The following is a simple response to some people over at another board regarding Calvinism and stuff.
Big bad horrible Calvinism
broken down a wee bit!
God is the one who enables His people to embrace Him, and others He passes by for His own purposes.
No one in their own strength seeks after God. Mankind is unable of himself, to seek God.
This is the teaching of the "T" in the total depravity doctrine, as taught in scripture.
Following on, as no man will seek God, He decides to do something about that. This is where the "U" comes in, called Unconditional Election.
God chooses to save certain sinners, and He does so not based upon "anything" found in the people He chooses. Unconditional, meaning chosen with no regard to any condition
found in the person being saved.
Salvation is totally by God's grace alone.
Now, as God has decided who He will save based upon His own choice, He sends His Son into the world to atone for their sins. To die for His chosen people. To make "propitiation" for them.
This is where the "L" of limited atonement or definite atonement as I prefer, kicks in.
God knowing exactly what He is doing, based upon not mere foreknowledge, but through actual predestination, has worked out who will be given to the Son and for whom His Son shall make atonement upon the cross.
Moving along, we have a definite atonement made for certain people upon the cross 2000 years ago. God knows for whom it was made. Jesus knows for whom it was made.
We do not know the elect, so we are commanded to preach the gospel to all, and we are told that God the Holy Spirit shall call out these same people whom God gave to the Son.
In time, and in God's moment, through the means of preaching, God enables certain people to embrace the good news of the gospel. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of His power".
The good news is "irresistible" to these persons who have been chosen to believe and repent of their sins. This is the great "I" of irresistible grace.
At the moment of conversion, we are irresistibly drawn to the Son, and we freely embrace Him, by His grace and mercy alone.
In other words, we are changed, and as a result of this change, called "regeneration" or the "New Birth" we are then "able" to savingly believe upon the Son.
I did not set out to preach upon the 5 points of Calvinism, T-U-L-I-P but it just kinda made sense to go in that direction.
Lastly, the "P", takes us to the perseverance and preservation of all of those who in eternity were given to the Son, and who were in "time" called and regenerated. They shall by the power of God, persevere in faith until the very end. No one for whom Jesus dies shall be snatched out of his hand, not even by the so called free will of man. It is simply not possible.
Yes, true believers may backslide for a season, and scripture allows for this, but no genuine Christian for whom Jesus died, shall ultimately perish. He shall save His people from their sins. He is the Alpha and the Omega of our salvation. He who begins the good work shall bring it to its completion, and all that the Father gives Him shall come to Him, and all that comes to Him shall be raised up on the last day.
If we have a man centred view of all of this, then obviously we are the ones doing the choosing, and we are the ones who can choose to get out of salvation etc, but I can assure everyone reading this, that God is in control of salvation, and even though we may think that we chose Him, we certainly did, but we did so as a consequence of being born again of God, not to be born again. We cannot birth ourselves! We must give all of the glory to Him alone for enabling us to believe. We are saved by "Amazing Grace" alone, other wise we can say that we did something toward our salvation. We did something that our unbelieving neighbours did not do! May it never be, that we would think we did something, be it spiritual or otherwise, to contribute anything to our salvation.
The difference between you and your unbelieving neighbor, family member or whoever is either
1/ Something you did that they did not do whether that be more sensitive, spiritually aware, better decision, more open or whatever
2/ Sheer grace alone by the sole mercy of God upon your soul. He gets all of the glory!
The reason all Christians whether they are Arminian, Calvinist or whatever, pray for God alone to soften peoples hearts, and show mercy, is simply because we all know
that salvation is of the Lord, and without Him we cannot do anything. On our knees, we are all Calvinists, whether we are aware of that or not!
Please click on the sentences as you read this post and you will be taken to the relevant passages at BibleGateway.com or other articles.
If you have a scripture that "seems" to be against what I am saying, perhaps you are not really aware of another interpretation. If so, please quote them and I will do my best to provide a response to them without "any" spin.
The Lord has taught me much, and it would be a waste not to share what He has taught me and share it with you all......