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+Donny 12-21-2004 05:05 PM

The Ordo Salutis
This has me confused. As I understand it, the traditional ordo salutis of reformed theology has regeneration begetting faith and faith begetting justification, which is followed by sanctification, and finally glorification. Now, I understand the logic in this and fully affirm basic Calvinism, but am a bit confused as to whether this neat little order actually fleshes itself out i scripture in such a systematic way.

I have read through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians a number of times over the last couple of weeks and have noticed that while the major themes of sola fide, sola gratia, initial salvation, sanctification, and glorification are there, it seems that the issues over initial salvation (justification, conversion, etc.) are a bit more fuzzy. I realize that the ordo salutis seems to be based more on Romans than anything, but I still have a couple questions.

First, how do faith and regeneration related? If we define regeneration strictly as that initial life-giving event, the renewal from death to life in our heart, then how does regeneration come about? At least sometimes, what seems to be regeneration is described in terms that fit well with the concept of union with Christ (we are united with Christ and therefore regenerated). Primarily, we have the theme of dying to our old self and living in and with Christ, which is undeniably pregnant with the theme of our union with Christ. However, we also know that union with Christ is by faith, so if regeneration is by virtue of our union, how can faith come as a result of regeneration? Or is it that regeneration leads to our union? If so, are we regenerated and not united to Christ? Or does regeneration establish that union, and faith just keep it going and make it stronger?

Second, (this is actually an observation) it amazed me just how vital and naturally sanctification and glorification flow out of Paul's teaching in relation to our salvation. Maybe it is because of how much I have seen "salvation" described only in the context of justification, but I was stunned at I suppose the equality that these three aspects flow out of regeneration and faith. We are united to Christ, and therefore we are justified (the "new man" concept, being transformed to the kingdom of Christ, dying with Christ and being raised up with Him, etc.), but we are also therefore sanctified (conformed to the image of Christ, looking to heavenly things and putting to death the earthly things), and finally perfected (blameless, perfect, chaste bride at the end of time, at the manifestation of Christ's glory). The end of salvation, the purpose of the gospel, is the reconciliation of man to God, which seems to focus not on justification, but on glorification:

Col 1:19 For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell;
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.
Col 1:21 And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works,
Col 1:22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him:
Col 1:23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister.

Paul speaks of attaining to the resurrection, persevering until the end for glorification, for the future aspect of our salvation. That may also be why love has a pre-eminence (Col. 3:14). Full compliance with God, a perfect love for Him, seems to be an intimate theme in glorification, and therefore is seen as the end of salvation. Faith is the means to the end, which is love. Justification is most certainly vital, important, and beautiful, but it is just the beginning.

Most of this is just my rambling on, but I would appreciate comments.

goldenchild 12-21-2004 05:35 PM

Never heard of the ordo salutis or how it works(and I don't agree with Calvinistic thought) so I don't believe I can help :)

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