There is a difference between preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the gospel of “Five Point Calvinism”
There is a difference between being a follower of Jesus Christ and a “Reformer”.
There is a difference between being a lover of Scripture and a lover of “Reformed Theology”.
So what is the difference???
When the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached from the word of God, sinners hear God speaking to them, through the preacher, from Scripture. This is because God the Father draws his elect to himself by the Holy Spirit when the word is preached. We call this being born again. The person is brought forth, by the word of truth, to repentance and a new life of godliness. – John 6:44-45, 1Peter 1:22-25, James 1:18.
When “Five Point Calvinism” is preached, it produces Calvinists who identify themselves as Calvinists and enjoy the teaching and fellowship of other Calvinists. But this doesn’t mean that the hearer was born again. God has made it clear to us, through Scripture, that his elect are reborn when Scripture is proclaimed. Therefore, the danger in merely preaching Calvinism is false conversions. It is the gospel, preached from the context of Scripture, that is the power of God unto salvation, not the gospel preached through the funnel of man’s interpretation. The word of God contains the power to regenerate the sinner, not the cleverness of man’s interpretation. – Romans 1:16, 1Corinthians 2:1-5
A follower of Jesus Christ loves Jesus Christ and his church. This kind of person is not limited to the fellowship of Reformers, but loves and builds up others in the faith from all denominations. This is because of what they have in common; their faith. It links all denominations that are saved by the same gospel and therefore, worship the same Jesus. And the same Holy Spirit is living in them all. By their love for each other they are recognized as children of the one true God. Their love for true followers of Jesus Christ, regardless of their denomination, is proof that they are not merely coverts of a group, but true followers of Jesus Christ; baptized into the same Holy Spirit. A mere Reformer cannot go outside of his or her group because God’s love doesn’t compel them. – 1Corinthians 16:22, 1John 3:10-19, Ephesians 4:1-16
A lover of Scripture enjoys the study, memorization, exposition, and original context of Scripture. And it is Scripture which they meditate upon day and night. It is Scripture that they spend quality time reading. And it is Scripture that they enjoy quoting, teaching, discussing and affirming. A lover of Scripture derives his or her doctrine from Scripture. A lover of Scripture submits to its teachings as the only authority for Christian doctrine and practice. When Scripture differs from his or her group, the lover of Scripture sides with the plain reading of Scripture against the group’s interpretation of Scripture. A lover of Scripture uses Reformed Theology as a reference, but not an authority. A lover of Scripture knows who his or her shepherd is. – Psalm 1, Psalm 119, John 10:14
A lover of Reformed Theology enjoys the study, memorization and exposition of Reformed Theology. And it is Reformed Theology which they meditate upon day and night. It is Reformed Theology that they spend quality time reading. And it is Reformed Theology that they enjoy quoting, teaching, discussing and affirming. A lover of Reformed Theology derives his or her doctrine from Reformed Theology. A lover of Reformed Theology submits to its teachings as an authority for Christian doctrine and practice. When Reformed Theology differs from the plain reading of Scripture, the lover of Reformed Theology sides with Reformed Theology’s interpretation against Scripture.
I write this to remind you all of where our highest love should be. – Psalm 1, Psalm 119
I write this to remind you all of what is our only authority for doctrine and practice. – John 17:17, John 1:1-18, John 8:12-58, Matthew 4:4
I write this to remind you all to abstain from idols of any kind. – 1John 5:18-21, 1Corinthians 2:1-5, Matthew 4:10
I write this to remind you all of what it is we should be meditating upon day and night. – Psalm 1:2, 1Peter 2:1-3, Romans 12:2
Finally I write this to build you up in the faith once delivered to us all. – Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, 1John 5
1 Peter 2:
1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Grace & Peace, to you all
from God, our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