“The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.” –C. H. Spurgeon

I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. –C.H. Spurgeon

Link: http://www.spurgeon.org/calvinis.htm

The five points of Calvinism were not written by John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. They were certainly described, but not written out explicitly in five points. The five points are a point by point response to the Arminian Remonstrance. These five points are a summary of the Synod of Dordt. They form a comprehensive soteriological explanation of proper exegesis of scripture regarding the subject.

There is an acronym for the five points called TULIP. I will give a short explanation for each point using the TULIP formula below. I have provided three proof texts for each point. There are many more.

T – Total Depravity

Since the fall man’s nature has been totally depraved. He is unable to do anything at all that will effect his salvation on his own without the intervention of God’s grace. Total depravity doesn’t mean that man is as depraved as he can be all the time. It means that he is naturally inclined to wickedness, he is comfortable with his wickedness and is spiritually dead.

Psalm 51:5 ESV
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

U – Unconditional Election

God from before the foundation of the world has elected some men to salvation based on no merits of their own whatsoever. His election is undeserved favor and his elect have met no condition to earn it.

Luke 18:7 ESV
7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

Romans 8:33 ESV
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Romans 9:16 ESV
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

L – Limited Atonement

Christ’s atoning work on the cross is definite in design and accomplishment. It is intended to provide complete satisfaction for elect sinners. It secures salvation for this elect group. Christ died for his people so the atonement is limited to them, and applied to them when they believe in Christ and repent. The gospel call is given to all who hear the gospel but only those effectually called will believe, repent and receive atonement.

John 10:14-15 ESV
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Acts 20:28 ESV
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Hebrews 9:28 ESV
28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

I – Irresistible Grace

All who hear the gospel receive a gospel call. However when the time of an elect person to be saved is accomplished God gives that elect person an effectual call in which the Holy Spirit works regeneration in the elect sinner inevitably bringing him to faith and repentance.

 1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 8:28-30 ESV
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.

Acts 13:48 ESV
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

P – Perseverance of the Saints

The elect are saved by God’s power and kept by his power to ensure their perseverance and final salvation. This is the doctrine commonly called “once saved always saved.” I prefer to say IF saved always saved.

John 6:47 ESV
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

John 10:27-30 ESV
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,  is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Romans 5:8-10 ESV
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.