Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Greatest Day in History| Colin D


This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 27th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

The three most significant days in history are Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.

Q. What is significant about Christmas- that God took on flesh and became a man. The creator of galaxies and the stars came as a helpless little baby.

Q. What’s significant about Good Friday- Jesus then suffered a horrible death on the cross. He was beaten and whipped and scourged on the cross- he laid down his life. That is where we left things off at Good Friday. The Sabbath was coming. The Jews wanted to keep the law. They murdered someone but did not want to break the law which is why they needed Pilate to pronounce the death sentence on him. Jesus’ body was taken down because they wanted to do everything before sundown (before the beginning of the Sabbath) - they took his body and embalmed it and left it there.

Matthew 27: 57- 66- This was the Good Friday evening.

Jesus had spoke about his rising from the dead. His disciples did not believe him. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. They address Jesus, who is the truth, as the deceiver. But they had faith for him to rise up again. The authorities ensured that no human can come and steal the body. There was a roman seal on it and armed roman guards there. Would the disciples even venture to steal the body? They were scared!

Then in Matthew 28 we come to Sunday early morning. Who goes to the tomb? It was the women who loved and followed him and cared for him. They went there out of their devotion- anoint his body. But before they had gone there, there was a violent earthquake. 2 significant things happened:
  • Jesus rose from the dead and
  • An angel came to push the stone away

Matt 28:11- 15-While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”
Think of how stupid the story is! If they were asleep, how did they see that they were the disciples.

1.       There was an empty cross: The fact is- Jesus was crucified and he died. Jesus was well and truly dead on the cross. It is important because he came to die for our sins. Romans 5:8-“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. If he did not die, we are not saved.

Q. Do you know if your sins are forgiven?
Our sins have to be paid for. Either we pay for them or Jesus pays for them. All the religions of the world tell us what to do to pay for our sins. Jesus tells us nothing we do is enough, but he has died in our place. If you don’t know that your sins are forgiven, you just have to believe in the Lord Jesus- that he is fully man, fully God, and that he died for our sins.

2.       There was an empty grave- there are many political leaders, popes, etc. have tombs and mausoleums built for them and there are dead bodies in them. But Jesus doesn’t have one because he came alive. That is the magnificent truth. Roman 1:4- and who through the spirit of holiness, was declared with power to be the son of God by his resurrection from the dead.

This was the proof that he is really the son of God. It is the corner stone of Christianity.

Q. What is the significance of the resurrection?
The resurrection showed that God the Father was pleased with his sacrifice. Jesus was sinless but was delivered over to death for our sins. But death could not hold him. All the merit that Jesus earned has been credited to you. God is now pleased with us. He was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:5- “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness”

2 Corinthians 5:21- “God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”

The empty tomb is proof that we have been accepted by the father. Jesus has done it all, and we just have to believe.

3.       Empty grave clothes- Matthew 28: 8- 9- The women went to anoint Jesus but instead saw an empty tomb. Jesus then meets them. They worshipped him. They knew he was the Lord. In another account, we see that Peter and John also go with the women when they tell them that Jesus rose from the dead. In John we see that they still did not understand from scripture that Jesus was supposed to rise again. He was not stolen, he is risen and he is alive.

4.       Jesus appeared: Luke 24:36- they were startled and frightened thinking they saw a ghost. He ate with them. They touched him and fellowshipped with him. Jesus wants to do the same thing today. He is not risen and up there. He wants us to be involved in his plan. His plan is this- go and make disciples of all the world. The solution to all problems of mankind is found in Jesus. Only he can bring true peace for all mankind. In the Middle East we have Jews and Arabs worshipping together. Isn’t that amazing?

It would be great if Jesus’ resurrection was the end. But at that point he gives the great commission. We have a job to do on earth. To proclaim to everyone that Jesus is coming again. You and I are privileged to be a part of that plan.


Scientists are racking their brains trying to find the cure for diseases and thousands are dying every day! If you knew the cure, wouldn’t you share it? It is our job to share this news we have for salvation, with a dying world to see it transformed. 


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.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

From Gethsemane to Golgotha PART 2 | Colin D Cruz


This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the 25th of March 2016. There is no audio for this message. This is Part 2 of a two part message on Good Friday.

We are looking at the events in the last 24 hours Jesus' life
Luke 22:39-44

1 Jesus prayed. The disciples went to sleep. He prayed that Gods will be done. God encouraged him with an angel ministering to him.
His agony was so intense that he sweated drops of blood.


2 Matt 26:47-56 Judas betrayed him.  armed soldiers came to arrest him.
All fled. Save Peter who cut off a soldiers ear.
Jesus was betrayed. Have we been? Have we! Can we forgive
Have there been times when we have not stood for Jesus.

