Calvinist soteriology, as expressed in the Dutch Reformed Synod of Dort (1618-1619), summarized into five statements of doctrine:
1Man's total depravity: As a result of Adam's fall, the entire human race is affected; all humanity is dead in trespasses and sins. Man is unable to save himself (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18).
"God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back:they are altogether become filthy;there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Psalm 53:2, 3).
2Unconditional election: Because man is dead in sin, he is unable to initiate a response to God; therefore, in eternity past God elected certain people to salvation. Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not based on man's response (Romans 8:29-30;9:11; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11-12) because man is unable to respond, nor does he want to.
"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. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Rom. 9:15-16).
3Limited atonement: Because God determined that certain ones should be saved as a result of God's unconditional election, He determined that Christ should die for the elect alone. All whom God has elected and for whom Christ died will be saved (Matthew 1:21; John 10:11; 17:9; Acts 20:28; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 5:25).
"I pray for them:I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me:for they are thine" (John 17:9).
4Irresistible grace: Those whom God elected He draws to Himself through irresistible grace. God makes man willing to come to Him. When God calls, man responds (John 6:37, 44; 10:16).
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44-45).
5Perseverance of the saints: "And I give unto them eternal life:and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).
"And I give unto them eternal life:and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).