Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Goal for 2017 | Colin D Cruz

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

How many of us made New Year’s resolution. We all feel at the end of the year the slate, has been wiped clean, and we have a fresh start.

Some New Years’ resolutions go like this: Read more, exercise more, learn something every day, find a new hobby etc etc. Some goals are big and some small. We all have different kinds of goals.

We all have goals. I want to put a goal that is life defining for you at Word of Grace Church  . This is a biblical goal.
God has a plan for your life- to make you more like Jesus.
That we will be conformed to the image of his son.
Can that be our goal for this year?
1 Cor. 11:1 to 3
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.
 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
What does it mean to follow? It means we live the way he lived. We do what he did

1John 2:6.
1Pet 2:21 
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

How do we do this?
We do this through the Word.
What does the Bible say? Read, understand and obey.
We need the Holy Spirit for this.
We can also have living example in our lives and we can imitate them in how they follow Christ.

The gospels contain the life of Jesus and we shall look at it.
God plan in choosing us is to make us like Jesus.
It is not automatic but systematic.

Matt3:4-5   John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan

Read though the gospel of Matthew and write down everything Jesus did.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Jesus is just beginning his ministry. At the beginning of his ministry he got baptized.
John was baptizing people. Jn3:5
John was unique. He wore Camel's hair. Ate locust and wild honey.
Somehow people from all over came to him. His message was of repentance from sins. Baptism was a sign they were sinners.
Can you imagine John's shock when Jesus came to him?
 However, Jesus lived the life as a model for us to follow.

 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.”
These are Jesus last words. This is after his death. He has all authority in heaven and earth. So this command affects everyone.

So not only did Jesus do it but he also commanded us to do it.

Thirdly, we see this worked in the Bible.
What did the disciples understand?

Acts 16:13-15 Paul understood Jesus command. They did what Jesus asked them to do.

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

Acts 8:27-
Phillip talks and explains the gospel. V36.
So this command is twofold. We get baptized and we help others to get baptized like Philip and Paul did.

 What did Jesus do next.
Matt 3:6 He was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:1
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Matt 3: 11
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit
So we see Jesus example.
Where is the command?
Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

Acts 1:8 what does the Holy Spirit do? You become bold, powerful and be able to be my witnesses.

How was it practiced by the early church
Acts 2:1-4
They got baptized in the Holy Spirit and they spoke in tongues.
Acts 8: in Samaria
Acts 10:44-47
  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[a] and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

Acts 19:1-5 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 
and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Our new year’s resolution at Word of Grace Church is to become more like Jesus. We see His life , the commands and what the disciples and the early church did.

What do we need to do? If we are Christ followers, we should do the same.

Acts 16:29-33.The obedience was quick.
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he, and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Acts 9: 17 -18 Paul, got baptized immediately.
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,

If we have been baptized , it is our responsibility to make disciples and be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Are we seeing the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in our lives?

 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  

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