before being saved?
a)      Dead in our sins: We were sinners, dead in our sins. We were saved from our sins. The Bible does not sugar coat it. What do you do for someone who is dead? As a follower of Jesus, this is your past. If you are not a follower of Jesus, this is your present condition. The main problem is that we try to solve it with education, finance, etc.

What do we mean by dead? It means spiritually dead. Ephesians 4:18 explains this- “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts”. They cannot or are unable to respond to the things of God. It is not that a corpse does not, but it cannot respond to any stimuli.

b)      We are hostile to the things of God. Romans 8:7-The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so”. So we were not neutral.

In Matthew 8:22 Jesus uses this term as well- “let the dead bury their dead”. We are dead, not because of sin. It is because we are dead that we sin. Romans 3:23 says- “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Sin means missing the mark. It’s not that we do bad things, but that we are incapable of living upto God’s standards.

Salvation is saving us from this condition.
Q. What about the kind, generous people in the world?
In Luke 6:33 Jesus acknowledge that even sinners do good. In Luke 11:13 says “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children...” Fathers who give good gifts can also be evil.
Apart from Jesus, we are dead- we are sinners and evil because we miss the mark of God’s standard.
c)       World systems opposing God: Not only were we hostile to God, but there is a whole world system ruled by the prince of the air, which is contrary to God. 1 John 2:15 says, do not love the world. In the world system, there are 3 things:
                                                             i.            Humanism: Man is the highest and decides what’s right and wrong.
                                                            ii.            Materialism: today we are spoilt for choice and are easily dissatisfied with what we have.
                                                          iii.            Sex: everything is sold using sex.
2.       We were saved from sin, BY LOVE:

Ephesians 2:4- But God, because of his great love...
Salvation is based on love. God did not save us because of anything in us or anything we have done. It’s just his love and we need to value that. There is a difference between grace and mercy. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Love and grace is getting something even though we don’t deserve it. That is God’s love. He adopts us into his family, makes us co-heirs and gives us everything.

3.       We were saved from sin, by love, INTO LIFE:

Ephesians 2:5- ...made us alive in Christ.
This is what has happened to us. We were hostile but God poured out of his life into ours and spiritual life has come into us.
Q. What does it mean that we have spiritual life?
                                 i.            We are sensitive to God
                               ii.            We are able to understand the Word.
                             iii.            We long to be with our brothers and sisters.

4.       We were saved from sin, by love, into life, WITH PURPOSE:

Ephesians 2:6 saysAnd God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”.
God did not just make us alive, but seated us in the heavenly realms, so that in the coming age he might show us the riches of his grace and kindness towards us for all eternity. We often have a wrong view of God- as a strict headmaster. When we do something wrong, we don’t look forward to facing God, but he chose us so that he can show us kindness. He wants to express his kindness to us. Let’s then change our view of God. We were not saved just to get us out of hell but because he wants to show us his kindness.

5.       We were saved from sin, by love, into life, with purpose, THROUGH FAITH:

Ephesians 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith”.
The way to enter into these great purposes of God is by faith in Jesus. All we can do us believe. Romans 10: 9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

6.       We were saved from sin, by love, into life, with purpose, through faith, TO DO GOOD WORKS which God prepared in advance:

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
This spiritually dead person has been saved so that you may do good works. In John 15:8 Jesus says bear much fruit showing yourself to be my disciples. Sin was missing the mark, but bearing fruit glorifies Jesus. Now we live for his glory. We do this by bearing fruit.
In this verse “workmanship” means masterpiece- no two are alike. You are God’s masterpiece and you have a purpose i.e. to do good works. This is one goal of your salvation.

Q. What are these good works?
a)      Make disciples- Matthew 28:18-20. This involves evangelism and training.
b)      Matthew 25:35 highlights a number of these good works- are we a people who do this- hospitality, praying, visiting the sick, etc. When you do this, God is glorified.
How are we living this morning? Are we living to bear much fruit for Jesus? Are we joined together in community, in serving each other, etc.?

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 15, 2015

Intimacy with God = Intimacy with Community | Bill B

This message was preached by Bill B at Word of Grace Church on the September 13th, 2015. To listen/download the audioplease click here

God has had me on a journey in my relationship with him. I wanted to be a man of God and so I studied His word, gave myself to community. Intimacy is a God given desire. He does not want you to know about Him but to know him in your heart. We are too focused on head knowledge and intellectual insight.




The essence of Christianity is to live in union with Him. That’s the journey every Christian should be on. Then Christ flows through us and that’s attractive to some and some will reject it. We are called to be Jesus on the earth today by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Q. How do we journey into this intimacy?
In Acts 2, it depicts that deepening your intimacy with Christ through the dynamic relationship we have with one another. Without this, we will never fully know intimacy with Christ.

