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Five Articles

After Jacob Arminius died his followers systemietized his teaching. The two of his followers who did this were Simon Episcopius and Jan Uytenbogaert. These two led Arminius' followers in 1610 of setting out their views in a systematic fashion. They were set out in the 'Arminian Articles of Remonstrance'. There were five articles in all, and the Synod of Dort with the Five Points of Calvinism were created in response to them.

  1. God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ those of the fallen and sinful race who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in him, but leaves in sin the incorrigible and unbelieving. (In other words predestination is said to be conditioned by God's foreknowledge of who would respond to the gospel) - See The Fall
  2. Christ died for all men (not just for the elect), but no one except the believer has remission of sin. - See Atonement
  3. Man can neither of himself nor of his free will do anything truly good until he is born again of God, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. (Though accused of such, Arminius and his followers were not Pelagians.) - See Foreknowledge
  4. All good deeds or movements in the regenerate must be ascribed to the grace of God but his grace is not irresistible. - See Grace
  5. Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit to persevere in the faith. But it is possible for a believer to fall from grace. - See Pereseverance

The Fifth point states:

That those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well understood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations; extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ's hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: "Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginnings of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was delivered them, of losing a good conscience, of becoming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, before we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our minds.

You will see how cleverly the Arminians have worded this. They emphasize the power of the Holy Spirit and do not claim that the saints DON'T persevere, but that they haven't yet clearly found out yet from Scripture. But later Wesley says that saints can fall from grace (to see click here )