In recent years, there has been a recovery of the five points of Calvinism among many evangelicals, but there has not been a concomitant revival of the covenant theology of seventeenth century Puritanism as the rich soil in which Calvinistic soteriology grows. This post will not attempt to thoroughly defend every doctrine mentioned, but to show the connection between Calvinism and the theological covenants of covenant theology. The Synod of Dordt listed the five points of Calvinism, not in their contemporary order of “TULIP,” but in the order of “ULTIP,” which is the order I’ll be using here.
1. Unconditional Election. The eternal decree of unconditional election is the foundation of covenant theology and the doctrine of salvation. God chooses to save sinners not because of any foreseen goodness or conditions in them, but merely because of His good pleasure to redeem a people for Himself to bring Him glory. Speaking of unconditional divine election, Paul writes, “So then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). There are no conditions in God’s choosing individuals for salvation. God’s choice is based entirely upon His sovereign will: “He has mercy on whomever He wills and He hardens whomever He wills” (Romans 9:18).
Editor’s note: Our staff had the opportunity to talk to J.I. Packer about the state of the church. During the interview, church unity became a subject of discussion. Packer argued that for the sake of unity, the church needs to be united around theology, the content of the Christian faith. Here J.I. Packer defines what he means by theology, and explains that every Christian should care about theology because theology is about God and his relationship to life. Theology is inherently practical.
Theology simply means the study of God. This is something that every Christian needs to realize. I think the way that the word has been used in the past has frightened many Christians away from it, even though they never stopped to consider what the word actually meant.
When the New Testament addresses spiritual maturity, it uses the common Greek word teleios, which means “perfect” or “complete.” When it is applied to Christian growth, it indicates spiritual maturity in contrast to childlike immaturity as, for example, in this command from Paul: “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature (teleioi).” (1 Cor. 14:20; see also Heb.5:13–6:1). Sometimes it indicates perfection, as in Jesus’ summary command in the Sermon on the Mount: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matt.5:48). Spiritually, it always references solid, biblically informed understanding and conduct in Christ—spiritual adulthood.
1 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Tim 3 “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
This is an urgent plea to my family, friends, loved ones, to everyone that has an opportunity to read these words. Please take the time to read the entire article, and then search the scriptures for yourself to seek out the truth. I am writing this because I love you and I know that it is of vital importance for you to know the truth.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Continue reading An Urgent Plea Regarding the Truth| Donna Corley