Friday, February 26, 2010

SALVATION IS OF THE LORD
...the Ordo Salutis (The Order of Salvation)

"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." -JOHN OWEN

Does Scripture picture God as a powerless lover or suitor, begging sinful man to "accept Him, marry Him or get engaged to Him?"; OR as the Sovereign Lord of all who is "commanding all men everywhere to repent" of their sins? IOW, is God simply reacting to man's "free will advances" or is He the One who is the Author and Finisher of our faith; the One who draws, elects, chooses; predestines, justifies, glorifies, and saves? (cp. Roms. 8:28-31)

My prayer is that you will find comfort, joy, reverence and thanksgiving in the blessed hope and surety of your salvation. What is the essence of the doctrines of grace? What is the heart and soul of biblical soteriology?

It can summed up in one phrase:
"salvation is of the Lord."


The Ordo Salutis:

Latin,
"the order of salvation."

The ordo salutis is the theological doctrine that deals with the logical sequencing of the benefits of Salvation worked by Christ which are applied to us by the Spirit. This first thing to remember is that we must never seperate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ).

The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration, etc.) is the work of God in Christ and is by grace alone. Election is the superstructure of our ordo salutis, but not itself the application of redemption. Regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit which brings us into a living union with Christ, has a causal priority over the other aspects of the process of salvation:

  • God opens our eyes, we see.
  • God circumcises/unplugs our ears, we hear.
  • Jesus calls a dead and buried Lazarus out of the grave, he comes.
  • In the same way, the Holy Spirit applies regeneration, (opening our spiritual eyes and renewing our affections), infallibly resulting in faith.
All the benefits of redemption such as conversion (faith & repentance), justification, sanctification and perseverance presuppose the existence of spiritual life. The work of applying God's grace is a unitary process given to the elect simultaneously. This is instantaneous, but there is definitely a causal order (regeneration giving rise to all the rest). Though these benefits cannot be separated, it is helpful to distinguish them. Therefore, instead of imposing a chronological order we should view these as a unitary work of God to bring us into union with Christ. We must always keep in mind that the orders occur together or happen simultaneously like the turning on of a light switch or a faucet. But God turns on the light/faucet, so to speak. All aspects of the work of God continue together throughout the life of a Christian.

Historically in the Church there has been disagreement about the order of salvation, especially between those in the Reformed and Arminian camps. The following two perspectives of God's order in carrying out His redemptive work reveals the stark contrast between these two main historic views. Keep in mind that both viewpoints are based on the redemptive work which Christ accomplished for His people in history:
In the Reformed camp, the ordo salutis is 1) election, 2) predestination, 3) gospel call 4) inward call 5) regeneration, 6) conversion (faith & repentance), 7) justification, 8) sanctification, and 9) glorification. (Rom 8:29-30)

In the Arminian camp, the ordo salutis is 1) outward call 2) faith/election, 3) repentance, 4) regeneration, 5) justification, 6) perseverance, 7) glorification.
Notice the crucial difference in the orders of regeneration and faith.

While the Reformed position believes spiritual life is a prerequisite for the existence of the other aspects of salvation, the Arminians believe that fallen, natural man retains the moral capacity to receive or reject the gospel of his own power. Even with the help of grace he still must find it within himself to believe or reject Christ. This has broad implications and raises questions like why does one man believe and not another? You might also notice that, according to Arminians, election is dependent on faith, not the other way around. This is no small matter ...understanding the biblical order, while keeping in mind its unitary process, is crucial and has a profound impact on how one views God, the gospel, and the Bible as a whole.

"Union with Christ begins with God's pretemporal decision to save his people in and through Jesus Christ. This union, further, is based on the redemptive work for his people which Christ did in history. Finally, this union is actually established with God's people after they have been born, continues throughout their lives, and has as its goal their eternal glorification in the life to come. We go on, then, to see union with Christ as having its roots in divine election, its basis in the redemptive work of Christ, and its actual establishment with God's people in time." -Anthony Hoekema

Source: the above is sourced from Monergism.com

An encore presentation

70 comments:

scripturesearcher said...

Better and better and better - that
is how your blogs are!

Persevere! Press on, pardner aka
partner for all non-Texans!

Cleopas said...

Hi Steve,

Paul says that we are chosen in Christ (Eph 1:4). Doesn't this mean that Christ is the chosen one, and we are chosen in Him through receiving Him?

I know that Calvin also taught that we are elect in Christ:

". . . Hence, those whom God has adopted as sons, he is said to have elected, not in themselves, but in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:4); because he could love them only in him, and only as being previously made partakers with him, honor them with the inheritance of his kingdom. But if we are elected in him, we cannot find the certainty of our election in ourselves; and not even in God the Father, if we look at him apart from the Son. Christ, then, is the mirror in which we ought, and in which, without deception, we may contemplate our election. For since it is into his body that the Father has decreed to ingraft those whom from eternity he wished to be his, that he may regard as sons all whom he acknowledges to be his members, if we are in communion with Christ, we have proof sufficiently clear and strong that we are written in the Book of Life . . . "

Beyond this one mention, I haven't found this perspective very well developed with Calvinistic authors. I think what hangs in the balance is relationship, rather than an arrangement; a Savior, rather than a system. I'm sure you'll agree that knowing Jesus is the prime consideration. Have you seen other things written that you could use to elaborate?

ann_in_grace said...

