What are the Five Points of Calvinism and why Should We care?
Updated: Aug 16
A visitor to our Church asked me recently – What does it mean that you are a Five-point Calvinist Church? So, here is the answer in case someone ever asks you that question.
Calvinism did not actually start with John Calvin and is not about him. Calvin himself was a follower first and foremost of Jesus Christ, then of the Apostle Paul, then of the early Church fathers - most notably Augustine. Calvin did not come up with any new ideas, he only taught what they taught. Calvin simply took what Scripture said and placed it into a system of doctrines which made it easier for people to understand. Those basic Biblical tenants came to be summarized in English under the acronym TULIP.
– All humanity is born in sin and under God’s judgement. We do not naturally seek God, until He graciously prompts us to do so by His Holy Spirit. (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18). Unconditional Election
- God, from eternity past, has chosen - according to His own will and not on the basis of our individual merit - to save a great multitude of sinners, a number too large to count. (Romans 8:29-30;9:11; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12) Limited Atonement
- Christ took the judgment for the sins of His People upon Himself and thereby paid for our lives with His death. He did not simply make salvation “possible,” He actually obtained it for those whom He has redeemed. (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11; 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:25). Irresistible Grace
– Fallen humanity resists God’s love, but the grace of God working by the Holy Spirit makes us desire that which we previously resisted. God’s grace will not fail to accomplish its saving work in the lives of His People. (John 6:37, 44; 10:16 Isaiah 55:10-13).
Perseverance of the Saints
All of these tenants are taken directly from Scripture and in fact are inseparable from it. Calvinism is not about John Calvin, but about better understanding the life and ministry of Jesus Christ to whom we owe our highest devotion.