Who Saves?

What does the Bible say about Salvation

Man's Free Will (W) Total Depravity (T)
Human nature was seriously affected by the fall. Man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel.
Man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does so in such a manner as not to interfere with man's freedom. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt.
Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God's Spirit and be regenerated or resist God's grace and perish. Man's will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not indeed he cannot choose good over evil in the spiritual realm.
The lost sinner needs the Spirit's assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth. It takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature.
Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation.

Faith is not some thing man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

Verses about Depravity


Election Is Conditional (E) Unconditional Election (U)
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will.
He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice.
Election therefore was determined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man's will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ.
God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
Verses about Election


Every Man Is Redeemed (E) Limited Atonement (L)
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of any one. Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them.
Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe in Him are saved. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners.
His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him.
Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.
Verses about Limited Atonement


Denial Confounds Grace (D) Irresistible Grace (I)
The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully reject the Spirit's call. In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot he rejected; it always results in conversion.
The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man's contribution) precedes and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man's free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ's saving work. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success.
The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them. Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ.
God's grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
Verses about Irresistible Grace


Some Will Lose Salvation (S) Perseverance of the Saints (P)
Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.
All Arminians have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost.  
Verses about the Perseverance of the Saints


According to Arminianism According to Calvinism
Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) man's response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, choose to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man's will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation. Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
REJECTED: Arminianism REAFFIRMED: Calvinism
This was the system of thought contained in the “Remonstrance” (though the “five points” were not orginally arranged in this order). It was submitted to the Church of Holland in 1610 for adoption but was rejected by the Synod of Dort in 1619 on the ground that it was unscriptural. This system of theology was re-affirmed by the Synod of Dort in 1619 as the doctrine of salvation contained in the Holy Scriptures. The system was at that time formulated into five points (in answer to the five points submitted by the Arminians) and has ever since been known as the five points of Calvinism.
Concluding Verses