- Your blog is my daily inspiration.
Today I needed a concise description of the exact topic of Your post.
How can one say 'thank You' so it is not boring?

Greetings from late-night Sweden!

donsands said...

Excellent study. Some very good thoughts. Thanks for the encouragement.

" (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls)" Romans 9:11

"And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." Acts 13:48

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish" John 10:28

" for this purpose I came to this hour. Father glorify Your name." John 12:27-28

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christopher Redman said...

EXCELLENT!!!

donsands said...

andy, If I may share a quick thought, and I'm certain Steve will answer your questions in a much better way than I.

I understand where you're coming from.
First thing we have to come to grips with is that God owes no one His mercy. The word mercy is the defining word.
He shows His mercy to whom He wills.
Have you read Romans? Chapter 8:31 through 9:24 deals with this subject in a very specific way I think.
It's the Word of God that is our authority.

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
donsands said...

andy,

Is it alright if people reject the gospel, and are condemned?

Wouldn't it have been better for the lord to just not create those who He knew would be condemned?

I did ike your quote from Charles Spurgeon. There surely is a mystery to election of God's grace, and man's responsibility. And i believe most Christians who take the time to study this deep doctrine of the Scriptures will see that there is a mystery. And yet as C. H. says: "but they do converge". There is only one truth, but it is an infinite truth.

However, we must listen to the Holy Scriptures. That is why I encouraged you to read Romans 8:31-9:24 and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and mind.

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
donsands said...

andy,

You're a little hard to follow. I would once again encourage you read the Scriptures, and then see what you think.

" ... whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.
What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be Against us? ...

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?

Who is he that condemns?

Who shall seperate us from the love of Christ? ...

And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory." (Rom. 8:30-35; 9:23)

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
donsands said...

"Jesus is predistened to call all, it's not who's elected who is predestined"

I disagree with your interpretation.

I know I'm not worthy to be chosen by the Lord. I was a blasphemer and arrogant, and hated the Lord. He came to me in my sinful rebellion, and quickened my dead soul. He opened my blind eyes. He removed my callous heart, and gave me a new heart. He gave me His Spirit. And He lead me to His Word, and made me a member of His family, and a heir of His kingdom. What a gracious Savior. I love Him now, only because He first loved me.
I deserved hell, and still do, but for His amazing grace and mercy.

Keep reading and studying the Scriptures.

ann_in_grace said...

Calvinism IS Gospel, andy. From the pen of Spurgeon.

Carla said...

God's timing is nothing short of incredible.

Yesterday I had a lengthy conversation with a dear friend on the belief that some hold to - that a man can be saved, be a genuine, professing Christian - without ever having so much as heard of/know anything about/profess faith in the resurrection of Christ.

In the course of that conversation I was reminded of the ordo salutis which clearly lists the gospel call before the inward call and regeneration.

This of course led to "what exactly then, is the gospel?" If you cannot have a true gospel without including the news of His resurrection (and without it, there truly is no good news whatsoever), then you do not have a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation.

I appreciate you posting on the ordo solutis, this is something that would be of great benefit for any believer to study out.

SDG...
Carla

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann_in_grace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann_in_grace said...

andy, we are not supposed to learn about God from various blogs, but from the Bible.
What do you mean "by the pen of murderer"?
Please explain.

(I know this is not my place to say, but it is really difficult to read what you write. I mean the spelling.)

Calvinist Gadfly said...

Andy and cleopas,

Ephesians 1:4 is speaking of the foundation of our predestination: "in Christ."

We are not chosen in Muhammad or X,Y, or Z.

In other words, we could not have been chosen at all if there were no righteous basis for the Father to choose.

Predestionation is a salvific act. Jesus does not need salvation. He gives salvation.

The following article demonstrates three texts that clearly teach that predestination is personal.

www.calvinistgadfly.com/?p=34

Thanks,
Alan

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SJ Camp said...

cleopas

You said: "Paul says that we are chosen in Christ (Eph 1:4). Doesn't this mean that Christ is the chosen one, and we are chosen in Him through receiving Him?"

I appreciate your question.

