Being Useful One Way or the Other

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“Do not you think you need have errors in your doctrine to make you useful. We have some who preach Calvinism all the first part of the sermon, and finish up with Arminianism, because they think that will make them useful. Useful nonsense!—that is all it is.

A man if he cannot be useful with the truth, cannot be useful with an error. There is enough in the pure doctrine of God, without introducing heresies to preach to sinners. As far as I know I never felt hampered or cramped in addressing the ungodly in my life. I can speak with as much fervency, and yet not in the same style as those who hold the contrary views of God’s truth. Those who hold God’s word, never need add something untrue in speaking to men. The sturdy truth of God touches every chord in every man’s heart. If we can, by God’s grace, put our hand inside man’s heart, we want nothing but that whole truth to move him thoroughly, and to stir him up.

There is nothing like the real truth and the whole truth, to make a man useful.”

~Charles Spurgeon

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Charles Spurgeon and Calvinism

Watery Beads

In one year alone (1856) his sermon titles included “Divine Sovereignty,” “God’s Omniscience,” “Unimpeachable Justice,” and “The Majesty of God’s Voice.” Over the course of his ministry he preached over 150 sermons specifically on the person of Jesus Christ and some aspect of His work. Never embarrassed about his Calvinistic convictions (much to the embarrassment of many later Baptists who claim Spurgeon as their own!), Spurgeon preached messages specifically on every head of the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism,” and frequently rose to the ardent defense and proclamation of those truths in other sermons. Indeed, his sermons on “Election” and “Election No Discouragement to Seeking Souls” have been frequently reprinted because of their excellence in presenting the historic Calvinistic teaching. Spurgeon, most surely, would have held no sympathies for the contemporary idea that doctrine is “strong meat” and ought to be taught in specialized Bible studies (if at all), but surely not in the pulpit (and never on a Sunday morning when visitors will be present!). Nor would Spurgeon give an ear to the superficial observation that the Christian life is more important than Christian doctrine. “Those who do away with Christian doctrine are the worst enemies of Christian religion,” he declared.

Explaining T.U.L.I.P.

I have had people say that some or most of T.U.L.I.P. isn’t biblical. I have given these people much scripture, but it seems in order to understand the acronym, I need to explain what each letter actually means.

Total Depravity: As a consequence of Adam’s disobedience, every human being has been cursed with imputed sin. Every single person from the womb is enslaved with a sin nature and a propensity to sin. It’s not that we sin sometimes. It’s what we always do. We sin all day long. Even when we aren’t conscience of sinning, we are still breaking God’s Law. Our very thoughts, actions and words along with our motives are always and nothing but sinful.

Unconditional Election: (also known as unconditional grace) is a biblical doctrine relating to Predestination that describes the actions and motives of God in eternity past, before He created the world, where he predestinated some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and send them to hell when they die.

Limited Atonement: The doctrine states that though the death of Jesus Christ is sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world, it was the intention of God the Father that the atonement of Christ’s death would work itself out in the elect only, thereby leading them without fail to salvation

Irresistible Grace: Asserts that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God’s Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, “graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ.” This negates the idea of a free will, where man can reject the call if he desires to.

Perseverance of the Saints: The word “saints” is used to refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven as the Roman Catholic Church states. This truth asserts that since God is sovereign and His will cannot be frustrated or disobeyed by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with (1 John 2:19).

This is the other post I published a few days ago with scriptural evidence to back up this acronym.

Is T.U.L.I.P. Biblical?

Is T.U.L.I.P. Biblical?

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Someone asked me if I’m a Calvinist. I said no. I follow no man, nor do I take on the moniker of anyone.

I am a slave of Christ Jesus. I follow and serve Him alone.

Do I embrace the acronym of T.U.L.I.P.? Yes. Because it’s biblical.

Is humanity Totally Depraved? Yes.

Genesis 3:6, Isaiah 64:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5, Romans 8:7,  Romans 3:9-18, 

Does God offer an Unconditional Election? Yes.

Ephesians 1:4-5, Revelation 13:8, 2 Timothy 1:9, Romans 9:16

Does God offer a Limited Atonement? Yes.

Ephesians 1:4-5 – According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

John 15:16 – Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Romans 8:28-30 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Revelation 13:8 – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 – But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2 Timothy 1:9 – Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

John 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 9:16 – So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Acts 13:48 – And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Ephesians 1:4 – According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Mark 13:20 – And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

John 6:37 – All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Luke 10:22 – All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and [he] to whom the Son will reveal [him].

John 17:9 – I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

Mark 13:27 – And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Is God’s Grace Irresistible? Yes. Romans 9.16

Once a sinner is saved, is he saved forever? Yes.  Ephesians 1.13

The Five Points of Calvinism

1688167_652604911473943_1112746257_nThere are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500’s at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples’ sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main points.

Total Depravity:

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”

Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

Unconditional Election:
God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

Limited Atonement:
Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

Irresistible Grace:
When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy“; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out,” (John 6:37).

Perseverance of the Saints:
You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm