John Calvin

.. ilippians 2:13, which says, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose. Therefore, Calvin believed that God chooses us, and we dont choose Him. The third point of Calvinism is Limited Atonement, which teaches that there is a fixed, limited number of people who will be saved, and that nobody else will be accepted by God when this number is complete. This is one of Calvins most controversial doctrines in Calvinism.

The debate on limited atonement deals with the question of who Christ actually died for. Calvin answered this by saying that Christ died for the believer, or those who He had already elected. This is biblically illustrated in John 10, where Jesus says, I lay down my life for the sheep. It does not say for all sheep, implying that there is only a selected few. Thus, Calvin believed that Christ died for the predestined only, and not for all mankind.

The fourth point of Calvinism is Irresistible Grace, which says that any person who is among the elect will have no choice as to becoming a servant of God. This shows that the Holy Spirit will directly operate on the elect, and they will be unable to resist the Spirits work in their lives. When God sends the Holy Spirit to an elect to save from evil desires, that person will be changed like it or not. In John 6:37, Jesus says, All that the Father gives me will come to me, thus showing that if a person is predestined, he will be saved. If God chooses someone, and He is ruling, then it can be said that he will save us and not leave the work uncompleted.

Thus, Calvin believed that the Holy Spirit only operates on the predestined. The fifth and final point of Calvinism is Perseverance of the Saints, which teaches that a person who has once received salvation can never be lost. This says that Christians are protected by God, and they can never be away from Gods gracealso known as once saved, always saved. Proof of this is that God is unchanging in Hebrews 13:8, which says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today thus showing that if he chooses to save someone, then he will save him/her and not change His mind letting him/her perish. Also John states: I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand. This shows that once God saves someone, He wont let go. One of his other views was his view on baptism. Calvin described baptism as a sign of initiation, by which we are admitted into the society of the Church, in order that, being incorporated into Christ, we may be numbered among the children of God (Calvin 583). Along with being reckoned among Gods children, Calvin thought the purity offered in baptism washed away all of our defilement (Battles2 359-60), and we are purified for the whole of life (Calvin 585).

Calvin also explained that it is not true that people will be deprived of the grace of regeneration if they are never baptized. For this reason, he was opposed to emergency baptism before death by an individual, because Christ only commanded those who were apostles to baptize (Battles2 365). Calvin disagreed with the Roman Catholic Church, which said that baptism restores one to the purity of Adam before the fall by releasing one from original sin (Battles1 108). Calvin acknowledged this by saying that by baptism, God promises remission of sins, and will certainly fulfill the promises to all believers (Calvin 596). Calvin thought the manner in which someone is baptized is irrelevantwhether the person who is baptized by wholly immersed, and whether thrice or once, or water be only poured or sprinkled upon him is of no importance (596).

Calvin also regarded the worthiness of the minister proceeding with the baptism is unimportant because they did not baptize us into the fellowship of their own ignorance or sacrilege, but into the faith of Jesus Christ (595). Another view of Calvin concerned the Lords Supper. He described it as a spiritual banquet, in which Christ testifies himself to be the bread of life, to feed our souls for a true and blessed immortality (641). He contended that Communion affords us a testimony that we are incorporated into one body with Christ (642) and into eternal life and deliverance from our sins (Battles2 375). Calvin and a guy named Zwingli argued against a real presence in the Lords Supper (Battles1 109).

According to Calvin, the signs are bread and wine, which represent to us the invisible nourishment which we receive from the body and blood of Christ (Calvin 641). To Calvin, the bread and wine feed us physically so the flesh and blood of Christ can feed our souls (Battles2 378). While writing why he doubted a physical presence of Christ in the Lords Supper, Calvin stated, Christs body is finite and the Lord by his Spirit gives us the privilege of being united with himself in body, soul, and spirit (Calvin 653). As with baptism, Calvin believed there was an inseparable connection between the sacrament of the blood of Christ and the preaching of the Word (Wallace 206). Calvin did not think the manner of the distribution of the Lords Supper was very important.

Whether the bread is received in the hands or divided among a group; whether the cup is handed to the next person or the deacon; whether the bread is leavened or unleavened; whether the wine is white or redthese could be decided by the church and no harm would be done (Keesecker 104). Calvin disagreed with Zwingli, who wanted to reduce the Lords Supper (Battles1 109). Calvin pushed to have the Eucharist celebrated weekly, but this did not work because the people of Geneva were more conservative than Calvin had estimated (White 65). John Calvin was truly a great man, who made a lasting impact on church society. Through his writings, speeches, and Calvinism, he reached his goal in life, which was to learn about God and His Holy Word.

His devotion to the promoting of Protestantism, succeeding Martin Luther, made such a difference his teachings are still seen today in Christianity. Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY Battles1, Ford Lewis. Analysis of the Institutes of the Christian Religion of John Calvin. Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1980. Battles2, Ford Lewis. Interpreting John Calvin.

Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1980. Calvin, John. Institutes of Christian Religion. Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1932. Dyer, T.H.

The Life of John Calvin. London, J. Murray, 1850. Hyma, Albert. The Life of John Calvin.

Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1943. Keesecker, William F. A Calvin Treasury. Louisville, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1962. McDonnell, Kilian.

John Calvin, the Church and the Eucharist. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1967. Nixon, Larry. The Five Points of Calvinism. 1998. http://www.mev.net/Article%2013.htm Parker, T.H. John Calvin: a Biography.

Philadelphia, Westminster, 1975. Walker, Williston. John Calvin. New York, The Knickerbocker Press, 1906 Wallace, Ronald S. Calvins Doctrine of the Christian Life. London, Oliver and Boyd, 1959. White, James F. Protestant Worship.

Louisville, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989. Religion Essays.