The doctrines of grace, often known as the 5 points of calvinism are often described in the acronym: TULIP. It was through R.C. Sproul’s teachings on the doctrines of grace that I came to embrace Reformed theology. Although, Reformed theology is more than these 5 points, these points are often at the forefront of controversy concerning reformed teaching.
T: Total Depravity (Radical Corruption)
Teaches that apart from Christ, sin has corrupted us in all aspects of our thinking and doing.
Scriptural References: Gen 6:5; Jer 17:5; Rom 3:10-12, Rom 8:7-8; Eph 2:1-3
U: Unconditional Election (Sovereign Election)
Teaches that God decision to elect certain people for his glory is not based on any condition or act performed or merited by those whom he has elected, but only by his sovereign choosing.
Scriptural References: John 6:37; Rom 9:9-13,16; Eph 1:4,11; Eph 2:8-10; Titus 3:5
L: Limited Atonement (Definite Redemption)
Teaches that God designed the work of redemption with a particular view: that Christ would lay down his life for those whom the Father had given him; namely the elect.
Scriptural References: Matt. 1:21; John 6:37, 44, 65; John 10:16; Acts 11:18; Acts 13:48
I: Irresistible Grace (Effectual Grace)
Teaches that God has done the work in bringing us out from spiritual death that we may cling to Christ.
Scriptural References: Eze. 36:26-27; John 6:37, 44, 65; John 10:16; Acts 11:18; Acts 13:48; Phil. 2:11-13
P: Perseverance of the Saints (preservation of the saints)
Teaches that those whom believe in Jesus Christ will persevere till the end, not only by their own strength, but also because they have been preserved by God for salvation.
Scriptural References: John 6:44; Romans 8:29-30; Phil. 1:6
For more info on reformed theology or the doctrines of grace, visit: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/what_is_reformed_theology/