Well.. it’s pretty simple.

Tough, but simple. This time, all I’m going to do is list the 5 points – which, if you will remember, are the responses to the Remonstrants’ 5 points.

I’ll reference 3 sources for each point, just so you can see a bit wider range of definition. I’ll link them at the bottom of the post.

T- Total Depravity


Because Adam was the representative of all mankind, when he forsook the commandment of God, and ate of the fruit, he did plunge all men into an irreversible state of spiritual death. This death renders all those born of woman, other than the perfect Lord Jesus Christ, spiritually dead, incapable of knowing, doing, or even desiring those things which are pleasing to God. By nature, man is at enmity with His Creator, thinking only of himself, and the gratification of his sinful flesh. (Romans 5, Ephesians 2:1, etc.)


When we speak of man’s depravity we mean man’s natural condition apart from any grace exerted by God to restrain or transform man.

There is no doubt that man could perform more evil acts toward his fellow man than he does. But if he is restrained from performing more evil acts by motives that are not owing to his glad submission to God, then even his “virtue” is evil in the sight of God.

Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” This is a radical indictment of all natural “virtue” that does not flow from a heart humbly relying on God’s grace.

The terrible condition of man’s heart will never be recognized by people who assess it only in relation to other men. Romans 14:23 makes plain that depravity is our condition in relation to God primarily, and only secondarily in relation to man. Unless we start here we will never grasp the totality of our natural depravity.
Man’s depravity is total in at least four senses.

(1) Our rebellion against God is total.
(2) In his total rebellion everything man does is sin.
(3) Man’s inability to submit to God and do good is total.
(4) Our rebellion is totally deserving of eternal punishment.


Man is spiritually dead. Because of the fall, man has become spiritually dead, blind and deaf to the things of God and is therefore unable of himself to choose spiritual good and determine his own destiny.

U- Unconditional Election


God, in the mere good pleasure of His own will, not constrained by anything other than His Own good purpose did, before the foundation of the World, elect a people unto and for Himself, to the “praise of His glorious grace.” He did so and gave a people unto His Son, Jesus Christ, to believe on His Name and to escape the wrath that was to come through the transgression of Adam. In eternity, this is the Covenant of Redemption. The historical outworking of this Covenant, it is known as the Covenant of Grace. (Ephesians 1, John 6:37, 44 (etc.), John 17, etc.)


If all of us are so depraved that we cannot come to God without being born again by the irresistible grace of God, and if this particular grace is purchased by Christ on the cross, then it is clear that the salvation of any of us is owing to God’s election.

Election refers to God’s choosing whom to save. It is unconditional in that there is no condition man must meet before God chooses to save him. Man is dead in trespasses and sins. So there is no condition he can meet before God chooses to save him from his deadness.

We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith.


God’s election is unconditional. God’s choice of certain individuals for salvation was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, but was based solely in His good and sovereign will.

L- Limited Atonement


Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, came to earth to “save His people from their sins.” His death was a vicarious sacrifice, actually purchasing the Church of God with His own blood, securing their justification before God and satisfying His demand of perfect obedience to His Law. His death was for the elect, and the elect alone. This limits the Atonement in its extent, whereas the damnable heresy of Arminianism limits the Atonement of the Lamb of God in it’s efficacy (but praise God only in their defective theory!) (Matthew 1:21, Acts 20:28, etc.)


The term “limited atonement” addresses the question, “For whom did Christ die?” But behind the question of the extent of the atonement lies the equally important question about the nature of the atonement. What did Christ actually achieve on the cross for those for whom he died?

If you say that he died for every human being in the same way, then you have to define the nature of the atonement very differently than you would if you believed that Christ only died for those who actually believe. In the first case you would believe that the death of Christ did not actually save anybody; it only made all men savable. It did not actually remove God’s punitive wrath from anyone, but instead created a place where people could come and find mercy—IF they could accomplish their own new birth and bring themselves to faith without the irresistible grace of God.

For if Christ died for all men in the same way then he did not purchase regenerating grace for those who are saved. They must regenerate themselves and bring themselves to faith. Then and only then do they become partakers of the benefits of the cross.