The answer is no. Prophetically, Isaiah refers to the Lord Jesus as "My Chosen One" (Is. 42:1; 45:4). But we are chosen in Christ... Paul is not referring to Christ as being chosen and we by identification with Him are now considered chosen. That would make election not an act of God's sovereignty, but of our own self-willed determinationism. And since free will is a myth (read Romans 9); but that man's will is bound by original sin then the certainty is that man is conceived in sin, dead in trespasses and sins; by nature children of wrath; under the domain of Satan and sons of disobedience (Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-3), and without hope in this world. And that is why that God must choose us before the world began in Christ. And it is the agency of faith, God's gift to us (Eph. 2:8-9) by which we believe. God then regenerates us before we exercise faith to believe...(Titus 3:1-8). Why? Because without the Spirit of Christ no man can confess Christ as Lord (1 Cor. 12:3).

So predestination, foreknowledge, election are all acts of God by which He marks out for His good pleasure a people for Himself who were given as a love gift to the Son, Jesus Christ, who redeemed us on the cross and rose for our justification.

Alan's article is excellent on this as well.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

ann_in_grace said...

andy,You got a link to a sermon by Spurgeon. Have you read it?
(What does Calvin's life have to do with the truth of the Gospel, anyway?)
I think you are looking for some kind of conflict. Pardon me, but I am not prone to accompany you into it.

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jazzycat said...

The Arminian belief of regeneration coming after faith is kinda like a person taking his medicine after he has been cured.

Could you elaborate a bit on inward call coming before regeneration and the timing. The inward call is a work of the Holy Spirit. Is the inward call (effectual call) the beginning of regeneration or is it a pre-working of the Spirit before a separate act of regeneration? Also, can there be a fairly long time interval between the effectual call and regeneration?

Cleopas said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I respect your opinion but if I may point out, your conclusion depends on the other, underlying tenants of Calvinism first being true, rather than standing on its own merit through a direct Scriptural quotation. But Eph 1:4 was an actual quotation. Or Col 3:11-12 is another:

“where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God . . . ”

In a broader sense, in all types of church circles (including Arminianism,) I have noticed a similar tendency in reaching doctrinal conclusions. When a belief is so thoroughly systematized, it may end up supporting itself through quoting its other tenants, rather than looking back to the identity of Jesus for the definition for each issue. So often, He seems to get lost in the shuffle that way.

So actually, if I may restate my question: You and I and Calvin agree that we are chosen in Christ. But what does it mean to be chosen in Him? You’ve explained what His role doesn’t mean, rather than what it does mean.

Historically speaking, when Calvinism or Arminianism acknowledge Jesus in such passages, it has usually amounted to nothing more than lip service, as in the passage I quoted from Calvin (above). Because I’ve found nothing else he said that depends on this knowledge in a practical way for further definition. And I may be wrong because I haven’t read it all, so I’m open to hear about it. That was the other part of my question.

Terry Rayburn said...

I don't mean this at all arrogantly, but two things are true:

1. It's extremely easy to defeat an Arminian biblically when it comes to the Order of Salvation, at least as far as regeneration preceding faith, but

2. It's extremely difficult to *convince* an Arminian that you have defeated them.

Part of the reason for the above is that Calvinists *sound* scared to admit that man has any part in his salvation.

But man *does* have a part. Namely, he must change his mind about Christ and sin (repentance), and he must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (faith).

So man *must* repent and believe.

There's just one tiny little problem. Man is born dead. Dead in his sins. Spiritually dead. He cannot even *see* the kingdom of God, let alone believe in its King (John 3:3).

That is, until he is born again. Then he can't *help* but believe (irresistable grace).

And that's why the New Birth (regeneration) *must* come before faith.

More Arminians would come to this biblical conclusion if we Calvinists would state upfront the biblical truth that man has a part in his salvation.

Of course man gets no glory for his part. He gets no bragging rights. His very ability was produced by God, by grace, through the New Birth. In that sense it's "all of God".

donsands said...

I get your point Terry.

I think it's simply that those who don't like the reformed view on election, do not think it's fair.

It's not fair to condemn a person who, as you said, has "one tiny little problem".

That's always the kicker when I discuss election. I lead them to read & study Romans, and specifically 8:30-9:24, to deal with whether it's fair or not.

andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john said...

Steve,
I think we get locked into "calvinism vs armenianism" like those are the only two choices. I also think it's sad that calvinists go around trying to "defeat" armenians and vice-versa (see post above).

Here's my problem with pre-destination: if God created certain people with the express purpose of sending them to hell, then He is not a merciful God. Now you can roll out the "but if God saves even one..." argument - but then don't argue for a personal God. If God created me to go to hell, then he has not been merciful to me.

Beyond that, I think there are a load of verses that you have to throw out the window or reinvent (God would that ALL would come to Him).

I know your defense of your position on these verses and just disagree, so going into all that will be useless for us both.

But, it seems to me that there's another option. Certainly, salvation is from God. He initiated it and paid the price. But what if He gives us true, honest and real free will? What if He chooses not to know who will accept it and who will not? What if He gives everyone the same opportunity and it's actually just and equitable?

If you're telling me that God creates certain people to go to hell - I just can't believe that. That is not just.

donsands said...

john,

Thanks for sharing your heart. As far as God choosing not to know, I would say that could lead to bad theology.

