Reformation Basics Part VI – Perseverance of the Saints

May 29, 2011 in

Such is the power of the Gospel, such is the work of God in our lives, such is the transformative power of the Triune God’s work that He will not fail to bring it to completion in our lives. He has changed us from sinners to saints; he has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of light; he has transformed us from slaves into sons – and this transformation will yield its fruit in a life of faithfulness and devotion to the Triune God. This is the essential message of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Reformation Basics Part V – Irresistible Grace

May 15, 2011 in

Today we discuss the “I” in TULIP – Irresistible Grace. Often pejoratively described as the process by which God drags some people kicking and screaming into the Kingdom, Irresistible Grace is the work of God the Spirit giving spiritual life to those who otherwise would persist in their rebellion. It is this that makes the “I” incredibly important.

Reformation Basics Part IV – Limited Atonement

May 8, 2011 in

Limited Atonement is considered the most controversial of the five points of Calvinism; if someone objects to Calvinism, or chooses to concede only certain points, this is the point that will be disputed. Its meaning is simply this: Jesus came to lay down His life for His sheep. He died for them, He became their atoning sacrifice, He reconciled them to God and provided for their full and complete forgiveness. Jesus didn’t do this for each and every individual in human history – His intention was to do this only for His people, those whom the Father had given Him before the foundation of the world. Those whom the Father chose, He gave to the Son, and the Son gave His life to redeem them. 

Reformation Basics Part III – Unconditional Election

April 10, 2011 in

Today approach a hot topic in Christian circles, the topic of election or predestination. When we speak of election or predestination this morning we are speaking of God’s choice of certain individuals for salvation. While Scripture also speaks of a corporate election, it is the individual election of certain individuals to faith that I want to address today.

As Christians we frequently discuss the topic of election – though usually we emphasize that we “elect” or “choose” God. On one level this is of course true – we do choose God. When we turn from our sinful ways of life and believe in Jesus we are choosing to follow Him. But why? What moves some people to believe in God and others to reject Him?

Reformation Basics Part II – Total Depravity

April 3, 2011 in

Today we discuss the doctrine of Total Depravity. In some ways, this particular teaching is the most important of the five points of Calvinism. While certainly not the most heart-warming nor the most astounding, it is nevertheless foundational. Why? Because it is this point that enables us to diagnose accurately the nature of our condition as human beings and to identify the type of cure that is needed. In the medical field diagnosis is critical – a wrong diagnosis means a wrong treatment plan which means that the real problem won’t be dealt with or cured. So too spiritually. Human beings have a problem, a deep seated problem that destroys individuals, families, communities, states, and nations. This problem, Christianity insists, is sin – but just how critical is our condition and what must happen in order to save us? These are the questions we answer today.

Reformation Basics Part I – Controversy is Biblical

March 27, 2011 in

We are going to have a series of sermons on Reformation Basics – in particular, on the five points of Calvinism, commonly known as TULIP. Before addressing each specific point, important to address the general topic of controversy. We’re going to be discussing matters that distinguish us as a congregation from other congregations of Bible-believing, evangelical Christians. Isn’t it unnecessary to bring up these issues of disagreement when we have so much about which we agree? Why talk about Calvinism? Is it even biblical to do so?