We have written before and in more detail on the so-called "Order of Salvation". We only wish, therefore, to point out some more important features of the "Order" in this article.
When in theology we speak of the "Order of Salvation" we are speaking of the different parts of salvation as they are applied and given to God's people by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the "Order of Salvation" describes the work of God's Spirit in us.
The closest thing we have to an order of salvation in Scripture is Romans 8:30. But that is not an "Order of Salvation" in the strict theological sense in that it speaks of predestination, which is not part of God's work in us, but something He did for us before the foundations of the world.
A typical order of salvation, therefore, is that followed by the Westminster Larger Catechism, i.e., Union with Christ, Effectual Calling, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Glorification. Other orders would be different. Many, for example, would include regeneration and faith. But in any case the purpose of such an order is to try and understand the relationship between these different parts of our salvation, all described in Scripture.
Several things must be remembered in speaking of such an order.
- We must remember that this is only an attempt to understand these Biblical concepts and is in no sense to be understood mechanically as though we first receive one, then the other, and so on. The fact is, that in our experience many of these blessings are received at the same time. Also, many of them are not one-time spiritual "happenings." Sanctification, for example, is something that begins when a person is first saved and continues to the very moment of death.
- The "Order of Salvation" does emphasize one important truth, however, and that is that the application of salvation does not take place all at once, but is something lifelong - something finished only when we are finally with Christ in heaven. This is, of course, denied by those who believe in perfectionism and entire sanctification - they tend to see the application of salvation as a one-time thing.
- In a Reformed "Order of Salvation" there are a couple of things that must be emphasized and cannot be changed: (a) regeneration and effectual calling must come before faith, or we have faith as work of man, which is Arminianism; (b) faith itself must come before justification to maintain the great Protestant truth of justification by faith alone; and (c) justification must come before sanctification, or we have the Romish doctrine of justification by works.
All this is only to say, however, that the one thing any "Order of Salvation" must teach is that also in its application salvation is entirely the work of God Himself through the sovereign operations of the Holy Spirit. Salvation, therefore, is all of grace. "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD" (Jonah 2:9).
- Volume: 5
- Issue: 1
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
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