Romans 5:12 "sin entered into the world, and death ... and death upon all men"

We are guilty. I deserve hell.

Romans 9:18-20 "He has mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardens.
You will say to me, ... who can resist His will.
Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why have you made me this way?"

Romans 11:32-33 "God has shut them all up together in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out!"

Romans 16:25-27 " Now to Him ... To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen."

gigantor1231 said...

John

Did God choose to harden pharaoh's heart? Did God choose Judas to betray Christ?
On what do you base your belief that God limited his own knowledge?
Is. 46:8-11

8 “ Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Is 46:8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

'God declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying , 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'
At what point does God limit his knowledge? The beginning of a thing, the end of a thing, something in the middle.
He knows it all!
We know from scripture that God has appointed some to certain tasks, some for noble purposes and others for ignoble purposes. We also know that as the Potter is to the clay so God is to us, who are we to say to him; What is this you have made!
God is not unfair or unjust, his ways are higher than yours.
You said; "If you're telling me that God creates certain people to go to hell - I just can't believe that. That is not just." You are saying that you can only believe in a God that fits in the confines of your own mind and, in this case, your definition of justice. In light of what you said it is not God that has limited himself but you have limited God, in essence you create your own God from your own world view. The problem is that God will not be limited because he is what he is, the great I am and in him all things exist for his purposes, it is not the other way around where he exists for ours.

G. Alford said...

John,

May I put forth a few thoughts on this subject (don't expect to much from my thoughts, but here they are anyway)

1) God created man for Himself... "We are not our own...", "Can the clay say to the potter..."
2) God created man perfect and without sin… what is the current condition of man?
3) Gods law (obey and you shall live, sin and you shall surly die) is still in effect, is God at fault because all men choose to sin?
4) Is man condemned because he has rejected Christ, or because he is a sinner?
5) What happens to the native who is born and dies without ever hearing the name of Christ?

Not trying to argue in any way my brother, just trying to stir up some thoughts on these things…

Blessings,

Denise said...

God has creative claims upon us. He made us, therefore He does as He wishes with us. The fact that He is Creator necessitates He does as He wills with us and all His creation. As Lord He is Master, Owner, and Sovereign ruler.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Ps. 33: 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere Him. 9 For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

1Sa 2:6 The LORD kills and brings to life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and he exalts.

Joh 3:27 John answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.

Is. 42: 5 This is what God the LORD says— He who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it…

Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?

Isa 29:16 You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of Him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?

John 19: 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above . Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

Act 4:27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Is. 4312 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”

Ps. 115: 3 Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.

Ps. 135: 6 The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.

Dan. 4: 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

Eph. 1: 11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will

john said...

You can prooftext scripture all day - picking pieces from here and there. Let's reason together for a moment, though...

If God chooses to know everything, how could He be surprised? If He knows everything, why would He ever be angry? Or sad? Why would scripture talk about Him wishing He had never created people and wanting to start over?

You have one of two things happening here - either God chooses to limit His knowledge or your interpretation of scripture must begin to allow for "myth" instead of concrete readings of stories like creation, noah's ark, etc.

The bottom line is that I read scripture as a record of man's interaction with God and you read it as a letter direct from the "hand of God" to man. That's gonna make things sticky talking about this.

Now, if you tell me that God has some higher "version" of justice - explain how that could be. Isn't the heart of His law to love others more highly than ourselves? Is He exempt from that? Doesn't Christ's sacrifice speak to that?

So tell me how - in any being's vision of reality - that creating an imperfect being and abandoning them in a garden where you've allowed temptation to roam free - and then getting upset when they fall - and then calling it part of a plan - and then sending 95% of those people to burn for eternity - and then saving only 5% of them...

How is that loving? How is that merciful? How is that fair?

gigantor1231 said...

John
Before I write this I just want to say that it is not intended to be taken in a harsh tone, but it is direct and to the point. I am only drawing my conclusions from what you say!
The problem is not that God is not merciful in what he does or how he does things, the problem is that you do not understand mercy from his perspective. We say that while he elects some to be with him, at the same time he elects others to go to hell. Why does he do this, it is because he chooses on whom He will show mercy and those He will not. What is his criteria for his choice? Once again it is simply his good pleasure, after all he created you, So should he not be able to choose your destiny?
It is not that God is not Just, it is that you do not know to whom God has extended his hand of mercy to, you are the one limited in your knowledge. You put numbers on those going to heaven and hell but as far as you know 99% could go to heaven and 1% to hell, you do not know, I do not know, therefore God's hand of mercy is extended to all and he accepts all that come to him!
I think the other problem is that you can not conceive a hell at all, you essentially can not believe what the word says because as you said ' The bottom line is that I read scripture as a record of man's interaction with God.' The bible is a hitorical record to you, not a letter from God to man, so you pick and choose what you want to believe and disregard the rest, you set the bounds by your mental ascent. I wonder, is there room for the spirit of God to influence you or is the spirit of God simply a attitude that you think that you should adopt? So what can be said, let time tell and let God be proven truthful and all men liars. It appears that you want God to come down to your level. He did that once for all, He became the lowest common denominator and denied his royalty so that he could show his mercy to you and all men. The next time he comes back he will come back as the King that he is in all his splendor, and when he does it will not make any difference what our ideas or philosopies are, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

donsands said...