In other words if you believe that Christ died for all men in the same way, then the benefits of the cross cannot include the mercy by which we are brought to faith, because then all men would be brought to faith, but they aren’t. But if the mercy by which we are brought to faith (irresistible grace) is not part of what Christ purchased on the cross, then we are left to save ourselves from the bondage of sin, the hardness of heart, the blindness of corruption, and the wrath of God.

Therefore it becomes evident that it is not the Calvinist who limits the atonement. It is the Arminian, because he denies that the atoning death of Christ accomplishes what we most desperately need—namely, salvation from the condition of deadness and hardness and blindness under the wrath of God. The Arminian limits the nature and value and effectiveness of the atonement so that he can say that it was accomplished even for those who die in unbelief and are condemned. In order to say that Christ died for all men in the same way, the Arminian must limit the atonement to a powerless opportunity for men to save themselves from their terrible plight of depravity.


Christ’s death was designed to actually secure the salvation of all of God’s chosen people. Christ’s death secured and actually accomplished the salvation of all of God’s chosen people. God has determined that all for whom Christ sacrificed Himself will be saved.

I- Irresistible Grace


Since man is born dead in His sin, incapable of doing right or seeing rightly, it takes the powerful, sovereign, irresistible grace of God to raise the man from the dead. On the removal of such a dark veil from the natural man’s eyes, God’s grace is “simply irresistible”. God replaces man’s heart of stone, with a heart of flesh. A heart that desires to be right with God, and would not, nay could not, resist such an offer as the forgiveness of and deliverance from sin. This call is an effectual call of God, always resulting in the way God has desired, never returning unto Him as void.(Isaiah 55:11; John 5:21, 6:37,44; Romans 8:29-30, etc.)


The doctrine of irresistible grace does not mean that every influence of the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. It means that the Holy Spirit can overcome all resistance and make his influence irresistible.

The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can overcome all resistance when he wills. “He does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand!” (Daniel 4:35). “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). When God undertakes to fulfill his sovereign purpose, no one can successfully resist him.


The Holy Spirit regenerates every one of God’s chosen people, enabling them to believe. The Holy Spirit graciously regenerates every one of God’s chosen people, creating within them a new heart and enabling them to freely and willingly believe in Christ as Savior and Lord. The New Birth precedes and makes possible Saving Faith. Life gives Faith.

P- Perseverance of the Saints


It is only logical and consistent (not to mention Biblical) to conclude that if man is inacapable of earning salvation, or even cooperating with God to get it, then it must all be a work of God from start to finish. That being the case, it is impossible for man to render salvation lost, or to fall from a state of grace. If a man apostasizes, falls away, or renounces Christ, he has merely proven he never was in Christ to begin with. Such is the teaching of the P in T.U.L.I.P. Many today believe what’s known as “once saved always saved”, but it falls thoroughly short of the biblical doctrine presented here. Those who belong to Christ will ultimately be conformed to Christ, growing in the grace and the knowledge of Him. That it may be said, “those who persevere to the end shall be saved.” (John 6:39; Philippians 1:6, etc.)


It follows from what was just said that the people of God WILL persevere to the end and not be lost. The foreknown are predestined, the predestined are called, the called are justified, and the justified are glorified. No one is lost from this group. To belong to this people is to be eternally secure.

But we mean more than this by the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.

The following seven theses summarize our understanding of this crucial doctrine.

Our faith must endure to the end if we are to be saved.

Obedience, evidencing inner renewal from God, is necessary for final salvation.

God’s elect cannot be lost.

There is a falling away of some believers, but if it persists, it shows that their faith was not genuine and they were not born of God.

God justifies us on the first genuine act of saving faith, but in doing so he has a view to all subsequent acts of faith contained, as it were, like a seed in that first act.

God works to cause his elect to persevere.

Therefore we should be zealous to make our calling and election sure.


All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in Faith by the Power of Almighty God and therefore continue to persevere in faith.

Source 1: Josh, Reformers and Puritans
Source 2: John Piper
Source 3: Dory, Wittenberg Gate

So, that’s TULIP. Next, we’ll go into each point in-depth, along with opposition to each point.

However, that’s for another day.

Part of the TULIP Series.