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Ask the Pastor 150

What is Arminianism?

Just as Calvinism is associated with the teaching of John Calvin, Arminianism is associated with the teaching of Jacobus Arminius. He was a Dutch reformer who objected to the teachings of Calvin and proposed a different line of thought. Arminianism teaches that God is sovereign, omnipotent and omniscience but chooses to restrict His power and authority to allow mankind to choose to believe on the Lord Jesus for their salvation. The Lord uses His omniscience and foreknowledge to look down the tunnel of time and see who will believe and then select them for salvation (I Peter 4:1). We can use the same acronym TULIP, to compare Arminianism with Calvinism: T, they will affirm the total depravity of man; U, they reject unconditional election but rather believe that election is conditional, based on God’s foreknowledge as to who will believe; L, they reject limited atonement and argue that the atonement is available to all as God so loved the world (John 3:16); I, they reject irresistible grace because man, with a free will, can resist the grace of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit; P, they reject the perseverance of the Saints because just as a person chooses to believe they can choose not to believe or they can choose a lifestyle whereby they lose their salvation. There are a number of problems with this system. Foreknowledge does not determine the action, it only knows what the action is going to be before it occurs. The reason why the Lord knows beforehand who will be saved is because He chose them before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). If man has a free will, then there has to be a point at which God does not know what man will choose and therefore, God is not omniscience. If man can lose his salvation, then God is not powerful enough to keep a person saved, man has power that God does not. The Bible clearly states that our salvation is not by the will of man (John 1:13). If you want to know if you have been chosen by God, then believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and know that you have been chosen by God.

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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