Doctrines of Grace: What is Calvinism?


 
Who Calvin is, the times he lived in, the books or works he accomplished, and everything about him have been covered by many and in a more profound way than I would, and so we will not go into that. However, if you wanna know about him, I recommend John Piper's writings about John Calvin. Yeah, Piper writes about church fathers in a more profound and moving way. I have met many of these 'old' heroes in John Piper's works. And if you have no access, just request; I have something I can send to you. 
 
So, what did John Calvin really teach? He taught this one; TULIP. Let us explain.

1. T-Total Depravity. This simply means that humans are dead, spiritually rotten in sin before the Spirit of God graciously awakens them to seeing God's glory. In other words, sinners cannot decide to obey God or receive Jesus. We are naturally dead and we cannot raise ourselves out of it. All men (without Christ) are naturally evil and poisonous serpents, murderers, and enemies of God. 

NB: We covered this in our 2017 Christmas issue; the storyof Christmas


2. U-Unconditional election. This means that God chose some among many to have the awakening as we have described above. In other words, we were all dead. And God simply chooses or chose some among the dead and set them aside for glory. And none of these elected ones deserved it (unconditional). It is important to note that this was done long time ago in God's eternal plan even before the creation of world or even humans. 

NB: We have covered part of this in our e-book, redefiningGod's unconditional love.

3. L-Limited atonement. This is simply about Jesus Christ's death and whom He saved. Under this, Calvin taught that Christ's death was sufficient and effective enough for those who He had earlier elected. In other words, it is not about who believes or not, but about those who were already set aside to believe in His death. What am I saying? I am saying He did not die for all, but for some among all! 

NB: We covered this when we wrote a devotion about John3:16 (For God so loved the world). Byamukama Joseph has a better piece diggingdeeper into this 'God's love for the world' at his website. 

4. I-Irresistible grace. This means that God's redeeming feature or grace cannot be denied or refused or rejected. When God calls you, it is an eternal call. It is not something you can decide to respond to or not, but it is a decision done. If someone is or was elected, He cannot refuse to be saved. I will leave it here! Calvin is simply saying that those who God decided to extend His grace to indeed receive the grace. Period. 

NB: I will not explain how this 'irresistiblity' works along with our freedom! And I won't explain if there is such thing as free will! These have been covered in my other writings.

5. P-Perseverance of the Saints. In this, Calvin teaches that those who God willed to save will be saved no matter what (won’t lose it on the way)! In other words, God gives salvation to those He willingly elected and keeps or maintains them in that righteous path till the end of time (until their final triumphantly entry into everlasting glory). There is no such thing as losing salvation unless God had not given it to you, to us in the first place. 

NB: Again, here, I will not explain how our hard work works along that foreordained preservation in our day-to-day wrestling with sin and setbacks in our Christianity! I have explained this often! 

So, generally, that is what Calvin taught and is still relevant today to all Christians, at least to reformed theologians or Calvinists today. Of course, you must be wondering; is it true? I will not answer that for you for I will have killed your thinking! Starting arguing it yourself.
I am now waiting for what you think! 

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Nemeyimana Nemvicx Vicent

Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at www.nemvicx.com (The Complete You Ministry).

Contact them at thecompletey@gmail.com