Session 3 Order of Salvation Notes

Order of Salvation Overview (Ordo Salutis)

Just how are the various aspects of divine salvation generally applied to the sinners God saves? And is there a Biblical order in which these aspects intersect with these sinners? If yes, then the question per se is, in what order do they are they applied?

To my knowledge, the Bible does not specifically list an exhaustive order of the aspects of salvation. However, Romans 8:29-30 gives an “intimation…of a progression” (p 83 in Murray, Redemption Accomplish and Applied, Part II “Redemption Applied, The Order of Salvation p 79-87).

NAU Romans 8:29 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; 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.

Consequently, advocates of all theological perspectives espouse some sort of order. Broadly speaking, we can categorize them in two basic arrangements, the Arminian and the Calvinistic. I have outlined these two arrangements below. But, of course, among advocates of the same perspective there are differences both in definitions and order of terms.

Arminian Arrangement

Calvinist Arrangement

Calling – the preaching of the gospel

Predestination – all things foreordained by God

Prevenient grace – grace given to all men that enables them to exercise their free will to believe

Election - God’s choice of individuals


Calling – distinguishes between preaching of the gospel and an effective call or irresistible grace


Regeneration – being born again produced by God

Regeneration – being born again produced by God




Perseverance – but it is possible that not all will persevere








Clearly there are several differences between the two schemes especially when definitions of terms are considered. However, by comparison, it becomes apparent that there are two major differences.

First, in the Arminian arrangement faith precedes regeneration whereas it is the reverse in the Calvinist arrangement. Why this difference? Primarily, this difference exists because of widely different understanding of the sin of Adam in the Garden and the consequences thereof. Generally, Arminians believe that human beings have little if any connection Adam and that they have the capacity to exercise faith of their own innate volition. In contrast, Calvinists generally believe that there is a connection between Adam and the rest of humanity and in consequence all are sinners by birth (original sin) and are not able to exercise faith of their own volition.

Second, the Arminian arrangement is generally a temporal order while the Calvinist order is generally logical rather than temporal. In other words, the Arminian views these aspects in a time based chronological fashion while the Calvinist sees them in a timeless sequential fashion. So, for the Arminian there is a period of time when faith exists and regeneration does not. Whereas, under the Calvinist scheme such a time gap between faith and regeneration is impossible. However, it must be observed that under both arrangements temporal relationships do exist. For instance, a period of time exists between calling and glorification.

One might legitimately ask, “so what?” I believe this is an important matter all Christians must be willing to grapple with for the following reasons:

An understanding of the terms of salvation and the relationship between them leads to an understanding of salvation itself.

An understanding of the order of application of these terms causes the believer to marvel at intricate yet perfect nature of his salvation and thus results in gratefulness.

An understanding of the definitions and order of application of faith and regeneration directly influences evangelism methodology.

An understanding of the terms of salvation and the relationship between them changes our worldview from man-centered to God-centered.

 An understanding of the terms of salvation and the relationship between them helps us clarify the biblical gospel.



Answering the "So What" Question: (task groups)

Theological Statement                 Personal Application            Institutional/Societal Application

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2017. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source

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