Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Biblical Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis) As Opposed to the Protestant False Gospel of Progressive Justification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 15, 2016

ppt-jpeg4Houston, we have an obvious problem. While Protestant scholars deny progressive Justification, yet another one of their formal doctrines clearly states otherwise. Under the auspices of “the order of salvation (Ordo Salutis),”all aspects of salvation are listed. Let me state this in a different way. It is the “order” of what? Right, “salvation.” It has an order; elements take place in an order. And included in that order is the “Christian” life or what is theologically referred to as progressive sanctification. Obviously, the Christian life is a part of salvation’s order. In other words, clearly, according to yet another Protestant doctrine, salvation is a process. While continually denying a progression of salvation (justification), they continually refer to it as a “process” with an order. A process necessarily demands a progression or the process never takes place.

Case in point: an article written by John Piper;

In the Reformed camp, the ordo salutis is 1) election/predestination (in Christ), 2) Atonement 3) gospel call 4) inward call 5) regeneration, 6) conversion (faith & repentance), 7) justification, 8) sanctification, and 9) glorification. (Rom 8:29-30).

That is all the “order” of what? Right, “salvation.” What is included in the order? Right, sanctification. Everyone agrees that sanctification encompasses Christian living. So, obviously, Christian living is part and parcel with a salvation process and the order thereof. Also, note that salvation has a beginning (inward call, regeneration, conversion), a middle process (justification, sanctification), and a completion of the process (glorification). What could I possibly be missing here? Again, ALL of these elements are part of ONE process…SALVATION. Hence, the title of book 3, chapter 14 of the Calvin Institutes:

The Beginning of Justification. In What Sense Progressive?

Any questions?

The Reformers could have fared much better by making salvation predetermined, but finished in the life of the believer; however, there is a huge problem with that. If salvation is a finished work, the need for formal religion is greatly diminished because eternal salvation is no longer at stake. In other words, the supply and demand that would support massive religious industrial complexes like Protestantism wouldn’t be there. From the beginning of civilization, progressive salvation has been a necessary component to support religion and caste systems in general. If salvation is a onetime finished work in the lives of those who believe, a motivation to partake in some religious process with salvation as the prize is nonexistent. People motivated by love are poor candidates for fear and financial blackmail.

What then is the biblical Ordo Salutis? It begins with man’s ability to reason and choose. So, first in the order is hearing the word of God. Second is being persuaded by what you hear and believing.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17 KJV).

Also, consider passages like 1Peter 4:17 where references to not obeying the gospel are stated. The word is apeitheō (g0544. ἀπειθέω) which includes the idea of not allowing yourself to be persuaded. It is…suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:8) and willful ignorance (2Peter 3:5).

Thirdly, belief includes a desire to be born again of the Spirit. This is what makes us righteous; the new birth. Of course, only God can effect new birth in response to faith alone. We believe, God regenerates. Regeneration is the onetime quickening of the Spirit that puts the old man to death and resurrects him to eternal life. This is only possible with God, but is a promise to those who believe. In John chapter three, Christ explains to Nicodemus that the new birth is completely of God, beyond man’s technical understanding and reach, but follows that up by saying,

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (KJV).

  1. Hearing the word 2. Repentance (belief, faith, desire to be born again [“You MUST be born again”]) 3. The new birth. 1,2,3.

We see this order in Acts chapter 2:

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

The “promise” is primarily the promise of Spirit baptism that raised Christ from the grave after His death.

Acts 2: 29 – “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption (ESV).

In the biblical order of salvation, you receive the Spirit and are saved once, and for all of eternity. The salvation process ends as soon as it begins because it is a finished work in the life of the believer; the old person is dead and gone, and resurrected to new life. A believer cannot be unborn, nor can the old person be exhumed and returned to the old life.







Election and the Real Golden Chain of Salvation: Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 14, 2015

Let’s discuss yet another Reformed doctrine; the ordo solutis, or “order of salvation.” This is also known as the “golden chain of salvation” and the proof text is Romans 8:29,30.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

It goes something like this: God fore-loved certain individuals and not others. He then predestined them to salvation. He then at some point in time calls them, and then justifies them resulting in glorification. Here is a Reformed illustration below:

Golden Chain

Catholic theologians often object to this take on Romans 8:29,30 because they reject once saved always saved, but they misunderstand, authentic Protestantism does NOT hold to OSAS. More to the point here, the golden chain of salvation is seen as individual, rather than a means of salvation. And that’s what election is: it chooses the means of salvation, and chooses individuals who have roles in the various purposes of salvation. God chose Christ to die on the cross, therefore Christ is elect; He chose the holy angels for certain roles in the salvation process, therefore they are elect; He chose the nation of Israel as part of the process, therefore the nation of Israel is elect, and He chose certain individuals throughout history to contribute to the process of salvation, therefore they are chosen as well to play a part in the means of salvation. That does not mean that they did not have a choice to follow God prior to that choosing for a role in God’s salvific plan. For instance, obviously, God chose the virgin Mary to bear and give birth to Christ as part of the salvation plan. It is also obvious that Mary was saved prior to that choosing. It is obvious that Christ chose the 12 disciples for a role in the slavific plan, but that doesn’t mean they had no choice in choosing God prior to that, hence,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.

In context, Christ is referring to their election as apostles, not some inability to choose God. As we shall see in the future parts, the REAL golden chain of salvation is a mode of salvation and those used by God to execute it, not a golden chain of salvation that pertains to individual salvation through determinism. Let me now make a beginning case for your consideration. Let me create some reasonable doubt in regard to the Reformed ordo solutis.

First, if you will note once again the Reformed illustration posted in this first part, it illustrates a past tense that preludes present continuous action. This, of course, is necessary for a deterministic conclusion. However, if you carefully examine Romans 8:29,30 it is strictly past tense. Paul is speaking of something that has already taken place. Any other conclusion is presumptuous at best. Paul is writing about something that has been established in the past, or a group of people who have already been glorified. This clearly casts reasonable doubt on the ordo solutis.

Secondly, the ordo solutis would indicate that all of those who are called are also justified, or saved. This is clearly not the case.

Matthew 22:1 – And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants  to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants,treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

In this passage, the “called” are defined: the called are all peoples who are invited to believe in the gospel of the kingdom, and those who except the invitation are of the elect group. Not all of the called are elect. This throws a very large monkey wrench into the Reformed golden chain/order of salvation. Hence, John Calvin came up with three categories of individual preselection: the non-elect; the called; or those temperately chosen/illumined/born again, and those who persevere; or those who are both called and elected in the final analysis. Therefore, assurance of salvation is absolutely impossible in context of the ordo solutis. NO ONE can really know for certain that they are saved until they are “manifested” in the “final tribunal” where “final justification” is determined.

Yet, the apostle John wrote an epistle so that we may “know” presently that we are born again (1John 5:13). The Reformed order of salvation seems apparent based on its deterministic presuppositions, but further investigation is needed.