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Archive for the tag “Calvinism”

Purified Seven Times

 
Yes, as the Psalmist says, indeed “The words of the Lord are PURE words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, PURIFIED seven times.”
 
Unfortunately we do not treat the sacred words of the Scripture with reverence, we stretch them to suit our changing times! We twist them to meet our requirements! We even completely toss them out as ‘irrelevant’ and replace them with commonsense-driven populist slogans, so that the audience don’t get offended, but feel attracted to it;  even feel good about it! It is called marketing in the corporate world, we call it Gospel in the Christendom! – But by any definition, this is HERESY!
 
The word ‘Heresy’ BTW, in scripture, is from the Greek root haireomai, which literally means ‘a choosing’, i.e., a choice of one side over the other (by a faction, party or a sect). Hence, heresy refers to any doctrine that departs from essential Christian truths in disunion with the established laws of God. Parties, sects, factions and even individuals holding to such caustic doctrines, alienate themselves from the body of Christ, and they are called Heretics.
 
Heresy is not a simple matter, it not only deviates from the truth, it even recreates counterfeit entities to match the heretic doctrines! In essence, the heretics create a new ‘god’ for themselves who differs from the God of the scriptures! My objective here is to list the differences of one such entity: the Counterfeit Christ and the True Christ; in other words, the difference between the “Christ of the Heretics” and the “Christ of the Scriptures”:
 
Christ of the Heretics Christ of the Scriptures
1. Loves every individual person in the world and sincerely desires their salvation. 1. Earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen for salvation.

Ps. 5:5,  Ps. 7:11,  Ps. 11:5,  Matt. 11:27,  John 17:9-10,  Acts 2:47,  Acts 13:48,  Rom. 9:10-13,  Rom. 9:21-24,
Eph. 1:3-4 
2. Offers salvation to every sinner and does all in his power to bring them to salvation. His offer and work are often frustrated, for many refuse to come. 2. Effectually calls to Himself only the elect and in sovereignty brings them to salvation. Not one of them will be lost.

Isa. 55:11,  John 5:21,  John 6:37-40,  John 10:25-30,  John 17:2,  Phil. 2:13 

 
3. Cannot regenerate and save a sinner who does not first choose Christ with his own “free will.” All men have a “free will” by which they can either accept or reject Christ. That “free will” may not be violated by Christ. 3. In Sovereignty regenerates the elect sinner apart from his choice, for without regeneration the spiritually dead sinner cannot choose Christ. Faith is not man’s contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration.

John 3:3,  John 6:44 & 65,  John 15:16,  Acts 11:18,  Rom. 9:16,  Eph. 2:1,  Eph. 2:8-10,  Phil. 1:29,  Heb. 12:2 
4. Died on the cross for every individual person and thereby made it possible for every person to be saved. His death, apart from the choice of man, was not able to actually save anyone for many for whom he died are lost. 4. Died for only God’s elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died. His death was a substitutionary satisfaction which actually took away the guilt of His chosen people.

Luke 19:10,  John 10:14-15 & 26,  Acts 20:28,  Rom. 5:10,  Eph. 5:25,  Heb. 9:12,
 I Peter 3:18

 
5. Loses many whom he has “saved” because they do not continue in faith. Even if he does give them “eternal security,” as some say, that security is not based upon his will or work but the choice which the sinner made when he accepted Christ. 5. Preserves His chosen people so that they cannot lose their salvation but persevere in the faith to the very end. He preserves them by the sovereign electing will of God, the power of His death, and the mighty working of His Spirit.

John 5:24,  John 10:26-29,  Rom. 8:29-30,  Rom. 8:35-39,  I Peter 1:2-5,  Jude 24-25

Requoting Psalmist, again: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

Amen.

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The Five Points of Calvinism

There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500’s at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s Word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all people’s sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some Arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main points.

Total Depravity:

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin. The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”

Unconditional Election:

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).
Limited Atonement:

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

Irresistible Grace:

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy”; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.

Perseverance of the Saints:

You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

Calvinism also maintains that because of our  fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

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