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Condensed Theology

A Primer in Systematic Theology

Soteriology: The Doctrine of Salvation


What does the Bible teach about salvation?

The Ordo Salutis


The Order of Salvation

The Ordo Salutis


That there is such nomenclature implies that we can (or believe we can) discern from Scripture an order to the application of redemption.
Rom 8:30: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

The Ordo Salutis


Romans 8:30 appears to be preserving for us a sequence in the application of redemption
First, we are predestined. Second, we are called. Third, we are justified. Fourth, we are glorified.

We discern that there is a sequence not only from the ordering of the four elements of salvation, but also according to how each element is understood by Paul.
For example, by definition predestination precedes calling, justification, and glorification.

The Ordo Salutis


From the rest of the New Testament we see the following aspects of the application of redemption in order:
Election Predestination Effectual Calling Regeneration Faith Repentance Justification Adoption Sanctification Glorification

The Ordo Salutis


The order should not be understood strictly chronologically; Instead, it should be understood as the logical ordering of the different aspects of salvation.

The Ordo Salutis


There are some elements that are both logically and chronologically prior to/following others (e.g. election and predestination precede faith and repentance).
Eph 1:4, 13: just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationhaving also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The Ordo Salutis


There are other elements that cannot be related to one another in terms of chronology; yet they relate to one another in a logical sequence (e.g. regeneration and faith).
Gods act of causing us to be born again involves applying the gift of faith to the individual such that he or she inevitably and invariably believes. Thus they are inseparable. At the same time, since a new heart (being born again) is required to exercise faith we can say that logically regeneration precedes faith.

Union with Christ


The Central and Organizing Motif of the Ordo Salutis

Union with Christ


We must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us (John Calvin, Institutes 3.1.1).

Union with Christ


All of the aspects of the ordo salutis belong to us only through union with Christ. They are his and through our union with him by the Holy Spirit all of them are oursfrom eternity past to eternity futurewe have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3).

Primordial Union with Christ


Election and Predestination

Primordial Union with Christ


Election and predestination are essentially synonymous terms. We separate them because they focus on different aspects of Gods sovereign choice for salvation God elects some to salvation; thus they are predestined to be saved.

Primordial Union with Christ


Election and predestination represent our primordial union with Christ because we are chosen in Christ before time began
Eph 1:4-5: just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will

Primordial Union with Christ


Christians Are the Elect

Christians Are the Elect


Matt 24:22: Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matt 24:24: For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matt 24:31: And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Christians Are the Elect


Mark 13:20: Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Luke 18:7: now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 2 Tim 2:10: For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

Christians Are the Elect


Titus 1:1-2: Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago. 1 Pet 2:9: But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Christians Are the Elect


2 John 1: The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth. Rev 17:14: These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.

Primordial Union with Christ


Christians Are the Elect of God

Christians Are the Elect of God


Though it may seem strange to make explicit that God does the choosing; It is nevertheless important to make the point so as to clarify that election is something that happens to men and women, not something they do which then places them in the category of the elect.

Christians Are the Elect of God


Acts 13:48: When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 1 Cor 1:26-29: For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

Christians Are the Elect of God


Col 3:12: So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 1 Thess 1:4: knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you. 1 Thess 5:9: For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians Are the Elect of God


2 Thess 2:13-14: But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jas 2:5: Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

Christians Are the Elect of God


Rev 13:8: All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Rev 17:8: The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

Christians Are the Elect of God


Eph 1:3-6: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Christians Are the Elect of God


Eph 1:10-12: with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Primordial Union with Christ


Christians Are the Elect of God by Gods Grace Alone

Elect by Grace Alone


Matt 11:27: All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 2 Tim 1:9: who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

Elect by Grace Alone


Rom 9:10-13: And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."

Elect by Grace Alone


Rom 9:15-18: For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Elect by Grace Alone


Rom 9:22-24: What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

Elect by Grace Alone


Eph 1:5-9, 11: He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.

Primordial Union with Christ


Election and Foreknowledge

Election and Foreknowledge


1 Pet 1:1-2: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Election and Foreknowledge


1 Pet 1:18-20: knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.

Election and Foreknowledge


Rom 8:28-29: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Rom 11:2: God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

Primordial Union with Christ


Reprobation

Reprobation
The term reprobation is a theological term that refers to the predestination of people to hell. It flows from a belief in what is called double predestination; Namely, that in the same way that some are destined for eternal life Others are destined for eternal punishment

Reprobation
John 17:12: While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

Reprobation
Romans 9:14-18: What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Reprobation
Rom 9:19-24: You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

Reprobation
Predestination is indeed double, but its not what you might think. There is positive-positive double predestination And positive-negative double predestination

Reprobation
Positive-positive double predestination understands God to look out on a neutral/unfallen humanity and destine some for heaven and others for hell.
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Reprobation
Positive-negative double predestination understands God to look out on a sinful humanity and destine some for heaven and destine others for hell by allowing those destined for hell to be treated as their sins deserve.
All are deservingly headed for hell; therefore God chooses to rescue some, the others he passes over.

Primordial Union with Christ


The Order of the Decrees

The Order of the Decrees


The order of the decrees is a branch of speculative theology that seeks to ascertain in what order God decreed his plan of creation and redemption. I should warn you The teaching involves two big words:
Supralapsarianism (before the fall) Infralapsarianism (after the fall)

The Order of the Decrees


What happened in Gods mind before the foundation of the world?
Did he
Decree to elect some to salvation in Christ then Decree to create the world and both kinds of men then Decree that all men would fall then Decree to redeem the elect, who are now sinners, by the cross of Christ then Decree to apply Christs redemption to elect sinners? This is supralapsarianism

The Order of the Decrees


What happened in Gods mind before the foundation of the world?
Or did he
Decree to create the world and all men then Decree that all men would fall then Decree to elect some fallen men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the others) then Decree to redeem the elect by the cross of Christ then Decree to apply Christs redemption to the elect? This is infralapsarianism

The Order of the Decrees


What happened in Gods mind before the foundation of the world?
I favor infralapsarianism: God decreed the fall and then he decreed to save some people. I favor this position because it comports best with positive-negative double predestination. This is not to say that supralapsarianists are positive-positive double predestinarians. There are good theologians on either side of the debate.

Primordial Union with Christ


Conclusion

Conclusion
God chose us for salvation in union with Christ before the foundation of the world. His choice was on the basis of his sovereign grace alone (i.e. it was unconditional). His choice of some necessarily excludes others; this is referred to as reprobation, or double predestination. Double predestination is best understood as positive-negative rather than positive-positive.

Conclusion
The order of the decrees refers to the logical order of thought in Gods mind with respect to his plan for creation and redemption. Infralapsarianism posits that God decreed election after he decreed the fall. Supralapsarianism posits that God decreed election before he decreed the fall. We favor infralapsarianism as best reflecting the teaching of Scripture and as logically more consistent than the supralapsarian position.