The Five Points of Calvinism

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1 The Five Points of Calvinism Thesis: To set forth the five points of Calvinism and what the Bible actually teaches. 1. Beginning in the 1300 s a religious movement started in Europe that sought to reform the Roman Catholic Church. These reformers simply wanted to change some of the things they saw wrong with the Catholic Church and replace them with what the Bible actually teaches. 2. Those who were protesting against the Catholic Church came to be known as Protestants. Over the next few centuries, the Protestant Reformation movement was in full swing throughout Europe. 3. In the 1500 s John Calvin led the reformation from Genevea, Switzerland. In 1536 he published his book The Institutes of the Christian Religion in which he set forth many of his doctrinal beliefs. A. Many of his beliefs came from Augustine who lived more than 1,000 years before him. B. Calvin s beliefs form the basis for many of the teachings of most Presbyterian Churches and several Baptist Churches. C. Even today in some modified form, aspects of Calvin s teachings are accepted by almost all religious denominations today. 4. In response to those who opposed Calvinism, some of his followers presented his teachings in a five point creed. In the acrostic form of TULIP. T stands for total hereditary depravity. U stands for unconditional election. L stands for limited atonement. I stands for irresistible grace. P stands for perseverance of the saints. 5. Calvinist cite many scriptures to prove what they teach. But the question is, what does the Bible really teach about the five points of Calvinism? With this sermon we will examine each of the five points of Calvinism and compare them to what the Bible says.

2 I. Total Hereditary Depravity (Complete, Inherited, Moral Corruption). A. Calvinist teach sin is inherited. 1. Because sin is inherited every baby is born with sin inherited from its parents. This is known as original sin. 2. It is believed when Adam sinned the whole entire human race fell also (Gen 3:6; Rom 5:12). a. Thus when a baby is born he is already a sinner though he has done nothing right or wrong. b. From the belief of original sin came the teaching of infant baptism. 3. Several scriptures are cited to describe the depraved (morally corrupt) nature of mankind. a. Man s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23). b. Man is a slave of sin and does not seek God (Rom. 3:10-12; 6:20). c. Man is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). d. Man s heart is evil from his youth (Gen 8:21). 4. Because man is so sinful, it is impossible for him to choose God. 1. All of these scriptures do prove man has a sinful nature. 2. Sin by definition is a transgression of God s law (1 Jn 3:4), thus sin is something people commit not inherit (Jam 4:17; Rom 3:23). 3. Sin is never inherited from anyone else, nor is righteousness (Eze 18:4, 20). a. Everyone is personally responsible for their own sins (2 Cor 5:10). b. David was not born a sinner (Psa 51:5). Hyperbole!!! 4. No one is born a sinner. No one is a sinner until they reach an age of accountability. a. Since God gives everyone their spirit why would He give something imperfect and sinful (Zech 12:1)? It must be sinless when given. II. Unconditional Election. A. Calvinist teach only the elect will be saved. 1. From the foundation of the world (before time began) God arbitrarily, and without any conditions, predestined (chose before hand) some to eternal life and some to damnation. a. God randomly selected some who would be saved and others who would be lost. b. This exact number is fixed and cannot be changed. 2. Those who have been chosen to be saved are called the elect. a. The elect cannot be lost no matter what they do or how they live.

3 b. The non-elect cannot be saved no matter what he does and no matter how much he wants to be. 3. God chooses the elect without any consideration of the person (Eph. 1:4-8). a. Neither does God look into the future to see who would choose Him if given the chance. b. As such some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21). 1. It is true only a select few will be saved and others will be lost. 2. God did predestine (determine beforehand) but He did not do so unconditionally (Eph 1:4-8; Heb 5:8-9; Mk 16:15-16). 3. God created man and gave him his own free will to choose good or evil. a. Adam and Eve had a choice (Gen 2:16-17). b. Joshua said Israel had a choice (Jos 24:15). c. Jesus said man had a choice (Mt 7:13-14, 21-23). 4. Unconditional election makes God a respecter of person (Acts 10:34-35). 5. Since the gospel is for all (Mk 16:15-16; Mt 28:19), God has determined those who are obedient to it can and will be saved. III. Limited Atonement. A. Calvinist teach Christ only died for the elect. 1. Since only a few (the elect) will be saved, Christ only died for them and not for the whole world. a. Mt 26:28. Many not all. b. Jn 10:11, 15. Died for the sheep not the goats (Mt 25:32-33). c. Jn 17:9. Jesus prayed only for those given to Him. The elect. d. Acts 20:28. Christ purchased the church with His blood not all people. 1. God wants all people to be saved (2 Pt 3:9; 1 Tim 2:3-4). 2. Because of God s desire for all to be saved, Christ died for all (Jn 3:16 whosoever ; Heb 2:9; 1 Jn 2:2). 3. Because His death was for all, the gospel (which informs people about this death) is to be preached to all (Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19). 4. All can potentially be saved, but only those who obey Christ will be (Heb 5:8-9).

4 IV. Irresistible Grace. A. Calvinist teach man cannot resist God s Grace. 1. Because man is so morally corrupt and full of sin, he cannot on his own to seek God or save himself a. God must send His Spirit directly into the hearts of the elect to cause them to believe (a direct operation of the Holy Spirit). b. They can neither invite or reject God s grace. c. When the Spirit has worked on their hearts and minds to bring them to repentance then they are regenerated and able to choose God. a. Rom 9: It is God who has mercy. b. Phl 2: God is the one working salvation in the individual. c. Jn 6: Faith is a work of God. d. Acts 13:48. God appointed some to eternal life. 1. We are saved by Grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). 2. Faith does not come by the direct operation of the Holy Spirit (Rom 10:17). 3. People s hearts were pricked by the preaching of the word on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-37). 4. Because man has a choice, only those who hear and obey the gospel will be saved (Mk 16:15-16). 5. Man can and does have the right to accept or reject God s grace. God never forces Himself upon anyone. V. Perseverance of the Saints. A. Calvinist teach the elect cannot fall from grace. 1. Because the elect have been predestined/chosen by God to be saved, there is nothing they can do to change it. a. No matter how they live or what they do, they will ultimately persevere and be saved in the end. b. Once saved always saved, eternal security, one cannot lose their salvation. a. Jn 10: Jesus said His sheep will never perish. b. Jn 6:47. c. 1 Cor 10:13. d. Phil. 1:6.

5 1. The Bible repeatedly warns us of turning away from God after we have Believed (Heb 2:1-4; 4:1, 11; 6:4-8). 2. The saved can turn away from their salvation and return to the world (2 Pt 2:20-22). 3. Israel was cut off from God because of unbelief (Rom 11:20-22). 4. We are warned to take heed lest we fall (1 Cor 10:12). Useless if we cannot. 5. Those who attempted to be justified by the Law of Moses have fallen from Grace (Gal 5:4). Conclusion: 1. Calvinism is a system that has high regard for the scriptures. It also emphasizes the Sovereignty (absolute authority) of God to make decisions and decide His will. However, it does so to the exclusion of everything else. 2. The whole system of Calvinism is tightly knit together. To accept one part of it is to actually accept all of it because each point builds on the other. But, it is also a domino effect, if one point falls (is proven wrong) then the rest of them are too. 3. Ironically when the truth of the scriptures is applied, the same scriptures which are so highly regarded, destroy what Calvinism says they teach.

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