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The Doctrines Of Grace

Peter L. Meney | Added: Mar 28, 2024 | Category: Editorial


The Doctrines of Grace describes a set of Bible teachings that summarise the gospel of Jesus Christ. They explain the nature of God’s free and sovereign grace in the salvation of sinners. When someone says they believe the ‘doctrines of grace’ they are saying they believe the Bible teaches the following truths with respect to man’s sinful state and God’s mercy. Sometimes these doctrines are called TULIP from the first letter of each heading.

Total Depravity teaches that the extent of man’s fall into sin is total. No part of man is free from the corruption of sin. Our soul is sinful, our flesh is sinful, our mind is sinful, our will is sinful. Sin has corrupted and ruined every part of our being so there is nothing good in us. This makes us enemies of God and opposed to His will and purpose. We have no desire to serve God and no ability to do so. Evil actions vary in every individual but the depravity of our human nature is nevertheless entire.

Unconditional Election teaches that God loved and chose a people in eternity, before the world was made. He determined to show mercy to certain individuals despite their fallen state. This choice was completely at God’s will and had no reference to anything possessed or foreseen in the person. It is God’s free and unconditional choice of certain people to eternal life and salvation out of the mass of fallen humanity. 

Limited Atonement describes the work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross. The Lord Jesus did not die for every single person who ever lived but for those chosen to salvation by God. Jesus Christ Himself took the sins of these individuals upon Himself, on the cross. He suffered and died in their place as their Substitute. His blood purchased their redemption, obtained their forgiveness and reconciled them to God. 

Irresistible Grace explains the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting and converting sinners while they are enemies of God. God’s grace is powerful and effectual to save and is applied by God’s Spirit in the new birth. Grace in the soul of a sinner is a new creation worked by God without the help of man. It is the gift of everlasting life. Conversion follows this new birth and the Spirit gives faith to believe the gospel when it is preached. Saving, irresistible grace is given to all who were chosen by God in election and purchased by the blood of Christ on the cross.

Perseverance of the Saints assures the whole saving work of God from election to eternal glory. Those chosen by God, redeemed by Christ and called in the new birth by the Holy Spirit will receive glory in heaven. They cannot fall from grace. Having been chosen to salvation, redeemed by Christ’s blood and called by the Spirit they will persevere through trials in this life and receive their promised glory. God the Father will not lose one He has willed to save. God the Son will not lose one He died to save. The Holy Spirit will not lose one He converted to save. 

The following verses support the above doctrines. Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10-12, Psalm 33:11, 12, Romans 8:29-39, 9:16, Isaiah 54:10, John 5:24, Ephesians 1.