Friday, February 12, 2010

The five points of calvinism

Pastor and hymn writer John Newton once said, "I am more of a Calvinist than anything else; but I use my Calvinism in my writings and my preaching as I use this sugar." Taking a lump, and putting it into his tea-cup, and stirring it, he added, "I do not give it alone, and whole; but mixed and diluted."

That seems to be a pretty healthy view of Calvinism in my opinion. The doctrines of grace are delightful, and if we are to be faithful to the Scriptures we must preach them. But like sugar they can come across too strong if served undiluted to God's people.

While I don't make Calvinism a hobby horse, I did decide recently to preach a 5-part series on the Five Points of Calvinism. But I decided not to couch it in those terms. I approached it instead as an inductive, "behind the scenes" look at our salvation. In this way, I hoped to elevate God's sovereign grace in salvation and challenge some common Arminian assumptions without using labels or arguments that might immediately raise alarm. I was thankful for the result and heard some very positive feedback from our church family.

Here are all five sermons with online audio and download links. I pray these will prove helpful and encouraging to the Body of Christ.

1. Dead Man Walking: Total Depravity (Eph. 2:1-3)
     listen online   download

2. God's Gracious Choice: Unconditional Election 
    (Eph. 1:3-6)
     listen online   download

3. Christ Our Sin-Bearer: Limited Atonement (1 Pet. 2:24-25)
     listen online   download

4. Saved by the Spirit: Irresistible Grace (Titus 3:1-7)
     listen online   download

5. God Doesn't Fumble: Perseverance of the Saints 
    (Jn. 10:27-30)
     listen online   download

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