John,

I understand where you are coming from. I feel the same way sometimes, but the main thing for us in this world is what does God say. My feelings must not rule, but His truth must.
God's is way more merciful than you and I could ever possibly know. And He is way more righteous and holy than we could ever imagine as well.

The scariest thing in this universe would be to stand before an Eternal Holy God, and not know His forgiveness and mercy.
Freddy Kruger in a dark alley would be nothing compared to that.

Do you believe the Bible is inspired, and is the recorded truth from God?

If not, then we surely must part company.

If you do, then why not prayerfully read and study Paul's Epistle to the Romans.
That's why I quoted the Scripture verses that I did, to give a small taste of what this most excellent letter of love and doctrine is all about.

"speaking the truth in love"

The D.O.G. House said...

John,

Do you notice a pattern here? The other commentators here are using scripture, while your comments are unsubstantiated statements based on your emotional feelings (not the word of God)and presuppositions. Thus you have become the one lobbing the questions that Paul anticipated in Romans chapter 9. ANYTIME someone argues doctrinal points without scripture, they fall into this category.

I truly intend this to be helpful (albeit a little blunt), and not antagonistic or condescending. May God bless you in the study of His word. I am...

Grateful for grace,
The DOGpreacher

john said...

First, let me say definatively that if God creates even one person who does not have a chance at heaven, that is unjust.

God sets the rules for "just and unjust" - not me. My values are formed by those conveyed in scripture. If I did that to someone, I would be sinning. God is either just or He is not. You can't say His version of just is different from the one He asks of us - that in itself is unjust (living above your own law).

As for the way you guys view scripture, I believe you worship it instead of God. I believe our scripture was written by men seeking God. I do not believe it is perfect - and I don't believe it claims to be. I think it's useful (Timothy).

Many evangelicals believe there are no errors in scripture - that everything in our canon was always there - that church fathers through the ages all agreed on it content and the weight it should have.

That's simply a fairy tale. Period. Do even a little bit of study on the history and that dream will begin to fall apart quickly.

Based on the way you treat it, you would have stoned Peter when He said that God would accept the gentiles. That CERTAINLY was NOT in scripture before God revealed that to him.

And here are a couple of the most contorted statements that I read over and over:

"The bible is a hitorical record to you, not a letter from God to man, so you pick and choose what you want to believe and disregard the rest"

"ANYTIME someone argues doctrinal points without scripture, they fall into this category."

I could list all the scriptures I use as a point of reference, but frankly I'm lazy. Beyond that, I think it's pretentious and and a waste of time. For every scripture I list, you'll have one to contradict it. We all know you can make it say whatever you want it to.

As to it being perfect, please explain to me why you only obey SOME of the commands of scripture. Why do your wives go into the sanctuary with their head uncovered? Why do you cut the hair on the sides of your head? Why don't you stone adulterers? Do you treat your slaves well? Why do you wear cotton/poly blend clothing when the Bible CLEARLY says that's a sin?

Before you answer, now please explain why you have chosen OTHER sins that you put in the "for all time" category that are talked about just as those outmoded laws are - namely getting tattoos, homosexuality, etc.

And you accuse me of picking and choosing?

As much as you don't want to admit it, God's commands evolve with the times within the confines of scripture. Why would that change beyond that? The idea that God would be culturally pliable for several thousand years - and then all of a sudden were written in stone for the rest of time - it just doesn't make sense to me.

There was a time when

john said...

There was a time when I could overlook all this stuff. But the more I study and the more I pray, I begin to see much of evangelicalism as part of the "broad way".

So many use scripture to make themselves feel superior to others. They use it to sit in judgment over people. I can see how that can happen - as Paul was great at that.

But I don't see that in Christ. Any time He judged people, they were religious, self-righteous people who thought they had a corner on knowing God.

But it's impossible for you to consider this tension between Paul and Christ because your view of scripture leads you to give as much weight to Paul's letters as to the teachings of the Messiah?!

In fact, you give it more because Paul was MUCH more into telling everyone how to do everything. Christ was silent on many issues - leaving Paul to set the standard for the Church.

Did Paul ever claim that he was doing more than writing letters? Not really. He claimed to be a pretty good authority, but he even specifically pointed out that sometimes he was giving his opinion.

But somehow through our desire to have a "perfect" book, we've assigned to him a place higher than Christ or the Spirit's movement in our hearts in determining our values.

