Grace Through Faith Producing Salvation

IMG_315How different would this verse sound (Ephesians 2:8 graphic) if it actually said this: “By FAITH are ye saved THROUGH GRACE…It is the gift of God” 

 

Now we know that’s NOT what was given by God as the scripture but that’s how so many read and understand this verse.  That human free will must exercise itself in order to effect salvation’s grace in anyone’s life. In other words, the grace of God is subject to the human free will of man expressed in faith.

 

But the truth is, it is by GRACE that we are saved THROUGH FAITH…and if you just pause a minute to let that simmer in your mind, you will realize that that word “grace” is a loaded word.  It implies that your salvation, my salvation was planned, initiated, brought to us in time, and will finally be consummated, all by the unmerited grace of God.

 

As Paul said in Romans 8:29 & 30 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  

 

So where does faith, or the “through Faith” part of Ephesians 2:8 fit in this saving process we see here in Romans 8:30? Well one thing we know for sure, the grace of God encompasses all of it!  But the faith that we exert to bring salvation about happens “in time”, when we are “called”.  The call of God is when the gospel is presented to us “in time” and we believe.  When according to the plan of God any individual who is foreknown to be saved is called upon to hear the good news. Then faith arises within the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit in the wonderful working grace of the new birth. (John 3)

 

So it is grace THROUGH faith that produces salvation.  And the amazing thing is this…THIS is the GIFT of God.  In fact we can say, all of it is the gift of God.  All the grace and any faith we exert in the process is the gift of God.  No wonder we sing “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!”

 

Praise God today if you have received this grace from God.  Pray God use you to spread the good news that brings His grace to the lost around you!


Pastor Jacob Denys


Jonathan Edwards Resolutions (Cont)

DECISIONS

Resolved, Frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs, and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the fourth Resolution.

DISCIPLINE

Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavour to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

REFLECTION

Resolved, To examine carefully and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and so direct all my forces against it.

REJECTION

Resolved, To cast away such things as I find do abate my assurance.

OMISSIONS

Resolved, Never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

SCRIPTURE

Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

FAITH

Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.

PRACTICE

Resolved, To strive every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

TONGUE

Resolved, Never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of christian honour, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said any thing against any one, to bring it to, and try it strictly by, the test of this Resolution.

FAITHFULNESS

Resolved, To be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Prov. xx. 6. ‘A faithful man, who can find?’ may not be partly fulfilled in me.

PEACE

Resolved, To do always what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without an overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

TRUTH

Resolved, In narrations, never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

DUTY

Resolved, Whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

WORDS

Resolved, Never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call to it. Dec. 19, 1722.

SELF-DENIAL

Resolved, To inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,—what sin I have committed,—and wherein I have denied myself;—also, at the end of every week, month, and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

REVERENCE

Resolved, Never to utter any thing that is sportive, or matter of laughter, on a Lord’s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

LAW

Resolved, Never to do any thing, of which I so much question the lawfulness, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

FOOD

Resolved, To inquire every night before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

BETTER

Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

DEDICATION

Resolved, Frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism, which I solemnly renewed when I was received into the communion of the church, and which I have solemnly re-made this 12th day of January, 1723.

OWNERSHIP

Resolved, Never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s; agreeably to what is to be found in Saturday, Jan. 12th. Jan. 12, 1723.

GODLINESS

Resolved, That no other end but religion shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan. 12, 1723.

SELF-CONTROL

Resolved, Never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.



Comfort For Times Of Separation

 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psa 34:18 NASB)

 

Everyone has experienced it. Perhaps you are feeling it right now as I am…the sorrow of separation. Maybe for you it’s the loss of a loved one who’s gone to be with the Lord. Or like me, it may be the separation of you and your teenage son or daughter who leaves your nest to begin adulthood in college. Whatever your sorrow of separation, we’ve all experienced it or will so in the future.  As I think about how I’ve been feeling over the last few days while dropping off my son at college (times of deep sadness and sorrow), I realize that the reason why we have such feelings is because we know we won’t be seeing our loved one for some time. It’s the pain of a physical separation, even estrangement in fellowship that we are not used to having with them. And though we know it will be temporary…in fact I know my son will be coming home soon during breaks and what not…his absence still affects his mother and I with grief.

 

Our Lord understood this feeling of separation and sorrow. When while in the Garden of Gethsemane He experienced a coming separation from His father. He knew it was coming and even was already upon Him during that grueling hour. It climaxed on the cross when He cried out “My God My God why have you forsaken me?” And when darkness covered the land, it was the painful separation of His father turning His back on Him that He would experience in full and until death. Yet it would not be an eternal separation. It would only last for a set period of time. In earth time, it was only 3 days. And when He had finished offering complete propitiation and atonement for our sins, the separation then came to an end. When at that appointed time, His father raised Him up and highly exalted Him back into glory so that He would forever be reunited with Him in holy eternal loving fellowship once again.

