What's The Order Of Salvation?
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Scripture is clear that regeneration is the sovereign act of God whereby He imparts His very life and His very nature to the believing sinner (John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5).

 

路 Man鈥檚 first birth is natural; his second birth is spiritual and supernatural.

路 His first birth makes him a member of a fallen race

路 His second birth makes him a member of a redeemed race.

路 His first birth gives him a depraved nature (Eph. 2:3)

路 His second birth makes him partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

路 The moment a person is born again he receives a new life (John 6:47; 1 John 5:12) and a new position as a child of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2). In short, he is a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).[6]

 

 

But what does the Scripture actually say about the logical order of new life and man鈥檚 responsibility in attaining it? Which comes first, new life or faith? Let鈥檚 observe:

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel 18:30-32
鈥淭herefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淩epent, Turn away鈥id yourselves鈥︹
2. 鈥溾et a new heart and a new spirit.鈥

Verse 32 makes it even more simple:

1. 鈥淩epent and鈥︹
2. 鈥溾ive!鈥

Life comes from repentance, not the other way around.

 


 

 

Acts 11:18
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, 鈥淪o then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淩epentance unto鈥︹
2. 鈥溾ife鈥

The Gentiles were not granted life unto repentance, but just the opposite according to the text. And the gospel is the means God grants mankind the ability to believe. He sent the gospel first to the Jews and then the Gentiles which enabled their faith response (Rom. 1:16, 10:14-17)

 


 

 

John 5:40
鈥測et you refuse to COME TO ME TO HAVE LIFE.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淐ome to me鈥︹ (through faith)
2. 鈥溾o have life.鈥


 

 

 

John 6:53
鈥淚 tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淯nless you eat鈥rink鈥 (by faith)
2. 鈥溾ou have not life in you.鈥

 


 

 

John 6:57
鈥渟o the one who feeds on me will live because of me.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥渢he one who feeds on me鈥︹ (by faith)
2. 鈥溾ill live鈥

 


 

 

John 20:31
鈥淏ut these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥渢hese are written鈥︹ (scriptures)
2. 鈥溾hat you may believe鈥︹
3. 鈥溾y believing you may have life鈥︹

 


 

 

 

Acts 15:9
鈥淗e made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淗e purified their hearts鈥︹
2. 鈥溾y faith.鈥

It does not say He purified their hearts by regeneration so as to make them have faith. Clearly a purified heart is a fruit of faith, not the other way around.


 

 

John 1:12-13
鈥淵et to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God鈥 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband鈥檚 will, but born of God. The right to be born of God is given only to those who believe.

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾ll who did receive him鈥ho believed鈥︹
2. 鈥溾e gave the right to BECOME children of God鈥︹

You are not even given to right to become a child of God, much less be born again as his child, UNTIL you 鈥渞eceive him鈥 and 鈥渂elieve in his name.鈥 And while placing our trust in Christ is man鈥檚 responsibility, the work of regeneration is all of God鈥檚 doing.


 

 

Galatians 3:26
鈥淵ou are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus鈥︹

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淵ou are all sons of God鈥︹
2. 鈥溾hrough faith in Christ鈥︹

Obviously, becoming a son (born of God) is a fruit of faith, not the other way around.

 


 

John 12:36
鈥淏elieve in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥淏elieve in the light鈥︹
2. 鈥溾o that you may become children鈥︹

 


 

 

Ephesians 1:13
鈥淎nd you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit鈥︹

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥渨hen you heard the message of truth鈥hen you believed
2. 鈥測ou were included in Christ鈥ou were marked in him鈥︹

 


 

 

Galatians 3:2, 5
鈥淚 would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?鈥 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾eceived the Spirit鈥︹
2. 鈥溾y believing what you heard鈥︹

 


 

 

2 Corinthians 3:14-16
鈥淏ut their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾nyone turns to the Lord鈥︹ (by faith)
2. 鈥溾he veil is taken away.鈥

 


 

1 Timothy 1:16
鈥淏ut for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾hose who would believe in him鈥︹
2. 鈥..receive eternal life.鈥


 

 

Colossians 2:12
鈥溾aving been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾aptism, in which you were also raised鈥︹
2. 鈥溾hrough your faith鈥︹

 


 

 

James 1:18
鈥淗e chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.鈥

The order clearly laid out is as follows:

1. 鈥溾ive us brith鈥︹
2. 鈥溾hrough the word of truth鈥︹

Calvinists teach the word of truth will certainly be rejected by the unregenerate, thus how can the apostle say that the word may be the means of new birth? Birth must precede the word if Calvinism is true, and that is not what the text clearly indicates.

 


 

 

The Philippian jailer inquired, 鈥淲hat must I do to be saved?鈥 Acts 16:30

If Paul was Calvinistic he should have replied, 鈥淵ou can do nothing to be saved. You were born corpse-like dead in your sin and a dead man can do nothing. If God makes you alive then you will be convinced to believe our gospel.鈥

But Paul does not hesitate to simply say, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved鈥 (Acts 16:31).

鈥 Believe so as to have new life.
鈥 Repent so as to live!
鈥 That is the gospel appeal sent for all to hear it and respond.

 


 

 

 

 

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)