The Salvation of All Men, by John Calvin

September 9, 2008


For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:3-5

When read out of its context, 1 Timothy 2:2-5 is an Arminian manifesto. But here Calvin clearly puts it into some context for us – its all types of men – not just the one chosen people (the jews) that the then Church was familiar with. It puts a smile on my face when I read about the great hope we have in reaching out to all sorts of people – even elderly people that might be as tough as an old boot; yes even this sort of person can, with God’s regenerating work, respond to the gospel. There is hope that all sorts of people will respond to the gospel. 

When we despise those whom God would have honored, it is as much as if we should despise Him: so it is, if we make no account of the salvation of those whom God calleth to Himself. For it seemeth thereby that we would stay Him from showing His mercy to poor sinners, who are in the way to ruin. The reason why St. Paul useth this argument, that God will have all the world to be saved, is that we may, as much as lieth in us, also seek the salvation of those who seem to be banished from the kingdom of God; especially while they are unbelievers.

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The tulip

October 15, 2007

 

The Five Points of Calvinism are easily remembered by the acrostic TULIP

 

T

Total Depravity (Total Inability)

Total Depravity is probably the most misunderstood tenet of Calvinism. When Calvinists speak of humans as “totally depraved,” they are making an extensive, rather than an intensive statement. The effect of the fall upon man is that sin has extended to every part of his personality — his thinking, his emotions, and his will. Not necessarily that he is intensely sinful, but that sin has extended to his entire being.

The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called “Total Inability.” The man without a knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God’s making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5). Read the rest of this entry »