Calvinism, High or Hyper
Why has this become known as Calvinism and why are some called High Calvinists or Hyper Calvinists?
The Gospel of Sovereign Election was preached long before Calvin ever existed.
The Apostle Paul and the early church fathers preached it. It is a doctrine that is taught throughout scripture.
It has become known as Calvinism because John Calvin systematically put it down in an understandable form.
Calvin did nothing more than preach what scripture says.
God before the foundation of the world, predestined those that should be saved.
The Reformers taught it and it is written in the Westminister Confession of Faith.
Chapter 3: 2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice. 8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.
Sovereign election is quite clear from scripture.
Rom 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 8: 29 For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.…
I would not call myself a Calvinist, because I do not accept all of Calvin’s teachings, for example. His teaching on Infant baptism, Con substantiation and Clergy and Laity and his Eschatological beliefs.
However I do accept the five points known as Calvinism, the acronym, “Tulip”.
Total Inability, Unmerited Favour, Limited Attonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the saints.
I would rather use the term “Predestinarian” than Calvinist.
The problem comes when people put you further into a category such as High Calvinist, (Supralapsarian) or Hyper Calvinist.
High Calvinists would teach that you are Predestined and Justified before you are born.
I would differ with this teaching in the sense that, I do believe that our names where written in the Lambs book of life before the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Rev. 19:15 Those not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire.
However, because of the verse: Rom 8:30 And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.
Justification through repentance and faith.
True we were chosen before the world began and in the fullness of time, God drew us to Himself, He regenerated our hearts by the Holy Spirit, making it possible for us to repent and believe the Gospel and it was only then that we were justified.
Could we have refused the Gospel call? Ultimately, No.
If our names were written in the Lambs book of life before the foundation of the world, then it follows that in the fullness of time, God would bring us to salvation. God’s plan cannot be thwarted, even by us.
He predestined us, He showed Unmerited favour towards us, His grace and mercy was irresistible, the Holy Spirit worked in our hearts, convicting us of sin, righteousness and judgement, we repented, believed the Gospel and were justified by the blood of Christ.
Remember we did not seek after God but God sought us.
Romans 3:10 - 12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
He loved us, drew us, called us by the Gospel and gave us the faith to believe. It was nothing of ourselves it was a gift of God. Unmerited favour. Undeserved grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jesus said. “All that the Father has given Me, will come to Me and of those that He has given Me, I have lost none”.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
If there are those that are chosen, elect, then it follows that there must be those that are not chosen and not elect.
So do we only preach the Gospel to the elect? Of course not, for we don’t know who they are. We preach to all men and God draws them to Himself.
There is no universal Gospel other than the Gospel that is preached to all men, but there is also no universal salvation. Not all men will be saved.
God in His mercy and for His glory, chose to save some and others He leaves others in their sin.
God is under no obligation to save anyone, for we all deserve the punishment that our sin deserves.
The Limited Atonement is the one point of TULIP that is mostly contested.
Does this mean that salvation is limited to the elect and does that mean that some are not elect.
The scriptural answer to that is yes.
“Jacob I loved, Esau I hated”.
The term "Hyper-Calvinism" in previous generations has been used to define those who reject the view that the atonement is sufficient for all mankind or that there is a general design in the death of Christ.
Of course the blood of Christ is sufficient to save all mankind. However, the death of Christ is not appropriated in the lives of all, only those chosen by God, the elect of God.
It is said that Hyper Calvinists and High Calvinist, because they have views above genuine Calvinism: denying that the death of Christ was "in any respect" intended for the salvation of all, not inviting all to believe in Christ for salvation, contending that invitations should only be given to the "willing".
Whereas, I believe that a true “Calvinist” a “Predestinarian” will preach the Gospel to all men for we don’t know who are the elect of God.
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
The church should call everyone in the preaching of the Gospel and the unregenerated have a duty to repent and believe."
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
The truth is, that men without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, is unable to repent, for he does not recognise his own sin.
Unless the Holy Spirit convicts him of his sin, and convinces him of the truth of the Gospel, he will not be converted.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:
John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Spurgeon said: We cannot lift the shirt tail of every man to see if he has an “E” (elect) on his back.
So we must preach the Gospel to all.