Guid Essay

Guid Essay

Bible In Calvinism and Arminianism – Free Essay Example

Calvinism and Arminianism are argued by many Christians, showing different beliefs and perspectives. Calvinism and Arminianism are very similar, yet very different and complex. They talk about ideas of predestination and many other topics.

In the 16th century, John Calvin began to associate with Calvinistic ideas. Calvinism was the “predominant” view in the church until John Calvin started teaching. The doctrine of salvation by Calvinism was officially proclaimed by most Protestants and became their dominant religion/faith in many countries. John Calvin was born on June 10th, 1509, and died on May 27th of 1564. He was known as a theologian and a successful statesman for the church. He was a very important leader in the second generation of the Protestant Reformation.

Calvinists believe that some people are predestined to heaven and others are predestined to hell. They think that some receive the gift of faith from God’s election and some are just looked over and not chosen by God for salvation. Calvinists do believe that the death of Jesus was very important and only covers believers. Man is not capable of saving himself, but God saves us through the Holy Spirit and chooses people in His own timing. They also believe that God saves people who believe or have faith in Him until the end. The five points of Calvinism are used with the acronym: T.U.L.I.P. The “T” in tulip stands for total depravity, which means that man is unable to save himself and is basically “dead” in a way. We have to be born again to be saved and only God can do this. Some things that this belief implies/go along with are: only a born again Christian can do good works, otherwise, he is sin, a man cannot want to be born again and just “follow instructions” on how to do it, they believe that not any man can just accept Jesus so that he’s saved. Calvinists believe that only God alone can save us or make us “alive,” they believe that salvation is of the Lord that God chooses what he wants to do with us. The “U” in tulip stands for unconditional election. This means that God chooses some people to have eternal life that aren’t necessarily good or loving. This idea shows their perspective on predestination, they believe that before anyone was in existence God already decided on who would go to heaven or hell. The “L” in tulip represents limited atonement. The concept of limited atonement states that Christ died so our sins could be paid for. They also believe that Christ did not die for all men, but they are totally depraved/predestined. John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” This verse shows how Jesus laid down His life for His believers and followers. The “I” in tulip stands for irresistible grace. God is a very graceful God and merciful God, the Calvinistic view teaches that you cannot resist His grace to save us from eternal punishment. God’s will is put first and our’s aside, we have no choice in this instance and He knows what He is doing, He is in control. His grace is not only irresistible in the way that we cannot get out of it, but also that we cannot stand to go without it, God’s grace is amazing and awesome and truly irresistible. The “P” in tulip stands for the preservation of the saints, this means that God preserves his followers, meaning that once you’re saved you’re always saved. In John 10:28 it says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” This verse shows how God “preserves” his followers and cares for them very much.

Arminianism was originally founded/created by Jacobus Arminius. He was born on October 10, 1560, and died on October 19, 1609. Arminius was a theologian and minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. He strongly rejected and opposed the Calvinistic teachings of predestination and taught his own point of view. He thought of predestination to be too harsh or cruel and that it didn’t show human’s free will in the concept. He believed that God chooses eternal life for people who will respond in Christ’s faith to salvation.

Arminianism is a movement in Christianity that states certain ideas and beliefs that some movements support and some movements completely reject. Arminianism shows how God’s power and sovereignty and our free will can go together and that they are not apart from another in His plan. They believe in partial depravity, which allows men to be depraved, yet are still able to find God. People can choose to come to know God and accept His salvation. Conditional election is another thing that they stand by, this means that God only chooses people that He knows will believe or come to follow Him. They do not believe in predestination, they believe in free will. Another point in Arminianism is unlimited atonement. Unlimited atonement is the idea that Jesus died for the believers and non-believers. Christ’s death was enough or sufficient for all men, but only effective for believers. Anyone can be saved by believing in Him. They also believe that God’s grace can be resisted and we can choose against His salvation. The last main idea in Arminianism is of conditional salvation. It states that Christians can “lose” their salvation if they reject the Holy Spirit. They believe that you need to maintain your relationship with Christ to keep your salvation.

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John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, the whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” This verse shows how Jesus dies for all and that whoever believes in Him will go to heaven. Arminianism and Calvinism show two very different concepts and points of view, but they do agree on some things. Calvinism focuses more on the side of God is in control and He has a plan. Arminianism focuses more on the idea that we have a free will and we choose whether we are saved or not.

I don’t think I particularly lean to one side or the other, but have a mixture of each. From the Calvinistic side, I think I agree that God is sovereign and He is in control. I’m not totally sure on the predestination aspect, I don’t fully understand it and I don’t know which side is more biblical. I believe in the Bible and the Bible is not defined by Calvin’s perspective or Jacobus Arminius. God put everything we need to know in the Bible and we should believe that and only that. We shouldn’t add or twist things to make other assumptions or statements. I think that both Calvinism and Arminianism show biblical truths and are true according to scripture in some ways, but I wouldn’t say Calvinism is the right way or Arminianism is right. I believe that God is the only truth and He is the only knower of certain things. As Christians we don’t need to know some of the answers that we are unsure about pertaining to Arminianism or Calvinism or any other religions, we can trust in God and know that what He’s doing is good. On the Calvinistic side, I think that I agree with these ideas: God does have a plan for each of us before we were even born, we are unable to save ourselves without God, He died so we could live. I do not fully know if God chose some of us that won’t necessarily be good or choose to love God, I just don’t think this fully makes sense and don’t know where to find the answer in Scripture. I do believe that God’s grace is irresistible in the fact that it’s so amazing and so hard not to accept, but I’m not sure if you actually cannot resist it, because many people do reject God, but since it wasn’t a part of His will, does it really count? I also don’t know if I completely trust the idea of preservation of the saints, I think that to be a Christian is to be fully engaged with God and be talking to Him and having a relationship. I feel that if you are just a Christian when you are wrong, but reject God and turn away from what He wants that you are not really a Christian, so I’m completely unsure about this one. On the Arminianistic side, I do agree that we have a free will, but it’s a free will under God’s plans and ways. He will let us choose some things, but they are only the options He provided and they all fit into His plan in the long run. I agree with the idea of unlimited atonement saying that Jesus died for everyone, believers, and non-believers.

In conclusion both Calvinism and Arminianism state very different beliefs in Christianity, but Jesus is the true way. The Bible does have “evidence” for each of these perspectives, but I do not think we should base our life or understanding on them. I think that we should only be concerned with the Bible and put trust in God, not in man.

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