What is the reason you are a Believer?

Most everyday Christian folks would just say, "The reason I'm a believer is because I trust Jesus' death on a cross was able to sufficiently satisfy the wrath of God for my sins."  But why did you trust Jesus in the first place?  There is an old way that theologians and pastors talk about our trusting Jesus for salvation. It is by using the phrase, "effectual calling." 

We talk in church circles about the need for an effectual calling (i.e., hearing God's call to trust in Christ) in Conversion (i.e., the act of God taking out the heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh...regeneration). Another way to say this is simply that effectual calling and conversion is becoming born again. There is a calling that is general and broadly applied to mankind. This calling can be ignored.  But the effectual calling is a particular calling and nothing short of an act of God. This calling cannot be refused. If you are a believer today it is because you answered this calling. It is the call out of darkness into His marvelous light!  Jesus said it using a shepherd illustration in John 10:3-4,

To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

The point of Jesus' teaching in John 10 is that what is true in real life about a shepherd and his sheep is also true of Jesus and his followers.  His sheep hear His voice and respond.  We know that Ephesians 2:1ff tells us that until this effectual calling and conversion we are "dead in our trespasses and sins" unable to respond to God spiritually. This is why the call is effectual, because it is accompanied by the work of the Spirit quickening the heart and mind of the sinner. The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) says,

All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.  

So then, "What is the reason you are a Believer?" You believe because God has effectually called and converted you by His grace! This is the only reason you believe. Any other reason has it's genesis in man and not God and therefore cannot be the eternal life which is freely offered in the Bible. Rejoice in knowing that your salvation is wrought in the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit alone!

New Sermon Series

But God Chose!

This is Week Two of the new sermon series called "But God."  The late D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones rightly says in his commentary, “These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel.”

This week we will again see these two words grounding our salvation. These two words are positioned to tell us that even though man may choose to love and serve God, it is all God's action; God's effectual working. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1, that our boasting cannot be in our worldly wisdom, or our personal strength, or our status of nobility. In addition, our boasting cannot be in our adherence to a set of doctrines, or because we joined a biblical church body, or even that we've grown up in a home where the Christian lifestyle was real and lived out. Our boast must only be in these two important words, "But God."  These two words rightly point us to a Person.  Indeed, they point us to the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit.  The One God in three Persons.  So our boast is in the Father who chose us before the foundation of the world.  Our boast is in the Son because of His work of dying as our substitute on a Roman cross and rising again on the third day. Our boast is in the Spirit who applies this saving work to us at just the right time.  This truth is the reason the apostle Paul wrote, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." Amen!

Upcoming Event

The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference

"Salvation Stories in the Old Testament"

This June 16-18  all ladies are invited to attend this Gospel Coalition three day event.

Please see Susan Avato or Anne Altstadt for more information.  


HORIZON Summer Youth Camp

We are planning for some High School students to attend the HORIZON week of camp on June 20 thru 25th.  The camp is in Flat Rock, NC at our denominational conference center called BONCLARKEN.  The cost tentatively is $394 per student without travel expenses.  We can let you know the full cost soon.  We are late getting this info out so please respond asap. 

See pastor Mike or call the church office 727 599-4555.

Upcoming Event

MAY 7th | 2022


Please go to iwalkforlife.com to sign up and become a walker to earn dollars for this life saving cause!

See Anne Altstadt for more information or call 727 599-4555.

Weekly Events


CHILDREN'S CLASSES OFFERED during sermon for ages up through fifth grade.


ADULT Men and teens study TACTICS.

ADULT Women and girls study the "HOLINESS OF GOD"



As we fill the prayer room...God will fill our church!

Please join some of the other regular folk for 15 minutes of prayer. Located in the library.


  • Pray for THAT ONE FRIEND to trust Christ this new year!
  • Pray that all of the guests that came to our EASTER SUNRISE will come to church this Sunday!
  • If you need something to pray about: Pray for Mike M., Jason, Michele, Tito, Danielle, Aaron, Jane, Darrell, Dave, Marty, Dan, Bob, Cole, Ian, Damin, Jeff, John, Stacie, Ann Marie, Tom, Josh, Marc, Daniel, Max, Jared, Devin, Scott, Mike, Sarah, Mark, Bill, Amanda, Jack, Terri, Richard, Josh, Amanda, Evan, Brett, Bobby, Johnny, Jane, Tim, Lori, Mike, Amy, Anthony, Sam, Taylor, Mikani, Rick, Mike, Sarah, and others who need Jesus and a church like ours.
  • Pray for all the NEW faces that arrive in worship.
  • Pray for the people floating around without a Christ-centered family! MAYBE YOUR NEIGHBOR IS ONE!
  • The Lord's blessing! Pray for God's mercy in SALVATIONS!
Read the Bible

Click on "Read the Bible" this will take you to "Today's Reading" where you will see D. A. Carson's commentary, then four selections from the Bible. Really solid stuff for you to feed upon!

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram