Speaking in Generalities - this leads to inaccuracies in specific cases - but the generality still stands
Today we speak about the teachings of John Calvin - now known as Calvinism
Lay my cards on the table - I believe the teachings of Calvin have lead more good hearted people astray than perhaps any other movement
Protestant Reformer - French - mid 16th cent.
Calvinism / Reformed Theology
Became a Bishops clerk at age 12
began at the University of Paris at age 14
Granted a Doctorate of Law
Went to Geneva where he rose to prominance
Establishing new civil and church governments.
Remember: as reformers they rejected the Pope, and had to establish their own governance
Also had problems, including being expelled from the city for a time - and (perhaps unjustly) bearing the blame for the execution of Michael Servetus (heretic)
Once saved always saved
every person born bears the guilt of Adams Sin (not merely the consequeces)
A few views in Predestination
God Chooses specific men
Later, Calvin's followers boiled down his teachings into an acrostic TULIP
Starts from the premise that God is sovereign - God is in Control
but the premise is taken with total disregard to other scripture
The leap is taken; God is sovereign, in control - to "God determines everything"
T - Total Depravity (hereditary)
At birth all men are wholly and completly depraved - stemming from hereditary guilt of sin from Adam
U - Unconditional Election
Before the founding of the World god chose specifically who would be saved and lost - all decisions are final
L - Limited Atonement
Christ came and died for only those whom God elected (above)
I - Irresistible Grace
a depraved (unregenerated person) ca not volutarily choose to believe in God - but once God elects him, he can not resist the power of God's call
P - Perseverance of the Saints
As A person's salvation is completely dependent upon God - nothing they do has any bearing - so too once saved they can do nothing to be lost
AKA Original Sin
Taught by the vast majority of denominations (some not taking Calvin's view of salvation from this depravity)
Three things Here are important
Each Person is Depraved - caught in and guilty of sin
Wholly, Completely, Totally - there is nothing good in any person
This condition is Hereditary - inherited from their parents, all the way back to Adam and the first sin
The Westminster Confession of Faith states, "They (Adam and Eve) being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions." (Chapter VI)
John Wesley (Founder Methodist Church) "We are condemned before we have done good or evil, under the curse before we know what it is." (Sermons on Original Sin, p. 340)
As a person is totally Depraved, He can do nothing but sin
A person can only be saved through direct miracle on a person's soul
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.
While singling out "not even one" - they skip the verbs of "Doing"
The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.
"From the womb"
"go astray" not born that way
Following verses speak of stopping up ears and shattering teeth (newborns do not have teeth)
Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. “But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
Who ever sins against me
“Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
Made men upright - they sought other ways - not born that way
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
So we are to become more like the sinner, totally depraved child? NO!!!
We are fallen, not totally depraved
We each one sin and fall short (Ro 3:23)
But it is as an individual responsible for our own shortcomings, not Adam's
AKA Predestination (admittedly a difficult subject in Scripture)
Based on the first (Total Hereditary Depravity)
As we are totally depraved (there is NOTHING in us that is not evil) we cannot respond to God's call
People cannot choose to follow God - to obey
God had to choose for each of us
God chose without regard to man's own will, condition, desire - a seemingly arbitrary choice of which individuals would be saved, and which would be damned
The Westminster Confession of Faith states, "God has predestined and foreordained some men and angels to everlasting life out of His free grace and love without any foresight of faith or works in man or perseverance in either of them, and others are foreordained to everlasting death and the number of either is so certain and definite that it cannot be increased or diminished." (Chap. III, art. 3,4 &5; Chap. X, art. 2)
The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 says, "Those of mankind who are predestinated unto Life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable Purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ to everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto."
When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Does not say they were given Eternal Life apart from their own will (As U.E. states)
in fact belief is a condition here. Reverse the grammar "Those who believed were among those appointed to eternal life"
Salvation being offered comes wholly from God
Ephesians 2:4–10 (NASB95) — 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
But the reception of that offer is up to each person (Work out your own salvation - men are persuaded)
Philippians 2:12–13 (NASB95) — 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God is working - but you must work it out
Acts 28:24 (NASB95) — 24 Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.
Scripture clearly teaches Predestination - it does not teach Unconditional Election
Groups and events are Predestined - not individuals
God created us with Free-will - it is this very thing that Gives God glory - when a person Chooses their creator's will over their own, how could a person give more glory to God than this?