Firming Your Foundation
Let’s Check It Out:
The “L” in TULIP
by George Sinkie

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     We are looking at a series of lessons dealing with a group of doctrines taught by those who follow John Calvin.  Calvin taught a group of five doctrines that were given the acrostic of TULIP.
     First we looked at “T,” which stood for “Total Hereditary Depravity”, the false doctrine that we are born lost because of the sin of Adam.
     Next we looked at the “U” in TULIP which stands for “Unconditional Election.”  This doctrine teaches that God decided, before creating this world, who was going to be saved and who was going to be lost.  Because of this false doctrine, they have to have another false doctrine, which is the “L” of TULIP.

     “L” stands for “Limited Atonement.”  This doctrine in a nutshell is that Jesus did not die for the whole world, but only for the “elect.”
     The best way to answer this (or any) false doctrine is to go to the word of God.  Turn over to 1 John 2:1-2.  Note what it says in verse 2.
      John says that Jesus is “
the propitiation for our sins… .”  One of the things to note here is the meaning of “propitiation.”  This word means an acceptable and satisfying sacrifice.  Then John says that this sacrifice was for “our sins… .”  Here he is referring to the sins of Christians.  Now note very closely what John says next, “and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
     Jesus made the acceptable, satisfying sacrifice for not only Christians, but also for the whole world.  That means that Jesus made atonement for everyone in the world — but we must remember that we also get a choice as to whether we want the salvation that Jesus offers.  Nonetheless, the teachings of Calvin keep building on themselves and denying the plain teaching of the Scriptures.

     We could also look at verses like 1 Timothy 2:5-6 and 1 Peter 3:18, but our space is limited here.  The thing that I want you to know from this lesson is that God loves you and Jesus loves you so much that He died for you.  Now if we love Him, we will follow His will (
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”, John 14:15).

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      Courtesy of the Mitchell church of Christ.
      © George Sinkie; used by permission. rev.170416
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      This article’s presentation in Exploring God's Word ©2017 David G. Churchill.
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