3 Jesus trial
Mark 14:61-64
They spat on him, struck him, beat him, humiliated him, mocked.
Have we been unjustly treated. Ask God for Grace to respond like Jesus.

4 Pilate and Jesus

5 Jesus is condemned. Mk 15: 6-15
Barabbas was released in the place of Jesus.
Have you been sidelined for someone else?
Pilate does nothing bec he wanted to satisfy the crowd. He had Jesus flogged. It was the most horrible kind

6 On the way to Golgotha
Luke 23:26 Simon of Cyrene. Was made to carry the cross. What an honor. He is recorded in history.
Large numbers of woman wailed.
Would we carry His cross? Today we can. We do it as we serve his body.
Ask God for strength to do that

7 On the cross
Luke  23:34
Jesus is crucified with two common criminals. Today we like to show off an or who we know. Here the Lord of creation hung between two common thieves. How he humbled himself.
We we look for ways to humble ourselves
8Jesus speaks to the thieves

8 v39. He endured insults from the criminal. Till his last breath he was saving souls.
How many times we have made excuses saying when things get better I'll serve.
Jesus even in this time is serving people.

9 John 18:28-34 Jesus fulfilled many prophetic words. About his birth and death.
No bones were broken because he was already dead.
Only God could orchestrate these events. He controls every detail in our lives. No one can mess with it.

10 verse 38-42 Burial prepared
Joseph of Aramethea and Nicodemus who were secret followers come alive and take care of his burial.

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.

The week that was - PART 1 | Justin Jaykumar

This message was preached by Justin JayKumar at Word of Grace Church on the 25th of March 2016. There is no audio for this message. This is Part 1 of a two part message on Good Friday.


We had so many activities they the week. Bit this weekend is historical. Two days that are well known. This week is also called Passion Week.

Let's look at what Jesus did during this week.
Jesus was resolute about the cross. This week people celebrate Palm Sunday.
The day he enter s Jerusalem.

Day one

Matt 21:1-5
He road a donkey not a horse. In humility

Day 2

Mk11:11
He goes into the temple. And then went to Bethany. Four nights were stayed here. This is the place of Lazarus resurrecting and Mary sitting at his feet
It was here that Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life.
Jesus did not live like a super human being. He was flesh and blood. He wept, slept, was angry.
He leaves Bethany on Monday and sees a fig tree Mk11:12. He cursed it even though it was not the season. It looked promising but not fruitful. The Jews were waiting for the Messiah


Day 3 Tuesday
Curtsey Bible Gateway


Next day he goes to the temple and clears the temple of the money changers. This was a big festival when Jews cane from all over the world.
The chief priests were challenging his authority but could not trap him. Matt 22:22,32,46,
On his way back Jesus was speaking to the dis on the end times.
This is the evening that Judas goes to the chief priests to betray him

Day 4 Wednessday

He probably stayed in Bethany

Day 5 Thursday

Sends Peter and John to prepare the passover feast. He washes the feet of the disciples. Judas leaves to meet the chief priests.
Here the disciples are concerned with who will be the greatest.  Jesus was passionate bout the cross , the disciples were preoccupied with position.


He went to Gethsemane where he went often. So Judas knew where to find him.

When he was arrested everybody fled. One denied him, one betrayed him. He went through 6 trials. From evening, the whole night. In the morning the counsel meets and condemns him. Luke 22:6. They could not condemn him so they sent him to Pilate. They needed witnesses but nothing corroborated. Jesus offered himself up when he said I am the son of God. To Pilate they said he is rabbel rousing. When Pilate heard he was from Galilee he sent him to Herod but Jesus was silent with him. He was sent back to Pilate. Pilate wanted to free him. Said he had power over him. Jesus said he had no power over him bit could only do what God permitted him to.

These events were not planned by men but orchestrated by God.
 

The high priest wanted to arrest Jesus after the passover. But this would not fit into Gods plan. But then Judas betrayed Jesus and things fall in plan.
Jesus was mocked, struck etc for us.

 Day 6 Friday

Early morning the next day he was crucified. He suffered the whole week.
He fulfilled God's purpose in his life.


PART TWO Click here

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, March 22, 2016

The Great Commission| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 20th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Last week we looked at the great commission- Matt 28:18-20. The risen Jesus, defeating death comes alive and meets his friends in Galilee saying “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Commentators have said this was the commission to all disciples. To go into all the world and make disciples of nations, baptising them and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded.

We have had the privilege of obeying the first part, baptising the 4 people last week in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. What about going into nations and making disciples? This Sunday we are doing that. We can’t all go to the nations. But some will go and we will play our part in sending them to the nations.

