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Answers to Calvinism


There are five major “points” to the teaching known by its author, John Calvin. Calvinism is often referred to as “5 Point Calvinism” or some lesser number for those who do not accept all the tenets of Calvinism.

  1. Total Depravity

  2. Unconditional Predestination

  3. Limited Atonement

  4. Irresistible Grace

  5. Perseverance of the Saints

What does the Bible teach about each of these points?

Total Depravity

  1. There is a difference in the “guilt” of sin and the “consequences” of sinful actions.

    1. When someone murders their spouse, the children suffer the consequences of not having that parent around. They are not guilty of murder, but they suffer the consequences.

    2. When a drunk driver hits another car head-on, there are injuries and often deaths that result. The survivors of that crash suffer the consequences of the wrong, but they are not guilty of any wrongdoing.

  2. What is our state at birth?

    1. Innocent – Safe

    2. With nature and ability to sin

      1. We have the freedom to choose – We are free moral agents

      2. We are able to make wrong choices – We suffer the consequences of those choices

  3. James 1:14-15 tells us how sin enters our life

  4. Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Jeremiah 31:29-30 – We do NOT inherit guilt from our parents.

Unconditional Predestination (Election)

  1. Predestination - Predestination simply means something has been predetermined to take place in the future. Although most Christians think of it in connection with the Bible, this concept is also found in the secular world. For example, anyone who becomes a policeman is predestined to have certain attributes (such as the authority to arrest people).

    1. Across and intersection you can “predetermine” that two cars are going to crash. You did not CAUSE the crash, you simply had the ability to see what was about to happen.

    2. Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times. Did Jesus CAUSE Peter to deny Christ? No. It was Peter's choice. Jesus was able to see what Peter could not.

  2. Election - Election is talking about service, not salvation. In fact, it couldn’t be talking about salvation because Jesus didn’t need to be saved, nor did the angels. Besides, not all of the Israelites were true believers. Therefore, when the nation of Israel was elected, they obviously were not elected (or chosen) for salvation.

    1. Abraham was elected out of all men in the world.

    2. Isaac was chosen over Ishmael; Jacob was chosen over Esau.

    3. These are not matters of salvation – but chosen for a task.

    4. When God chose Noah, could others have been saved? Yes, if they believed.

  3. Key Issue – Group vs. Individual

    1. Individual = Your birth, death, illness, occupation, marriage, children, and every detail of your life was predetermined before you were born and you can not change any of it.

      1. This is often expressed with terms like, “God needed her,” or “It was his time to go.”

      2. This view removes us from ANY choice, decision or free will.

    2. Group = God set the criteria for who would be saved – those who believe and obey.

      1. God did not decide if any one individual would be saved or lost.

      2. He decided that all who obey Him will be accepted. (Acts 10:34)

      3. Ephesians 1:4-5; 11-14

      4. What did God predetermine? That all who “trusted in Christ” should be saved and blessed.

Limited Atonement

  1. If God had already predetermined that some would not be saved, why would Christ die for them?

  2. John 3:16 – God loved the world - “whosoever believes”

  3. 2 Corinthians 5:15 – He died for all

  4. John 12:32 – draw all men unto me

  5. Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me – all who labor and are heavy laden

  6. Hebrews 2:9 – tasted death for everyone

Irresistible Grace

  1. Why are there no Christians where the Bible has never gone?

  2. James 1:18 – We are begotten by the word of truth

  3. 1 Corinthians 4:15 – Begotten by the gospel

  4. Romans 1:16 – To everyone who believes


Perseverance of the Saints

  1. Parable of Sower – Matthew 13 – Some fell away

      1. Wayside - Trampled by men and devoured by birds
      2. Rock - Withered away for lack of moisture
      3. Thorns - Growth choked by thorns
      4. Good ground - Yielded one hundred grains for each seed

    2. Other parables in Matthew 13 – Net, Tares teach similar lessons

  2. General Rules about passages that seem to imply OSAS

    1. Present active – currently going and in progress

    2. ConditionalIF you do this you will never fall (2 Peter 1:9-10)

      1. John 5:24

      2. John 6:47

      3. John 10:27-29

      4. John 17:6, 12

      5. 1 John 1:7, 9, 2:1

      6. Romans 8:38-39

  3. New Testament teaching

    1. Galatians 5:3-4

    2. Hebrews 6:4-6

    3. 2 Peter 2:20-22

    4. Hebrews 10:26

    5. Revelation 2:10



  1. All five (5) points of Calvinism are wrong.

  2. Once Calvin began with a wrong premise – all other points followed.


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