Saturday, April 12, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Thirty Five

Okay, where do Calvinists get off spouting TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and the Perseverance of the Saints)?
Total Depravity? The prophet Jeremiah stated, "the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" (17:9). See also, Romans 7:18-24 ("I know that nothing good dwells within me..."), Psalm 51:5; John 5:42,; etc. Moreover, just open a newspaper!
Unconditional Election? In Romans 8-9 Paul writes eloquently about election or predestination as he does in Eph. 1:3-6 and 2 Thess. 2:13 but its not just Paul, see John 6:44, 65; 15:16; 17:2; etc. Also ask yourself if the election of Israel and of Paul should hint at such action on a larger scale?
Limited Atonement? Take a look at John 17:4-24 and work it out but also think logically about the implications of the atonement if unconditional election is true...I mean, if God only chose some then who did Jesus die for?
Irresistible Grace? Paul writes in 1 Cor. 12:3 that no one can call Christ their King except by the Holy Spirit. Paul goes so far as to state that saving faith itself is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8) and John records in his Gospel that Jesus stated "All that the father gives me shall come to me." (6:37).
Perseverance of the "Saints"? Paul writes in Romans that the gifts and call of God are irrevocable (11:29) and Peter writes in his first letter "To God's elect...who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
So, Calvinists are not pulling their doctrine out of thin air. They do have scriptural support. What about the Free Willers? Check back tomorrow.