Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 19, 2015

“TULIP” is a memorial to help us remember the LORD’s mighty acts of salvation.

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 4 which covers the LORD’s command to set up twelve memorial stones to help Israel remember the LORD’s mighty act of cutting off the waters of the Jordan so that Israel could cross it.

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’”  4 So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe;  5 and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.  6 Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord;  when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’  So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”  …

20 Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.  21 He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’  23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed;  24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”  Joshua Chapter 4:  Verses 1-7 and 20-24.


“TULIP” is a memorial to help us remember the LORD’s mighty acts of salvation from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“TULIP” is more like the memorial stones of Jordan than like a fleeting flower.  “TULIP” helps us “know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”  Verse 24.

“TULIP” came from the Canons of Dort, a confession, which “was actually composed by an ecclesiastical assembly, the Great Synod of 1618-1619. born out of internal controversy in the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands which was occasioned by the rise of the Arminian heresy, the Canons are the expression of the Synod’s judgment concerning the Five Points of the Remonstrance. This also explains the fact that the Canons are divided into five chapters, maintaining the truths of sovereign predestination, particular atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of saints.”  See the introduction to the Canons of Dordt followed by these five chapters at the following link provided by the Protestant Reformed Churches –

In conclusion, the points of “TULIP” should not be isolated from each other, but rather the points combine to teach of a God who saves from predestination to glorification.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

Throughout Scripture, we see that “Salvation belongs to the Lord”.  Psalm 3:8.

“And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;  Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him.  He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head;  And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.”  Isaiah 59:16-17.

“For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. “I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;  So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me.”  Isaiah 63:4-5.

“The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:10.

If God controls the smallest details of life on earth so that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of God (Matthew 10:29), then do you really think that God is giving up any control over salvation to man’s free will?  Are sparrows more important than the salvation of man?  No, God saves according to His purpose according to His choice, not because of works or even the will of man.

Salvation does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy on whom He desires. See Romans 9:11-18.


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