As Based on the Canons of Dordt, Popularly known as the Five Points of Calvinism. Total Depravity(Continued) 

Man, therefore, after the Fall not only has power to do good, but can so resist God (Acts 7:51) that he can entirely prevent his (conditional) regeneration, since it is in his power to be regenerated or not. For first before regenerating grace can work efficaciously in man’s new birth, the will of man must first move, and determine to comply with the conditions of regeneration, e.g., “I have set before you life and death . . . therefore choose life . . .” (Deut. 30 :19). To be sure, God must give the grace to conform to the prescribed prerequisites, as we ourselves can do nothing. Nevertheless regeneration is a work of God in harmony with the free agency of man and performed on conditions required of man. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). 

CALVINISM confesses the Scripture truth that man iswholly gone from original righteousness, has in his sinful flesh “no good thing” (Rom. 7:18), and that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). Man is totally depraved, totally deprived of all spiritual ability, “dead thru trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1-39, and this death passed upon all men (Rom. 5:12). “We ourselves had the sentence of death within ourselves” (II Co. 1:9). Calvinism alone takes man’s spiritual death seriously. For man is dead, not merely half-dead; he is drowned, not simply drowning. By the Fall man lost all power unto good, or to better himself. He is “wise to do evil, but to do good he has no knowledge” (Jer. 4:22). He can do no good when it is his nature only and continually to do evil (Jer. 13:23). Freedom of will for fallen man is the ability to act according to his nature. What is his nature? One totally corrupt; for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart” (Jer. 17:9, 10). His “carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh (unregenerate nature) cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8). This being true, unregenerate man cannot and will not believe. “Ye believe not” (John 5:38), “How can ye believe . . .?” (John 5:44), and, “they could not believe” (John 12:37, 39). And we never will until “we believe according to the working of the strength of’ His power” (Eph. 1:19); for we “believe thru grace” alone (Acts 18:27), i.e., our believing is the result “of them operation of God” (Col. 2:12). Why is this? Because faith is the gift of God, an exotic something, not something native to man. Not all men have it. When Paul speaks of “they which are of faith” (Gal. 3:7), he implies that some are not of faith: “all men have not faith” (II Thess. 3:2). Again, why? Faith is “the grace given” (Rom. 12:3, 6), not to all, but “was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Furthermore, in regeneration and the receiving of faith, man is passive, as an infant in physical birth (and has all done to it and for it no co-operation!), and as in the initial work of salvation. Then it is not, “save yourselves,” but as in the original, “be saved” (aorist passive), and indicates that God permanently makes alive the sinner dead in trespasses and sins. Then he acts and lives Godward. Thus the “receiving” and “believing” are acts of the regenerated who already “were born of God” (John 1:12), and so believed as bornagain, and because regenerated. It is never true that one believes and so is for that regenerated; but is regenerated so that one may and does believe: “he that heareth . . . and believeth . . . hath eternal life” (John 5:24). Why he hears and believes is because he “hath passed out of death, into life” (Gr.). He had to be in life before he could believe! For believing is evidence of regeneration. 

Unconditional Election

ARMINIANISM pretends to believe in the doctrine of election. “Election is of such persons as believe and persevere in faith. For God has chosen the act of faith as a condition of salvation, which condition is a prerequisite unto the final establishment of man’s election: repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ are everywhere presented as the conditions. If then, some men do not fulfill the conditions, they may possibly have an election unto faith, but not an election unto salvation. They may once have had faith, but unless they also fulfill the condition of perseverance, they at last are lost: “lest . . . when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (reprobated)” (I Cor. 9:27). Thus their election can be unto a justifying faith, without being a decisive election unto salvation. For it is necessary to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (II Pet. 1:10). God elects believers, then, because He foresaw their faith, their holiness, obedience and turning to Him in final perseverance. These good qualities, therefore, do not have their source in sovereign, immutable election. But where the Scripture says, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48) we are to understand that it means, “as many as believed to eternal life were ordained.” Or, if the familiar’ order be retained, we are to understand “ordained” to mean, “these who were ready” (Twentieth Century NT), or “those disposed,” i.e., “these who felt led to exercise faith.” Arminianism takes the basic virtues of salvation and makes them previously necessary causes of election, foreseen as being fulfilled by the finally faithful. 

(To be continued)