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*A. *1st Peter 3:15
We have a command to offer a ready defense to those who ask.
*B. *Common false doctrines encountered in religious
discussion are the five points of T.U.L.I.P. Calvinism. The error taught by
John Calvin is embodied in the T.U.L.I.P. acronym, namely:
*1. *Total hereditary depravity,
*2. *Unconditional election,
*3. *Limited atonement,
*4. *Irresistible grace, and
*5. *Perseverance of the saints
*I. *TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY
"Total hereditary depravity" is the doctrine
of original sin, teaching that
all children are born sinners, having inherited their parents' sinful
nature, going all the way back to Adam and Eve.
*A. *Romans 5:12
The children of Adam are not sinners because we
inherited our ancestor's
sin, but because we have each chosen to sin.
*B. *Ezekiel 18:1-20; Deuteronomy 24:16
Under no circumstances do children deserve to be
punished for their parents'
*C. *Matthew 18:1-4; 1st Corinthians 14:20
Children are regarded as safe by God insomuch as
we are required to become
childlike in order to be saved!
*D. *Ezekiel 28:15; Ecclesiastes 7:29
God makes man perfect and upright. It is man who chooses to sin.
*II. *UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
"Unconditional election" is a complete
misunderstanding of the biblical
doctrine of predestination, suggesting that God arbitrarily decides who will
be saved and who will be lost, man having no choice in the matter
*A. *Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-12
Make no mistake; predestination is a true, scriptural
however, it is a grossly misunderstood idea.
*B. *2nd Thessalonians 2:13
The choice that God makes as to who will be saved
is determined by two
things: the first is sanctification by the Spirit, and the second is belief
in the truth.
*1. *1st Peter 1:15-16
To sanctify is to set apart, that is: to be holy.
Holiness is a command
which can be obeyed or disobeyed, chosen or disregarded. God chooses those
who choose to be holy!
*2. *2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12
Belief in the truth is also a choice. We either
believe the truth or have
pleasure in unrighteousness. God chooses those who choose to believe!
*D. *2nd Peter 1:10-11
We are empowered to make sure of our call and election.
If election were
unconditional, we would have no ability at all to ensure it.
*E. *Isaiah 42:9; 46:9-10
God can see the end from the beginning, but His
foreknowledge does not
diminish, in the least, our right to choose whether or not to serve Him. The
fact that He is aware of what choice we will make does not mean He has
chosen for us.
*III. *LIMITED ATONEMENT
"Limited atonement" is the doctrine that
salvation is available to a limited
few and that Christ's death is not effective for all sinners.
*A. *Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:11; 1st Peter 1:17;
God is impartial.
*B. *1st Timothy 2:3-4; Titus 2:11; 2nd Peter 3:9
It is God's desire to save all people.
*C. *1st Timothy 4:9-10; 1st John 2:2
The saved are reminded that salvation is not intended
for us alone, but for
everyone, even those yet unsaved.
*D. *Hebrews 2:9; John 1:29
Jesus' death was meant for everyone.
*E. *Revelation 22:17
The Lord offers a universal invitation to be saved.
It is not limited in
*IV. *IRRESISTIBLE GRACE
"Irresistible grace" is the doctrine that
those chosen by God to be saved
cannot resist the grace offered them by the Holy Spirit. Supposedly, they
have no choice but to accept it.
*A. *Acts 6:8-10; 7:51-60
Actually, the Holy Spirit can be resisted.
*B. *Joshua 24:15; 1st Kings 18:21
The scriptures affirm man's free will. Why would
Joshua instruct Israel to
choose either God or idols if God did not allow them the ability to do so? Why
would Elijah refer to the service of God or idols as opinions if the people
were powerless to choose?
*V. *PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
"Perseverance of the saints" is the doctrine
of eternal security, teaching
that once a person is saved, that person is forevermore saved and cannot so
sin as to lose his salvation.
*A. *Hebrews 10:26-31; 2nd Peter 2:20-22
Actually, a person can find himself in a worse spiritual
having never been saved by turning away from salvation after having received
*B. *Acts 4:32-5:11; 8:4-24
Why are there examples of previously saved believers
dying in their sins or
being bound by iniquity if such is not possible?
*C. *1st Corinthians 10:12
Why would we be warned not to fall if we cannot fall?
*D. *John 15:4-6
It is possible to stop abiding in Christ and be
punished for it. All that
is necessary to be saved can be forsaken.
*1. *John 8:24; 2nd Timothy 2:18
Faith saves, but can be overthrown.
*2. *Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 5:4
Grace saves, but can be fallen from.
*3. *Matthew 1:21; 2nd Peter 2:1
Jesus saves, but can be denied.
*4. *Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 10:29
The blood of Christ saves, but can be disregarded.
*5. *Romans 8:24; Colossians 1:23
Hope saves, but can be moved away from.
*6. *John 8:32; James 5:19
Truth saves, but can be wandered from.
*7. *Romans 1:16; 1st Corinthians 15:1-2
The gospel saves, but can be believed in vain.
*8. *1st Timothy 2:3-4; Hebrews 3:12
God saves, but can be departed from.
*A. *Matthew 28:19; Romans 10:14; 1st Corinthians 1:21
Calvinism – the idea that God decides who
He will save and who He will
condemn without consideration of their obedience or disobedience – renders
gospel preaching pointless. Nevertheless, the Lord still requires it and
describes it as a necessary part of salvation.
*B. *Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20
Calvinism – which teaches that believers cannot
fall into apostasy – renders
restoration of the erring pointless. Nevertheless, those who wander must be
brought back, according to the scriptures.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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