T.U.L.I.P. - The Doctrines of GraceTotal Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonment, Irrisistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints
Tip Toe Through the TULIP
The doctrines of grace are the best biblical doctrines you will ever come to know or embrace – Jesus Christ’s Gospel is all of grace. These doctrines speak of God’s infinite love and mercy to His people. It is here that God alone draws the sinner in, changes their heart, and gives them new life as a new creature “in the Beloved,” who is Jesus Christ (See the entire book of Ephesians).
There are only two views concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First, there is what the church calls Calvinism, or more precisely speaking, the doctrines of grace. Then, the second, we find varying degrees of unbelief. These are your two choice for or against the Gospel found in Scripture.
The essential doctrines of grace concerning salvation, which the Reformers and Puritans (and all good Christians) cling to, are summed up in the acronym T.U.L.I.P.
Perseverance of the Saints
A tulip is a flower with intertwining petals, without which, would not make up a complete flower. If one petal is removed from the flower, it ceases, for all intents and purposes, to be complete. It is the same with the essential doctrines of salvation. Each doctrine is essentially linked to the others. If one of them is removed, then the whole system falls into absurdity and contradiction. (In this way, there would be no such thing as a 3 point Calvinist or a 4 point Calvinist (like Amyraldianism)–it would be better to say they are confused Arminians.) Using the term “Calvinist” as a mirror to the doctrines of grace is over-simplifying the theological position. Calvinism is made up of much more than simply 5 points on salvation. Too many Christians today use the term “Calvinism” to speak only of the doctrines of the 5 points. Rather, they ought simply to refer to the 5 points as “the doctrines of grace.” Calvinism is a much broader term used specifically of those who hold to Calvin’s Institutes, and more precisely, of those who hold Calvin’s view of the sacraments. Calvinism houses the entirety of the Institutes of the Christian Religion, especially Calvin’s view on the means of grace.
T.U.L.I.P. concerns the essential doctrines of God’s grace which pertain to the salvation of God’s chosen people through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. The Puritans were keenly aware that if the essentials of the Christian faith were overthrown or changed, then true religious faith disappeared. It would no longer be the faith of the Bible. It would not longer be the doctrines of the Bible. It would no longer be Christianity. Rather, it would be the vanity of someone’s unbiblical and unexegetical mind, heresy which would infiltrate and hurt the people of God.
The linked pages are a summary of the doctrines of grace which the Puritans consistently relied upon in their preaching and teaching. Below, first there is a summary of the doctrines contained in TULIP, and then Puritans quotations on those individual doctrines. Use the links to the right (or below) to jump quickly to the proper place you would like to go to.
A few Scriptures on Election: God’s sovereign purpose in salvation.
Consider: Gen. 21:12, 13; Ex. 9:16; Ex. 33:19; Deut. 7:7, 8; Deut. 10:15 Deut. 4:37. Deut. 32:8; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 1 Kin. 12:15; 1 Kin. 20:42; 2 Kin. 19:25; 2 Chr. 6:6; Job 23:13, 14; Psa. 33:12; Psa. 65:4; Psa. 78:67, 68, 70–72; Psa. 105:17, 19–22; Psa. 135:4; Prov. 16:4; Isa. 44:1, 2, 7; Jer. 1:4, 5; Mal. 1:2, 3; Matt. 11:25, 26; Matt. 20:16 [Matt. 22:14.] Matt. 20:23; Matt. 24:22 [Mark 13:20.] Matt. 24:40 v. 41; Luke 17:34–36. Matt. 25:34; Mark 13:20, 22; Luke 4:25–27; Luke 8:10; Luke 10:20; Luke 18:7; Luke 22:22 Matt. 26:24; Mark 14:21. John 6:37, 39, 44, 45; John 15:16, 19; John 17:2, 6, 9; John 21:23; Acts 1:7; Acts 2:23, 39, 47; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; Acts 13:48; Acts 17:26; Acts 22:14; Rom. 1:6; Rom. 8:28–30, 33; Rom. 9:11–18 [vs. 7–33.] Rom. 9:23, 24, 27–29; Rom. 11:5, 7, 8; 1 Cor. 1:26–29; 1 Cor. 2:7; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:4, 5, 9–11; Eph. 2:10; Eph. 3:11; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:1, 2; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:2, 20; 2 Pet. 1:10; Jude 4; Rev. 13:8.
Keep in mind that election can be of individuals, John 15:16; John 17:6; Eph. 1:4; Eph. 2:10; 2 Thess. 2:13, used of Christ as Messiah, Isa. 42:1; 1 Pet. 2:6, of good angels, 1 Tim. 5:21, of Israel, Deut. 7:6; Isa. 45:4, of ministers, Luke 6:13; Acts 9:15, and of churches, 1 Pet. 5:13.
Exodus 33:19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 10:15 “The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.
Joshua 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
1 Kings 20:42 Then he said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ “
2 Chronicles 6:6 ‘Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there; and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’
Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.
Psalm 78:67-70 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. 69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever. 70 He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;
Psalm 135:4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.
Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Isaiah 44:1-2 “Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, And Israel whom I have chosen. 2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Malachi 1:2-3 ” I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”
Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Matthew 24:22-24 “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:20, 22, 27 (repeat above)
Luke 8:10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ (Matthew 11:25)
Luke 18:7 “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?
John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
John 6:39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
John 6:65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
John 10:14-15 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
John 13:18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 17:9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
John 17:19 “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Acts 2:23 “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have cru
Acts 2:46-47 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 4:27-28 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 22:14 “Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
Romans 8:29-30 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Romans 8:33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Romans 9:6-26 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” 26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
Romans 11:5-28 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” 9 And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always.” 11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
Galatians 1:15-17 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Galatians 1:3-11 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Titus 1:1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 5:13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.