In any field of study jargon develops as a sort of shorthand to make it easier to discuss topics. Jargon does not develop for the purpose of obscuring meaning or to make it difficult for nonspecialists to understand what is being discussed. Rather, jargon - specialized terms - are used in place of long sentences or even paragraphs. For instance, a mechanic does not talk about replacing the device in your car's engine that mixes the gasoline and air in just the right combination in order for combustion to take place. Instead, he'll talk about replacing your carborator. Thus, mechanics use jargon that people outside the field would find unfamiliar, military personelle use jargon and terms that make no sense to people not part of the military, and model plane enthusiasts and musicians use lingo that the rest of us haven't a clue about. Unsurprisingly, theologians will use terms, some of which may appear in the Bible, that may not be fully understood by the nonspecialist. Let's take a look at a few that apply to the study of salvation:
Reconciliation describes God's work in restoring the human race to spiritual fellowship and harmony with God. Where before, we were separated from God by our sins, thanks to the work of Christ on the cross, the human race can now have a full relationship with God again.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:11-20)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
The Greek word in the Bible that is used for reconciliation, for instance in the passage above in Romans 5, originally referred to changing something - for instance, changing coins for others of equal value. Like exchanging a quarter for two dimes and a nickel. A secondary meaning developed, closer to the sense used in the Bible, of "adjusting to a given standard," as for instance changing your clocks to match precisely the time set by the atomic clock in Colorado.
It should be kept in mind, too, that it is not God who is being reconciled. That is, there was nothing wrong with God, any more than there is something wrong with the clock in Colorado. Rather, humanity had to be adjusted, just like your clock in your home would have to be adjusted to match the clock in Colorado - a clock, incidentally, that is so accurate it keeps time more precisely and more consistantly than the earth rotates on its axis.
What good is reconciliation for the believer? The consequence of Christ's work in reconciling us is that 1) we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, 2) we are declared righteous (Romans 5:1 and John 3:18) and finally, 3) we now have an intimate relationship with God (John 15:10)
Propitiation is another word for "appeasement"; that is, it is used to express the concept that the death of Christ fully satisfies God's righteous demands, removing the obsticle between sin and righteousness. It should not be thought of, though too often it is, that God is a divine debt collector demanding that you pay up or else. That creates a very negative, and thus false picture of who and what God is. Rather, it should be seen that sin has created a deficit that must be filled - like a black hole from which nothing can escape. We, the victims of sin, are doomed to be sucked in unless someone or something can fill the hole. That is what Jesus did on the cross.
As an infinite being he could take the infinite deficit and still have something left over, while we, as finite creatures, would be overwhelmed.
Redemption expresses a concept very similar to propitiation; it is freedom obtained by the payment of a price. The word is used as an analogy or a picture, the concept being that we were slaves that have been bought with a high price and then freed.
Today, we might speak of redeeming a prize, by turning in the winning game piece or redeeming an item that we have on lay-a-way by paying what is owed. The concept of redemption carries with it the idea that a price has been paid. In this case, the price was the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. His death paid the price necessary for our redemption.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. (1 Corinthians 7:23)
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:20-22)
Introduction to Faith
Faith is where Christians begin; without faith, a person is not a Christian, because the door through which we step on the beginning of our lifelong journey is labeled with it.
The story is told of a man who walked up to a farmer and informed him that he could eat a cow.
"A whole cow? All by yourself?"
"Sure," said the stranger.
"Not at all - as long as I can do it one hamburger at a time, without a deadline."
So it is with spiritual growth; we never arrive at perfection on this side of heaven; it is the trip of a lifetime. Faith, the first item in Peter's list, is the beginning, but it is also what sustains us along the way. It begins as a grain of mustard seed, but it will be a lifetime in growing. As you move from chapter to chapter in this book, please remember that you can never leave the previous chapters behind. Each item in the list stays with you; as Peter said in 1:8: "... if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (emphasis added).
At the end of this book, for instance, rather than gloating with puffed out chest, "I understand it all," the true student will instead affirm, "I've barely begun."
The author of Hebrews describes the nature of faith, and then goes on to list examples of individuals who lived their lives evidencing that faith.
Let's take a look at what he had to say:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren-was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11)
What is Faith?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Faith is a matter of accepting what God has said and acting upon it.
The Patriarchal Covenant is formally established in Genesis 15:1-21 and 17:1-22. In Genesis 15 God comes to Abram and assures him that he will have an heir, the product of his own body, and that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars. Abram's reaction to this promise is recorded in 15:6:
Abram believed Yahweh, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
From that one statement, at least three interesting points may be deduced about faith.
ONE: What Constitutes Faith.
Faith can be defined as "accepting the reality of what God has said." Faith is not simply believing that something good will happen, or that it will "just all work out"; it is not "feeling warm about the possibilities of the future". One wrong definition of faith is, "belief in something for which there is no proof". Better, and more accurate to the biblical idea, faith is "fidelity to promises." Biblically speaking, it is simply accepting God's words as truth.
One day a man was having lunch with his friend, the skeptic. He said, "I have faith in God."
The skeptic looked at him and responded: "Prove it!"
"Okay," said the man, "To show you how great my faith in God is, I'm going to climb in an airplane, fly to 10,000 feet, and jump out - without a parachute! I have faith in God."
So, the faithful man boarded an airplane; when the altimeter reached ten thousand feet, he walked to the door. Opening it, he cried in a loud voice: "I BE-lieve! Oh God, save me! I believe you will!"
And then he jumped.
At his funeral, the skeptic commented, "He certainly proved to me he had faith."
Amusing, yes? What was the faithful man's problem? His faith was not able to save him, because he misunderstood what constitutes true faith. God has never, ever promised to protect some fool who jumps out of an airplane at ten thousand feet. Faith can only be held for something God has promised, not for any and every thing imaginable we want. Just as God did not say, "Let there be purple people with green spots", so God's promises are limited, too. Do not leap unless God tells you to.
TWO: God finds faith - accepting his words as reality - very important.
When God spoke at the time of creation, it resulted in what we describe as reality: the universe around us. When God said, "let there be light", light happened. When God said, "let plants spring up", they sprang up. Now in Genesis 15 He speaks to Abram, and Abram springs up.
THREE: God found Abram to be righteous because he obeyed; in obedience Abram thereby demonstrated his love for Him.
In 1 Corinthians 13:7 Paul writes that love "always hopes". So it should be when we think about our neighbor, and so it must be when we think about God. Abram "hoped". He always expected the best from God, believing that God would not lie. Notice that this failure to hope, to believe the best about God (i.e. to love God) was the reason for the downfall of Adam and Eve.
When God told Abram (whose name by then had been changed to Abraham) to go and sacrifice his son, Isaac (Gen. 22:2), he remembered what God had told him in Genesis 15:4-5:
Then the word of Yahweh came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
Both Paul and James have something to say regarding Genesis 15:6. First, look at what Paul wrote in his letter to the assembled believers in Rome (Romans 4:18-25):
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead - since he was about a hundred years old - and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness".
The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness - for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."
And James writes in his letter (James 2:18-24):
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
And so it is that his faith in God was demonstrated by what he did. Faith, of necessity, involves more than just mental assent. It requires behavior. Hebrew thought was rather concrete. They had little regard for the purely theoretical. Just as "knowledge" and "wisdom" are not differentiated in the Old Testament (the one who knows, uses that knowledge, or else he doesn't really know it. A knowledgeable person knows how to use his learning, and in Hebrew thought is identical to the wise person), so "faith" and "action" or "obedience" are not sharply differentiated. Abram's faith expressed itself in deeds that were righteous. By his deeds he demonstrated that he loved God.
