“For those God foreknew, God also predestined to be conformed
to the likeness of his son…..
and those God predestined, He also called; those He called;
He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”.
(Romans 8:28-30)

A Christian friend of mine was wondering if she was a Calvinist or not.  I had told her that she was because
anyone who is committed to Christ and wants to live above the usual carnal existence, which unfortunately
typifies a whole lot of Christians, is a Calvinist whether they know it or not.  So here is the way you can test
yourself.  The key word, or mantra, of the serious Christian was suggested by John Calvin over
a century ago.  The word is TULIP.  

T = total depravity  
This doesn't mean that people have reached the depth of horrific living.  It means that sin is in every part of
one's being, including the mind and will, so that a person is incapable of saving him or herself.

U = unconditional election  
God chooses to save people unconditionally; that is, they are not chosen on the basis of their own merit.  
They come to God just as they are without any conditions to be met.

L = limited atonement  
The sacrifice of Christ on the cross was for the purpose of saving the elect.  The "elect" are the ones who
God knew would accept Him in the first place, because God is all-knowing.  Jesus died for His own, and He
knew exactly which ones they would be.

I = irresistible grace  
When God has chosen to save someone, they will be saved no matter what.  
You cannot resist God if you are predestined to be saved.  It also works in the opposite -
if you are not predestined to be saved, you won't be.

P = perseverance of the saints  
The people God chooses cannot lose their salvation; they will continue to believe because God is holding on
to them - they are not holding on to God.  If they fall away, it will be only for a time, and they will come back
to Him.  And if they “truly” fall away, then they were never saved in the first place.

If you agree with the TULIP, you agree with the apostle Paul.  But don’t feel bad if you don’t.  There is a
school of thought which emphasizes free will strongly and above all else, yet anyone adhering strictly to the
TULIP has ultimately eliminated free will.  Let’s face it, Paul certainly made some misleading comments
about homosexuality.  He was not perfect.