What are the Five Points of Calvinism and what do these doctrines teach us about salvation?
Known as both the Doctrines of Grace and the Five Points of Calvinism, these doctrines are named for the distinct theological stances taken by the reformer John Calvin (who didn’t use this term himself). The Five Points of Calvinism are: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
You have likely come across the acrostic T.U.L.I.P. as a memory aid for these doctrinal positions. Below is a brief description of the doctrines represented by each letter:
Due to sin all of mankind is completely sinful, or depraved. Every part of fallen man is corrupted by sin. He is a creature that incapable of obeying the law of God. We see in Romans 3:10 that no one is righteous, and in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So much for the common belief that mankind is basically good! Understanding that we are completely sinful, or totally depraved, is an essential part of fully appreciating God’s grace in rescuing sinners from the punishment that we deserve.