In this passage, Peter is not preaching something but someone, i.e. Christ. The Holy Spirit through Christ brings us into communion with the Father. We can get confuse with the Trinity- its unexplainable but they live in a love relationship with one another. They pour themselves out for each other and so should we for each other.

We need a spiritual encounter with Him. What we know and see is not enough. He is wooing us into a deeper communion with Him.

In Acts 2:37, the new believers ask, “Brother, what then shall we do?” This should be our response when we read the word or listen to a sermon. Faith is being built into the life that God has called us into. In verse 38 is where it all begins. 

The first call is to repent. We hear this a lot in the Christian circles. Just turning away from wrong is a shallow understanding. Some feel true repentance means you won’t sin again. That is not true. Repentance is sorrow over my sin. It is also a journey, not an event. Repentance is turning toward Christ and we are dependent on God to change us. We work at it but with His strength.

Then he says, be baptized. It is the union of the physical and spiritual. We receive the person of the Holy Spirit and we need to live into it. We are united with Christ at Baptism. That is exciting! It’s all about relationship and intimacy with Jesus.

We don’t understand all of it but we walk in it by faith. In verse 38, it says, receive the Holy Spirit and not eternal life. To be in union with Jesus is eternal life. Right in Genesis, we were created to live in communion with Him.

In Verse 41, three thousand get added to the number. One sermon, 3000 people saved! That is a miracle. 

After baptism, they began to meet together in smaller groups, sharing life together. How we develop intimacy is by listening to God’s word and saying yes together to what God has spoken.

Today we are very independent in our decisions. We make individual and corporate decisions for God. This means, I need to sacrifice what I desire for the greater good. An individual is an individual. A person lives in community. If you want to live an individualistic life, then Christianity is not for you.

Obedience is relational. Jesus said, if you love me, you will obey what I have commanded. Love is expressed through obedience. God does not demand us to join him, he invites us to do so. Our faith is a faith of beauty and not of laws and judgements.

So we make personal and corporate decisions. We are created to support one another. They were continually devoting themselves to fellowship i.e. a common life with one another

They broke bread together. They ate together. When we participate in this it is faith that is needed. When we participate in the communion, we take in Christ by faith. Christ is in me right from the start but there is a journey of having him in you deeper too.
Jesus said, remember me. Remembering means to re-member or be re-joined or attachment. As we remember there is a greater attachment to Christ.


Prayer: The early church had prayers that they said together as a community. Today we do it in singing. We join in one voice together. Prayer is first and foremost communion with God, being in the presence with God.       

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Trusting till the end : Principles, not precedents | Justin

This message was preached by Justin at Word of Grace Church on the September 6th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here


Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:12- “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” The Old Testament is there as an example for us. Chronicles devotes 3 chapters to king Asa.

We are called to trust God at all times. Life is a journey- many start well and half way end up badly. This is the story of many kings. Asa faced the fate. Asa ruled Judah and listed among the 5 good kings. But something went wrong. His name means “healer”. The opening statement was that Asa did right in the eyes of the Lord.
In verse 16: 8, which is the signing off statement it says, in this you have done foolishly. We are called to trust God and run the race well. God is displeased when we fail to trust him. How can a good king like Asa fail?

God sends a prophet to confront him, but Asa was deceitful. The psalms say, trust the Lord at all times. Asa was a good spiritual leader. In verse 6 it says that he built cities, he was politically powerful. In verse 7-8, he strengthened and equipped the army. In Chapter 15 we see that people rallied around him. He was a people’s person. 2 Chronicles 16:2 says, he brought all the wealth he had to the Lord. He was rich and generous.

What did he do when he met the Cushite king? In his earlier life- how did he face the Ethiopian army?  

Q. How were we when we just began trusting God?
We were filled with fervour and zealous for God.

1. Trusting God is not a concept and not doing nothing. It is doing things God’s way. Trusting God is taking God at his word and facing the challenge. They take battle positions but God fights on their behalf.
In 14:11- Asa cried out to God and seeks his help. Asa knew God not just as one of history but of his time as well. As we continue to trust God in life’s journey. Realize that the battle belongs to the Lord.

God is looking for people whose heart is fully committed to him. David did not become king overnight. 1 Samuel is all about David running from Saul. David always sought God. In 1 Samuel 27 David had been trusting God all his life. He is thinking that Saul will get him. He joins the Philistine army- he stops listening to God for a moment.
Faith life is challenging. David thought he was safe with the Philistines. Asa also took the help of the enemy unknowingly. But in all this God is good.

When power comes to our life in work or church, we need to continue to trust God and not our own strength.

