Friday, May 24, 2013

The Order of Salvation

Here are some great words from the Rev. L David Green that I want to share with everyone.  It's essentially an expansion of the regeneration part of the sermon titled "A Great Commission."

Here is what is often called the order of salvation, ordo salutis in Latin, that was rediscovered from Scripture during the Reformation:

1. Election - God's sovereign work from eternity - part of his decree -  which establishes the number of those taken, as it were, by the Father and given to the Son to be freed by him as our Lord Jesus Christ from Satan's dominion and eventually be brought to glory.

2. Regeneration or the new birth - the sovereign work of God the Spirit in bringing life to those who were dead in trespasses and sins and therefore wholly unable to do anything pleasing to God or savingly to believe and repent. Regeneration is not the exercise of faith or repentance; nor is it justification, adoption or sanctification.  These are all fruits of regeneration.  In regeneration the sinner is wholly passive, no more cooperative than a baby is when born of its mother.   Usually what then immediately happens to the regenerated person are the following (as in the case of the baby: it cries, urinates, eats, i.e. functions):

3. Effectual calling - the Holy Spirit's saving call, usually through the Scriptures read or preached, whereby a person is convicted of their sin and terrible condition before God, enlightened in mind about who Christ is and what he has freely done for sinners and the sinner's will is enabled to agree with God and put faith in Christ alone for complete salvation.  At that moment the person has been united to Christ indissolubly and forever.  From this union all Christ's other benefits flow to him, the following being exceedingly prominent:

4. Justification - whereby the regenerated, believing person is declared by the Father as perfectly righteous in God's sight as Christ is.  This is because all the sinner's sins - past, present and future - have been imputed to Christ, who at Calvary paid their infinite penalty under God's wrath and curse (2Cor.5:21), and all Christ's righteousness, earned as man throughout his life, is imputed to the sinner. This is a legal transaction effected by the Holy Spirit when the sinner savingly trusts Christ.

5. Adoption -  at the moment of exercising saving faith, the sinner is enrolled among and has a right to all the privileges of the sons of God. He is now an heir of God and joint heir of Christ, and is enabled to call God "Father" with all the rights and privileges of such an exalted position.

NOTE:  Neither justification nor adoption makes any change in the sinner's personal holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Heb.12:14).  This is the work of

6. Sanctification, which has two principal aspects: 1) the believer is declared holy by position, by his union with Christ. That is why the most common word for believers in the NT is "saints" or holy ones. This they are by POSITION in Christ.  2) the process and progress of becoming more like Christ, of being conformed to Christ's image by the indwelling Holy Spirit all our life long, until

7. Glorification - Beloved, now we are the sons of God and it doth not appear what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him [perfectly, eternally!], for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1Jn.3:2-3.

It is as Jonah said from the whale's belly, Salvation is of the Lord ... from first to last!