Doctrines of Grace
Total Depravity of Man – Radical Corruption
We, as fallen human beings, are totally depraved. This does not mean that we are as evil as we could possibly be, but that there is not one part of our being that has not been corrupted by sin.
Unconditional Election – Sovereign Grace
Because of our complete corruption, we are in desperate need of God’s grace as we would never choose or seek God on our own. In God’s sovereign grace, He has chosen to to save His elect. None whom God saves earns, merits, or deserves this salvation; this salvation is given freely to His elect, not because of anything in them, but because of God’s sovereign choice.
Limited Atonement – Particular Redemption
When Christ died on the cross, and bore the sins of many, it was for these people specifically, the elect of God. Christ did not just make salvation a mere possibility. He actually and effectively accomplished the salvation of His people. Because the Bible teaches of the reality of a place called hell, the lake of fire, where all who reject Christ will be condemned for eternity, then Jesus could not have atoned for the sins of all mankind universally. If He did, such a place would be of no use, as there would be no penalty left for anyone to pay.
Irresistible Grace – Effectual Calling
The way that sinners come to follow Christ is through the effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. Man, by nature, resists God and the outward call of the gospel, which is only heard in a physical sense. Man is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, unable and unwilling to positively respond to God. Unless God resurrects him from the dead spiritually, he will remain unable and unwilling to come to Him. This necessitates the new birth. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to His people by regenerating them, opening their eyes to sin, and giving faith and repentance and thus enabling them to positively respond to the gospel. When someone has been born again, they see the beauty of Christ crucified and are no longer able or willing to resist Him, but joyfully trust in their savior.
Perseverance of the Saints – Preservation of the Saints
Salvation is entirely a work of the triune God alone. God the Father decreed the plan of salvation including those who would be saved. God the Son accomplished the Father’s plan of salvation upon the cross. And God the Holy Spirit applies this work to the hearts of the elect. This is sovereign grace. All who receive this salvation rest securely in God’s grace. All true born again Christians will continue following Christ and will not fall away. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. (John 6:39)
For further study and Scripture references, click here.