Our five most basic doctrines are the Total Depravity of Man, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Redemption), Irresistible Grace, and the Preservation and Perseverance of the Saints. We often use the acrostic TULIP when referring to these doctrines.
When Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they died, both spiritually and physically. As a result, all mankind is born with a nature that is spiritually dead and separated from God. Every faculty of man has been affected by sin — his thoughts, his heart, his emotions, his understanding, etc. Thus, he is Totally Depraved. (Romans 1-3)
God did, before the world began, Unconditionally Elect or choose out for Himself a people for His own glory and praise. This election was based entirely on God’s sovereign choice and good pleasure and was not influenced by any works on man’s part, good or bad. (Ephesians 1; Romans 8, 9; John 10)
Jesus Christ came into this sin-cursed world to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of every one of those given to Him by the Father. This Atonement was Limited to God’s elect. Christ, by His death, redeemed all for whom He died. (Matthew 1:21; John 10:15; John 6:37)
During the life of those chosen of God, He graciously draws them to Himself by His Irresistible Grace, and makes Himself known to them by the quickening of the Holy Spirit. This quickening is an operation of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of man. (Acts 13:48; John 6:44)
Every one of those thus chosen and called are Preserved by the power of God and will Persevere by His grace unto that everlasting Kingdom. The Preservation and the Perseverance of the Saints is made certain, not by man’s own free will, but by the covenant, decrees, and promises of God. (Romans 8:33-39; Philippians 1:6)
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