Sorry guys. I have to follow the Spirit of God on this one. I'm sure Paul was a great man, but he was just a man.

boxcarvibe said...

John said: "As much as you don't want to admit it, God's commands evolve with the times within the confines of scripture.

Please provide some examples from Scripture and how they substantiate your position on election.

gigantor1231 said...

John

I wont quote to you any scripture reference in that there are two things that you have said that tell me it would be futile, 1. You do not believe the word of God is perfect, even though it says it is. 2. You are lazy and you would not look them up anyway.
As for the particular laws that you quote out of context and that you do not feel nescessary to fully research, here is your answer; Part of the law that you quoted applies only to the levitical priesthood, not cutting the corners of your hair etc, and the other parts of the law you quoted are conditions of the covenants that God had between him and Israel..., if you fully studied the word you would find that information. As far as the application of the penalties of the law you forget that God is a God of mercy as well as judgement and that is consistent with the way he bares with Israel in the old testament and consistent with the way he still is today. As a gentile myself I do not nor I never did fall under the covenants that God directed toward Israel only, as for the wearing of poly blend clothes, once again a covenental law, but even for the jew the new testament/new covenant changed everything, jews could eat foods that used to be considered unclean, they could do things that under the old covenant they could not do because they were no longer under the old but under the new.
There is your answer, I would be willing to do the leg work and give you references to all of this but I know from your own words that it would do no good.
The word of God is spiritually discerned, all of it! This is what the word says. You flesh things out, literally and you made that clear in what you have said. You are lost and you need someone to guide you, I do not say this as a insult but as a statement of fact, Christ has extended his hand to you to guide. I will pray that he grabs you and brings light to your eyes.

Denise said...

Pro 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

donsands said...

john,

As I said, we must part company.

Sorry that we couldn't converse.

john said...

OK. God's commands evolve over time for many reasons.

Leviticus has all kinds of great rules that are no longer followed. Some fundamentalists like and still stand by:

- Don't be a homo (I paraphrase here)

Others are a bit more obscure:

- Don't eat shellfish
- Don't trim the hair on the sides of your temples
- Don't plant two different crops in the same field
- Don't "go into" any of your wives while they are on their period
- During that time of month, women are unclean and must be sent outside the camp
- Those who break the sabbath should be stoned
- Slavery is discussed in a positive light with rules on how to be a "good" slave owner

Explain to me how these apply to us today. There may have been reasons back then for God to tell them to do it this way, but did He expect the disciples to do all this? Obviously not. In fact, it was Jesus' "breaking" the Sabbath that got Him in so much trouble.

Through the years, mankind has thankfully come to realize that slavery is a bad thing. We've also cleaned up our act a bit, rendering it unnecessary to cast aside women during their periods. Our culture also frowns on multiple wives - although every one of the Fathers of our Faith (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) had multiple wives as did King David. Adam also had to have many wives if you're going to read the creation account as eyewitness news instead of poetry or myth.

So yes. Things change over time. I can point out all the verses to you, but I don't want to take space here to do that. If you're interested, email me and I'll send it along directly to you.

But I notice that we are WAY off topic here. I agree with the title of the post - Salvation is of the Lord! That God for His salvation that doesn't have anything to do with how good we are or are not, how smart we are or whether we have everything figured out perfectly!

May God's Kingdom go forth through all the earth and bring peace, love and joy to every land it touches.

Peace.

john said...

That would be "Thank God" above. Sorry. Pudgy fingers ;)

The D.O.G. House said...

John,

you evidenced my comment in your rattleing on and on ONCE again witout ANY scripture to back up your unsubstantiated statements.

You called my statement to you CONTORTED that read: "ANYTIME someone argues doctrinal points without any scripture they fall into this category."

Are you kidding?! Let's see...you are going to assert something(s) to be true/sound doctrine, and without scriptural support (only your unsubstantiated statements) we should receive such as the truth?

I will not reply to anyone who continues to make a mockery out of "theological" discussions without referring to scripture. This is either lunacy or the height of arrogance, or both.

andy said...

Hi guys could you answer me two questions?

Though i'm not a calvinist i respect a lot of people who are (mostly the dead ones, MLJ for instance)..

If a person is totally depraved, was it pointless for the Eunuch to be reading the scripture in Acts?..

Also Cornelious a person discribed by the word as " 10 a just man and one who fears God" a few verse before hes saved, so hes discribed as this, while still totally depraved seems oddddd...

andy said...

ps im a different andy lol

The Seeking Disciple said...

In order for the ordo salutis to be true for Calvinism, the Calvinist understanding of "dead in sin" must be biblically based and proven as the other steps would logically follow. Here is a good Arminian answer to that issue:
http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/178

SJ Camp said...

Andy
If a person is totally depraved, was it pointless for the Eunuch to be reading the scripture in Acts?..

No. Faith come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. It will not return void.

Also Cornelious a person discribed by the word as " 10 a just man and one who fears God" a few verse before hes saved, so hes discribed as this, while still totally depraved seems oddddd...

