Q & A with Pastor Jon- “What is Calvinism?”

My teaching notes for Wednesday night, Jan. 12th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube later in the week at TAB YouTube. You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer Lists and other resources at our Church Website.

Tonight’s Question:

Can you please discuss Calvinism on a kindergarten level?

The question I am answering tonight originated from an article posted on Facebook a few weeks ago.

Romans 8:28–30 - [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)
  • Foreknew, Predestined, Called, Justified, Glorified
Intro Thoughts:
  • Calvinism can be a very divisive subject.
  • It is basically trying to work out the process and means of salvation.
  • God’s Sovereignty and Our Free Will (Our Responsibility)
    • These are not enemies they are friends, therefore they do not need to be reconciled.
    • 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Eph. 1:1-6; John 3:16; John 6:36-40, 44, 47-48; Acts 2:22-23
  • Calvinism is not a new term or new doctrine for Baptist churches.
  • Calvinism is not a bad word (if defined correctly).
  • Our convention has a rich history of churches that consider themselves very Calvinistic. One of the first Baptist churches in the South was Calvinistic. First Baptist Church of Charleston, SC -1696
  • Our SBC colleges and seminaries have Calvinist professors on staff.
  • The key is defining and understanding what is meant by Calvinism.
    • People define the word differently.
    • A great example is how we define others in the political arena.
A Definition
  • The theological system of Calvin and his followers marked by strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination. (Merriam-Webster)
  • Calvinism is the theological system associated with the Reformer John Calvin that emphasizes the rule of God over all things as reflected in its understanding of Scripture, God, humanity, salvation, and the
    church. In popular vernacular, Calvinism often refers to the Five Points of Calvinistic doctrine regarding salvation, which make up the acrostic TULIP. In its broader sense, Calvinism is associated with Reformed theology. https://www.theopedia.com/calvinism
My Perspective on Calvinism:
  • I had never considered the term until I began college pursuing my theological education. Over the years I have studied and mediated quite a bit on this deep subject.
  • I am very Calvinistic in my thinking, but I INTENTIONALLY stay away from camps and labels. (Not because I am afraid of what people may think, but rather because we define terms so differently)
  • It can be divisive because churches can have members within their congregation that have different church backgrounds. We can become a melting pot of different beliefs and backgrounds. (This is not necessarily good. We must remember… we are a Baptist Church)
    • Methodist/Holiness/Wesleyan are Arminian under the influence of John Wesley.
    • Presbyterians/Primitive Baptist/Reformed Churches are Calvinist in their doctrine.
    • Southern Baptist are unique. We are a denomination, yet each church is autonomous. Our guiding doctrinal statement is the Baptist Faith and Message as part of our Constitution. (This is an umbrella that allows both Calvinists and Non-Calvinists to be part of the SBC)
  • There has been a heightened interest and resurgence in Calvinistic theology in the past 40 plus years in our denomination. Many of our younger pastors are leaning toward a more Calvinistic view of salvation.
    • Due to the battle over inerrancy and the conservative resurgence which sparked an increase of diligent study of the Word.
    • There is a growing emphasis for a more “meaningful membership” in our church. Over the years the conventions zeal for evangelism produced churches with large memberships but much fewer numbers of active and serving members.
    • Too much of an emphasis on numbers and decisions (Obviously we want to see people come to faith in Christ, but If we have inflated membership roles and those people are not growing daily in their faith in Christ… Then we have a problem)
  • A greater access to preaching and teaching due to the internet.
What Next:
  • Study the Word.  Remember, the Bible fits together perfectly.
  • Let God by God.
    • Deut. 29:29 “The secret things belong to God”
    • Remember… He is all loving, all powerful and all wise.
    • Trusting God, By Jerry Bridges (A great book)
  • When we consider the ministry of evangelism and discipleship…focus on what you have control over.
    • Preaching the Word
    • Sharing the Gospel
    • Trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit
(We will continue this conversation in the near future on Wed Nights as we DIG DEEPER into Key Doctrines of Our Faith)

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