Using Correct Terminology (Part 7) - Calvinism


16. Calvinism A. We are not Calvinists. B. Calvinism n. – The doctrines of John Calvin the Protestant Reformer (1509-1564), particularly his theological doctrines on grace, in which Calvinism is opposed to ARMINIANISM. C. The theological system of Calvinism is summarized with the acronym TULIP. i. TULIP stands for Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. ii. Many Calvinists also believe in Reprobation and Absolute Predestination. iii. Calvinism is correct in some points of doctrine and wrong in others. D. Let's briefly look at each of these and see which ones are right and wrong. E. Total Depravity – RIGHT i. The doctrine of Total Depravity teaches that all mankind are totally depraved, and in their natural state they cannot seek, understand, believe in, nor please God (Rom 3:9-12; Rom 8:7-8). ii. On this point Calvinism is correct. F. Unconditional Election – RIGHT i. The doctrine of Unconditional Election teaches that God chose to save a portion of mankind based on no condition they did, could, or would fulfill such as faith or other good works (Rom 9:10-16; Eph 1:4-5). ii. On this point Calvinism is correct. G. Limited Atonement – RIGHT i. The doctrine of Limited Atonement teaches that Jesus only died and made atonement for the elect (Joh 10:15 c/w 26; Joh 17:2). ii. On this point Calvinism is correct. H. Irresistible Grace - WRONG (as Calvinism defines it) i. The doctrine of Irresistible Grace is the teaching that the grace of God, whereby He saves a sinner from his state of death in trespasses and sins and gives him eternal life, is irresistible by the sinner. ii. The sinner, being spiritually dead, cannot resist being spiritually resurrected (quickened, regenerated, born-again). iii. Calvinists should change the name to "Irresistible Gospel" because they believe that all of the elect will irresistibly believe the gospel. a. God's elect can and do resist believing the gospel, and some are outright enemies of it (Rom 11:27-29). b. It is God's GRACE, by which a spiritually dead sinner is regenerated and given eternal life, not the gospel, which is irresistible (Joh 5:25; Eph 2:1). iv. On this point Calvinism is wrong. I. Perseverance of the Saints – WRONG i. Calvinism wrongly teaches that all of the elect will persevere in faith until death, and if a person doesn't, then that means he was never one of the elect. ii. Not all of the elect persevere faithfully until the end of their lives. iii. The following are examples of God's elect which didn't persevere faithfully until their deaths. a. Solomon (1Ch 28:6 c/w Neh 13:26 c/w 1Ki 11:4 c/w 1Ki 11:40). b. King Saul (1Sa 10:9-11 c/w 1Sa 31:4). c. Israel in the wilderness (1Co 10:1-11 c/w Heb 3:17 - 4:2). iv. The truth is that God PRESERVES His elect forever and none of them can lose their eternal life, no matter if they persevere faithful to the end or not (Joh 10:27-29; Psa 37:28). v. The "P" in TULIP should represent PRESERVATION of the Saints. vi. On this point Calvinism is wrong. J. Reprobation – WRONG i. By "reprobation", some Calvinists mean that God chose to damn some men before the foundation of the world, VIEWING THEM AS UNFALLEN. ii. This is patently false and would make God evil if He chose to damn men in a state in innocence. iii. It was ADAM, not God, who fitted men to destruction (Rom 9:22 c/w Rom 5:12). iv. God afore prepared the elect for glory (Rom 9:23 c/w Rom 8:29-30). v. God elected His people to make them holy and without blame which means that He did so viewing them in a state of sin (Eph 1:4). vi. The same is true of the reprobate when God rejected them: He did so viewing them in a state of sin. vii. On this point Calvinism is wrong. K. Absolute Predestination (Determinism, Fatalism) – WRONG i. Calvinists (at least some of them) believe that God has predestinated all things in men's lives, and that they have no free will. ii. God only predestinates what the Bible says He predestinates: the eternal salvation of His elect. iii. The following are the only four verses where the word "predestinate" and its cognates appear in the Bible (Eph 1:5; Eph 1:11; Rom 8:29-30). iv. To say that God predestinates all things is to say that He predestinates men to sin. a. A simple syllogism will prove this statement. (i) Major premise: God predestinated all things. (ii) Minor premise: Sin is a thing. (iii) Conclusion: God predestinated sin. b. This is patently false and would make God the author of sin. c. The idea of making men sin never even came into God's heart or mind, let alone the act of actually causing men to sin (Jer 7:31; Jer 32:35). d. God condemns those who claim that God ordained that they sin (Jer 7:9-10). v. On this point Calvinism is wrong. L. If we are to use proper terminology when we speak of our faith, we must not call ourselves Calvinists.
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