Some believe that Calvinism as explained in the TULIP, or Calvin’s 5 points is understood to be flexible. To them any 3 of the points can suffice. Packer on the other hand says if you believe one point then you must believe all.
T total depriving of man
U unconditional election ( by God)
L Limited atonement (provided in Jesus’ death and resurrection)
I Irresistible grace (from God)
P perseverance of the saints.
The thinking is that if Jesus’ atonement is unlimited rather than limited; then you are driven to universalism, because God is 100% responsible for salvation. If He died for all then all are saved, because man has no part in salvation, and universalism is at least implied. If man is not Totally deprived he somehow could save himself. But man has no part in his salvation, which must mean that he has no part in living out his salvation, thus he is eternally secure once chosen. Man thus has no responsibility, for God is responsible for even his perseverance. God is responsible for mans overcoming. God’s grace is irresistible therefore one cannot help but respond when called because he is chosen by God for eternal sonship.
If one is not chosen then how does he know it? Jesus said: Many will say to me Lord Lord…, and I will say depart from me for I never knew you. This man thinks himself to be called and therefore chosen, but obviously he is not.
I am watching a granddaughter-in-law, right now, walk away from her marriage for another man while claiming God’s peace and His Spirits direction for her life. Is God directing that? Or is she self deceived, and if she can be self deceived how can any of us know that we are not capable of the same? Unchosen unelected. How does one who is totally depraved but thinking that he is elected begin to understand the warnings so clearly spelled out in scripture?
If man has no responsibility before God to work out his own salvation freely given him by God, Then why does Paul tell us to do this in fear and trembling?
If I have no responsibility to teach what the Holy Spirit teaches me from the word; then why does Paul tell Timothy to be sure and teach correct doctrine, because it will mean salvation both to Timothy and to his hearers (1 Tim 4:16).
Why are we told to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Is my granddaughter doing both? And who’s fault is that if she is not? Is she bringing Glory to God in her total depravity? Is it my fault or yours that she thinks herself blessed even in her disobedience. If she is taught eternal security no matter what, is that going to aid her in her perseverance? Or is it going to make what Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:16 a truth that most just don’t want to hear?
Jesus said seek ye first the kingdom of God and… He also said you can gain the whole world and lose your soul.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (KJV)
Why would John state to us that a power was given us to become what many say that we were elected for? And why did Jesus say: abide in me if you are going to be fruit bearing? And by the way if you don’t you will be cut off and cast into the fire. So how does any of this relate to Paul’s stating that in Him ye are elected before the foundations of the earth to eternal life. It would seem clear to me that Paul knew that only in Christ is this election turned into a promise. Why would he teach something contrary to what Jesus taught? In Christ is our hope. Abide in Him.
Jesus came to bring us a new covenant, and if we live in the power that that law in the hands of His promised Holy Spirit brings to our walk; then we will say as David said: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.