“Election” Part 1


The following was taken from the Internet. It is an explanation of Calvinist doctrine.

There are two main camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500’s at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples’ sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality. They simply represent some of its main


The Bible teaches neither Calvinism nor Arminianism, rather the truth is somewhere in between.

God has not chosen us on whim or unrevealed reasons as Calvinism teaches.

God chooses on the basis of foreknown faith but this truth is rejected by Calvinist doctrine.

Man does not have the opportunity to choose God unless God is inviting him. It is not simply a matter of a person’s choice. God must convict and draw a person, giving him that opportunity to believe.

  1. Total Depravity

The Calvinistic view

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”

Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

The correct view

Certainly we are totally depraved and unable to come to God without His intervention

There is none righteous Rom 3:9-(12)18

Total depravity, all of man’s being has been affected, spirit, mind and body.

You were dead in trespasses and sins Eph 2:5

Enemies in your mind Col 1:21

Nothing good in the flesh Rom 7:18


The Calvinist asks the question, In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”

God must predestine? I disagree with that conclusion.

God draws and illuminates, God convicts us of or sin to bring us to the opportunity to believe in Him.

No one can come to me Jo 6:44

Spirit will convict Jo 16:8-11

The sword of the Spirit Eph 6:17

The message preached 1Cor 1:21

Faith comes by hearing Rom 10:17

We are granted by the preaching of God’s word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit the opportunity to put our faith into Jesus and be saved by God’s grace.

Whosoever will Rev 22:17

Faith is a gift”?

The Calvinist teaching is that faith is a gift that is given to the unbeliever in order to be saved.

It is a gift of God Eph 2:8-9

This verse is not teaching that faith is the gift, rather it is teaching us that salvation is the gift… not of works! Salvation is not by works it is a gift of God.

“Faith a gift”

Rom 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now abide these three Cor 12:1,27-13:13

The spiritual gifts under consideration are gifts given to the church! Does God give the gift of healing or speaking in tongues… to the unsaved as well?

Calvinism also teaches that God actually regenerates a person before they believe because they are unable to believe because of total depravity.

The idea that God regenerates a person before faith is not supported by the scripture.

Salvation comes as we believe

Believe and you will be saved Acts 16:31

It does not say, be saved and you will believe

By grace through faith Eph 2:8-9

If salvation is through faith how can we be saved before faith.

Believing is the prerequisite for life.

John 3:14-16

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  1. Unconditional Election – Calvinistic view

Unconditional Election as per the Calvinistic view:
“God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not”

Certainly there is nothing in man that draws God to any of us.

We were reconciled while we were enemies of God. Rom 5:10

God looks down on man, what does He see Ps 14:1-3

We agree that we are not chosen on the basis of worth or merit. There is no good virtue inherit in us that causes God to choose us.

God has made a choice to extend love and mercy to us in spite of our unworthiness.

If man plays no part in salvation, why then has God ordained that the church go out and make disciples?

Matt 28:18-20

God has chosen by the message preached to save… 1Cor 1:21

Faith comes by hearing and hearing… Rom 10:17

God has chosen a system or method by which people will be saved!

Cut to the heart – resistance Acts 7:51-54

Cut to the heart – surrender Acts 2:37

Grieve Eph 4:30

Harden not your hearts Heb 3:8, 15, 4:7

It seems that we have a choice in how we react to God’s conviction.

If man has no involvement whatsoever, then there could be no possible alternative outcome.

Yet Jesus said; Matt 11:21

The Church has been commissioned to preach…

2 Cor 6:1

6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Cor 5:20

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Prov 22:6

6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Rom 3:1-2

3:1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

God has ordained a system that involves man. The church is to spread the message…

However there are exceptions to the general rule:

God will and has a right to deviate from the general rule of His choice to ensure that His complete will is accomplished!

God has at times has done things in an extraordinary way to accomplish His will, however that doesn’t make it the rule.

  • John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother womb.

Is this the norm?

  • Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.

God had a specific purpose, it is not the norm.

  • Saul was struck down on the road to Damascus.

Is this the norm?

  • It is appointed unto man once to die… Enoch and Elijah

The vast majority of people will experience physical death!

