這個神學體系冠以宗教改革家加爾文（John Calvin）之名，但加爾文本人是否屬於加爾文主義呢？ 我們就以「有限代贖」為例，作點簡單的說明。
定義：「有限代贖」（Limited Atonement），又稱為「特定救贖」（Particular Redemption），是加爾文主義五要點（通常簡稱為 TULIP）的第三點。 意思是「主耶穌在十字架上的死，雖然足以（sufficient）拯救所有人，但只是對蒙揀選的人有效（efficient）。 」或者說，十字架的死雖然足以使所有人都得著救恩的益處，但神卻定意只給祂所揀選的人。
He bore the sin of many. This is added by way of correction, that, when we hear of the shame of Christ’s death, we may not think that it was a blot on the character of Christ, and that our minds may not, by being prejudiced in that manner, be prevented from receiving the victory which he obtained for us, that is, the fruit of his death. He shews, therefore, that this was done in order that he might take our sins upon him; and his object is, that, whenever the death of Christ shall be mentioned, we may at the same time remember the atonement made for us. And this fruit swallows up all the shame of the death of Christ, that his majesty and glory may be more clearly seen than if we only beheld him sitting in heaven; for we have in him a striking and memorable proof of the love of God, when he is so insulted, degraded, and loaded with the utmost disgrace, in order that we, on whom had been pronounced a sentence of everlasting destruction, may enjoy along with him immortal glory.
I have followed the ordinary interpretation, that “he bore the sin of many,” though we might without impropriety consider the Hebrew word רבים (răbbīm) to denote “Great and Noble.” And thus the contrast would be more complete, that Christ, while “he was ranked among transgressors,” became surety for every one of the most excellent of the earth, and suffered in the room of those who hold the highest rank in the world. I leave this to the judgment of my readers. Yet I approve of the ordinary reading, that he alone bore the punishment of many, because on him was laid the guilt of the whole world. It is evident from other passages, and especially from the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, that “many” sometimes denotes “all.”
And prayed for the transgressors. Because the ratification of the atonement, with which Christ has washed us by his death, implies that he pleaded with the Father on our behalf, it was proper that this should be added. For, as in the ancient Law the priest, who “never entered without blood,” at the same time interceded for the people; so what was there shadowed out is fulfilled in Christ. (Ex. 30:10; Heb. 9:7.) First, he offered the sacrifice of his body, and shed his blood, that he might endure the punishment which was due to us; and secondly, in order that the atonement might take effect, he performed the office of an advocate, and interceded for all who embraced this sacrifice by faith; as is evident from that prayer which he left to us, written by the hand of John, “I pray not for these only, but for all who shall believe on me through their word.” (John 17:20.) If we then belong to their number, let us be fully persuaded that Christ hath suffered for us, that we may now enjoy the benefit of his death.
——John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, vol. 4, trans. by William Pringle (Baker Books, 2009), pp. 130-32