 

The hope that we have as believers is that even though we experience separation from our loved ones during this time on earth, God has secured our eternal fellowship with Him and with our saved loved ones forever by the blood of Christ. In fact our Lord’s separation from the Father guarantees for us a never ending fellowship with Him and with our beloved in the future. Thanks to what He endured in His separation, we will never feel that pain and sorrow of loss ever again in eternity. That day is coming for all who are His. When every tear that is shed for every loss and separation we have in this life will forever be wiped away…and joy and love will be ours with Him and with our saved family and friends forevermore. Do you have this hope?  If not, put your faith and trust in Christ today!  The Bible promises that all who repent of their sins and trust in God’s only redeemer and savior in the world, Jesus, will be saved!

 

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psa 34:8 NASB)

 
Pastor Jacob Denys



Jonathan Edwards Resolutions (Cont)

COMMITMENT
Resolved, If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

FAITHFULNESS
Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.

TIMELINESS
Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

ETERNITY
Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

HUMILITY
Resolved, To act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings, as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

DEATH
Resolved, To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

PAIN
Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

GODLINESS
Resolved, When I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

REPENTANCE
Resolved, If I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

FREEDOM
Resolved, To be endeavouring to find out fit objects of liberality and charity.

SIN
Resolved, Never to do any thing out of revenge.
Resolved, Never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

NO REGRET
Resolved, That I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

CLARITY
Resolved, To live so, at all times, as I think is best in my most devout frames, and when I have the clearest notions of the things of the gospel, and another world.

JUDGEMENT SEAT
Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour before I should hear the last trump.

DISCIPLINE
Resolved, To maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

MEEKNESS
Resolved, Never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

HAPPINESS
Resolved, To endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigour, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.



The 70 Resolutions Of Jonathan Edwards

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I admire great godly men.  And Jonathan Edwards was one of them.  In part because he not only had a brilliant mind as far as theology was concerned, but because even at a very young age (19 years) he was able to take his theology and make it practical for his daily life!   I’ve never met anyone in my generation so committed to God that they would take the time to map out exactly how they would follow God’s commands and honor God to the maximum.  Jonathan did just this when he penned his 70 personal resolutions for godly living.  What a treasure!

 

Over the next few weeks I will be posting Jonathan Edwards 70 resolutions (a few at a time) with personal thoughts of mine (or not) for our exposure to these resolutions.  I desire to be like Jonathan Edwards as a godly man.  I figure the best way to do so is to discipline my mind and life after the pattern of his 70 resolutions.  I hope and pray you will join me in this endeavor!

 

August 10th, 2014
Pastor Jacob Denys

 
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THE 70 RESOLUTIONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS

 

INTRODUCTION
“Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

 

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

 

RESOLUTION #1
Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence.

 

RESOLUTION #2
Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

 

RESOLUTION #3
Resolved, To be continually endeavouring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the forementioned things.

 
JONATHAN EDWARDS / 1722



God Is Working ALL Things For Our Good!

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.”

 

Christians cite this verse a lot during difficult times, but are these circumstances really “bad”?  The answer, according to Romans 8:28 has to be “no” when we consider that God is working out ALL things for our good.  So then, how do we process the seemingly bad things that inevitably come into our lives?  Let me tell you that the fault lies not with the circumstance, nor with the God of the circumstance (may it never be!), but rather with our definition of good and bad.

To understand this, we first need to understand the definition of “good” and “bad”.  When we define something as “good”, we are always defining it in terms of its conformity to a particular standard.  For example, when I say that this meal tastes good, I am comparing the taste of the food to how it conforms to the particular tastes of my tongue.  If my taste buds find it pleasing, then the food is “good”.  If the food is not pleasing to my tongue, then the food tastes bad.  Similarly, in the sporting world, we often judge whether an athlete is good or bad depending on his or her performance to a particular score or objective.

In the realm of everyday life we tend to define the quality of our circumstances by how they conform to OUR standards.  Does this make me happy?  If it does, then we consider the circumstance to be good.  If it does not make us happy, then it is bad.  The problem is that the standard we are using to define our happiness is different than the standard for which we were created to find our happiness – God Himself.  We look to relationships, health, money, control, looks, comfort, and a million other things to make us happy when God is saying, “Be like my Son to be happy”.

