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Refuting TULIP (Calvinism) - 1 John 4:1

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John Calvin, a French born theologian of the 1500’s, devised a belief about the nature of God and man which are contrary to God’s Word. The major points of this false doctrine are known by the acronym T U L I P.



Calvinism: Total Hereditary Depravity


Total Hereditary Depravity, is a false doctrine that states that:


1. All of humanity is born guilty of sin. Because we inherit the "original sin" of Adam and Eve, we fall into God’s condemnation from birth.

2. Since we are born in sin and have a sinful or depraved nature, we are incapable of doing anything to ultimately please God in regard to salvation.

3. Therefore, in this false teaching, God alone must totally take all the initiative in your salvation from beginning to end.


False teachers, typically twist and take scriptures out of proper content for their own destructive purposes, and Calvinism is no different. Proponents of Total Hereditary Depravity frequently use Psalm 51:5 and Psalm 58:3 to incorrectly assert we are all born sinners.


However, the scripture, in context, teaches that David was born into a sinful world, and that the wicked are estranged from the womb.


What Does The Bible Teach About Sin?


In Romans 3:23, the Bible teaches all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This (sin) occurs when one transgresses the law of God - 1 John 3:4.


Therefore, sin is not hereditary and it is not passed on through genetics or birth.


Furthermore, in Ezekiel 18:19-20, the Spirit of God affirms that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son.


Each person has the responsibility of their own sin when they transgress God’s law.


In Matthew 18:1-4, Jesus answered the question, "who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?", by admonishing them to be converted like little children.


If a baby is born a sinner, why did Jesus encourage his disciples to be like little children?


Let us be encouraged to understand and teach the truth of the Bible concerning when you become a sinner and expose the error of Calvinism that those who follow it might be converted to the truth – James 5:19-20



Calvinism: Unconditional Election


Unconditional election builds upon the false foundation of Total Hereditary Depravity.


As a result of the erroneous belief that humanity is born in a sinful state, the Calvinist claims there is absolutely nothing a sinner can do for their Salvation.  Salvation is only the work of God and man has no part at all.


The false doctrine of Unconditional Election states that before God created the world, he chose to save some individuals according to his purposes and apart from any conditions placed on the sinner.


In other words, from the foundation of the world God has chosen some individuals to be saved and others to be lost, without regard to obedience to the gospel message (unconditional).


What Does The Bible Teach About Predestination?


The word predestined comes from the Greek proorizo, which means to predetermine, to decide beforehand, to foreordain, or appoint beforehand.


In Ephesians 1:3-14, we learn God has predetermined the church to be saved. This group of individual’s, are those that are in Christ, those who have obeyed the commandments of God to be saved, and those who are abiding in the doctrine of Jesus Christ (a condition).


1. God has given mankind the freedom of choice to obey or disobey Him – Genesis 2:16-17; Deuteronomy 11:26-28

2. God is impartial, and is no respecter of persons – Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:11

3. God desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth – 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9


4. Man's salvation is not dependent on God alone. God has provided the means for salvation, grace, through His Son's sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. However man must meet the conditions to be saved by that grace through faith – Ephesians 2:4-10; Matthew 7:21


Therefore, we learn that God wants all to be saved. God has chosen the church to be the means by which man may be saved by rendering obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ - John 3:16



Calvinism: Limited Atonement


As a result of the erroneous belief that God elected (chose) only some to be saved, apart from any conditions for salvation (Unconditional Election), the Calvinists formed the doctrine of "Limited Atonement."


The false doctrine of Limited Atonement states that Jesus Christ died only for the ones God has unconditionally elected (chosen) to save, from the foundation of the world.


Therefore, Jesus sacrifice on the cross for sin was only for a select, or limited, group and not for all.


Thus the atonement for sins given by Jesus death was limited to the unconditionally elected, not all people.


What Does The Bible Teach About Atonement


In direct contract, the Bible teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for all.


If the gospel is not for all, why did Jesus commission the Apostles to go out and teach all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature? - Mark 16:15-16


God wills all to be saved and Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom to all, to pay the price to free all the world (all sinners) from the bondage of sin – 1 Timothy 2:4-6


Furthermore, the blood of Christ can wash away anyone’s sin when they are willing to walk in the light of Jesus Christ to obey His commandments – 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:1-2


The Bible teaches Jesus atoning blood makes it possible for all to be saved. All who are willing to come to Him in obedience to be saved. God loved the world, God gave His son for the sins of the world, and whosoever will believe and obey Him will have eternal life – John 3:16-17


Thank God, that Jesus blood is not limited, but is available for all who will accept it.



Calvinism: Irresistible Grace

The False doctrine of Irresistible Grace, states that the elect, those whom God unconditionally elects to save, cannot resist the grace of God and God’s determination to save them. They can do nothing to resist His saving grace it even if they wanted to.


According to this false teaching of irresistible grace, the Holy Spirit works in the lives of the elect so that they will inevitably come to faith in Jesus and be saved and have no free will in the matter.


What Does The Bible Teach About Grace

The Sword of the Spirit teaches that man can only know the mind of God or the things of God by His Spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:10-11


Furthermore, 2 Peter 1:19-21 instructs that holy men of God were “move by”, (phero) the Holy Spirit to speak and write the things of God in the Holy scriptures. Therefore, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God work together in the conversion of sinners.


Titus 2:11-14 teaches that God calls all men to be saved through His Son, Jesus Christ. From 1 Timothy 2:4 we learn that it is God’s will that all men obey the truth and be saved.


The Word of truth teaches that it is man’s responsibility to accept or reject the grace and salvation that God provides through Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:38-41 the gospel message of salvation was preached by the Apostles to the Jews. They had the choice to obey it and be saved, or reject it and be lost.

To come to God to be saved the Bible teaches you to hear the Word of God – Romans 10:17, believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God – John 8:24, repent of your sins – Luke 13:3, confess Jesus Christ is the Son of God – Romans 10:9-10, be baptized (immersed) in water for the forgiveness of your sins – Acts 2:38, and live faithfully until death – Revelation 2:10.  You can resist His grace at any point in the process.



Calvinism: Perseverance of the Saints

The False doctrine of Perseverance Of The Saints, is the assertion of the impossibility of apostasy; the unconditional security of the believer in Jesus Christ.


It is commonly known as once in grace always in grace or once saved always saved.


Perseverance of the Saints, states all who are chosen by God are kept in faith by the power of God and are preserved to the end.


What Does The Bible Teach About Perseverance

Firstly, the Word of God does teach on the security of the believer in Jesus Christ - John 10:22-30; 1 John 5:11-13.  However, this security of the believer is conditional on being faithful to Christ - John 8:31-32; Hebrews 3:12-19


Secondly, the Bible affirms that some will depart from the faith - 1 Timothy 4:1-2.  Paul charges Timothy to keep the faith because some would fall away into apostasy - 1 Timothy 1:18-20


Thirdly, the Bible teaches you can be in a saved state and then be lost based upon your faithfulness to Him - Jude 1:5-6


Fourthly, the Bible abundantly teaches that you have the choice to obey Jesus and have life or disobey Him and have death, the choice is yours - John 3:36; Joshua 24:15; Acts 2:38-47


Fifth, to enjoy the benefits of God, you must be in Christ, because in Christ there is salvation - 2 Timothy 2:10In Christ is where all spiritual blessings are - Ephesians 1:3Outside of Christ you are lost, which is why Jesus told his disciples to abide in Him - John 15:1-6



Understanding your part in Salvation, why not begin now by responding to the gospel of Christ:  Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess - Be Baptized.  Then continue in living a faithful life, walking in the light until death, to enjoy everlasting life with God.


-- Harry D. Anderson, Jr., 2010 --


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