That would be true of Cornelius as an one who feared God. But then the gospel was proclaimed to him, and the Holy Spirit fell upon them, and he believed along with his household and was encouraged to be baptized.

With Cornelius it was a matter of revelation - not depravity.

All people are depraved: conceived in sin; by nature children of wrath; etc. Until regeneration.

Remember, salvation is not an act of cooperation between God and man; it is the sovereign work of God to lost people.

Hope this helps to answer your questions. Thank you.

SJ Camp said...

the Seeking disciple
Thank you for your comment and link. However, the link didn't take me to an article that would explain from your vantage point what it means to be dead in sin.

Could you perhaps fix the link and point me to a correct article of your doctrinal suasion so that I may learn a bit more of your views on total depravity from an Arminian perspective?

I would only offer to you as biblical proof for the reformed position the following texts: Psalm 51:5; Roms. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-3; Roms. 3:23; John 3.

Grace and peace,
Steve

andy said...

Yes kind of Steve ..But i was under the impression if your totally depraved you can't seek God?? But those two seem too,which confused me...

We spoke before about MLJ,so as you know Calvinism isn't entirely new to me...

In fact i've been troubled by some things about freewill of late,which i brought up over at CRN info...

Tim Keller's quote sumed it up perfectly

(((((((( “If you believe years and years ago in the begining of time ,God said i see human race is going to sin,so here’s what i’m going do go out and save a 1/4 of them…

People say Yuuckkk that sounds awful,..However what i believe is years and years ago God said, i see the human race is going to sin, therefore i will send my Son and give everyone free will….

But since He’s God, He immediately knows if He does it like that,immediately who will choose him…

So either way you have action of God in the deeps of time, that automatically consigns some to heaven and some to hell,so your in the same boat”)))))


I got some excellent replies (would be to long for here),but didn't entirely calm my concerns, maybe i need to read some more of the good Doctor ;-)..

wayne said...

Your doctrine of fatalism is pagan not christian.
http://www.youtube.
comv=ecartzfbppm&feature=related/
There is only one gospel.
blip.tv/file/1815520 blip.tv/file/1807932
Wayne Searfoss
wsearfos@hotmail.com

wayne said...

Your doctrine of fatalism is pagan not christian.
http://www.youtube.
comv=ecartzfbppm&feature=related/
There is only one gospel.
blip.tv/file/1815520 blip.tv/file/1807932
Wayne Searfoss
wsearfos@hotmail.com

Strong Tower said...

"What if He chooses not to know who will accept it and who will not?"

Can God choose to not be God?

I used to use this argument when training my daughter and defending the semi-autonomous free-will position that is much like Molinism. In any case it results in a diminution of God. That is, he does not know the end from the beginning. Even in the case of middle knowledge, God must know himself in the instantiation of any knowledge he has such that even the Molinism of Moreland falls. There cannot be a infinite possibility of outcomes, there is no reason. God only knows himself in the intant of the only reality that can be so that his foreknowing of those who will be saved is possible because he has predestined it and therefore knows it.

Even in the Arminian schema God knows exhaustively the future. However, in that schema God still has progressive knowledge at some time in eternity past.

Any way you look at it, whether progressive knowledge or diminution of knowledge with God progressively gaining knowledge with the actual passage of time, what eventuates is a God who is less than that of Scripture. God does not diminish, nor can he gain. Both become true when we propose that God has limited himself in knowledge because at first he is not omniscient knowing the end from the beginning, and second, if God is progressing he is god becoming and not God at all.

The curious thing about these alternatives is that the are found in the LDS and forms the grounding of "As God was so we are, as God is so we can become."

Even though I had been born-again for nearly thirty years, I believed the Arminian schema and as I said provided for my daughter a well defined apologetic until God openned my eyes to simple little verses: ,"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end...Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it....It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit...for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

One cannot put out of mind that the "Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place" included every "free" action of everyone, or Christ might not have been crucified for our sins. To that add: "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." If God had allowed for one moment a thought not directed toward the ends he predestined, we would still be dead in our trespasses and sin.

arminianperspectives said...

I think the Calvinist ordo salutis is theologically absurd and hopelessly problematic. Here's why,

The Arminian and Calvinist Ordo Salutis: A Comparative Study

God Bless,
Ben

arminianperspectives said...

BTW, your 4) and 5) should be reversed in the Arminian ordo. Justification would logically precede regeneration.

Casey Hough said...

Nice Post, even though I don't think "Order of Salvation" is the best way of putting since much of what you see in Romans 8 is both past(in Christ), present(in conversion) and future (in consummation) and hardly be reduced to a systematic order, but I don't feel that was your intent as much as establishing the God-centeredness of Salvation in his initial and continual work in the believer.

I find Sinclair Ferguson discussion on this matter very enlightening from his book "The Holy Spirit".

