Editor's Note: Calvinism has historically been understood by the acronym TULIP. Tulip stands for "Total Depravity", "Unconditional Election", "Limited Atonement", "Irresistable Grace", and "Perseverence of the Saints."
Moses defined “Total Depravity” long before John Calvin ever did. He wrote, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
The apostle Paul made us aware of “Unconditional election” long before Mr. Calvin, when he wrote, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4) Christ is God’s elect and we are elected (chosen) in Him before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)
The Lord Jesus Himself revealed God’s “Limited Atonement,” long before Calvinism was ever published or printed. He said, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” (John 17:9-10)
It was our Lord Jesus who preached God’s Gospel of “Irresistible Grace,” long before any Calvinistic preacher did. Our Lord declared, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
Peter knew much more about the Perseverance and the preservation of the saints than any of us do. He knew that Satan desired “to sift him as wheat.” Peter knew first hand that he was spared only because Christ prayed, “that his faith fail him not.” Yes, Peter knew that Christ preserved him and he said that we are, “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)
Dear reader, if you don’t see Christ in Calvinism, (which is often called the doctrines of grace) then you have missed Calvinism altogether. Salvation is in, of, and through, the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. Apart from that divine revelation, John Calvin has five good points that will not save. I pray that God enable you to trust in Christ alone who can.