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).

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).
– God’s 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 regeneration logically precedes faith.

Union with Christ
The Central and Organizing Motif of the Ordo Salutis

Review
• Primordial Union with Christ
– Election & – Predestination

Temporal Union with Christ
The Outworking in Time of God’s Predestinating Purposes

Temporal Union with Christ
• Rom 16:7: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. • The “in Christ” relationship has a primordial, or pre-temporal aspect (as we learned in our last lesson), • But it also has a temporal, “in time” aspect, which explains Rom 16:7.

Temporal Union with Christ
• What this means is that although you were united with Christ (“in Christ”) before time began, • It is also true that you entered into union with Christ after time began, at a point during your lifetime.

Temporal Union with Christ
The Initiating Acts of God

Initiating Acts of God
• Calling • Regeneration
– These are the acts of God and God alone by which his predestinating purposes begin to take effect in the lives of his elect.

Calling
Also called, “Effective Calling,” “Effectual Calling,” “Inward Call,” and/or “Irresistible Grace”

Calling
• 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. • This verse is the reason why God’s call to salvation is referred to as his “Effectual Call.” • All those he has called are certainly justified. • Therefore calling is an act of God that guarantees a response on the part of the one being called.

Calling
• God’s Effectual Call
– Rom 1:6: …among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. – 1 Cor 1:9: God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Thess 2:12: so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. – 1 Pet 2:9: …[He] has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Calling
• Examples of God’s Effectual Call
– Acts 16:14: A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. – John 11:1-44

Calling
• Matt 22:14: For many are called, but few are chosen. • This verse is the reason why we use the words “effectual” or “effective” with respect to the calling that Paul treats in Rom 8:30. • This call of God (through the preaching of the gospel) is often referred to as the “general” or “outward” call.

Calling
• God’s General Call
– Acts 17:30-31: Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

Calling
• God’s General Call
– 2 Cor 5:20: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. – Rev 22:17: The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Calling
• The outward call of the gospel is the instrument by which the Lord makes his inward summons. • In the preaching of the gospel, the elect hear the Shepherd’s voice and respond appropriately.
– John 10:27-28: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Calling
• 1 Pet 1:23: …for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. • Jas 1:18: In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. • 2 Thess 2:14: It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Calling
• Since it is in the preaching of the gospel that the elect hear their Shepherd’s voice and respond appropriately, • We can say that where there is effective calling there is also necessarily outward calling. • But the opposite does not obtain; for where there is outward calling there is not necessarily effective calling.

Calling
• Outward Call • Many are called, but few are chosen. • The preaching of the gospel: “Repent and believe.” • Can be resisted by the hearer.
• Not necessarily simultaneous with salvation (i.e. you can hear the outward call and fail to be saved).

• Effectual Call • Those whom he called he justified. • Heard in the preaching of the gospel: “Repent and believe.” • Cannot be resisted by the hearer. • Simultaneous with salvation (i.e. you cannot hear the outward call and fail to be saved).

Temporal Union with Christ
Regeneration

Regeneration
• Titus 3:5: He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

Regeneration
• John 3:3: Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” • John 3:7: Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.”

Regeneration
• Being born again is totally and solely an act of God with no cooperation on our part.
– This is true logically (by virtue of the metaphor itself) – And more importantly, it is true biblically.

Regeneration
• The metaphor of second birth indicates that regeneration is not of our own doing.
– Just as none of us had any part in our natural birth, so none of us has any part in our spiritual rebirth. – This does not mean that repentance and faith are not necessary for our salvation; – But that repentance and faith are the fruit of our (effectual calling) and regeneration.

Regeneration
• Biblically, regeneration is set forth as a divine and unilateral act.
– John 3:8: The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. – John 1:12-13: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Regeneration
• Regeneration is God’s act of causing a person to come to life that he or she will certainly respond to the gospel with saving faith. • 1 Pet 1:3-5: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Regeneration
• Regeneration is God’s act of causing a person to come to life that he or she will certainly respond to the gospel with saving faith. • John 3:3, 5: Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” • Ezek 36:25-27: Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Regeneration
• Regeneration is God’s act of causing a person to come to life that he or she will certainly respond to the gospel with saving faith. • Eph 2:5: even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ. • Col 2:13: When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.

Regeneration
• Regeneration is God’s act of causing a person to come to life that he or she will certainly respond to the gospel with saving faith. • 1 John 5:1: Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

Regeneration
• Regeneration is God’s act of causing a person to come to life that he or she will certainly respond to the gospel with saving faith. • 2 Cor 4:3-6: And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Regeneration
Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

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