Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ordo Salutis

Theological Thursday: Ordo Salutis

Ordo Salutis: is Latin for the "order of salvation." This deals with the logical sequence or steps that is involved in the slavation of a sinner. There has been severe disagreement in regards to the order and especially about the cause of salvation. When discussed the ordo salutis  naturally involves specific terms and definitions. The following components are part of the process we know as salvation. These folllowing items are listed for your edification and further study, they may or may not be in actual sequential order.

Foreknowledge: "To know before"
Predestination:  "To determine beforehand; having reference to that which subjects are determined"
Election:  God's choosing of all whom He would save or apply salvation to
Regeneration:  God's renewing of one's spiritual life by the means of the Holy Spirit
Evangelism:  The communication of the Gospel to the sinner
Faith:  Belief and trust in the message of the gospel
Conversion:  One's turning from sin and turning to God as a result of the application of the work of Christ
Perseverance: One's continued state of salvation by true belief and God's perserving power
Repentance:  Turning from sin to God
Justification:  A legal term whereby God declares a believer to be just
Sanctification:  God's work through the Holy Spirit of separating one from the lure of sin
Glorification:  God's final removal of all sin from the life and presence of one in the eternal state

The debate over ordo saltuis" is a hot and long lasting debate within the church and even outside of the church. The order is important and a proper understanding of the terms is crucial. The outcome determines who gets the glory and who can boast when it comes to salvation. The most evident friction comes between those who hold to biblical order and definitions verses those who hold to an Arminian system of order and definitions. There are definite differences in the two camps.

There are at least three things to note however about the ordo salutis.

First, the "process" of salvation although containing many parts is an instantaneous act. All of these parts or components are important and must be present, they are worked together by God through His Spirit in such a way that when applied to a sinner salvation it is immediate.

Second, these steps and sequences are not necessary "chronological" steps. These steps can be seen as distinctions within a single process that in one way or another is effected by and dependent upon the work of God in the life of a sinner.

Third, one must realize that these steps or components are much more than just simple labels. The ordo salutis has as much to do with salvation as it has to do with the cause of salvation. For example, one position states that faith is the effect of election. The other position states that faith is the cause of election. One must truly understand the state of the sinner prior to salvation in order to come to a biblical ordo salutis.

Happy Birthday to my second oldest daugher Sonja Aurora Abramson of Milwaukee, OR! I love you Sonja!


Patience said...

A theological love of mine is the Ordo Salutis. It makes me all warm and fuzzy in side - especially the last three on the list.

Thank you for posting this my friend.

Ma ~ said...

Great post, Gregg.

In my experience there was certainly regeneration before belief, but when I joined the RCC, they told me that baptism caused regeneration, to which I knew differently, and then the whole thing fell apart for me for a few years.

Cathy M. said...

I think you really hit the nail on the head when you said, "One must truly understand the state of the sinner prior to salvation in order to come to a biblical ordo salutis."

I have more respect for someone who denies the effects of Adam's fall, than for someone who affirms original sin then claims he chose God. At least the former has discovered and eliminated the contradiction of the latter. As a bonus, the former is also more clearly outside the camp.

Brad said...

Interesting post, Gregg. Though not to take anything away here, it's probably worth pointing out that the first three steps are not experiential and are not recognized by the believer until regeneration had occured (sometimes long after). In other words, we were completely to blind to their existence/occurance until we had the capacity to see them.

All the more glory for him though.

Pat Donovan said...

Amen Brother