Monday, February 13, 2006

Order of Salvation (John Murray)

John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 79-87
I. The application of redemption is not “one simple and indivisible act.” It is made up of a “series of acts and processes.” They are calling, regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification each is distinct from the other.

II. There is some type of order since glorification cannot begin the process, it is naturally at the end and regeneration has to be prior to sanctification. The Scriptures support this:
A. Jesus speaks of being born from above (regeneration) coming before seeing and entering (application of redemption) the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5).
B. Regeneration (born of God) is prior to being delivered from sin – being born of God is the cause of being delivered from sin (1 John 3:9).
C. Faith in Christ's name is prior to adoption (John 1:12).
D. Sealing follows hearing the word of truth and believing (Ephesians 1:13).
E. These texts help establish some kind of order.

III. But questions still remain for other parts of the process: which comes first calling or justification, faith or justification, regeneration or calling?
A. Calling, justification, and glorification appear to be in order (Romans 8:30). For the following reasons:
i. Verse 28 “called according to purpose” means that “purpose provides the pattern or plan according to which calling takes place. Therefore the purpose is prior to the calling, and in this case, of course, eternally prior” (pg. 83).
ii. In verse 29 there is a “progression of thought from foreknowledge to predestination” (pg. 83). iii. In verses 29 and 30 foreknowledge precedes glorification and there can be no reversal of positions.
iv. The only question that remains is whether calling is prior to justification.
v. Murray believes that Paul's reference to calling and justification are in logical order and progression and therefore Romans 8:30 is a “broad outline of the order in the application of redemption” (pg. 84).
vi. What about faith and justification? First, this is not “God's eternal degree to justify” which would be prior to faith. It is justification in terms of applied redemption. Scripture clearly states that we are “justified by faith, from faith, through faith, and upon faith” (Rom. 1:17; 3:22, 26, 28, 30; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:24; Phil 3:9). It is “impossible to avoid the conclusion that justification is upon the event of faith or the instrumentality of faith...faith is presupposed in justification...faith is God's appointed instrument through which he dispenses this grace” (pg. 85).
vii. Another reason that faith is prior to justification is that calling is prior to justification and faith is necessary for calling.
viii. Regeneration is prior to faith. Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins and are incapable of faith until they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, 6:44,45). Is regeneration prior to calling? In Scripture it is “calling that is given distinct emphasis and prominence as the act of God whereby sinners are translated from darkness to light and ushered into the fellowship of Christ...salvation in actual possession takes its start from an efficacious summons on the part of God and that this summons, since it is God's summons, carries in its bosom all of the operative efficacy by which it is made effective” (pg. 86).
ix. Since you cannot have repentance without faith, they are conjoined. And conversion is the same as repentance and faith.
x. Justification comes before adoption since you cannot become part of a family until you have been accepted into that family.
xi. Sanctification is an ongoing processes that begins in regeneration. Perseverance is a compliment of sanctification and could be placed before or after.

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