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The Calvinistic View

I guess before I get in to the five points of Calvinism, I should explain that this is a very controversial subject. Many people have a very difficult time believing in these points, although each one is sufficiently shown as truth in the Bible. I just want to say that For many years I stumbled over the points of Calvinism but through teaching and investigating, I have come to believe them to be true. It is for each one to pray and ask God to guide them in learning the truth.

The Five Points of Calvinism are this: Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irrisistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints - When put together known as TULIP.

Total Depravity simply is this: Man's natural state is one of total depravity and therefore a total innability to contribute to one's salvation. When man fell in the Garden of Eden, he fell in his totality: Romans 5:12 shows that man by nature is dead. 2 Tim. 2:25 shows that man are bound. Mark 4:11 shows that men are blind and deaf. 1 Corinthians 2:14shows that man is uninstructable.Psalm 51:5shows that man is naturally sinful by birth and by practice Genesis 6:5.

All of the above shows man's natural state. The question is can man get himself out of this state? Definitely not! Other References: Job 14:4; Jeremiah 13:23; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 9:5 Can the word of God show more plainly that depravity is total and that man's innability to procure his own salvation is also total. We are like Lazarus, bound and corrupted, there is no receptive spark in our hearts, but God performs the miracle. After all, we must remember we are dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1) If we're dead with sin, we are dead in the sight of God. Salvation by it's very nature, must be of God.

Unconditional Election shows that if man is dead and held captive than the remedy for this must lie with God. If some are born again and they are unable to do this themselves, then God must have raised them. On the other hand, if some are not made alive then we must conclude that God did not raise them. If man is unable to save himself on account of the total fall of Adam and God alone can save and if all are not saved then God chose to not save all: God calls Abraham out of heathen Ur and left others to their heathenism in Genesis. God chooses Israel as His peculiar people (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate." Romans 8:29

The Arminian view is that God saw those who would accept Christ and therefore elected them to eternal life. GOD IS SOVEREIGN. HE CHOSE HIS ELECT OUT OF LOVE, NOT BECAUSE HE SAW THAT THEY WOULD ACCEPT HIM.

The foreknowledge of God is spoken of in connection with a people not actions that people perform. That is to say irrespective of any action, good or bad, performed by them, God knew them because he loved them and chose them for His own. If we are saved by our actions then that would make us saved by our works, but if we are saved because God loves us, then we are saved by grace. He foreknew his elect. We are chosen so that we might be able to accept Him (Ephesian 2:10; Acts 13:48). Election is not on account of our believing, our believing is on account of our being elected (ordained to eternal life). We exercise faith in accepting Jesus because it is a gift from God, not of ourselves (2 Peter 1:10; Ephesians 2:8)

Well, then some say why did Christ have to die? Simply this, His chosen were still sinners and a full and perfect atonement was still required. Christ bore punishment and procured salvation (Romans 9:11).

Limited Atonement states that Christ died to save a certain number of men. The Arminian view states that Christ procured potential salvation for all men. Christ died for our sins but his death is not effective until man decides to believe and is therefore saved. Believe it or not, Christ died for sins whether you believe or not (Ephesians 1:4,5:25; John 17:9; Matthew 26:28, 20:28; Romans 5:15,19; Isaiah 53:11). I guess when I think of this, I think that if Christ died to save all men and all are not saved, well then Christ's death was a failure, because someone will be forever lost. I know some will bring up John 3:16 "For God so loved the world . . .". Well in this case, I've been taught that world means every different kind of race.

Irresistible Grace is the combination of the outward call(a preacher's sermon) and the inward call (the work of the Holy Spirit). It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin, righteousness and judgement. When it is called, it is irresistible. It cannot be frustrated. It is the manifestation of God's irresisible grace (Romans 8:20; John 6:37, 44) It is impossible for man to come to God alone. God must draw them in (John 6:45; Matthew 16:17; Romans 8:14; Galatians 1:15; 1 Peter 2:9, 5:10). The most outstanding illustration of this is in Acts 16: Paul preaches the Word at Phillipi, and Lydia heard "whose heart was opened by the Lord." Paul gave the outward call, but the Lord spoke to Lydia's heart. Arminians believe that men can and do resist. Calvinists believe that by nature, man resists and therefore there must be a doctrine of irresistible grace. There are three great forces in salvation: Man's will, Satan's will and God's will. If God's will isn't victorious, then Satan's must be because Satan is stronger than man. God's will must be stronger because he will conquer Satan and puny man, too.

Perseverance of the Saints is basically once saved, always saved (Romans 5:10, 8:1,38-39; Phillipians 1:6; John 6:39, 10:28).

If man cannot save himself, then God must save him. If all are not saved, then God chose not to save all. If Christ made satisfaction for sin, then, it is for the sins of those who are saved. If therefore having ordained to save, died to save, and called to salvation those who would never save themselves, He will also preserve those saved ones to eternal life.