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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism

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This extended article was revised, expanded, and made available in book form in 2014 under the title Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of the Grace of God. A PDF of the book is available free of charge.

  1. Preface
  2. Historical Roots
  3. Total Depravity
  4. Irresistible Grace
  5. Limited Atonement
  6. Unconditional Election
  7. Perseverance of the Saints
  8. What the Five Points Have Meant for Me: A Personal Testimony
  9. Concluding Testimonies
  10. A Final Appeal

1. Preface


Christians love God. He is our great Treasure, and nothing can compare with him. One of the great old catechisms says, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question Four). This is the One we love. We love the whole panorama of his perfections. To know him, and be loved by him, and become like him is the end of our soul’s quest. He is our “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4).


He is infinite — and that answers our longing for completeness. He is eternal — and that answers our longing for permanence. He is unchangeable — and that answers our longing for stability and security. There is none like God. Nothing can compare with him. Wealth, sex, power, popularity, conquest, productivity, great achievement — nothing can compare with God.


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