Genesis 22:12 records:
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
Repentance is a gift of God, not something that we can work up by ourselves through our own efforts. Of course, the same can be said of anything good that we might accomplish (Ephesians 2:8-10)
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. (Acts 5:31)
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18)
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:25)
Repentance is demonstrated by actions. The word itself has the sense of "to change one's mind" or to "turn around and go another way." Repentance is not just feeling sorry for what you've done, though that may be a part of it; mere sorrow alone will not accomplish anything:
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3-5)
See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17)
Repentance produces certain actions; that is, a person who is genuinely repentant will change his behavior. He or she will not continue doing the same sin any longer. For instance, if a husband is guilty of beating his wife, the wife should leave, not just forgive him and continue getting beaten up. If the husband had genuinely repentanted, he would not continue to be beating up his spouse.
Likewise, the difference between genunine repentance and someone just going through the motions is pretty obvious. The one going through the motions will reluctantly do what is requested, but only because he wants to avoid being hassled. A genuinely repentant person is appalled by his or her actions and is willing and desperately wanting to do anything at all that he or she can to "make everything right again." They are almost literally fleeing whatever sin they are guilty of, as if terrified by it.
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:11)
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8)
Justification means that we have been declared righteous, whether we deserve it or not, and certainly in this case we do not. Whatever you may think about the outcome of the trial of O.J. Simpson, when the verdict came back "not guilty", that is what he has been declared to be. Whether he actually was guilty of the crime with which he was charged matters not at all. The verdict declared him not guilty and that is what he is. He cannot ever be retried for the crime or held accountable for it. He is justified.
This is what God has done with us. We are sinners, there is no doubt, and we continue to sin our whole lives. But because of what Christ has done, we have been declared righteous. We are clothed with his righteousness, since we have none of our own. Satan may want to lift our robes and point out our genuine faults, but all that God sees is the righteousness of Jesus. Satan's accusations fall on deaf ears. We have been declared "not guilty." It is not possible to retry us for our crimes.
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13)
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (Philippians 3:7-9)
In the Old Testament, sanctification meant to make something holy, that is, "to set apart" a person or thing for the use of the Deity (Jer. 1:5; Lev. 20:24, 26; Amos 3:2). Additionally, it also signified a separation from sin to God achieved by faith in Christ (Num. 23:9; in Gen. 2:3 the Sabbath is "sanctified", that is, "set apart").
For Christians, sanctification is a lifelong process, which begins at salvation and will culminate at the resurrection with a new body. We never "arrive" at perfection in this life, however.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14)
Some teach that in this life we become "sanctified"; that is, unable to sin any longer. This is unrealistic and unreasonable, nor is it consistant with the picture described in the New Testament of our lives in Christ. Would that it were so!.
But the Bible is explicit:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"? (Proverbs 20:9)
There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Prayer is active communion between a human being and God. The purpose of prayer is to hear from God, and then talk to him about what has been heard, agreeing with God that this is what is necessary and desirable. Prayer is seeking the will of God, and its result is to change an individual, to change us - not to change God. God will do what he will. We need to find out what that is, reconcile ourselves to it, agree that it is good, and, in essence, pray it back to God - that is, tell him what we heard him say.
i. Eternal Security
Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not by our works (Eph. 2:8-10); Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:6-8). See also Rom. 3:27-29
Therefore, since salvation is not a human caused thing, it is not human sustained. Therefore, the believer will "persevere".
John 3:16 - we have eternal life and we will not perish. It is hard to have eternal life if we might lose it. (See also John 10:28-29)
Problem passages: John 15, Heb. 6, Heb. 10. See discussion under "faith" and the gospel.
A description of Armenianism can be taken from Encyclopaedia Britannica, v. I, p. 526:
A theological movement which was a liberal reaction to the Calvinist doctrine of predestination that began early in the 17th c. and asserted that God's sovereignty and man's free will are compatible.
The movement was named for Jacobus Arminius (Oct. 10, 1560-Oct. 19, 1609), a Dutch reformed theology of the University of Leiden (1603-09), who became involved in a highly publicized debate with his colleague Franciscus Gomarus, a rigid Calvinist, concerning the Calvinist interpretation of the divine decrees respecting election and reprobation. For Arminius, God's will as unceasing love was the determinative initiator and arbiter of human destiny. The movement that became known as Arminianism, however, tended to be more liberal than Arminius.
