Today marks the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth! To celebrate, let us review the five main points:
Total Depravity- Man is DEAD in his sin, not sick or injured, but dead. Ephesians 2:1-2 clearly states that. We, in no way, can save ourselves or help God to save us. Our natural man does not seek to know God.
Unconditional Election- God chooses us, not on the basis of foreseen faith, but on His goodness. Because of humanity's total depravity, God of necessity, in eternity past, chose certain people to be saved. There was nothing inherently better or different about the chosen people which caused God to choose them. God was totally free in His decision to show grace and mercy to some sinners who deserved nothing but His wrath. This is, in essence, the doctrine of Unconditional Election.
Limited Atonement- Christ's death on the cross fully atones for the sins of those who would believes. Christ did not die for all men, He died for those who believe in Him. John 10 Christ says that He would lay down His life for HIS sheep. For more information check out these sermons
Irresistible Grace- When God calls believers to Himself, the sinner has no choice but to respond to Christ's calling. His grace overcomes or overwhelms our will for sin and gives us a desire for righteousness. This is spiritual birth. Wikipedia states; The doctrine of irresistible grace (also called "efficacious grace") asserts that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and, in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. The doctrine does not hold that every influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit is able to overcome all resistance and make his influence irresistible and effective. Thus, when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved.
Perseverance of the Saints- This is simply stated that God will finish what He started. If we believe that it is God who provided a way for believers, He predestined believers, He calls believers, the logical conclusion is that He will preserve the believers until He calls them home. Sean Higgins stated it best in His sermon, "Every part, all along is God-centered. The only thing we bring to the table is our depravity, which is not helpful and the more we bring the worse we look. So God saves sinners. He planned salvation, purchased salvation, and applied salvation. And don’t think for a moment that He doesn’t guarantee salvation." What a comforting thought!
So happy stinkin' birthday John Calvin!