SJ Camp said...

arminianperspectives
BTW, your 4) and 5) should be reversed in the Arminian ordo. Justification would logically precede regeneration.

Not in the "Ordo" it wouldn't. Remember, this is in order of the decree of God - not a chronological timeline of events.

Paul said...

It all sounds great, I agree 100% Now what? Im just anither grunt who has to get up in the morning and please my boss to God's glory. So what do I do with this info? Since sanctification is a 100% work of God,I guess I'll just kick back and let him do it all. Right? I am an election guy as much as anybody else, but somebody explain to me why Christ would say "well DONE faithful servant" Is he really talking to us? Are we just potted plants in the whole process?

SJ Camp said...

Paul
Since sanctification is a 100% work of God, I guess I'll just kick back and let him do it all. Right? I am an election guy as much as anybody else, but somebody explain to me why Christ would say "well DONE faithful servant" Is he really talking to us? Are we just potted plants in the whole process?

I hope I can help answer your heartfelt and important questions.

First of all, our salvation is a 100% work of God; by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by regeneration of the Holy Spirit. We were dead in trespasses and sins; sons of disobedience, and by nature children of wrath. We could do nothing to merit our salvation. It is His gracious gift to us by His sovereign electing love (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9)

Secondly, however sanctification is never "just let go and let God." We do fully cooperate (by grace) in our sanctification (Titus 2:12). It is all of grace; but since we are born again, we can live for Him and are commanded to do so throughout most of the Scriptures.

Thirdly, those great words you quoted by our Lord from the parable of the talents in Matt. 25: "Well done good and faithful servant" is not speaking in regards to the root of our salvation - but to the fruit which comes from our salvation. He is speaking specifically to the lives that we have lived for Him after being born again (Gal. 2:20).

This is crucial. Though sanctification and justification are two separate things - that are inextricably connected. Sanctification flows out of being justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. We are made new creations in Him in salvation; but we are incarcerated in unredeemed flesh.

Here is the battle for all of us... Sanctification is the daily process by which we are conformed to Christlikeness. Ultimately, that will be fully realized when we are glorified and home with the Lord.

No one, not one, ever achieves sinlessness in this life. And those who claim to have reached that state are lying anyway and have thus sinned proving instantly that we have not arrived in this life.

God is able to complete that which He has begun... amen? That is our hope. But we also must press on everyday for Him though we sin everyday.

We are not fatalists; and nor should we ever be rigid legalists. We are to live by God's grace, learning to be content in Him and conformed to Jesus daily.

And finally - YES! We are potted plants... and by His grace we are to grow each day by His living Word, in the power of His Holy Spirit (1 Peter 2:1-3' 4:10; Eph. 4:12-14).

I hope this helps you some way my brother. Thank you for your thoughts here again.

arminianperspectives said...

Steve,

Ordo Salutis means "order of salvation" (as your post even tells us), and not "order of decree". I was speaking of the Arminian ordo which you have misrepresented and most Arminians do not see secret eternal decrees in the Bible, so it is very strange that you would say that the Arminian ordo has reference to the order of a decree.

Now there is a logical order, and that logical order is important. You must agree that it is important or you would not make such a big deal of placing regeneration before faith, correct?

You say regeneration must precede faith because prior to regeneration faith is impossible. I say that justification must precede regeneration, because prior to justification regeneration is impossible (since one can't be given new life prior to being forgiven (which is foundational to justification), nor can someone receive new life logically prior to the wrath of God being removed (also an aspect of justification).

Prior to justification, sin remains and sin results in death. The sin problem must be dealt with (justification) before one can receive new life.

That is the Arminian position and that is why Arminians like me see the Calvinist ordo as theologically absurd (not to mention that Calvinists place regeneration prior to reception of the Holy Spirit, since the Spirit is received by faith, and there are further problems as well which I have outlined in various posts as my blog). So your accounting of the Arminian ordo is simply wrong.

God Bless,
Ben

Darrin said...

Ben, I'm sure you're familiar with the third article of the Arminian Remonstrance:

'That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free-will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as having faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the word of Christ, John xv. 5: "Without me ye can do nothing."'

It seems odd that many today who call themselves Arminians appear concerned about a doctrine that would show a regenerating act of God is necessary preceding faith or anything good in man.

I think perhaps you should call yourselves Wesleyans. The historic Arminians appear to be much more Calvinistic than the modern ones!

SJ Camp said...

Darrin
Powerful my friend! Exactly.

wayne said...

The circular closed theory of history is a pagan concept from stoic philosophy in which the LOGOS of John chapter one was substituted for the logos of Zeus by the heretical church fathers who were never converted.
Armenianism is a modification of this and to be rejected as well.
God's kingdom is linear ever in expansion forever multiplying by the free wills of all who are bound by unfiegned love, God is in time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdO6DpMv_qk
wsearfos@hotmail.com

Jade said...

There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any one moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.

By "the mere pleasure of God," I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.


From Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards