What are the 5 Points of Calvinism?

John Calvin and what we know as the 5 points of Calvinism are frequently debated during Calvinism vs Arminianism conversations. When someone asks, what is Calvinism, no matter if they are referring to the five points of Calvinism or the 4 points of Calvinism, the question need to so be answered using the Bible as our authority. In this video, Pastor Nelson with Bible Munch defines the 5 points of Calvinism, the 4 points of Calvinism, and the meaning of the acronym TULIP.

Question: What do you think of the video presentation and the answers given therein?


  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,626

    CM said:

    Calvinists reduce their theology to the famous Five Points, all emanating from the core doctrine of their understanding of the sovereignty of God.

    1. Total depravity of mankind (all men and women are born sinners)
    2. Unconditional election (some are elected to be saved; others are not)
    3. Limited atonement (Christ died for only the elect)
    4. Irresistible grace (men and women who are elected are given the “gift” of faith)
    5. Perseverance of the saints (“once saved, always saved”)

    Here is a start. Enjoy the TULIP. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 598

    The title of the thread is "what are the 5 points of Calvinism", simply because that is title of the video, but the question asked on this thread was/is actually:

    Question: What do you think of the video presentation and the answers given therein?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,626

    @CM said:


    The question is not lost on me. First things first -- Information, contemplation, visualization and then, respond. This is not always, but a way, in light of thought and time. You never know, a little background information could go a long ways, in having fruitful exchanges. Peace and blessings! CM😀

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 598
    edited February 2019

    You never know, a little background information could go a long ways, in having fruitful exchanges

    I am sure the above is true. The Presenter in the video as well spends time defining the so called 5 points, but it is very helpful to have a list here on this thread for reference purposes. So, thank you for response to this thread.

    In time I am hoping that some of those on these forums who embrace TULIP will share their opinions on the video.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    The Five Points of Calvinism


    1)  Total Depravity (16)

    2)  Unconditional Election (29)

    3)  Particular Redemption (29)

    4)  Effectual Grace (30)

    5)  Preservation of the Saints (37)


    Multimedia - Calvinism (65)

    David N. Steele & Curtis C. Thomas

    The Five Points of Calvinism

    Total Depravity

    Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature; therefore, he will not—indeed he cannot—choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ—it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation—it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

    (Genesis 2:15-17, Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Romans 3:10-18, Jeremiah 17:9, John 6:44, Ephesians 2:1-10)

    Unconditional Election

    God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

    (Romans 9:10-21, Ephesians 1:4-11, Ephesians 2:4-10, Romans 8:29-30, Acts 11:18, Acts 13:48)

    Limited Atonement

    Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which united them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

    (Matthew 1:21, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 3:21-26, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5-6, Philippians 1:6, John 10:11-30, John 17:6-12, Romans 8:28-30, John 6:44, Acts 20:28)

    Irresistible Grace

    In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected, it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

    (John 3:16, Matthew 22:14, Acts 17:29-31, Matthew 23:37-39, John 6:44, Romans 8:28-30, John 1:12-13, John 3:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10)

    Perseverance of the Saints

    All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

    (John 3:16, John 6:35-40, John 6:44, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:12-13, Jude 24-25, Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 8:35-39)

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 598

    Thanks Dave L.

    It seems you then are in agreement with the presenter in the Video because he basically gives a very consice summery of the detailed points in you mentioned in your post.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    Hi Brian, I think the first three points are true to scripture. But I think point 4 turns the gospel into law and salvation into works. I believe instead God imparts the New Birth (salvation) before people ever hear the word in some cases, or along with hearing the gospel which they then naturally believe and react to according to their new nature. Point 5 also would adjust to this and make overcoming sin a matter of having a new nature that loves righteousness and hates sin.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 598

    Dave L,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond with some feedback. You explanation and suggested corrections are very helpful in helping me understand TULIP!

    Grace and Peace

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    If you consider this modified position, Cornelius experienced the New Birth long before hearing Peter preach. He had all the fruits of the Holy Spirit and lived a holy lifestyle. Peter also told him;   “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34–35) (KJV 1900)  

    According to scripture, the natural man cannot do this. But it shows that God saves people, based on Limited Atonement, who never hear the gospel. As shocking as this might seem, we might find the born again among even the most questionable religions. But they also will have ears for the truth and respond to the gospel if ever presented with it. But all salvation is the result of Christ paying for their sins on the cross in the limited atonement sense.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,839

    How do you know Cornelius had not heard the Gospel? Does Scripture actually say that? Or are you arguing from absence? I'm not saying you are wrong necessarily, but I am saying you need to be careful about such a statement when the text does not say this.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,839

    Actually I went back and read it again, Peter states Cornelius had already heard the Gospel in verse 37.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345


     “You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached:” (Acts 10:37) (HCSB)  

    Even so, one must be born again before the gospel will make sense.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,839

    All I am saying is that it speaks against your position. He had heard and had been called. Irresistible Call.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345

    You cannot believe unless first born again. Even the WCF says some beyond the reach of the gospel are saved in Christ through the new birth. Infants, imbeciles, too etc.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,345
    edited February 2019

    It does not prove tour point. 1) Peter said all who do good are accepted with God. Good = regenerate works, fruits of the Holy Spirit. And 2) Cornelius might or might not have believed when he heard of Christ originally. We do know that he could not have believed Peter unless he was born again, and probably would not have requested Peter unless first born again.

  • YourTruthGodYourTruthGod Posts: 146

    All of Calvin's teachings are shown to be in error by just the fact that God does not save unbelievers.

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