Some differences between Lutheran and Reformed (1)

from “A Comparative Study of Church Bodies” by Pastor Rob Raasch


Some Differences between Lutheranism and Reformed

1. Calvinism restricts saving grace to the elect.

2. Arminianism extends saving grace to all on the condition of faith.

3. Scripture extends God’s grace to all, unconditionally.
Isa 53:6 The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Heb 7:27 He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Rom 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
2 Cor 5:19 God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.


 from “A Comparative Study of Church Bodies” by Pastor Rob Raasch

The Five Points of Calvinism (TULIP)
(Christian Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational churches)

  1. Total Depravity
“All men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform the depravity of their nature, or to dispose themselves to reformation.” (This and the following quotations are taken from the Doctrinal Standards of the Christian Reformed Church – Canons of Dort)

* 2. Unconditional Election (to salvation or damnation)
“That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it, proceeds from God’s eternal decree. According to which decree He graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe; while He leaves the non-elect in His just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy.”

* 3. Limited Atonement
“It was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chose to salvation and given to Him by the Father.”

* 4. Irresistible Grace
“As many as are called by the gospel are unfeignedly (genuinely) called. For God has most earnestly and truly declared in His Word what is acceptable to Him, namely, that those who are called should come unto Him.”

“We reject those who teach that God in the regeneration of man does not use the powers of His omnipotence as potently and infallibly bend man’s will to faith and conversion; but that all the works of grace having been accomplished, which God employs to convert man, man may yet so resist God and the Holy Spirit, when God intends man’s regeneration and wills to regenerate him, and indeed that man often does so resist that he prevents entirely his regeneration, and that it therefore remains in man’s power to be regenerated or not.”

* 5. Perseverance of the Saints
“God, who is rich in mercy, according to His unchangeable purpose of election, does not wholly withdraw the Holy Spirit from His own people even in their grievous falls; nor suffers them to proceed so far as to lose the grace of adoption and forfeit the state of justification, or to commit the sin unto death or against the Holy Spirit; nor does He permit them to be totally deserted, and to plunge themselves into everlasting destruction.”

 * = statements that contradict Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions


from “A Comparative Study of Church Bodies” by Pastor Rob Raasch

The Five Points of Arminianism
(Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal churches)

* 1.  God predestined people “in view of” their faith (conditional election). 

   2.  Jesus made atonement for all people (universal redemption)

* 3. Free will enables a person to cooperate in his conversion (i.e. decide to accept Christ)

“In order not to be condemned you must make a choice–you must choose to believe.” (Dr. Billy Graham)

“We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.” (Dr. Bill Bright, CCC)

  4. Grace can be resisted.

  5. A believer may fall from grace.

 * = statements that contradict Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions


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