I dislike the term Calvinist. I don’t like that some people would be quicker to call themselves a Calvinist then a Christian. But I do firmly believe in what Calvinism stands for and by that I would technically be a Calvinist. Following is my reasoning of why I believe what I do. I hope it is to your benefit.
Calvinism is wrapped up in five points called the T.U.L.I.P. Total Depravity. Unconditional Election. Limited Atonement. Irresistible Grace. Perseverance of the Saints.
Mark 7:20-23 "And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man." Matt. 7:17, "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit."
Both of these verses are from Jesus’ ministry. Humans are naturally sinful. We know no other. That is the essence of total depravity. Apart from God we would continue living our sinful lives without a second thought. Without a glance in the other direction. There is no way on earth we could earn our salvation. We are sinners from the instant we enter the world.
John 6:44, "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:65, "And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father." Mark 4:10-12, "And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return and be forgiven." Matt. 11:27, "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." John 6:38-40, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
God does not choose the individual’s He elects on anything they do. He chooses them from ‘the kind intention of His will’. He does not look into who will choose Him in the future and think to Himself well, since they’ll choose me, I’m just going to predestine them. That way I’m doing it first! Ha, that’ll show them my power. Well, God wouldn’t talk like that, but the point remains, God isn’t the lower being in this scenario. Imagine a child coming up to his parents and saying that he chose to be a part of their family, not the other way around. A little backwards? Yeah. Unconditional election.
John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:26, "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep." Matt. 25:32, "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left."
This is what people hate to consider. Did Jesus really die for everyone? Nope. Sorry to break it to you, but he didn’t. He died for the elect. People will throw out verses such as Romans 5:8-“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” but not completely understanding the context of the verse. The elect were sinners, too. Matthew 25:32 (above) and John 10:11 (above) both speaks of Christ dying for the sheep. It says nothing about Him dying for the goats.
Matt. 4:19, "And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him." Matt. 9:9, "And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He *said to him, “Follow Me!” And he rose, and followed Him."
Irresistible grace. You can’t resist God. Once He draws you, you’re coming whether you like it or not. But you will like it, because He’s the Lord and his majesty is ever flowing. The big problem people have with this is free will. It’s your choice to refuse or accept God, isn’t it? I don’t think so, buddy. That’s a topic for another time right there.
John 6:38-40, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 10:27-28, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand."
There’s not an ounce of doubt in my mind that I can ever lose my salvation. Perseverance of the saints states that if you were truly saved by the grace of God, you will never lose your salvation. No matter how many rules you break, you’re a child of God, and He’s not letting go.
Feel free to comment, I'd love to discuss any of these topics with you, but let's keep things clean guys.