How many of you are familiar with the acronym to the right? It is a very famous mnemonic device developed centuries ago to detail the Biblical doctrines that are involved in the work of our sovereign God’s bestowal of his grace on those whom he’s chosen, for whom his Son died, and to whom his Holy Spirit applied the benefits of the Son’s redemptive work on the cross, effectively calling him (drawing him, as the verse under the acronym describes it) to faith.
The one thing I’d like to point out about the TULIP is how these doctrines show how the Trinity works together to redeem sinners.
But first, quick definitions for each point, otherwise known as “the Five Points of Calvinism.”
Total Depravity–Man is fallen in Adam. Fallen Man always and only sins; Although he may perform outward works that benefit others, Fallen Man neither understands, desires nor has the ability to do anything good in the eyes of God, let alone anything good toward his own salvation; he is at God’s mercy.
Unconditional Election–Before the foundation of the world, God chose an innumerable host of the yet uncreated fallen sinners to give to his beloved Son for redemption, and the rest of fallen humanity were passed over and are left to suffer the just recompense for their fallen condition. God elected these people on the basis of his own eternal purpose, without regard to anything good or bad in those he chose.
Limited Atonement–Jesus earned eternal life by his perfect obedience to God’s Law during his incarnation on the earth; Jesus suffered the penalty of the sins of the elect alone on the cross, trading their sin for his righteousness so that they could share in his reward for eternity.
Irresistable Grace–The Holy Spirit’s work of convicting the elect of their sin, regenerating them through the agency of the gospel preached, granting them the gift of faith to receive Christ freely offered in the gospel.
Perseverance of the Saints–The redeemed elect will be preserved eternally from falling away from their God and Savior; the elect will persevere to the end and be saved.
So, have you begun to notice the trinitarian pattern?
A totally depraved SINNER is chosen by the FATHER, redeemed by the SON, and born again by the HOLY SPIRIT and the result is a SAINT who perseveres!