It is for us to realise what this is all about. This is the last chapter of Matthew. We have amazing teachings of Jesus recorded in Matthew. We come to the climax of the whole gospel- Jesus says, all that I’ve done, my death and resurrection- the end result I want to outwork in your lives is this- go and make disciples of all nations. We are privileged to be a part of sending Abdullah and Namrata to nations. But it does not end there- we have Kutzi, Dema, Chris and Jennifer, Van... we have nations coming to us as well.

If you look amongst us, we are from different parts of India. God’s goal is one new man in Christ. In our country there is such division. But in Christ, when we realise we have a saviour who has died for us, it doesn’t matter where you are from, we are one in Christ.
Jesus is giving the Great Commission to us as well.

Q. Why does the church exist?

Some people say, for fellowship. We heard testimonies that people come here and are touched by our love. That is great! Some say, it is teaching, and that is important. Some say, it is worship. Word of Grace is blessed where worship is concerned, with great worship leaders and musicians and God’s presence is here. That’s the central activity in heaven.
Although these are all important, the key thing is to go and make disciples. I want each one of us to get hold of this. Is your life aligned with that great purpose of Jesus? Are you involved in that?

The son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. He came to seek and save the lost. We have Abdullah and Namrata today as live examples. Stop and think about it. Abdullah was well paid in an excellent job being sent all over the world. Why would you give that up; to do what? They have chosen to give that up to proclaim the gospel. If they are ready to do that, making disciples must be very important. It is supremely important.

Now, each one of us need not give up our job. In your present situation, you can make disciples. One day at the end of time we are all going to die and stand before the judge Jesus. This is the truth. Revelation 20: 11- 15Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”   

At this judgement, you can’t fake it because everything is recorded. This is very serious. Each person was judged according to what they had thought, said and done. If your name is written in the book of life, you will be spared. God the father wants us to proclaim this to all the people. In Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve sinned, they ran. God sought out man. Today, if your name is not in the book of life, God is calling you- where are you?

We have people all around us who do not know this good news and it is our responsibility to tell them. We cannot force them, but we have to let them know. We need to find someone to share the gospel with. We want to help our friends cross the line of faith from eternal death to eternal life.



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, March 14, 2016

Water Baptism| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 14th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

We live in a society where at an early age people are being taught to look out for number one by putting someone else down. Public debt is huge in our country. In offices, schools, etc. we come across something called as sin. The root problem has to be dealt with. We are not capable of changing ourselves unless we realise that we are sinners and require God to change us.

The heart of the gospel is that you don’t have to pay for your sins. When you realise that, a miracle takes place. You are a new creation. There is a radical transformation. We are not perfect people but we are forgiven people. That’s the difference. We know that we are a work in progress. 

Jesus did his job, lead a sinless life, gave his life, rose again and went up to heaven. Before the ascension, he gathered his followers and gave them these instructions- Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So he talks about three things:
1.       Helping people to believe
2.       Be baptised
3.       Be built up- teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.

Today we will look at the second point which is baptism. What is the meaning and what is its significance. Getting baptised is not the end, but the beginning, as there are many things we need to be built up in.

Baptism:

The meaning of baptism- unfortunately, our translators, instead of translating the word Baptism, they have transliterated it. Baptism means to immerse or to submerge. Historically, for some reason or the other, the Christian church has changed its understanding of the concept of baptism.

Q. What does the Bible say?

Mark 1:4-5-And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water,

The meaning is immersion and not sprinkling.

Q. How was baptism outworked?

Acts 8:26- 36 The Ethiopian Eunuch was reading the book of Isaiah on the chariot. So Philip explained the gospel to the Eunuch. V.36- the Eunuch asks, ‘why shouldn’t I be baptised’. If you are travelling, you definitely carry water. If baptism was just a matter of sprinkling, he would have got baptised with that water. But they waited to see a body of water. Then they ‘went down into the water’. After that Philip was supernaturally taken away and the Ethiopian Eunuch went away rejoicing. There is great joy in obeying what God has commanded.

In Acts 16 is the story of the philippian jailor. Paul and Silas are bruised and bloody. They did not grumble- they were praying and worshipping. The jailor saw the power of God that night. The jailor fell before them asked what he must do to be saved. “At that hour of the night” the jailor got baptised. In the early church, baptism was immediate and was by immersion.

Thirdly, Baptism is not something you do without understanding. There is no point baptising babies because they don’t understand anything. Acts 2: 38 says repent and be baptised- infants cannot repent. If you baptise someone who doesn’t believe you are just getting them wet.

Q. What is the significance of Baptism?

In Judaism, symbols were very important. For example- the symbol of the Passover which reminded them of the first Passover when the blood of the lamb provided protection from death. In NT there are symbols as well. Jesus gave us the breaking of bread. The second one is baptism.

