John Calvin (1509-1564) was a French theologian and pastor during the  Reformation, and a contemporary of Martin Luther. Both Biblical and secular historians note that his teachings and theology have had more impact on Western thought than perhaps any other person living during his time. He taught extensively on Christian living (Institutes of the Christian Religion) and is best known for his teachings on the particulars of salvation – something his followers abbreviated as TULIP.

Total Depravity – Man is so dead and lost in sin that he cannot even muster the sense to cry out to God for spiritual help (Eph 2:1-3; )

Unconditional Election – God elected people for salvation according to His will and counsel, before they were born without any basis on their action, past, present or future. (, )

Limited Atonement – Christ’s death secured and accomplished salvation for the elect. It didn’t “make salvation possible” for the whole world. ()

Irresistible Grace – The Holy Spirit enters a person and regenerates him (“borns” him again), thereby enabling him to freely will to be saved. Everyone who is regenerated believes and is saved. ()

Preservation of the Saints – Once saved by the Holy Spirit, always saved (; )

It is my firm opinion that these 5 points accurately summarize what the Bible consistently teaches regarding salvation. There are many verses to support each of these points, but for the purpose of this article, only one or two will be given. For more details on the history of TULIP, the rebuttals against it, and its impact on the Church, please visit

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord? (ESV)

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (ESV)

who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (ESV)

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (ESV)

37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 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. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)