Order of salvation reformed


God’s Plan of Salvation

God’s plan of salvation is a mystery to us, but we know that it is good. We know that God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. We also know that God has a plan for our redemption and that He will one day take us to be with Him in His kingdom.

God’s Love


God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus is the only way to know God. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

God’s Justice

Many people believe that because God is loving, He would never send anyone to hell. However, this view fails to take into account God’s justice. If God simply let everyone into heaven, even those who had committed terrible crimes, then His justice would be compromised. Furthermore, if there was no hell, then there would be no real incentive for people to turn from their sin and live a godly life. Hell is a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation.

God’s Mercy


Salvation is God’s plan to rescue us from the penalty of our sins. It includes forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. God’s desire is for everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), but we must each make a decision to accept or reject His offer of salvation.

The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), but God offers us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Jesus, He pays the penalty for our sin and we are forgiven. We are then Reconciled with God—our relationship with Him is restored. And finally, we are given the hope of eternal life—a life spent with God forever!

Man’s Response to God

In order to understand the order of salvation, we must first understand God’s role in salvation and man’s role in salvation. God is the initiator of salvation. He takes the initiative to save us from our sin (2 Timothy 3:15). He doesn’t save us because we are good or because we deserve it, but because of His mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Faith

The biblical definition of faith is “The confident belief in the character, nature, and power of God, based on the revelations He has given us in His Word.” In other words, faith is having confidence in who God is and what He is able to do. It is not based on our feelings or opinions but on His immutable character. Share this same definition with a friend or family member today.

Repentance

When man has sinned, he is cut off from God and can no longer enjoy fellowship with Him. However, repentance is always available and restores man to fellowship.When we repent, we agree with God about our sin, turn from it, and turn to Jesus Christ in faith for forgiveness. True repentance will always result in a changed life. (Acts 3:19; 2 Corinthians 7:10)

Baptism

Baptism is a sign and a seal of God’s covenant promises to His people. In baptism, we publicly identify ourselves with Christ and His body, the church. We are declaring our trust in Christ alone for salvation and committing ourselves to live according to His Word.

Good Works


The Bible is very clear that our good works can never save us (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, this does not mean that good works are unimportant. In fact, the Bible calls Christians to do good works (James 2:14-17). So why are good works important?

One reason is that good works are a natural result of salvation (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:18). When we receive God’s gift of salvation, our hearts are changed and we begin to desire to do things that please Him. Good works are also important because they testify to the reality of our faith (Matthew 5:16; James 2:26). Our good works serve as a witness to the world that we have truly been transformed by Christ.

In addition, good works glorify God and bring Him honor (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). As we serve others and live out our faith in practical ways, the world sees God’s love and grace at work in us. Finally, good works will one day be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:8; Matthew 25:31-46). Those who have faithfully served Christ will one day receive His approval and receive a great reward.

God’s Work in Salvation

God first sovereignly and graciously chose a people for himself (Ephesians 1:4). He then, out of love for them and not because of any righteousness or goodness in them, sent his Son to die for them while they were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Christ’s perfect life and sacrificial death satisfied the justice of God, and his resurrection secured our acquittal (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Election

Election is God’s work of choosing some people for salvation and leaving others to suffer justly for their sins. It is an act of God’s free and sovereign grace. It does not depend on anything man has done or will do but only on God’s good pleasure. It is eternal, because it was planned before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6; Revelation 13:8).

Calling

In Reformed theology, the Calling is God’s summoning of humanity into relationship with Himself. It is the first stage in God’s work of salvation, and precedes justification, sanctification, and glorification.

The Calling is an effect of God’s Slove, and is therefore gratuitous (unmerited) and irresistible (cannot be resisted). It occurs when the Holy Spirit brings the truth of the gospel to an individual, convicting them of their sin and their need for Christ. The individual then responds in faith, trusting in Christ for salvation.

The Calling is a free offer of salvation that is extended to all people; however, not all will respond in faith. Those who do not respond are said to have rejected the Call, and will suffer condemnation as a result.

Regeneration

In salvation, God works in us to bring about regeneration. This is a work of God’s grace in which He gives us new life through the Holy Spirit. It is a work of God that is completed when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Justification

Justification is God’s act of absolving a person of their sin while at the same time making them righteous in His sight. This righteousness comes through faith alone in Christ alone and His finished work on the cross. Justification is not something that is earned, but it is a free gift from God that is given to those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ.

Sanctification


Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ. It is God’s work in us, transforming us into the image of Christ. It is a lifelong process that begins when we are saved and continues until we see Christ face to face.

The Bible tells us that sanctification is God’s will for our lives: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Sanctification is also God’s design for our lives: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And sanctification is possible because of what Christ has done for us: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Sanctification is not something we do; it is something God does in us. We cooperate with him in the process, but ultimately it is his work, not ours. Therefore, sanctification cannot be reduced to a set of principles or practices that we can follow. It is not something we accomplish by our own effort; it is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Glorification

Glorification is the final stage of salvation, when we will be perfectly conformed to the image of Christ and will dwell with him forever in the new creation. God will remove the “stain” of sin completely, so that we will be totally holy and vibrant with life. Death will be swallowed up in victory, and we will enjoy perfect fellowship with God forever.


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