John Calvin was a man that lived in the fifteenth century. As far as I know he was born again. We know he was a preacher of the gospel. He is the author of the ( five points of Calvinism ).
Let’s look at these five things:
( 1) — Total Depravity: He believed that every person was totally depraved, we, as people cannot help ourselves. We are seperated from God. There is nothing good about us.
( 2 ) Unconditional Election — He believed that God, before the foundation of the world chose some people to be elected for salvation.That could not be changed, if you were chosen, you were going to receive salvation.
( 3 ) Limited Atonement — He believed that Jesus Christ died for the elect alone, no atonement was provided for the reprobate.
( 4 ) — Irresistable Grace — He believed that God’s grace is applied to those that are supposed to be saved and, that grace cannot be resisted.
( 5 ) Perserverance of the Saints — He believed that once grace was applied to the saint,; nothing in heaven or, on earth could seperate that person from that grace given by God.
My question to you is; do you agree with any of these points? As I look at these five points; I can see two that I agree with and, depending on how it is defined, maybe three. There are people that look at ( irresistable grace ) this way. If you are sitting in a Church and, the word of God is being preached under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, if conviction comes on your heart, yor cannot stop that conviction from happening. I can see that point, it it’s defined that way.
Was John Calvin born again? You can research what I’m about to say to make sure I’m correct. I understand that John Calvin and, even others that stood on different beliefs in that day actually had people killed that didn’t believe like that did. I ask you again, was John Calvin or, any of these people born again, did they know Jesus Christ as their Savior?
I, personally believe they were. If I’m going to give John Calvin credit for anything; it would be this. He caused me to study these five points and come to a resolve of where I stand as a believer. In this world today, these things run the spectrum of what and how they believe, Some, believe all five points mentioned here, some, none of them and, still others that believe anywhere from one to five, and any mixture thereof.
I’m going to use a friend of mine as an example of John Calvin. You have to first understand, I didn’t know John Calvin, I’m just using this as an example. My friend believes all five points mentioned here, Every time we get together, he spends the whole time trying to convince me he is correct, I needed to change my way of thinking. Is that how John Calvin was? By the way; he is one of the elect, he was chosen by God from the beginning of the world. The point I’m making is; do we get so involved in trying to cause people to look at things just as we do that; we forget to open our eyes to what scripture truly teaches?
John Calvin is not my enemy, neither is my friend. However, If I close my spiritual eyes and allow myself to be blinded by my own ( limited knowledge ) of scripture then, I’m I not my own enemy? I confess, as a believer, I don’t know all it is to know and, you can teach me. Within that statement, I must be willing to hear what you say even if I disagree with you.
Look at this verse: ( 1 John 2:10 ) He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
There are people, maybe John Calvin was one of them, they are in darkness not because they are lost without Christ but, simply because they will not hear or see truth. If I’m blinded, I never want it to be because of hate, because of my unwillingness to hear my brother. Teach me, O’ Lord and, use my brother to do it. Of course, that also goes both ways; my brother has to also listen to me. However, It’s not I or my brother that is correct is it? We are both wrong. Even John Calvin is not wrong because I disagree with him. If he’s wrong it’s because of what the Spirit of God teaches.
I read behind a lady the other day that made this statement: ( we are more easily influenced by what other people say than we think ). She is absolutely correct. Look at this verse of scripture: ( John 16:13 ) Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Consider this as well: ( Amos 8:11 ) Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
( I believe ) that this one thing I’m about to say truly reflects where we, as a people are today. The famine today is a famine of ( hearing the words of the Lord ). We are not taught how to do that. Although God uses, men, the Bible and possibly many other ways to reveal himself,; that is not how we hear him. We hear him through and by his Holy Spirit.
We are taught to conform to the mindsets of religions, denominations, groups such as: dispensationists, Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology and, the list goes on an on. However, we are never taught to simply learn to be sensitive to the voice of God as we study his word.
I started this off with the mention of John Calvin. The reason for that is that he started a mindset. He is not the only one that does that, not in his time nor, in our time. In most cases; the people that set out to create mindsets are well organized or, are determined to be seen and heard. Most of them pay little attention to the Spirit of God. Consider this; John Calvin come up with the five points of Calvinism. We still talk about those five points. We come to a resolve to believe anywhere from one to five of those points. Well. tell me, what has John Calvin or those five point got to do with the Spirit of God within you? Would you mind explaining to me what those five points have to do with the entirety of scripture? Is that all it is to God’s word? Was John Calvin led by God’s Spirit to form those five points?
