February 13, 2009

'ordo salutis' Order Of Salvation

Theologians describe the process by which God brings redemption subjectively to the sinner in 'ordo salutis'. This is perhaps the least understood element of soteriology. This determines whether one is monergistic or synergistic, God alone works in saving saving sinners or there is a cooperation of the sinner with the saving work of God. This determines if atonement is substitutionary (once for all) or an ongoing work of salvation. It also determines when justification is given to the sinner.

My JW friend believes that all this was a hastily devised plan after the fact of the fall of Adam in the garden. The "interim ethic" and "passover plot" are also hasty views of Christ's death. The view that Christ resigned himself to the death of the cross after a disappointing attempt to set up a political Jewish kingdom is the result of a faulty order of salvation.

Between these faulty views and the correct biblical view is a wide space of theological manipulation attempting to reconcile what one wants God to do and what God actually does.

Paul in Romans 8:28-34 gives us his order of salvation. The Protestant Reformation was constructed around this in difference to the Roman Catholic belief in faith repentance and good works.


Anonymous said...


I am sure you have indicated this before, but what, in your opinion, is the biblical order?

Romans 8 of course gives us this:

1.Forknowledge (not the corridor of time theory)
2.Predestination (part of the Covenant of Redemption)
3.Calling (Regeneration)
4. Justification (conversion?)
5. Glorification (obviously the culmination in glory)

I guess my first question to you is have I gone to far in my parenthetical thoughts?

I liked Punkster's ordo salutis on wade's blog. Do you subscribe to that as well?

But, If I really put the whole of Scripture against that list I come up with something a bit more logical. I submit to you the following theory for your consideration. Being predestined to the elect peoples of God means that we are called, justified, and sanctified from the moment the Covenant of Redemption was made before time began and thus our salvation is outside of the restrains of time. What will be is already done. Therefore, even though we are born into sin, as the elect we are also born into Christ. Our life then is the unfolding of His impartation of Faith as a result of the eternal salvific grace given through our election.

To me, this makes our jobs much easier. This "urgency" to get folks saved is thus rendered moot and we can then concentrate on obedience to the King and making Him known to the nations.

In essence, the saved are ALREADY saved. But we must still preach the Word, being ready in and out of season.

I did not want to ask you this nor submit my theory to you on Wade's blog for fear of being attacked from too many fronts.

Lastly, I want to apologize to you for the several times I treated you with a less than respectful tone. I am convinced now that your zeal for the Gospel is genuine and that your theology closely matches mine. Additionally, I have no room to judge another as to how one promotes their view on a blog as I am guilty on many of occasions as acting less than Christians.

I love your spirit and zeal to debate as well as your knowledge of reformed theology and Calvinism.

I believe I could learn alot form you and would enjoy discussing Calvinism in an arena where Calvinism is not trashed at every turn.

If you care to discuss the theory above, I also would at some point like to pick your brain on the topic of the origin of sin. R.C. Sproul Jr. wrote in a book that it is his opinion that God in effect created sin. I do not tout this view often, but I tend to agree with Sproul on this matter.

Penny for your thoughts. And a quarter for your forgiveness.


WatchingHISstory said...


Thanks for your comment. I agree with your order with possible clarification. I will respond later as I am getting ready to go to work. I am going to work with a warmer heart due to your comment.


WatchingHISstory said...

To understand the problem with the wrong OS just go to the Catholic Church Catechism and read that justification is 'confered' at bpatism. This made the convert "inwardly just". CCC 1992

It does seem to me that Evangelicals today want to make justification at the point of decision with imparted righteousness.

Justification is imputed to us as righteousness from calvary or even before the foundations were laid.

The Catholics use the word 'confer' implying an agreement of parties. I don't believe there is an agreement between God and the sinner. But there is a trinitarian conference before the worlds were made.

We are justified by faith and that faith is a gift of God. It is not confered on the sinner but a part of the regenerate nature. That faith is the effectual outcome of grace.

The order should not confuse faith and regeneration. Repentance produced by faith is subsequent to regeneration. Regeneration is below the level of consciousness so whether one is an infant, imbecile or adult he is born again supernaturally and the "filth of the flesh is put away." The progress toward glorification is started. The power of sin is overcome but the presence of sin still remains which is why we are given sanctification positionally and practically.

To start this life we repent of the sins that rob us of the "good conscience toward God." The remission of this sin is granted thru baptism in the name of God.(Father,Son and Holy Spirit)
This process seems to correspond to the OT sacrificial offering for the sins of the nation, the scape goat and the periodic offerings for individual sins.

I don't like the argument that conviction, repentance and conversion are simultaneous to the point of inseparation. It just seems to be a way to appease the free willers desire to participate in regeneration.

I agree with your order.

Does this help?