Dutch Arminianism was originally articulated in the Remonstrance (1610), a theological statement signed by 45 ministers and submitted to the Dutch states general. the Synod of Dort (1618-19) was called by the states general to pass upon the Remonstrance. The five points of the Remonstrance asserted that:
1. election (and condemnation on the day of judgment) was conditioned by the rational faith or nonfaith of man
2. the atonement, while qualitatively adequate for all men, was efficacious only for the man of faith
3. Unaided by the Holy Spirit, no person is able to respond to God's will
4. Grace is not irresistible
5. Believers are able to resist sin but are not beyond the possibility of falling from grace.
The crux of Remonstrant Arminianism lay in the assertion that human dignity requires an unimpaired freedom of the will.
The Dutch Remonstrants were condemned by the Synod of Dort and suffered political persecution for a time. But by 1630 they were legally tolerated. They have continued to assert effective liberalizing tendencies in Dutch Protestant theology.
In the 18th century, John Wesley was influenced by Arminianism. In The Arminian Magazine, edited by him, he stated that "God willeth all men to be saved, by speaking the truth in love." Arminianism was an important influence in Methodism, which developed out of he Wesleyan movement.
Finney and the Holiness movement, with much of modern Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, are essentially Arminian in orientation.
John Calvin (July 10, 1509-May 27, 1564).
In Christianity there are three meanings:
1. the theology of John Calvin
2. the developments of some of Calvin's doctrines by his followers
3. the historical developments in various countries of doctrines and practices derived from the works of Calvin and his followers that became the distinguishing characteristics of the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.
In his theology, John Calvin sought to hold in balance the full range of biblical teaching, arranged in a coherent pattern but not with absolute logical precision. He often refused to make conclusions that his followers were willing to make.
Calvinism in its second form began to develop after his death in 1564. Certain developments, never postulated by him, tended to produce a more legalistic pattern in doctrine and discipline. Calvin's successor at Geneva, Theodore Beza, reverted to the medieval Scholastic practice of discussing predestination (the doctrine that some persons are elected to be saved) under the heading of God and Providence, whereas Calvin had eventually related it to the Person and work of Christ. Thus, a powerful element of speculative determinism was introduced into the doctrine. Beza also emphasized literalism in the inspiration of the Bible, which led him to believe that the only true ministry of the church must be presbyterian and not episcopal. Beza and John Knox (c. 1514-72), the Scottish Reformer, both emphasized church discipline exercised by presbyterian organization as being fundamental to the church's existence. The Five Articles of the Synod of Dort (1618-19) represented a powerful definition of this post-Calvin "Calvinism" and included the proposition that Christ died only for the elect (chosen) as statement that Calvin himself did not formally propose.
The deterministic element in Beza's Calvinism was modified by the introduction of covenant theology, which emphasized the successive covenants made by God with man (from Adam through Moses to Christ) in which man is to respond in obedience in daily life to God's commandments in the moral law, through the covenant of grace in Christ. The Westminster Confession (1646), for many years the standard creed of English-speaking Presbyterians, was influenced by covenant theology.
Another modification of Calvin's original theology was the pietistic and pragmatic concern for personal salvation that developed among English Puritans. Eighteenth-century, English-speaking evangelists, such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, emphasized the doctrine of irresistible grace as discussed in the Five Articles, together with the personal experience of conversion.
The third meaning of Calvinism refers to the theological emphasis and forms of church organization, worship, and discipline that became widespread in the 16th century and produced the Reformed and Presbyterian churches. This emphasis is reflected in the various confessions, catechisms, and statements of faith of the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.
T - Total depravity
U - unmerited favor
L - limited atonement
I - irresistible grace
P - perseverance of the saints
Copyright © Quartz Hill School of Theology. All Rights Reserved.