Romans 6:4- We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

1.    It is a picture of your old self being buried and just as Jesus rose to new life, we rise to our new life. Sprinkling does not give that imagery.
2.    An Identity card identifies us as a part of a company/ group. A person who is baptised is identifying themselves with Jesus. Jesus singled out one thing- be baptised. It is identifying that we are sinners and that we are saved by Jesus.

For people who come from a Christian background it is a struggle. But even Jesus got baptised. He was sinless- he did not need to repent, but he did it. When we get baptised, we are fulfilling something of righteousness we need to do undergo.

It is exciting! Let us be expectant. At Jesus’ baptism the skies opened up and the Father’s commendation was on Jesus.


Baptism is not the ending, it is the beginning!   

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.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Created, crafted, commissioned | Ian Portwine


This message was preached  by Ian Portwine at Word of Grace Church on March 6th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.








We are an apostolic group of people because we want Jesus message to spread to the whole earth.

EPH 2:8-10



        I.            We have been CREATED in Christ Jesus. This refers to our recreation/regeneration in Christ. God imparts a new Spiritual life to us. Nicodemus was told “you must be Born again”. Nicodemus must have been confused. But this is a spiritual birth that we need to go through. WE play no active part.
 Ephesians 2:1 We were dead in our sins. Something needs to be done from the outside and what God does is a work of God, we cannot boast. Some things we can boast about but when we are dead we are dead.

We are born again and adopted into his family and this in happens within a flash.
How does all this happen? What happens in regeneration is a mystery to us –Wayne Grudem. We will never understand because it’s a work of God and pushes me further into worship because its incomprehensible.

      II.            We are CRAFTED
Eph 2:10 – “Handiwork”. Greek Phoema i.e masterpiece. The English word “Poem “comes from this. He is fashioning us, putting his love in our hearts and making us a thing of beauty.

I asked a Literature professor to describe the crafting of Poetry to me. Here is what she said. “In a good poem there are no insignificant elements, nothing is too small to be important. Every full stop, comma, capital letter should be there for a reason. Every mark of ink on a page is significant. Even the white spaces around the words are important. They all represent choices that are made by the poet.”

I asked my friend who is a watercolor artist to describe his craft “When planning my painting I need to consider a range of things, composition, perspective, choice of colors, tonal contrast” and so on.

The Father is the master craftsman developing a work of His art. The fingerprints of God are all over you and he lovingly shapes and develops us. Our identity in Christ is a thing of beauty.  At new birth we are given our identity. The rest of our lives we have God shaping and molding us.

WHAT HAPPENS TO A MASTERPIECE
Several things can happen to a masterpiece.

1.       It can get damaged. Being a Christian does not insulate us from trouble. Jobs are lost, crimes are committed, relationships destroyed but it’s important to be in community to be encouraged.

2.       It can go unrecognized. A person used a big vase as an umbrella stand. Till one day a friend came along and gasped stating that vase was worth half a million dollars!!!
We can feel like that – left in the sidelines, undervalued . But God has crafted you and He has a plan.

3.       It can be stolen. Jesus speaks about the parable of the sower. Weeds can stop us from getting to where we should be. But God is in the restoration business.

4.       Displayed. Its admired, written about. If we put ourselves in a place where we do nothing its uless. WE need to work into society and tell people about Jesus. WE are a masterpiece not a museum piece.

    III.            COMISSIONED
Pope Francis prefers a church that is bruised, hurting and dirty rather than a church that is unhealthy from being confined to itself.

Why is it good work? Because, it has been given by God. WE have been placed in certain areas to do good work. WE need to bring Christ to people around us. God has given us good work to do.

We are the aroma of Christ so we can affect those around us. God has a calling in your life and he has placed you in the right place where you should be. You are on God’s mission in your place of work. All work is good because we have a purpose.

We have been empowered by Grace to go into the world. There is no secular sacred divide. We are on an adventure. AS we take baby steps of faith who knows what new things will open us?

From this church you have a unique and wonderful position to affect the world as people get flung to different corners of the world from Word of Grace

Now God does not meet our work, He is sufficient in himself, but our neighbours do.
WE may think we need to build up credit with God. That maybe true for other religions. Christianity is also a religion of works. BUT it’s not our works but JESUS’ WORK by which we are saved. This is a work of God.

Jesus does a work of salvation- a gift from God. God dos a word that is everlasting
Good work does not lead us to Christianity but Christianity leads us to good works.
We are not saved by works but saved for works

WE have a new life in Christ and he has crafted us with such tenderness as a thing of beauty. He has commissioned you with purpose and meaning to go into the world of Christ glory!! 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.