Well, I want to start a mindset also. The first thing I want you to do is to be ( born again ). My desire is for the Holy Spirit of God to draw conviction on your heart that you might see yourself aa a sinner and, ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart, in the form of God’s Spirit and birth you into his family.
The second thing I want you to do is ( forget that I or, any other person ) had anything to do with the very fact that God just gave you new life. Right now, you come to an overwhelming resolve that you need to be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit of God. To the understanding that he and, he alone can teach you truth. While men or, people like me have very good intentions, we often simply get in the Spirits way and hinder real spiritual growth.
The third thing I desire for you to do is ( to realize you are a new born babe in Christ ). With that being said, you must admit that babes know nothing and, are easily influenced by the minsets of men. With that understanding, resovle to be fed on the sincere milk of God’s word. As defined, that means that no man or person drives what you think or do but, that your only true friend is God’s word, the Bible. Tell people you are born again, share the name of Jesus. I add that because ( I believe ) that doing so will encourage you to study and learn all you can about him.
The fourth thing I desire for you to do is ( Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. )( 2 Timothy 2:15 ) While God uses people, pastors, teachers, preachers, even individuals to be vessels for his glory; every one of those people are ( sinners in their flesh ) no different that you and, we all can be wrong in what we might say or teach. We might all have the best of intentions but, at our best, we are still sinners, like it or not. The Bible you hold, and the Spirit within you is your educator. Every other book, writing or person that it is should be taken as a grain of salt, unless you can prove what they say, inspired by God’s Spirit. It’s far better to be a babe in Christ, seeking truth than to be an educated spiritual fool.
The fifth thing I desire for you to do is ( Let the light of Jesus Christ shine from within you ). Go to battle each day with the army, spiritual knowledge you have and, add to that daily. We have to understand this; If I lift up myself, my Church, my belief, my doctrine, those things never saves anyone. Jesus Christ and, the fact we lift him up is what draws people to salvation. ( John 12:32 ) And I, If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. I completely understand that we can see that verse in two ways; one way would be lifted up on the cross. However, if we lift up his name and share his gospel, that is what draws peope to salvation.
The sixth thing would be ( prepare yourself ). In the end, it doesn’t matter what John Calvin, Marshall Clayton or, any other person thinks or teaches. It doesn’t matter what denomination or religion you are a part of. What matters is your faith in Jesus Christ, your knowledge of him. God has given us a life time to know him. I have no desire spending my spiritual lifetime arguing about who is right and who is wrong. I want to ( Know Him ) and the ( power of His Resurrection ). We all one day will come to the end of our journey on this earth and, we will stand before him prepare or not.
I’m going to close this with something ( I believe ). You don’t have to believe this but, I do. The Bible tells us in ( Revelation 19: (13-14 ) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name was called the Word of God. ( 14 ) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. It also says in ( Revelation 20:11 ) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
( I believe ) that, on that day, we as the bride of Christ, just like any good wife, will be standing behind Christ. We see that we come back with him. As Church members we have the responsibility to share Christ with this world. What happens if we don’t? At the ( Great White Throne of Judgement ) as each person walks up to be judged by him, they will see us a well. Jesus Christ, as our bridegroom did all he could do to bring about the salvation of every man. What did we do? If a lost person walks up to that throne to be judged by Christ and, he or she sees me; what will he be able to say about me? Will he say I shared Christ with him or, will he look at me and declare ( you could have told me but; didn’t. )
Our responsibilities as born again believers are far reaching. That involves a great study in God’s word but, most of these things we are responsible for are far greater than the petty things we argue about. What is the worth of one soul? How can we measure to value of our relationship with Christ or what can be done through our walk with him? Consider the ( resurrection of Christ ). Before we can see and know the complete power of that one resurrection; everything in God’s creation will have to be complete.
What is the value of your ( resurrection from the dead )? Can you see how, as it relates to Christ, that it will take the completion of all things to see its complete value? If I win one soul to Christ then, how many others can be won just because of that one?
A good brother in Christ taught me many years ago. ( Any man can count the seeds in one Apple ). But, ( no man can count the apples in one seed ) that is, unless that seed is aborted.
Lord, I ask you to bless the teaching of your word, no matter who is doing to teaching.
Marshall Clayton————————– 2 Timothy 1:7