So by now all of you have had plenty of time to digest my last post and hopefully search the Scriptures for yourself to see what the disciples of Jacobus Arminius believed when the put together their five points. Now we will look at what the disciples of John Calvin put together to refute the five points of Arminianism; the Five Points of Calvinism, better known as "T.U.L.I.P.", and I'll show you why they use those letters as their acronym. I will use again the following material, taken from "Romans: an Interpretive outline", by David N. Steele and Curtis Thomas, Baptist ministers in Little Rock, Arkansas, contrasts the Five Points of Calvinism with the Five Points of Arminianism in the clearest and most concise form that I have found anywhere. Each of these books is published by the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Phillipsburg, N.J.
1. Total Inability or Total Depravity
Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not - indeed he cannot - choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ - it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a port of God's gift of salvation - it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.
2. Unconditional Election
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
3. Particular Redemption or Limited Atonement
Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.
4. The Efficacious Call of the Spirit or Irresistible Grace
In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
5. Perseverance of the Saints
All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.
According to Calvinism:
Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
My thanks to the above authors for their hard work and diligence in studying the above doctrines and writing a great book about Romans.
So now that you see the two belief systems contrasted, I pray you to study your Bible FOR YOURSELF, and see what is the true, biblical doctrine of salvation. As I have already stated, I am a firm believer in Calvinism, although I am starting to not like the label "calvinism". What John Calvin believed, he gained from his intense, thorough study of Scripture. He concurred with Augustine, who concurred with Paul the Apostle, who wrote most of the New Testament, and it's in his epistles that we see most clearly the Doctrine of Predestination. When you see God for who He truly is, the Sovereign Creator of the Universe, and understand that He can do WHATEVER HE WANTS TO WHOMEVER HE WANTS, and you look at all of Scripture in this proper light of God's Sovereign character, you see it all making more sense.
All throughout Scripture, we see God CHOOSING people, most of them don't even want the job that God CALLS them to. Moses tried to get out of his calling, Jonah went to Tarshish, "away from the presence of the Lord" (Jonah 1:3), Paul was killing Christians until Jesus knocked him to the ground in Acts 9:1-7. Not one of them "bowed their head, and 'accepted' Jesus into their heart". In fact, I don't see in Scripture ANYWHERE that that is the way to become a believer in Christ.
It is my belief that it is a great sin of pride to make man sovereign in salvation, and reduce the Omnipotent, God of the Universe into a weak, sissified, needy, Messiah who sits in heaven wringing His hands, hoping that mankind will accept Him into their hearts. Most churches today preach a watered-down , synergistic gospel, meaning that man meets God halfway and that salvation is a combined effort of man and God agreeing together. They also preach in this gospel that you can be saved, and then "lose" your salvation by sinning again. This makes God even weaker, if He cannot keep His own unto the end. Read John 17, Jesus' prayer to God, read Philippians 1:6, Romans 8 & 9, etc, etc....if you are TRULY SAVED(born again), then you are SAVED FOREVER. Period.
The Arminian gospel sickens me, because it blasphemes the Holy, Righteous Name and Character of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please click on the below link and study the study guide which leads you through the bible for yourself to increase your faith, increase your knowledge of the One to whom you owe your very life and breath, see Him for who He truly is, and worship Him now and forever.
Thanks again to all my faithful readers, and please pass this blog along to others if they have questions about the five points. I welcome any and all comments, and if you have a topic you'd like to see me discuss, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you have tech questions, head on over to my tech blog at: http://mouseineveryhand.blogspot.com/
Until next time...may the Lord bless all who read this. In Jesus' Name, amen.