2. 2 Chronicles 16: 2-3: The Precedent: we have always done this, so let’s continue to do this. Solomon had a treaty with the Syrian kingdom. Asa turns to the Syrian king we need to be careful of this. Asa takes the easy way out. That’s a big trap. Certain things of the past can be a trap for us. When Asa returns from the battlefield, the prophet warns him.

It is interesting to note that Asa was successful! Not all that is successful is correct. 2 Chronicles 16:4-6- it seems successful! Don’t be deceived. Asa attacks Israel and is successful. The world will tell you that these things are possible and successful but it is not right. But God is faithful- he sends a prophet to warn him.

In our life too, we seek God and not worldly counsel. The life of Saul did not wait for Samuel to offer sacrifice. Saul failed to follow instructions several times. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Past experience and success is not a stamp of God’s approval. Asa missed the opportunity of being blessed by God. Because of Asa’s mistake, Ben-Hadad attacked Israel. Asa fell sick but did not consult God. He died unrepentant.


We need to trust him till the end. God’s work needs to be done in God’s ways. Over the years, we can become successful but we need to be careful. What worked years ago may not work today. Not precedent but principles. 

     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 4, 2015

Live worship from Word of Grace


Starting this month we will be uploading most of our Sunday morning worship. We believe God is doing something wonderful with us that we would like to share. We are not some hot shot band but we are passionate about exalting Jesus, pursuing His presence and expecting an explosion of the Holy Spirit each time we come together.

 As a band we have journeyed together for a few years learning about worship, worship leading, band dynamics, team, pressing into the prophetic and just being friends. We still have a long way to go and much to learn.

Uploading the worship will also help those who can't make it on a Sunday morning to connect with us, with the worship and the Word. Its a helpful way to learn the songs we sing and worship along with it in your quiet times.

Some of the songs we sing are our own home grown songs that you can find on
https://www.reverbnation.com/navazdcruz.

We would love to hear how this has blessed you. We will be uploading some of the worship from the last year.

The link to the worship is http://wordofgracechurch.org/tag/worship-word-of-grace/

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Victorious Living| Praveen Darole




This message was preached by Praveen Darole at Word of Grace Church on the 30th of August 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here



Today we will look at Joshua 10 where the sun stands still. What a miracle! Joshua is about to enter into the promises of God. The Nation of Israel was taken out of bondage to step into His promises. God has not only brought us out of darkness but has also brought us into his promises. We are given the Holy Spirit so that we can live for him.

As a church we don’t stand in front of the red sea but at the river Jordan. It was always God’s plan for us to enter into his promises. In the wilderness there was manna, water, their clothes and footwear did not wear off, and when they grumbled, they even got quail
God’s provision in the wilderness is his grace, but he doesn’t want us to stay in the wilderness. He wants us to be in the land filled with milk and honey.

The promise land is the heavenly kingdom, but it is not only that. His promises are for here and now. In Joshua 10:1-26, Joshua and the people of Israel are taking ground. In this, we see the following things:

1.      Entering the promises of God is not without challenges: Jesus said, “ In this world, you will have trouble”. In this passage, we see 5 kings coming against Joshua- 5 powerful armies. Sometimes, life can be like that when everything is coming to you at once. Where there is a challenge after challenge without a period of rest. Let’s not be thrown back when things come against us. Take heart. If you are serious about entering the promises of God, you’ve got to be prepared to face challenges.

2.      Greater the challenge, greater the promise: As Joshua is going into battle, God promises him, “Do not be afraid of them, I’ve given them into your hands...” In the time of challenges, remind yourself of God’s greater promises. His promises are an amazing assurance.

3.      Greater the promises, greater the prayer: Joshua prays an extraordinary prayer. He is willing to make these prayers because he knows God can do great things. It says in verse 14 that there has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. It is time for us to make great prayers, that have never been made before, that are worthy of a great God. Let’s make prayers that only God can answer.

4.      Greater the prayers, greater the miracles: There were great miracles that took place in this chapter as Joshua made these great prayers-
a.      Even before the fight began, there is confusion in the enemy camp
b.     There are hailstorms which only kill the enemy soldiers.
c.      The sun itself stands still and delayed going down by a full day.
People want explanations for everything. God is a miracle working God. Don’t fall into the deception that there needs to be an explanation for it.
Q. What are the steps of faith that God is calling you to take?


5.      Finally, greater the miracles, greater the victory: God is about a great victory- in your life, city and nation. Believe it. We want to see miracles we’ve never seen before.  Be reminded of the greater Joshua. The one who comes to our rescue when we call out to him. It is in him that these promises are yes and amen. The one true miracle working God who won a great victory on the cross. His name is Jesus. I pray you will believe and make great prayers.  

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.