According to the election of grace Rom 11:3-5

God’s purpose is not in the hands of men but God uses men…

Workers together 2Cor 5:18-6:1

The Calvinistic idea; “Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him”

We understand that we would not choose to believe in Jesus for salvation if it were not for the convicting power of the Word and Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1:1-2

1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,

God choses according to His foreknowledge, what does God know ahead of time? He knows how we will respond to His conviction and leadership. God chooses on the basis of foreknown faith.

The Calvinistic view of unconditional election is not supported by the scripture.

  1. Limited atonement – Calvinistic view

Limited Atonement: Jesus died only for the elect.

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

First of all, “many” does not exclude the idea of all.

1200 people were on the ship when it crashed. 1200 people were rescued. Many lives were saved.

It does require one to do the math but the result will be a realization that all were saved.

Dan 12:2

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Are not all men resurrected at some point?

1 Cor 15:22

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Rev 20:13

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

The scripture declares that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus teaches in the parable of the treasure in the field that the whole field was purchased in order to obtain the treasure.

Matt 13:44

44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

I believe the field is the world. The field is explained to be the world in the parable of the tares.

Matt 13:38

38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

The Bible truth that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, becomes easier to understand when one correctly understands the doctrine of “the Church” and correctly understands the doctrine of “the elect”.

The universal idea of the church, all of the saved, causes one to look at the scripture from a simple “saved or lost” point of view.

The truth is that people are; (1) lost, (2) saved and unfaithful, or (3) saved and faithful.

The “saved faithful” are the elect and are found in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are also the ones who will persevere and not fall away.

(We will discuss perseverance more under the perseverance of the Saints.)

2 Peter 1:9-11

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  1. Irresistible grace – Calvinistic view

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God.

Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy“; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out,” (John 6:37).

Is God’s grace Irresistible?

You always resist the Holy Spirit Acts 7:51-53

Do grieve the Holy Spirit Eph 4:30

Yearns jealously

James 4:4-10

4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.”

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Submit to God… Resist the Devil, Draw near to God and (then) He will draw near to you.

Are there not three conditions that are mentioned before God draws near to us?

There are conditions that can create stronger conviction

More of the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit!

There are things that hinder the power of the message and conviction.

Matt 17:18-21

18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast him out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

1 Thess 2:17-19

17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you–even I, Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us.

I believe we do have the opportunity to accept or reject, otherwise it would seem from the scripture that God is playing mind games with us! Why does the scripture urge obedience, so often, if it is already predetermined what we will do?

Rom 6:13-18 KJV

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Josh 24:14-16

14 “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Deut 30:19-20

19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

Matt 23:37-39

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”

Rev 22:17

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

The invitation (call, conviction) from the Spirit and the Bride, the choice is made by the one invited.

The Calvinistic view of “irresistible grace” is a dangerous one because it can lead people to think, “If I can resist then God has not chosen me”. Will people end up in Hell due to this misunderstanding of man’s ability to resist the goodness of God?

  1. Perseverance of the saints

The Calvinistic view of the Perseverance of the Saints:
You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

The Calvinistic approach to the subject of the perseverance of the saints incorporates what I see as two subjects. One of the subjects being the security of the believer and the other, the belief that the saved will be faithful in service to God.

I believe the scripture to teach the security of the believer.

I do not believe that the scripture teaches that all saved people will be faithful in service.

  • Security of the believer

All of the saved are safe from the future judgment of Hell.

John 5:24-25

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

“Has everlasting life”

Salvation is a free gift that involves no work on the part on man.

Eph 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

  • Believers can and do fall away.

1 Cor 9:25-27

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

They could not enter in because of unbelief Heb 3:12-18

Take heed lest he fall 1 Cor 10:1-13

The parable of the sower Matt 13:18-23

Many will depart the faith 1Tim 4:1

Can a person be faithful in service to Christ and not be scripturally baptized and a member of a New Testament Church?

If not then are all professors of salvation who do not become members of a true church lost?

If we can be faithful in service to God in churches of various denominations then why are we Landmark Missionary Baptists?

  • The elect will persevere! (not all the saved but those who are completely sanctified)

2 Peter 1:10-11

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Saints are not only saved but completely sanctified! Saints are the Elect.

1 Thess 5:23-24

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God will preserve His Elect!

According to the election of grace Rom 11:3-5

The elect will persevere

1 Cor 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

What can separate us from the love of God Rom 8:33-39