Calvinism Essay, Research Paper

Since John Calvin first introduced the belief of election, it has caused debate among theologians

in many Protestant churches. John Calvin?s beliefs consisted of five general themes.

The first of the is the most important concept of understanding the beliefs of grace. Due to the

fall, man, in his spiritually dead state, is unable of himself to savingly believe the Gospel. The

sinner is totally dead, and cannot natural turn to the things of God, not seek Him. Man’s is

deceitful and desperately corrupt. Man does not have free will; it is in complete bondage to his

evil and sinful nature; therefore, he will not–better yet, he cannot–choose good over evil in the

spiritual realm. Due to this state, it is only by the grace of God moving trough the Spirit to

regenerate a person’s spiritual state. Therefore a desire to seek God and also faith to believe does

not begin and end with man, but it is a gift of God and evidence of His grace. There it is not

man, who chooses faith, but God. This doctrine relates to man’s nature and not his actions, and it

says he is powerless in his own being to know God, to desire God, and to come to God

Unconditional Election- This one of the most debated God’s choice of certain individuals unto

salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice

of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as

faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom

He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause, of God’s choice. Election therefore was not

determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom

God sovereignty elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of

Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner–not the sinner’s choice of Christ–is the ultimate cause of

salvation. It is Based on His Sovereign will alone.

Particular Redemption- Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only, and actually

secured salvation for them. His death was the substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in

the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s

redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation; including faith which unites them to

Him. The gift of faith is applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing

their salvation. Christ’s death, in its power, is sufficient for all men, but is effective only for the


Irresistible Grace-This states that God will irresistibly call the elect unto Himself through the

preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and by that call the decree of election will be fulfilled

and the particular purpose will be applied (Belcher in “A Journey in Grace.”) The Holy Spirit

extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external

call (which is given to all without distinction) can be–and often is–rejected; whereas the internal

call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. He is

not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s

cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to

repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails

to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

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