One such example in my own life would be the motorcycle crash I was involved in a few months ago.  If the goal (god) of my life was comfort or good health, then this circumstance would undoubtedly be “bad” since the crash neither resulted in my comfort nor my good health.  But if (since) God is causing all things, including my motorcycle accident, to conform me into the image of His Son, then the accident must be considered a “good” thing.

Do you begin to see that what is really on trial during a difficult circumstance is not the circumstance itself, but rather our hearts?  You see, my judgment that a circumstance is bad is really a judgment that my heart was looking to the wrong thing for happiness to begin with.  And it then becomes my responsibility to turn from (repent) of whatever idol was ruling my heart and return to God (Christlikeness) as my true Ruler.

So next time you are tempted to think that you are suffering from a “bad” circumstance, make sure that the standard that measures the quality of your circumstances is where it needs to be.  When our focus is where it ought to be (on becoming more like Jesus Christ), then we will experience joy even in the most difficult of circumstances, just as the Apostle Paul testified in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Damien Frank – CBC Deacon


Happy Mothers Day

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Do This In Remembrance Of Me!

communion

It is our tradition as it is in many evangelical churches to observe the Table of the Lord on the first Sunday of each month.  That’s not because someone mandated we do so, but because it’s our choice to start each new month with a fresh reminder of the cross and all it represents.

Why do we observe communion?  Because Jesus said we must!  We must never forget the cost and the sacrifice He endured for our redemption.  As often as we partake, we are to make sure we remember Him!

What does it mean to remember Him?  In the original language it means more than just remember. It means…to go back in one’s mind…and try to recapture as much of the reality and significance of an event or experience as one possibly can. We know we can’t fully do that because we weren’t there, but in remembering we are to try and place ourselves at the foot of Calvary some 2000 years ago.  Try in your imagination to envision what it would have been like to look up and see Jesus Christ the Son of God hanging there!  That vision would and should leave you horrified.  His bloodied body so traumatized.  You couldn’t even tell He was a man Isaiah says.  Imagine yourself there for a moment.  Imagine this suffering that He took on your behalf.  Imagine what He went through as He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Why should I imagine that?  Why should I visit that?  It is painful. It is hard. But Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”  Through the elements we use to partake in His table, He says, “I want you to remember again and again and again and again how you came into this relationship with the Father and don’t forget it!” The Father says, “Come back to Calvary and look at the suffering of My Son. Look at the sacrifice. Look at the torture. And remember all that He had to go through because of your sin.”  And it is the Holy Spirit who also never wants us to forget that it is through Jesus’ sacrifice we have eternal life and through nothing and no one else!  

Wherever you partake of communion this weekend I hope and pray these are the thoughts that would help you truly remember Him!  

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pastor Jacob Denys

 



Celebrating The Resurrection

When it comes to Easter let’s be clear.  It’s not about Bunnies, Egg, Chocolate Candy or Jellybeans…even though I know we love to engage with these things and especially consume them.  But Easter really is about Jesus and His Resurrection from the dead!  This is the most amazing reality of our Christian faith!  That He is RISEN!

As such, if we commit our lives to God through Him, then we can have the assurance that since He lives…we will live too!  Death may come (and it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment) but death will not be a tragic end for us!  The Resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the gospel and of our future hope for life after death!   Someone has said, “Everything we are, have, and hope to be is dependent on the reality of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is my sincere hope that as you spend time with your family this weekend, the cross and the resurrection of Jesus would be the centerpiece of your gathering and celebration!

If you are looking for a place to worship for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, then please consider visiting us.  CBC’s Good Friday service is THIS Friday night at 7pm.  Resurrection Sunday service is at 10am!

 

On Behalf of Our Risen Lord,

Pastor Jacob Denys



COME CELEBRATE PASSION WEEK!

Risen Flyer

We are quickly approaching Easter week and we want to share with you upcoming services. Invite your family and friends to once again marvel at the great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus and the amazing victory of His glorious Resurrection! Click on the graphic for details!



WELCOME TO CALVARY BIBLE CHURCH

condemnationMarch 2nd @ 10am

Kick Off Service for CBC in Fremont!

Communion will be served at this 10 am service!

 Pastor Jacob will begin the exposition of Romans chapter 8

 

 

20140209_133953Calvary Bible Church is a fellowship of believers coming together to declare the glory of the Lord and celebrate Jesus as King.

Our prayer is that you would be blessed and strengthened by the power of Jesus Christ and that you will life a live of abundance in fellowship, joy and liberty. 

We study the Word, practice what we learn and in the process grow together. We equip you to fulfill the Great Commission of the spread of the gospel to all nations.