The Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP) or The Doctrines of Grace

Following is a brief summary of the Five Points of Calvinism with a key memory verse to support each. For a more comprehensive list of verses, go to


1.     Total Depravity or Total Inability

1.     All people are born dead in sin and therefore unable to contribute anything to their salvation. 
2.    Contrary to Free Will or Human Ability which enables a sinner to add his faith to Christ’s work to effect salvation.
3.   Romans 5:19 (NAU) For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

 2.     Unconditional Election
1.     God’s election is not conditioned on man’s faithful response. Election is not based on God’s foreknowledge of man’s response, but based on God’s sovereign choice.
2.   Contrary to Conditional Election in which the sinner’s choice of Christ, not God’s choice of the sinner effects salvation.
3.     Ephesians 1:4 (NAU) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

3.     Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption
1.     Christ’s effective atonement is limited to those whom God has called. Not limited in power but limited in intent. Not making redemption merely a possibility for all who would choose it, but actually accomplishing it.
2.   Contrary to Universal Redemption or General Ransom in which Christ’s redemption is effected only if a sinner chooses to receive it.
3.   John 17:2 (NAU) …that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

4.     Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Call of the Spirit
1.     God’s grace is irresistible to those whom he has called. The Spirit enables a sinner to make a willing choice to receive God’s grace.
2.     Contrary to Prevenient Grace, a softening of the heart enabling free will to remain intact.
3.     Ephesians 2:8 (NAU) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…

5.     Perseverance of the Saints
1.     Those who are called will persevere to the end.
2.    Contrary to the possibility of losing one’s salvation based on one’s free choice by which man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
3.     John 10:27-29 (NAU) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

Categories: Reformed theology

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